I must pause blogging for the next two weeks or so and hope to resume on the 25th of this month. We are so blessed to have such a great God who is a most loving Father. Rejoice in, praise, and thank him daily, and you'll be richly rewarded.
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Today is the memorial of St. Dominic. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 15, Jesus tested the faith of a Canaanite woman. The fact that the Lord tests our faith shows that we are in full charge of choosing to believe or not to believe in him! You see, we've been given the free will. With that comes the responsibility to make the right choice. Believe in anything you want, but the best thing you can do with the free will is offering it back to God, then everything you do will be done according to his will and you are set free.
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
If you were going to die today, would you still care so much about all the things you've planned to do for yourself? I don't think so. But since you are not dying yet, shouldn't you at least care less about doing those things? Don't get yourself anchored to anything in this world, for you want your soul to be free to soar to God when the time comes.
Monday, August 6, 2018
Communion thoughts. God wants us to be perfect, but we know that we are finite and still imperfect. Good, because this is exactly what the Lord wants us to feel so that he can make us perfect. We only need to surrender ourselves to him even more, and receiving the Holy Eucharist certainly makes that possible.
Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The Communion antiphon (1 John 3.2): When Christ appears, we shall be like him, and we shall see him as he is. No ones knows when Christ will appear again, but what if he appears right now, will you be overjoyed or shocked? How would you feel? How would you react? I believe that there will be a wide range of emotions felt and reactions displayed! Here is the best preparation for that moment. Seek and attain union with God to become like him as much as possible. When he appears, you will be overjoyed, knowing that he'll make you to be just like him!
The moment we are born into this world, we get the choice to return to our creator or be sent away by him forever after our death. To tip the balance in our favor, listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 6, "Do not store up treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be." Loosely speaking, where you put your money makes all the difference. In everything you do, always choose heaven over earth. Set your heart on following the Lord in heaven and be detached from all things on earth, and you are on your way returning to our creator.
Sunday, August 5, 2018
In John 1, when Jesus saw Nathanael (his disciple-to-be) coming toward him, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him." I love the description "no duplicity." To have no duplicity is to be honest with both yourself and others. It is having nothing to hide from God. It is to be genuine, no more "acting" – what others see is what you are. This is living most naturally. With no duplicity, you will surely be blessed by God.
When God is in union with you, he reveals many things to you, leaving you with no doubt whatsoever. For example, I just know that the Lord exists and that my own existence depends entirely upon him. If you ask me how I can be sure, I can't say that he spoke to me aurally and produce a recording of his voice for you to hear or anything like that – all I can say is that he has simply deposited the knowledge in my heart. If you still have questions, you just have to seek union with God and find out for yourself. Know that I can tell you about God, but only he can reveal himself to you.
Communion experience. I went to Vigil Mass today because I liked the more traditional music. As I was consuming the Lord, these thoughts came from my heart. In Jesus' time, those who were with the Lord or followed him were inspired, awed, and personally transformed by the amazing things they saw he did and/or they heard he said. Today we believe in him by faith, but as Catholics, we do have this great advantage. When I receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, his true flesh and blood, he personally enters my heart and dwells therein. I don't need to see or hear him, since he now speaks directly to me from within my very heart. This is inspiring, awesome, and powerful in transforming the soul on an even more personal level!
Saturday, August 4, 2018
Both God and Satan fight for our soul. God allows various temptations to happen to test us. Here's the danger. Something happens to you that gives you great pleasure. You know that continuing pursuing it would be wrong, but you are so amazed it happened to you that your think perhaps God intends it for you. You are right, but his intention is to test you. Now you are at a crucial point. The weak of faith fail and turn their back on God – I've seen that happen in the churches I belong or once belonged to. The strong in faith eventually pull through, with bruises and all, but also a faith now stronger than ever. In general, if you experience great turmoil and unrest within you, Satan is churning you up. God will always wish you to have his peace.
If sins are weeds, going through the sacrament of reconciliation to get them absolved is like removing the weeds with a hoe. In time, they can still grow back. But when you have attained union with God, it would be more like spraying the weeds with Roundup which systemically kills each plant, roots and all. Another reason for seeking union with God.
The spiritual life is defined by how much you are attached to God or detached from the world. You cannot love both God and the world. If you feel the world's tug stronger than God's, you are heading in the wrong direction. The perfect soul is attached to God alone, ready to soar to him. Again, I advocate seeking union with God and you'll find him to be more beautiful and attractive than anyone or anything in the world. Then you'll become attached to him alone with great joy.
