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

Monday, May 20, 2019

Good Awareness

        God knows every single thought, word, and deed of ours. This is good news, for knowing this can keep us from destroying ourselves.

Secure in Christ

        Communion experience. Life is like riding in a boat sailing on the sea. When you don't have Jesus with you, you are completely at the mercy of the weather and the waves. But the Lord is with me in my boat and I feel completely secure, for the winds and the sea all obey him (Matthew 8, Mark 4, Luke 8).   

**Hallmark of Christianity

        Today's entrance antiphon: The Good Shepherd has risen, who laid down his life for his sheep and willingly died for his flock. Christ did willingly lay down his life for us. If you pause and think about it, it is truly an amazing act and fact. This is the beautiful hallmark of Christianity.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

*Honest View of Dishonesty

        If we have not totally submitted ourselves to God yet, then we are not being totally honest with God yet, don't you agree? 

***Desiring What God Desires

        Communion experience. My sole desire was to be one with the Lord. This desire met his desire to be one with me and both our desires were instantly fulfilled! It's certainly a wow moment. While the church musicians and singers were performing nicely, I realized then that it's always our own desire that matters, not anything external.

**God Shapes His Servants

        When you pray sincerely, you shape yourself too. Saying the Our Prayer from your heart makes you aware of your place before God. When the Holy Spirit leads you to share all the good thoughts with others, you are shaped by him too. As you teach others, the Lord teaches you. Serve God faithfully and he makes you holy. 

**Glorifying God Nonstop

        In today's first reading from Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas exhorted their disciples to persevere in the faith, saying, "It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God." In the Gospel reading from John 13, at the Last Supper after Judas had left, Jesus said to the rest of his disciples, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him." Jesus meant that he was to glorify God by letting himself be killed. Must we undergo hardships or die to glorify God? The fact is that we can glorify God at any time in every way. Celebrating Mass is a happy way of doing it. If I do dishes or take out garbage willingly for the sake of God, I glorify him too. Life provides a big opportunity of glorifying God in every way and we should appreciate that. Yes, keep glorifying God to store up treasures in heaven and we are bound to end up there.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

*In Spiritual Doldrums

        The God of Christ has given us clear, simple instructions on how to enter heaven after we leave this world after sacrificing his Son on a cross for us, yet we hem and haw, drag my feet, or pretend that we don't know a thing. It shows how dull-witted we are and how badly we need to be saved!

**God Removing Our Limitations*

        If you are not in union with God, what you want to do for God may not be what he wants you to do – this I would call "rushing ahead of the Holy Spirit." When you are in union with God, what's amazing is that he may want you to do what you would not think of doing – this is exciting, for the Lord shows that he can help you break through your self-imposed limitations. 

***Knowing the Truth

        Today's Gospel acclamation from John 8: If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. What Jesus says here is absolutely true: I know the Lord and he has set me free. That the Lord is the truth does not mean that everything else is false; it simply means that he is the most relevant truth essential for us to know, superseding all other truths. I know him to be this truth because he has revealed it to me in my very heart – there is no other way I can explain it. This is how God communicates with us. When he lets you know something, you just know it without any doubt. Very cool!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Being Good, Not Good Enough

        Being a good person is not the same as accepting the truth. If you think you are a pretty good person but do not believe that you need Christ to save you, there is no guarantee that you will get to heaven.

***Most Mistreated One***

        Jesus came into the world to give us the good news of God's salvation, and people put him to death. He has risen from the dead, but people today still snub him. God came to us purely because he loves us and wants to save us from eternal death, but we just don't get it. We are most precious to him, yet we are so thickheaded that we don't even care. In today's Gospel reading from John 14, Jesus says to his disciples, "In my Father's house there are many dwelling places, and I am going to prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to myself so that where I am you also may be." Then, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." I hope we all hear him loud and clear. Most urgently, we need to repent of mistreating the one who cares about us the most and to whom we owe our very existence!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Our Safe Refuge

        Remain in union with the Lord and you can forget about the Devil.

The Holy Spirit Within You

        If you feel the urge from your heart to address Christ "My Lord and my God" as Thomas did after he eyewitnessed the Risen Lord, you can be sure that you've been prompted by the Holy Spirit.

