"So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

*God to Mend Our World

        We live in a world full of imperfections, but we can let God mend that part for us to make the world ideal for us!

*Salvation Depends Upon Us!

        Even though God is our Savior, salvation of the world absolutely depends upon us! Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few." As God's instruments, we must work hard to spread the good news, as the time is more urgent than ever! There is no time for snoozing, none to waste. Not harvesting for God is committing a serious sin of omission. The least one could do is to pray daily for the salvation of the world.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Unfair to God

        I was at a shopping mall. You could hear the loud music playing through the sound system and see the crowd busily shopping or eating at the food court. I was also aware that God was lovingly watching over us and hoping to get some attention from us. Yet how many shoppers even turn their thoughts to him for an instant? Probably very few. This is an unfair world.

Not Bored Anymore

        It's common to find people getting bored after retiring from work. I am retired and sometimes people ask me what I do with all my time. Besides attending Mass daily and blogging, I do not have enough time to do all the various other things I need to do. Anyhow, if you live for Christ, it's impossible to ever get bored. On the contrary, life becomes more exciting than ever – God had filled all the voids of life and made living purposeful. You are now on call, ready to serve the Lord when he calls you, and he does need as many servants as possible to help him save the world! It's a big task that comes with a big reward. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Personal Prayer

        I love you, Lord. Therefore, take away my sins; make me pure, make me strong, and make me yours.

Extra Appreciation

        When you are sick with fever, praying to God becomes difficult. Therefore, I appreciate extra when I am well and can pray to him from my heart with a clear and cool mind.

*One More Beatidude

        In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us the Beatitudes, all blessings. From my point of view, I also feel "Blessed are they who fall in love with the Lord and become one with him."  

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Maker of Beautiful Things

        Know that saints are made by God. Our future resurrection is also made possible by God. The special joy we feel for him is given to us by him too. The list goes on and on and on – God is the maker of all beautiful things!  

Classy Calling

       In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5.38-48, Jesus certainly raised the bar high in teaching his disciples about retaliation and love of enemies. He concluded by asking them to be perfect as their heavenly Father is perfect ~ it had to be a great honor to receive such a classy calling from the Lord. And certainly he wishes to honor each one of us thus too.  

Sign of Abandonment

        The closer you get to know God, the more clearly you see how everyone is journeying toward God at various stages and become more tolerant of all believers or nonbelievers. This is a sign that you are abandoning yourself more to God.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

*Crux of My Existence

        I woke up early in the morning and it was still dark outside. Again, I felt that I was not alone and it was the existence of my creator that matters most and only to my existence. Therefore, my relationship with my creator becomes the crux of my existence.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Perfect Rules

        Never let anyone's imperfection influence you to be more imperfect. Rather, let God's perfection alone inspire you to be even more perfect.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Sweet Feeling

        It's a sweet feeling when you truly forgive someone from the heart, knowing that you've stopped playing God to let God be the sole judge.

*What Matters to Life:

Knowing and accepting that God is love.

Life Needs God

        First of all, without God we wouldn't be alive breathing and with a continuously beating heart. Then, without the Lord we wouldn't know how to live a joyful life in spiritual freedom. Last, without him we won't find the way to heaven.

Monday, February 13, 2017

**Moment of Creation

          Communion experience. The famous fresco painting The Creation of Adam done by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel shows God about to touch Adam to give him life. Anyhow, as I received the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, it was also a moment of creation when God imparted a new spiritual life on me. Such is the power of the Blessed Sacrament.
         [Dear readers, as I'll be on the road for the next two weeks, please check back next month for new postings. God be with you all!]

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Testing the Heart

        Communion experience. I was in awe of God's love and mercy. If he hasn't won you over yet, your heart must be too hard and cold.

*Begging Question

        Jesus has nothing but love to offer us, for he is love. Please tell me why you still stay away from him, please, please...

*God's Perfect Balance

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus taught his disciples about the law and a host of other subjects, and he was demanding. I love the Lord for being merciful and demanding at the same time. If he is only merciful, then we don't even need to be good to be saved. On the other hand, if he is only demanding, then who can possibly be good enough to be saved? Being both gives the perfect balance and I rejoice in that. 

**Where to Find God*

        We tend to look for God somewhere in outer space, but do you know that if you enter deep, deep, deep your inner self and search for him, you will find him there and realize that he's been waiting for you always?

Tabernacle in Our Heart

          The tabernacle which houses the Eucharist on the altar at the church looks magnificent, but I know that it would please Jesus even more if we would set up a tabernacle on an altar in our heart.

