Communion experience. I experienced true freedom in the Lord, having been liberated by him in spirit. I was content, having seen his unique beauty with my heart.
"Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
Friday, August 31, 2018
Today's Communion antiphon, John 6.54: Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, says the Lord, and I will raise him up on the last day. If Jesus had said, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood, I mean symbolically, of course, would have eternal life . . ." – anyone could have picked up some bread to eat and some wine to drink anywhere anytime and have eternal life.
Today's Gospel reading from Matthew 25 is on the parable of the ten virgins. The five foolish ones were not ready when the bridegroom showed up, while the five wise ones were all prepared to meet him. So we have the foolish and the wise. We'll all fall into one of the two categories when Christ comes next.
When you are possessed by the devil, you become totally enslaved and can only be delivered by God. On the other hand, when God possesses you, it means that you now belong to him completely. Since God never violates your free will, his gift for you, it means you must have wanted to belong to him, which means you've been liberated from yourself. Of course, you are still free to leave the Lord anytime you wish to, but why would you, now that God also belongs to you?
Thursday, August 30, 2018
During the liturgy of the Eucharist, the Spirit of the Lord descends upon the bread and wine, transforming them into the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. As we receive the Eucharist, we may ask the same Spirit to descend upon us to transform us into new, clean and undefiled souls.
The current movie Crazy Rich Asians is a box office hit. It's a romantic comedy rated PG-13, but reviews do mention sexual and drinking scenes in it. No doubt, it's a film made to appeal to the world to make a lot of money. Seriously, if you do say the Lord's Prayer and ask him not to lead you into temptation, then avoid seeing it. In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 24, Jesus said to his disciples, "Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come." How would you feel if he comes and find you watching a worldly, impure movie in a theater?
There will be no peace in any house if there is no unity among the residents of the house. To dwell in the house of the Lord, we must surrender ourselves to be in union with him, thus remaining obedient and pure. And we'll have peace in our lives.
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
We are told to love God and be holy over and again, and find the going hard. The secret of achieving the goal is again to yield to God, allowing him to love us and make us holy. It's being passive to God, with us out of the way. You can't get away from the truth that surrendering to God is the key to any spiritual success.
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
In the Our Father, when you pray "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," you really will to let God do whatever he wants with you. If you truly mean it, you'll experience inner peace and freedom. For you are no longer concerned about this life, the coming judgment, and eternity. As a matter of fact, you don't care about anything anymore – you simply let God do what he wants with you, which is letting him love you freely, which is being in union with him.
How do you respond to God's call to union with him? That would involve total commitment on your part, which many are not ready to make yet. So promoting union with God can create a disconnect with others. This blog in 8 years has garnered not quite 140,000 pageviews. Many viewers are simply one-time viewers, but judging from the stats, I can see that I have loyal readers in various countries. Recently, besides the United States, the audience have mostly come from Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Germany, France, and Portugal. Interestingly, Catholic countries such as Ireland, Spain, and the Philippines do not show up much. By the way, this blog, being associated with Google, is officially blocked in China, but I do notice a single individual reading it consistently.
Union with the Lord is his call to completely embrace his love for you. It is the call for you to reach the highest level of your existence. To turn a deaf ear to this call is to stifle the Holy Spirit, showing the lack of a strong faith. Nothing is impossible with God! This I know, for all of you who are seeking to attain union with God, he will bless you unceasingly. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich (Matthew 13. 12).
Monday, August 27, 2018
Today is the Memorial of Saint Monica. Communion thoughts. We humans are restless when we do not know what life is all about and what's going to happen to us after we die. After receiving the body of Christ in Holy Communion, I experienced deep inner peace because I had reconciled to God my Father and knew that I'd be returning to him soon. Both my destiny and destination are set. All the trials and tribulations I experience on earth are passing, but the bliss in heaven shall never end. Inner peace stems precisely from knowing all this for certain. Without this knowledge, the outcome is restlessness.
Sunday, August 26, 2018
There is a difference between begging God for favors and offering to do something for God. We hear too many prayers said asking the Lord for this or that, which is fine and proper; but they should be balanced by prayers offering ourselves up to God in some way, as giving is always considered better than begging. Granted, the latter type is better said in private. Nevertheless, whatever prayer we say, the goal must be clearly to glorify God.