Where to Find Your Solution

        God should be the solution to all our problems. When you face a problem, don't just focus upon the problem. Instead, focus upon God for your solution. If God is truly your Lord, you must get him involved in every part of your life.

**Don't Just Talk About Jesus

        If you only know about Jesus, you can only talk about him as you are still basically you. So, get to know the Lord so well that you become like him, then you can talk like him too.

**How God Overcomes Us*

          Today's entrance antiphon at Mass from David's Psalm 68: O God, when you went forth before your people, marching with them and living among them, the earth trembled, heavens poured down rain, alleluia. Look at our world. The leaders, the politicians, the big company CEOs, the pop stars, the entertainers . . . all try to gain a following by making big promises, coming up with enticing products, putting on dazzling performances or shows, etc., in an effort essentially to sell themselves. Now look at Jesus. He is meek and humble, focusing only upon serving and saving us via pure love. In the end, we are willing to offer him both our heart and our soul. Such is his power. And it is God who has designed us this way to be overcome by him. The psalmist is not exaggerating in what he writes.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

No God More Credible

        In today's Gospel reading from John 12, Jesus said, "Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observer them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak." I left out only the last verse. I feel that we must absolutely pay serious attention to whatever Jesus says, for he speaks the truth as God. There is none other like him. He is our most credibly incredible God.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Saints Praying with Me

        I had the chance to visit St. Antony's Chapel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, yesterday. It is the biggest reliquary outside of Vatican, containing over 5000 relics. Here's the website. I prayed to all the saints there to intercede for my intentions. As I prayed after Mass at my own church back home this morning, I felt that I was completely moved the Holy Spirit, for my thoughts did not wander in the least. And I did feel that those thousands of saints I prayed to were all praying with and for me. Indescribable peaceful feeling.

*Nothing More to Say

        Communion experience. God has chosen me, called me. I now belong to him totally and am being taken care of by him for all eternity. What can I say but feeling gratitude and joy?

**Most Essential Joy

        It would be most horrible to think that God does not love you nor want to save you. The God of Christ is our Savior, period. He wants to save our soul and desires us to live with him in paradise after we die. He cannot promise our happiness in this world, but he can promise joy in him – this is a big distinction. Happiness in the world does not guarantee eternal happiness, but joy in the Lord does. Have vision and patience and you will be rewarded with nothing short of God himself for all eternity.       

Spreading the Gospel As Jesus Did

        Christ has given us solid promises authoritatively. It is only a person with weak faith who would hope what Christ has promised will come true. Like the Lord, we can also spread authoritatively the messages he had already proclaimed with authority. The Holy Spirit is an emboldening spirit. 

A Disciple's Perks

        I resumed going to morning Mass today, which is the Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle. The Gospel reading was taken from John 15. Jesus first said to his disciples, "Remain in my love." I thought of resting in his love, letting it envelop and saturate my whole being so that his love would not only protect me from evil but also guide and motivate me in everything I do – it was certainly a beautiful image. Then later Jesus said, "It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last." Again, I was impressed by the fact that Christ had chosen me! Of course, he definitely had noticed me and given me my mission. Here's another cause for rejoicing. 

**All Can Be Happy in God!

        Some people are happy that I have found happiness in Christ and leave me at that; they congratulate me for being so lucky. Why should God say to some that you can be happy in me and to others that you cannot be so happy in me? That's just not possible? He can make all of us happy in him as much as we'll let him – this is the truth! When people say it's not for me, they are already shutting the door in God's face, not realizing that God can make you happy to your heart's content if you give him free rein! God is for all, not just for a selected few! It's nonsense to think that someone is created to be able to receive more happiness from God. Remember that God cares for each of us equally.

If You Want to Be Famous,

skip the world but serve God faithfully and you'll be well known to all in heaven for all eternity.

***How Wonderful Is God?

        We experience God differently. But God remains wonderful forever and how wonderful he is depends upon how much you open up to him (how much you are willing to let him into your heart). To those who shares everything openly with the Lord, he becomes absolutely wonderful beyond words!