Importance of a Clean Heart

        An unclean heart is not a peaceful heart. To experience peace, one must first reconcile oneself to God and ask for his forgiveness. The souls in heaven are happy because their hearts are clean as God had intended them to be from the beginning.

*Loving God With Our All

        Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all you strength, and with all your mind." The only way for us to achieve this is to surrender ourselves totally to God so that he may transform our heart, our being, our strength, and our mind to his heart's content. What a beautiful event it would be!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Made After God

        No matter how sinful we are, we still at times feel that we should help someone in need or actually help someone without thinking and feel good afterwards. This reminds me that we are made in the image of God.

What to Live For

        Netflix just released the new series Abstract: The Art of Design. You can watch the trailer on YouTube. Being artistic in nature, I knew I would enjoy watching it. But before finishing watching the first two parts of this eight-part series, I also knew that living for Christ is so much more fulfilling and superior than living for any of the arts or, for that matter, anything else. True, many artists are happy doing what they are doing, but they shortchange themselves for not knowing that what they pursue is perishable in the end! Leaving your mark on the world is far from storing up treasures in heaven. It is vision going beyond this brief life that is needed to make living truly meaning and fulfilling. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Unhappy Phonies

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 7, Jesus healed a deaf man who had a speech impediment and ordered the people who brought the man to him not to tell anyone. Of course, Jesus had done so many other even greater wondrous deeds. So we have a Lord with infinite power, yet zero ego. Relative to him, we have zero power, but a huge ego. No wonder we are not free and happy, for we are phonies! 

*Our Only Big Chance

        We entered the world as nobodies. If in this life we do not get God to adopt us as his heirs, we will leave the world again as nobodies. 

All in God's Mercy

        I did not know my son's friend who passed away (read my last post), but I did pray hard for him, for I heard from my son that he was a decent person. Of course, I don't know where his soul is now, but I trust in the great mercy of my Lord. I recall the story that St. Therese of Lisieux prayed hard for a notorious criminal named Henri Pranzini who had been sentenced to die at the guillotine. After the execution, she read in the paper how when he was about to be beheaded, he turned, took hold of the crucifix the priest was holding out to him and kissed the sacred wounds three times. This further reminds me of one of the thieves crucified along with Jesus who begged Jesus to remember him when he enters into his kingdom. And the Lord promised that he would be in paradise with him that day.

*Living the Free Way

       On January 27, I mentioned in a post that a friend of my son was in danger of losing his life at a medical center. Yesterday he passed away. He was only 57 and his death was thought to be caused by a flu virus. As I have said, all of us are just passing through. Therefore, we should live a detached life. This does not mean that we do not enjoy life anymore; it only means that we enjoy life in the proper, free manner. See yourself as one journeying through earth back to God your creator. Along the way, there are many things that are not sinful to enjoy, but you move on, no lingering, just enjoying them along the way. This is living in freedom, with the sole aim of returning to God to enjoy him alone for all eternity. Getting attached to earthly enjoyment can totally thwart you from attaining your greatest possible enjoyment. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Faith Necessary

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 7, a Greek woman begged Jesus to drive an unclean spirit out of her daughter. Jesus tested her faith and she passed, and the demon went out of the daughter. Our faith is important to us, for it is needed for God to save us. Faith is basically obedience to God and a strong, unswerving, unwavering faith is a beautiful thing. God looks at our heart, but tests our faith. With a clean heart and a solid faith, we are well equipped for returning to God. 

Getting Back to Our Creator

        Reading 1 at Mass had started with the story of creation from Genesis. Today we heard the creation of the woman. It seems that if you believe that God has made you, you would instinctively want to find and get to know him as a child would his/her natural parents. But often the distractions of the world deaden that instinct. Know that this instinct, apart from the conscience, is God-given. Anyway, also know that God is ready and eager to get reacquainted with us, for he had know us from the very beginning. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Appreciating Jesus

        Looking back, I see knowing Jesus as the greatest awakening of my life, a spiritual breakthrough. I did not realize this at the beginning, but the more I got to know the Lord, the more this became clear to me. And I anticipate that he will keep amazing me even a lot more! Without him, I would be lost in a lost world. With him, everything has turned "topsy-turvy" in the most beautiful, glorious way.