Friday, August 3, 2018
Truth is hard to face. Truth is reality. Try facing how good a person you really are. Try facing God, the hardest of all! But once you are brave (humble) enough to face God, you can face anything, for you are out of darkness. You are now free, as the truth has set you free!
God wants all Christians to walk away from, in no particular order, the following: the lure of material goods, hypocrisy, lukewarmness, gossiping, you own ego, judging others, doing anything that fractures the body of Christ, boasting about your own righteousness, thinking that you know more than God, hiding yourself from God, not following God in everything, worrying about things, dwelling on the past, believing that God does not know everything you do, believing that you are a good enough person, thinking that God is not with you, attachment to your own interests, etc. (There is no need to memorize this list; seek union with God and you'll know.)
As I was exercising on the treadmill at the gym this morning, the overhead TV had the very successful game show The Price Is Right on. In the show, contestants competed to win cash and prizes by guessing the pricing of merchandise. There was a lot of excitement – you saw people cheering, people jumping up and down, people embracing each other – the lure of money and material goods was great. This was all fun, but what if Jesus came, would they be ready?
To attain union with God requires surrendering yourself to God or abandoning yourself in God or simply letting God be your God. They all mean the same thing. To fight the spiritual battle in this dark world, it is not enough just to remain lukewarm – you must be perfect as the Lord calls you to be. My message is urgent, for your lifetime is brief. If calling for union somehow turns you off, it only shows that your need it. To limit yourself is to limit God, for nothing is impossible with him. You are not free completely only because you haven't gone all the way with him yet. The Lord is inviting you to be one with him – how more intimate can you possibly get? To desire union with him is to show that you do love him with all your heart. He has made us so that our joy is complete on earth only when we attain union with him. Bottom line: Letting the Lord make you perfect.
Today in meditating upon the Passion of Christ while praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, I felt the horrific sufferings the Lord underwent, yet I was overcome by joy, for God has shown his love for us. He has succeeded in redeeming us, clearing our way to return to him. Even the Sorrowful Mysteries are to be celebrated! Never obstruct God and we can certainly rejoice always.
The fact that Jesus the Son of God actually came down to earth to suffer and die for us so that we might be saved shows how much God loves us. I know I sound cliché, but every person alive needs to pay attention and respond to this. Otherwise, why do we even exist?
From today's entrance antiphon at Mass from Psalm 68: God himself gives might and strength to his people. When we put our faith in God, we indeed receive might and strength. What if you say that I am simply fooling myself, believing that there is a God? I challenge you to imagine that there is a God and you put your faith in your mind-created god to see if you actually feel mightier and stronger. It won't work or you'd be deceiving yourself. Believe in God, the God of Christ, and things happen, for he is real and true.
Thursday, August 2, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 13, Jesus spoke to his disciples using another parable, "The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad hey throw away. Thus it will be at the end of age. The angles will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth." This makes me see that in life we basically go through a selection process. How we live our life will determine how we'll be selected by God at the end. We prepare ourselves hard to make sure that we get admitted into a university or the job we apply for, but it is infinitely more important that we prepare well so that we might be selected by God to keep us for all eternity.
Expect to face the Lord alone at judgment time. No one else will be there to witness or speak for you, and there will be no lawyers you can hire to help defend you. The Holy Mother may come forward to intercede, but you still need to have some redeeming value in you. Anyway, the time to take care of all your concerns and future problems is now in advance, and this is precisely the message of our Lord. You alone are responsible for your own future in eternity!
I thought about the Apostles who followed Jesus. Were they totally under his protection? Of course. But protection does not mean that they no longer had to face hardships or suffer in this life. In fact, with the exception of John, all got martyred in the end. Therefore, protection by the Lord means that he would make sure that they would receive eternal life in heaven with him, and that's good enough for me.
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Communion thoughts. Even though the Holy Eucharist enables the communicant to become one with the Lord, ironically it has also caused division among his followers. As you know, most Protestants do not believe that Christ is really present in the consecrated bread and wine. There are many other dividing issues as well. The extreme enemies of the Church even believe that the Pope is the Antichrist. As long as they do not have the humility to be willing to study the history of the Early Church and the official teachings of the Church, the division remains. Humility is what we all need to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 13, Jesus likens the Kingdom of heaven to a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field; and again, to a merchant searching for fine pearls, who, when he finds a pearl of great price, goes and sells all that he has and buys it. There is and should be great joy and excitement in finding Jesus. Of course, faith is not to be based upon emotions solely, but knowing the Lord well enough to feel excited about him surely can make your life a lot more joyful!