*To Love with God's Love

        To love others is the Christian way of life. You don't have to like the people you love; you simply know that God wants you to love them blindly, not being dictated by any personal feelings. It's God's unconditional pure love. 

***Call to Arms

        Enjoying God aside, this is no time for complacency. We must put on the armor of God to fight evil in every way on every front and at all levels. There is no time to lose. Pray unceasingly from the depth of your heart, for the survival of many souls are at stakes. It's a fight for God's glory! 

**Enjoying God on Earth

        God is most enjoyable when you experience the oneness with him in solitude. No words need to be said; you and God simply remain in deep communion with each other, knowing that nothing in the world can possibly lessen this intimacy. It's pre-experiencing a bit of heaven on earth.

The Joy of Heaven Is . . .

worth all the sufferings you undergo in your life on earth.

***Eternal Union or Separation

        In the Gospel reading from John 10, Jesus said: "I give my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand." This shows that those who belong to the Lord are already being separated from those outside the fold. If the latter does not become his sheep, that separation will become a chasm impossible to cross forever – a thought too horrible to contemplate. 

**Making the Right Choice

        In the first reading from Acts 13 last Sunday at Mass, we heard that the Gentiles who were destined for eternal life came to accept the word of God. Are you destined for eternal life? Accept the word of God and you can be so destined too. Rejecting it is to condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life (verse 46). God offers us choices. Are we being smart or stupid? Know that if things do not work out, God is not the one to blame. We cannot avoid being imperfect, but we can definitely avoid being stupid.

**Most Beautiful Process

        Peter denied Jesus 3 times, but he loved Jesus, and the Lord forgave him. This is a most beautiful process that can happen to us: we sin, we love the Lord, and we are forgiven. 

Love and Trust, Inseparable

        You cannot love a God in whom you have no trust, and you cannot trust in a God for whom you have no love. Therefore, to love God and to trust in him are the same.

To Live Gloriously or Miserably

        (1) We do good, believe in the God of Christ, and are heaven bound – this is living the glorious life!
        (2) We do evil with no faith in the God of Christ and find the pleasures of the world never truly satisfying, not realizing that they are the only reward we are going to receive – this is leading a most miserable existence.

*Simple Fact and Formula

        We do not deserve anything good. It is the love of God that saves us. We submit ourselves to him and he makes us holy.

Fountainhead of Love

        All love starts with God who is love. It is because we love God that we love all others, saints or sinners, friends or enemies.       

**My Agony*

        Jesus' great agony was realizing that he would have to go through the Passion for the sake of saving all of us. My relatively small agony is seeing that so many of us today still do not even believe in him.

***Good Rule to Remember

        Do not do anything in thoughts, words, or deeds you would not want Jesus to catch you doing when he comes next.

To Conform or Not to Conform

        If I choose to conform to the ways and practices of the world, I'd have to compromise some of my principles and not feel free or happy anymore. But if I choose to be individualistic and submit myself to God entirely, I become the freest and happiest person.

**To Be Aware of God's Presence

        Even though we profess to be Christians, we may not be aware that Christ is with us. When the need arises, we might ask for his guidance or help; but if things go well, we hardly turn to him. To remedy this common failure, seek union with the Lord. When you attain union with him, you become aware of his holy presence within you at any time. A life-changing blessing!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Our Great Blessing

        Luke 24.35 was the Communion antiphon: The disciples recognized the Lord Jesus in the breaking of the bread. We are so blessed now that we get to receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist everyday to become one with him! [Dear readers, I won't be able to blog for the next 9 days, so I'll see you after May 13. You can always go straight to the Lord. Once you know him well, you'll only need and want to go to him.]  

How Much We Love Jesus

       In today's Gospel reading from John 21, Jesus asked Peter "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter's answer was "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." The third time Jesus asked the same question, Peter was distressed and he responded, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." This prompts me to ask ourselves: "Can we also say that Jesus knows that we love him?"

How God Has Made Us

        I attended Vigil Mass today.  I already know that God has made us so that our life is empty until we find him. After hearing the second reading from Revelation 5, I became aware that God has also created us to worship, honor, and glorify him.