*What to Watch Out For

        Many older folks fall and are never the same again afterwards. Even if no bones are broken, recovery could take a long time. What they (myself included) should do to always be aware of the steps they take, the surface they walk on, and the surroundings. If it is dark, turn on the light or don't go there if you can't see. And don't be rushed by anything. Patience and calmness are needed. But for all of us, there is more to watch out for. We should be aware that we do not sin in thoughts, words, and deeds. Sinning is much more serious than falling physically. While the latter affects us only in this life, the former determines our existence for all eternity. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

*Christian One-Liners

        Christians have been sharing these one-liners via email. They are well written and some of them even make you chuckle. 
  • Don't let your worries get the best of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case.
  • Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers. 
  • It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.
  • The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close... & fleas!
  • When you get to your wit's end, you'll find God lives there.
  • Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on the front door forever.
  • Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you couldn't belong.
  • We're called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.
  • God himself doesn't propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?
  • Some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
  • Peace starts with a smile.
  • Be ye fishers of men. You catch 'em – He'll clean 'em.
  • Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
  • Don't put a question mark where God puts a period.
  • Forbidden fruits create many jams.
  • God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
  • God loves everyone, but probably prefers 'fruits of the spirit' over 'religious nuts.'
  • God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
  • He who angers you, controls you!
  • If God is your copilot, swap seats!
  • The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
  • The will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.
  • We don't change the message, the message changes us.
  • You can tell how big a person is by what it take to discourage him/her.
  • The best mathematical equation: 1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given. 😇

*More Than Touching the Cloak

        Communion thoughts. In today's Gospel reading from Mark 6, wherever the people heard Jesus was, they brought in the sick and begged him that the sick might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed. Recall that in Matthew 9, the woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touch the tassel on his cloak and said to herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured," and she was cured for her faith. Now, receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist is much more than touching the tassel on his cloak. Surely, if you believe and say to yourself, "If only I can receive the Blessed Sacrament, my soul shall be healed," receive it and you soul will be healed.

To Live in God or the World

        We must choose to live in God or not. To not live in God is easy, you simply live in the world. Only by following Christ can you live beyond the influence of the world. God always uplifts us by taking away our sins, while the world continually weighs us down with more sins. If you are weary of living in the world, it's time to turn to Christ who calls all who labor and are burdened to go to him and he will give you rest (Matthew 11.28).

Hearing the Lord

        As I woke up very early in the quiet of this morning, I acutely heard ringing in my ears ~ perhaps it's age-related. My thought was that I wouldn't mind losing my hearing, but one thing I do not ever want to lose is hearing the voice of the Lord. By that I don't mean actually hearing his voice audibly ~ I only mean that I hear it in my heart. By the way, one sign that your heart hears his voice is the possession of an extremely sharp (sensitive) conscience. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Most Perfect Union

        Communion experience. The Holy Eucharist is absolutely essential in attaining the most perfect union with God.

Human Wisdom, an Oxymoron

        In today's 2nd reading from 1 Corinthians 2 at Mass, Paul advised his brothers and sisters to rest their faith not on human wisdom but on the power of God. Later we find in 1 Corinthians 3.19: "The Wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God." The fact that our world is in such disarray by believing in its own wisdom is indisputable proof that Paul was right. Bluntly put, when we think we don't need God to guide us, we are doomed. Only by humbly acknowledging our total dependence upon him shall we be lifted out of our wretched condition. Our best wisdom is to know that we are foolish without God.

Be Fair to Truth and Yourself

        We all tend to believe in what we hope to be true and disbelieve what we hope to be false. When Dr. Scott Hahn and many other Protestant ministers first found that the Catholic Church might be the original church Jesus had established upon Peter, they all wished that it wasn't true and hoped hard that some learned Protestants would prove that they were right. When none were able to, they all converted and came home. A current example is given by those who support Trump and those who are against him. The former believe in everything that Trump does, while the latter bash whatever he does. When it comes to accepting Christ, those who hope that he is not the truth for whatever reason just avoid confronting him. So the Lord does not stand a chance if we do not start out being neutral. To be objective and openminded is absolutely necessary in seeking the truth, for otherwise you cut off any possible benefits you might receive, treating yourself unfairly from the very beginning. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Truth Sets Us Free

        Communion experience. I received God! He set me free that nothing on earth could entwine my heart anymore.

*Love's Top Concern

        The news of the deaths of so many people unknown to us around the globe, well-known personalities, and our personal friends and acquaintances hits us right and left continuously. In general, you hear about when and how they died, at what age, etc., but where did the souls go? We may not know, but it must be our concern. After all, the soul is the most important part of our being. If you love God, you must make saving souls your top priority.

On Chasing After Jesus

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 6, a vast crowd from all the towns went after Jesus, even rushing to the place where they knew he and the Apostles would show up. Maybe they were impressed by the miracles they had witnessed him perform. We chase after Jesus too. Perhaps not for curiosity or entertainment, but for more selfish reasons. At some point, we must think about giving part of ourselves to him if we ever wish to develop a meaningful relationship with him (see my last post). The breakthrough is reached when you give all of yourself to him ~ this sets you free from the past, putting you on the course to union with him.