God already knows everything about you – are you happy about that? There is a difference between knowing that he knows everything about you and and being happy that he knows everything about you. If you are not happy about it, you are not ready for him yet.
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Yesterday was the Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle. Communion thoughts. To give our soul to God goes beyond giving our heart to God. For while we use the heart to communicate with the Lord, the soul is the very essence of our existence. To entrust our soul to God's care is to trust in him ultimately.
We must trust God in all things. And it's important to know that all things include yourself! In fact, you should start with yourself. After all, if you cannot put yourself entirely in God's hands, how can you say that you trust him in all things?
Jesus tells us to love our enemies. How is this possible? When Jesus went on the cross to die for us, it's not exactly a pleasant experience. How was that possible? We see that to love others is to do God's will. And to accomplish that, we must exercise our own will. Therefore, to love our enemies, we must will to do that, even if it's going to go against the grain. Christ willed to do the Father's will, even if he had to undergo the Passion. So, following God becomes sheer obedience – you sweep aside your natural feelings. This is the secret of success to loving God.
Since the Lord God created me, he can transform me inside and out. The effect I feel within me is direct proof to me that the Lord is my creator and the truth. In other words, not knowing the Lord does not in anyway prove that he does not exist, but knowing him is proof in itself that he exists.
We do not experience inner peace, only because we have not yet submitted ourselves entirely to God, that is, we are still rebelling against him. We'll never be able to rest in peace in God until we acknowledge that we are at his mercy and beg him to have mercy on us.
Friday, August 24, 2018
Jesus has made it clear that those who live for themselves will have received their reward in this life, but if we live for him, we shall receive our reward in heaven. Therefore, love God and expect that some things are just not meant to happen to you in this life. It is a no-brainer that receiving your reward in heaven is infinitely superior than receiving it on earth.
On this trip, I walked so much that when I came upon a church, I looked forward to going inside to rest a while. I was so tired that I did not even bother to genuflect or kneel to pray first – I just plopped into a pew. I knew that Jesus would understand, recalling that he didn't even mind that his disciples picked the heads of grain in someone's field and eat them when they were hungry on a sabbath. Anyway, the fact that I wasn't quite inclined to do what I should do after entering the church made me realize that one day I won't be able to do anything, and that's the moment before my death when I shall be completely at God's mercy. Then I see that when we first came into this world, we were completely at his mercy too. The reality is that we are at God's mercy every moment of our life or I wouldn't be breathing and my heart wouldn't be beating now. Yet we live as if we do not need God most of the time. Wouldn't it be nice and wise to be aware that we are always at God's mercy when we are alive on earth?
In January, 2015, I blogged about the tragic terror attack on Charlie Hebdo that killed 12 in Paris. As you know, Charlie Hebdo is the controversial French satirical magazine which mocks politicians, governments, religious figures, or anything it chooses to laugh at. The terror attack was apparently triggered by the mockery made of the Prophet Muhammad. Recently, I saw a Charlie Hebdo poster depicting the Holy Mother holding Infant Jesus with both of his middle fingers up – the overall portrayal of him was sickening and grotesque. I believe that the image aims to show what Jesus thinks of the French president Emmanuel Macron, but it also succeeded in irreverently mocking the Lord. I would even say that the portrayal is sacrilegious! It hurt me deeply and made me angry. Then the infinite love of God made me see that I must pray for the offenders, for they know not what they're doing. (Click here to see this poster image.)
I went on a trip, the Lord guarded me, and I got home safely. The Lord deposited thoughts in my heart almost daily. On August 9. I read in a magazine about a group of Europeans who expressed themselves artistically by putting on art exhibits, music performances, fashion shows, etc. They were quite talented, for what they put on were innovative, beautiful, and might even cause a stir within you at first encounter. If I didn't know Christ, I could see myself being drawn to living exclusively for expressing myself too; but I am happy that Christ has spoiled all that fun, for living for him is so refreshing that everything that's considered fun in the world is no longer meaningful in the final analysis.
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. Let 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!