**Giving God All Your Problems

        If you trust Jesus, give all your problems to him. Ask and trust him to take care of all your loved ones as well. His mercy can never reject you. When all your problems become his, he will surely take care of them. With God, never hold back; always go all the way. Throw yourself in his path the way the people spread their cloaks and leafy branches on the road as they welcomed Jesus entering triumphantly into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. It's submitting yourself with complete trust in God to be out of his way. 

***Living in the Light!

        This morning's entrance antiphon, 1 Peter 2.9: O chosen people, proclaim the mighty works of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Yes, Jesus is the light of the world. This is the light that makes us see all our sins, that we need to remove them to get into heaven. This is the light that shows clearly that God is our Father who truly loves us and to whom we can return to be with forever. This is the light that reveals the reality and meaning of our existence, how we should live and can become holy. In this light, there is absolutely no darkness; we see the truth that guides us all the way. To want to live any other way is to go right back into darkness.

Friday, May 3, 2019

*Only God Can Empower Us

        Communion experience. I felt my human limitations and saw that the only way to make more spiritual progress is to cease struggling on my own even more, for only God my creator can overcome my limitations to lift me to new heights. 

A Way to Preserve Peace

        God who loves me will never hurt me. Others in the world do intend to hurt me, but if I haven't done anything wrong, they cannot hurt me, for I only care about what God thinks of me. 

**Letting God Prove Himself

        In today's Gospel reading from John 14, Jesus said to the Twelve at the Last Supper, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. I am in the Father and the Father is in me." So Jesus is God, but many people today still "amazingly" do not get it. I know that Christ is our Lord and God. I cannot prove it to you in any way, but I knew it without the slightest doubt when he revealed himself to me in our heart. There has been no brainwashing, indoctrination, or coercion of any kind coming from the Lord, so it's been a most satisfying proof for me. If you ask the Lord to reveal himself to you, you'll get your own personal proof too.

Perfect Love

        Jesus laid down his life for us, showing God's greatest possible love for us. I call that the perfect love.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

**God Awaiting Us

        Know that you are most precious to God and that he can make you holy and beautiful. Therefore, feel good about yourself and do not ever hesitate to go to God your Father to have a heart-to-heart or ask for any kind of help you need. 

*Christianity's Uniqueness

        In today's Gospel reading from John 3, the Apostle speaks of Jesus as the one who comes from heaven and is above all. We can proudly proclaim that Christianity was started on earth by God from heaven, the only religion (if I may call truth a religion just this time) not started by a man.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

**Remaining Clean in the Lord

        The bishop of our diocese just released publicly a list of priests and deacons who have been credibly accused of abusing minors and young adults over the last seven decades. It is not a short list, including many who have already passed away. I am surprised to have spotted the names of two deceased priests I am familiar with. One I knew very well and had always respected, but his offense was relatively minor. I am sure that if he had repented, he should be with the Lord now. The other I knew not so well and his offenses were a lot more serious. Then I thought of ourselves. I can clearly remember the many times I offended the Lord since I was a young boy. Many of these sins you just don't want to tell anyone except a priest in a confession booth. It's like we all have a secret closet in which we store our sins. The great news is that our Lord Jesus Christ can clean out that closet in no time if we repent and ask for his forgiveness. In fact, when you become one with him, you won't ever need any secret closet anymore. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

**Getting Ready for Heaven

        We enjoy belonging to any group that share the same interest. It was fun when I once belonged to a car club and all members would meet and drive around together to various interesting spots. And I enjoy talking to fellow smartphone photographers now. I would love to share my joy in Christ with others in person, but this does not always happen in today's world. Anyway, I am thinking ahead that in heaven we'll have all the saints as our company. To get ourselves ready for a smooth transition to heaven, now would be the time to seek to attain union with God. Then we'll fit perfectly in with those already in heaven. 

Most Comfortable Position

        If you are most comfortable with God, you are in the most comfortable position of your life.