*Greatest Relationship

        God has already given us his own Son! To create any kind of relationship with him, there has to be mutual giving. And the greatest possible relationship is achieved by giving yourself entirely to him, and your cup will overflow.

Friday, February 3, 2017

True Freedom

        Communion experience. When you are united with Jesus, all barriers between you and God vanish and you see others as Jesus sees them.

*Gruesome Realities

        Today's Gospel reading from Mark 6 told about the death of John the Baptist. Briefly, King Herod at his own birthday banquet was so delighted by the performance of a dance by his own daughter that he swore he would grant her whatever she asks of him. She asked her mother Herodias what she should ask for. Herodias replied with "the head of John the Baptist," since she harbored a grudge against him and wanted him dead. The girl made the request and Herod was forced to keep his oath made before all the guests and ordered the beheading. It was a gruesome story. My thoughts turned to the killing and dismembering of the unborn in our abortion mills. These are equally gruesome acts, performed on a massive scale. (For a true horror story, read about Kermit Gosnell online. This former abortion-provider, having been convicted of killing infants that were born alive had been sentenced to life imprisonment. But it's the Supreme Court which legalized abortion in the first place. To rule legally that terminating the life of an infant outside the womb is wrong, but doing it inside the womb is OK, is ironic and done without any kind of conscience or even common sense.) Lord, please rescue us!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Encountering Beauty

        Communion experience. Everything about Jesus was beautiful beyond words.

**Freedom Is Yours!

        The more you focus upon Jesus, the more you are free! This is true because Jesus was the one who took all our sins, placed them upon himself, and died for our salvation. If he could do all that, certainly he can free you from any kind of bondage. As a matter of fact, he has already freed you – you only need to realize it! 

*Live-Die-Live-Die-Live*

        We first came into the world to live. Then we find Christ and die in him. We are reborn and begin to live a new life in him. We die again and leave the world. Finally, we live with Christ in heaven for all eternity. Have you gone beyond the first stage? 

***Union Is . . .

you and God doing the same thing to each other ~ you love him and he loves you; you trust him and he trusts you; you agree with him and he agrees with you; you listen to him and he listens to you; you serve him and he serves you; you exalt him and he exalts you . . . you dwell in him and he dwells in you.

**Living by Heart

        If you can live for God by the heart alone without engaging the mind, then you have penetrated the heart of God.

*Recognizing the Fact

        Today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The Response from Psalm 24: Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!" It is pure joy to hear "It is the Lord!" We should recognize this in all things that happen to us and at all times, and God will bless us abundantly. 

*Most Beautiful Disposition

        If you love Jesus, the best possible disposition for you to assume is to put your trust in him and not be concerned about how he is going to guide you nor what he is going to say to your heart, just letting him love you. To trust is to have faith, and nothing pleases the Lord more than having great faith in him.

*How God Shapes Us

        When we submit ourselves to God, we do not become his slaves or puppets. In fact, we get liberated from ourselves! This is what all who are not with Christ yet need to know. Each of us is a unique being created by God of individuality with a particular disposition, so the Lord leads and shapes each of us in the way that suits and would benefit us spiritually the most. The result is that we become like myriad flowers, looking all different, but equally beautiful before God.

*Index of Spiritual Needs

        If you ever felt that life was empty and that you needed something to fill that void – even for a brief moment, it's God calling you, letting you know that you need him!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

*Be Reckless and Greedy

        Reckless: follow Jesus single-mindedly with no regard to what people think of you. Greedy: ask Jesus for everything you can possibly have to make you holy and perfect. And you will be rewarded.    

Original Sin Realized

        The BBC's series on Planet Earth narrated by Sir David Attenborough is excellent, for it presents astounding footages on the various features of the earth such as mountains, caves, deserts, jungles, etc., with their amazing wildlife. It is nature at its best. While watching one episode, I saw how "unnatural" humans were, as if they shouldn't even belong on earth. We are the creatures that have turned our world into a mess, causing vast destruction of our environment and mass suffering among fellow humans. It was clear to me that the cause of it all was our rebellion against God, and the reality of original sin dawned on me. [Good news: The series Planet Earth II has come out.] 

Jesus Always With Us

        When Jesus was on earth, his disciples saw him, heard him, and spoke with him. Now almost 2,000 years later, we do not see him visibly, but the relationship can be just as intimate. He is with us exactly as he was with his early disciples. We now even have the Holy Spirit and can attain union with him through the Holy Eucharist. He still speaks to our hearts and we speak to him through prayer. God will never abandon us. He is close to us until we distance ourselves from him.