***Simple, Direct Path to God***

       We are often taught to know our faith, study the catechism, the Bible, learn more about the saints, etc. But if you want to develop a personal relationship with God, acquiring knowledge is pretty much barking up the wrong tree. We can progress spiritually so much faster and most efficiently if we start from God. Go straight and open your heart to him and he will reveal himself to you and set your heart on fire! Officially, it's known as seeking union with God. You attain union and God becomes your soulmate!
         Fr. Mark Goring's vlog today on YouTube backs up my point:

A Simple, Logical Question

        Christ and the Father are one. As the Son, he came to us. If we do not even listen to him, how can we ever expect to understand God, let alone know him?

**Personal Relationship Needed

        Because we have the communion of saints, we can ask all the angels and saints to pray for our intentions. Holy Mother Mary is usually our first choice. But even if the whole heavenly court prays for you and you do not pray yourself, the Lord will not hear you. So we should start praying ourselves before enlisting others for help. What God desires is a personal relationship with him. Seeking union with God is seeking that most personal relationship that pleases him the most.  

*Logical and Sensible Reasoning

        If we were all holy and perfect, Jesus wouldn't have needed to come down from heaven to save us. But without a doubt we all know that we do sin. Therefore, we should be honest with ourselves and welcome the Lord into our hearts to let him save us.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Good Cardinal Rule

        We have only one Lord and one God, Jesus the Christ. Therefore, follow him and no one else. 

Amazing Grace

        Communion experience. I still remember the days I lived in my own prison away from God. Now I dwell within the Lord himself in complete freedom. In saving me, the Lord also liberated and transformed me. 

Sunday, April 28, 2019

*Make Your Existence Beautiful!

        Everything must pass through Christ the Lord – nothing can ever sneak by him. Being aware of this reality, you will want to do everything in his holy presence, and your existence will be made beautiful. 

***Jesus Achieves His Goal*

        Communion experience. When I received the Holy Eucharist, Jesus entered me physically; but his main goal was to transform me spiritually. When I believed and yielded to him, it was done. What a wonderful heavenly grace! So cool!

***Jesus Reveals Himself Unseen*

        In today's Gospel reading from John 20, the resurrected Christ appeared to the disciples yet again. Thomas was not there and thus did not believe what they told him. A week later Jesus appeared when Thomas was with them. He saw and believed. We do not visually see Jesus either, but we can get to know the Lord so well that we would know that he is real. Believe me, once you attain union with him, he becomes more real than anyone you see with your eyes. What a wonderful grace!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

***Important Message for All

        Just saw this video of Bishop Barron receiving an award at his high school. The talk starts at 4:06. The message, especially good for our youth to hear, comes later. So watch the video to the end.

**A Touching Story

***Secret of Possessing God

        Let the Lord God inspired you to want to be humble for his sake. Don't even think about that he will exalt whoever humbles himself. We must decrease to zero so that God may fill all of us. Voilà, when we become nothing, God is all ours!

***Exciting, Purposeful Living

        Jesus wants us to live a life known to him only, that is, living a secret life in him for him. At the same time, once we taste his sweetness and witness his magnificence, we cannot possibly contain our joy anymore – we just want to proclaim his love and mercy to everyone everywhere! So it's remaining hidden in God, while proclaiming him openly to all. This is living the exciting, purposeful life.

Friday, April 26, 2019

**So Much to Learn from God

        Sometimes I feel frustrated and lose patience when people don't seem to want to understand me. At Communion time, I realized that I was still being self-centered. Didn't I tell myself not to care about what people think of me? It's what God thinks alone that matters. I looked at the Lord. When people did not listen to him, he felt sorry for them, but never showed frustration, for he understood them perfectly. His great selfless love motivated everything he did, enabling him to be infinitely patient. We fall so short of God's perfection that we have no better choice than following him even more closely.

God's Awesome Love

        If we are willing to die in someone's place, we may be able to save that person's life on earth. Here we have Christ who died for all of us to save us forever! Be awed by his pure, selfless, magnanimous love to let it change your present life as well.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

***Repentance Absolutely Required

        It was clear from today's Gospel reading from Luke 24 that the primary mission Jesus gave to his disciples was to preach repentance for the forgiveness of sins to all the nations in his name. And we are to continue doing so. Repentance is absolutely the key to entering God's kingdom – we must get our sins removed to be saved! Repent to God if you care about your soul. His mercy does not expire, but our lifetime will. God has yielded to his love for us, now it's our turn to do the same. 

*Serious Transgression

        If you truly believe that Jesus is God, you would want to believe in him. Therefore, if you do not believe in him, you are saying that he is not God. This has to be a most serious transgression affecting your eternal existence, if it turns out that you were wrong. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Be Free to Meet God

        I look around and see the many things I have in my house. There are my piano, CD collection, various objects on shelves picked up over the years, my books, family memorabilia, car, all the tools stored in the garage, my computer, smartphone, the many personal photographs enlarged and hung on the various walls, etc. They have been useful or given me pleasure over the past. Then I see one day, I'll be gone. All these things will be taken by others, sold, given away, or thrown away. So it's clear that all things on earth do not belong to us at all – they are on loan from God for a brief time, you could say. It would be extremely foolish to hold onto all these things and care about how they should be taken care or disposed of after you leave. Again, get attached to God to get detached from everything else. Let God free you before meeting him. 

**Wise Choice*

        Since I have a finite mind and am not able to comprehend Almighty God completely ever, I choose to believe in him without question like a child.

***Smart Approach to God

        Struggling on your own to love God is always hard and ineffective, for it's like trying to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. Surrendering to God is the smart way to go, for it unlocks the power of God to make everything easy. Think outside the box to be successful.  

Holy Desire

        It is true that God gives us living water so that whoever drinks it will never thirst again (John 4.14), for when you have the Lord, your life is fulfilled. Then this creates a new longing as you discover that the Lord is so lovely and beautiful that you long to be with him in heaven. Unlike the first thirst, this is a happy, holy desire letting you know that God is in union with you.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

*Beautiful to God

        We stop sinning and become beautiful to God. And loving God is the most beautiful act we can perform.

*Jesus' Special Love

         When you let Jesus love you, he makes you selfless to want to love all others for his sake. Here is love that melts hearts and transforms lives.

*Before Changing Other

        To those who love to judge others: Do you ever see yourself the way you see others? As a matter of fact, the only way to find and connect with God is to look deep within yourself first, for connecting with God involves the heart. Look inward to ask God to change you first before expecting others to change.

The Lost Attracting the Lost

        This is a generation of lost souls. I see films, literature, fine arts, song writers, etc., often produce works that are ambiguous, aimless, without a clear message. They can be intriguing and fascinating, but never satisfying. They resonate with a large audience precisely because the audience is largely lost too. To me, all these souls are unknowingly looking for God, only in the wrong places. All they need to do first is to open up to Christ to let themselves be found.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Time to Appreciate Mary More

Notre Dame Cathedral Fire

        A timely message from Fr. Mark Goring.

Be True to God and Yourself

        Always be true to Christ and yourself. Let love, never ego, motivate all your thoughts, words, and actions. How others will receive you is not of your concern. You'll know you are being true if your heart remains at peace, as the Lord grants peace always to those who obey him.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

**Self-Preservation First

        The Cathedral of Notre Dame of Paris caught fire a few day ago. The fire damaged the church so badly the spire collapsed. Various treasures within the church were damaged or destroyed too. The news shocked people worldwide. – it was sad news for all. Then I realize that any church is basically a building that can never last forever. The Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in the first century. Most people who visit Notre Dame are tourists, not pilgrims. Do people feel sad about the dwindling church attendance in France? Of course, I'd like to see all great cathedrals and basilicas preserved. But I also see that God would much prefer that we keep our souls safe and unblemished. Therefore, be concerned about your spiritual condition first before all other concerns about things material.

*Making the Wise Choice

        Happy Easter to all! The church was packed at the first morning Mass I attended; the number of attendees just about doubled its normal size. Is this a good or sad thing? If we are confronted by Christ, we face the choice of living for him or for ourselves – there is not a 3rd choice! Don't count upon turning to God in the last moments of your life, for you may die in your sleep, die unexpectedly in an accident, die suddenly due to poor health, or loose your mind before you die. Since we can not escape from God, we should choose to follow and live for Christ now.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

**Root Cause of Division

        Seeing how this country is so divided on so many issues, resulting in extremists accusing, slandering, and even physically assaulting those they could not tolerate, I can pinpoint the root cause of all this – people have cast God aside to play God themselves so that they now judge others as if they themselves are perfect. Pity those who are not aware that anytime you think you know more than God, you are in big trouble for sure.

Friday, April 19, 2019

***Know God 1st, Then Enjoy the World

        This world we live in is like a big amusement park. It is filled with attractions to get your attention, to appeal to your senses. Some people can't even live without listening to loud music at all times. Materialism, consumerism, commercialism dominate our lives. We learn to get ahead of others, so I doubt many people would understand what humility is. We have a world of "egomaniacs" looking for amusement for themselves. I am not even mentioning the seedy side of life. Anyway, the world is full of shallow people who do not even know themselves. To acquire depth, we need to take time out to look into ourselves to learn what we are first. This is getting in touch with our own soul so that we can get to know God, who can only be known at this level. Immersing in this world cuts us off from ever knowing God and that makes a great tragedy! So here's another of my wakeup calls: Know God first, then enjoy the world in freedom.

**Ultimate Challenge

        We are all more of less adventurous in different ways. We want to challenge ourselves physically and mentally. Traveling to explore new places and studying for a higher degree are common choices, but some would want to scale Mt. Everest, sail solo across an ocean, or even perform daredevil feats at the risk of losing their lives. May I challenge each of you to place your trust in God entirely? Nor only you won't put your life at extra risk, the unique excitement you receive on this adventure will be long-lasting and spiritually refreshing, remembered by God forever.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Feeling Good in Freedom

        When we do something well, we feel good. Watch a musician who has performed well, a student who has successfully passed an exam, a scientist who has made a great discovery, or an athlete who has broken a record. I myself had always felt good after finishing building a piece of furniture in my younger days and am still happy today whenever I am able to capture a nice image with my smartphone. Then there is the happiness and satisfaction you experience after God has entered your life and succeeded in transforming you in many ways. So how does this "feeling good" differ from all the others? Well, when you are on your own, feeling good is short-lived and feeds your ego each time, while the good feeling given to you by God is long-lasting and actually frees you from your ego. Therefore, know God first and you'll enjoy all good feelings in freedom.

*Fear of Death No More

        Do you ever joke about your own death? If you know you are returning to God, you lose all your fear of death and don't care about how much longer you live anymore. This is part of how God sets you free. To die or not is no longer of concern. Now, joke about your own death all you want.

To Be Weak in God to Be Strong

        If you feel that you are weak in any respect, rely upon God even more. Then you become strong in him and you'll be able to overcome all your weaknesses. The Lord loves to help those who humbly acknowledge their weaknesses and seek his help. 

**Our Greatest Relief!

        Today is Holy Thursday and no morning Mass was offered. Realizing this last night before I went to bed, I felt relieved that I could just go to sleep and wake up the next morning anytime I want to. Of course, I am not saying that I don't like attending Mass – I am merely saying that anytime some restriction is removed, we just feel relieved. Then I thought of our greatest relief. When we get to know the Lord intimately and become one with him, we and God become inseparable, meaning that nothing can prevent us from going to heaven anymore. What a great relief! With Christ, things can only get better. 

**Best Way to Pray*

        Most Catholics are not used to praying spontaneously. They normally read or recite prayers already formed or learned, and there is a plethora of them for practically every occasion and every need. Since I was a convert from Protestantism and also involved with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement at one time, I feel a lot freer praying via my own words. I don't like to read others' prayers because (1) they are not my thoughts and may not impact me much, (2) they are often wordy and too general, while I prefer to be more specific and to the point, (3) sometimes when I read one, I have to figure out what is being said, making it impossible to focus upon the Lord at the same time. I believe God loves to hear what comes straight from our hearts the most and it doesn't even have to be said in words. If you only want to recite one prayer, it would be the Lord's Prayer, for it is fundamental and all-encompassing. Don't get me wrong – all other prayers are good. But when we ask God for this and for that, soon we lose track of what we ask for. Here is what I feel to be the simple, proper, and most expedient way to pray. You go to the Lord and open yourself to him, and he will see everything in your heart . . . all your needs spiritual or otherwise. Let him then transform you to make you holy. In short, seek to attain union with God is the best way to pray and to fulfill your spiritual aspirations.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

***Being One With God

        God is everywhere, which means he can be in us too. You really cannot picture God in any physical way, since he is spirit. But you certainly can become so intimate with the Lord to know that he and you are in union as one, completely inseparable from each other in spirit! Now, he is immediate and always present. Where? How? It no longer matters.

**More Horrible Than Herod

        In Matthew 2, we read about the massacre of the innocents. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem to look for the newborn Messiah, king of the Jews. King Herod heard about this and was greatly troubled. So he called the magi secretly and sent them to Bethlehem to search for the child. After the magi found the infant Jesus with Mary his mother and did him homage, they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod. So they departed for their country by another way. When Herod realized that he had been deceived, he became furious and ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under. Of course, it was an atrocious deed done by Herod. But this crime becomes insignificant when you compare it to the millions and millions of innocent unborn babies being aborted nonstop in our nation alone over many decades and still now. Herod alone ordered the killing, while we have a vast number of people supporting abortion, resulting in its legalization by the Supreme Court of this nation! Who are the greater sinners? God will certainly reveal this in the end.

*Minding Our Own Business

        This means that we do not judge others and make sure that we are blameless before the Lord. We cannot do great good if we are not holy. Yes, we care about our own souls foremost. We respect the free will of everyone else's and care about their souls by loving and praying for them. After all, it always comes down to being between each one of us and God in the end.

Monday, April 15, 2019

**God Making You What You're Not!

       Do you wish that you can be bold in witnessing for the Lord? Do you wish to be on fire to serve him? Do you wish that you can be what you cannot achieve in becoming holy? Do you wish that you can do whatever God wants you to do? If all your answers are yes, then you are more than halfway there, for nothing is impossible with God. Just let him change your thinking so that you may see as he sees. Trust in him that he'll make all your wishes come true in time. Do not struggle on your own, but focus upon his power and expectations of you. Then he shall surprise you by accomplishing everything through you. And you'll experience the true freedom and joy in glorifying him. Bottom line: God knows all about you and can make you the best possible you for him and you!

Only Lord

        Communion experience. Christ is the only Lord and we need to listen to what he tells us to do. 

Lost Souls' Predicament

        Like kids who only want to have fun playing games, not knowing what they play could harm or even kill them, lost souls do what they feel like doing, not knowing what they do could make them lose their soul.

Roles We Play

           In today's Gospel reading, John 12.1-11, we find various kinds of characters we see in our present days. Jesus went to see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him. 
            (1) Lazarus' sister, Martha, dutifully served the dinner, doing the work.
          (2) Lazarus' other sister, Mary, wanting to give Jesus the best, anointed the feet of Jesus with a liter of costly fragrant oil made from genuine aromatic nard and dried them with her hair.
          (3) The disciple, Judas the Iscariot, who was a hypocrite and used to steal the contributions from the money bag he held asked why the costly oil was not sold for 300 days' wages and given to the poor.
           (4) A large crowd found out Jesus was there and came, not only because of him, but also because they were curious about Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead.
         (5) Meanwhile, the chief priests were plotting to kill Lazarus too, for many Jews had turned away and believed in Jesus because of him.
            Everybody was busy doing his or her thing.

**Simple Truth

        God is the same yesterday, today, and forever besides being holy and perfect, so he cannot change to suit us. We are the ones who must bend or yield to God, for we are not all holy nor perfect. This is all it takes to bring peace to ourselves and hence the world. Recognize and accept this simple truth and you are set free. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Jesus Most Endearing!

       Today's Response from Psalm 22: My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? These were also the last words uttered by Jesus in agony on the cross. It showed his human side. He was like us, except that he was perfect and without sin. Suffering so much for our sake – this is what makes me love him so much.

Do We Welcome Our Lord?

        Today is Palm Sunday. The reading at the procession with palms came from Luke 19. Jesus proceeded on his journey to Jerusalem, riding on a colt. As he rode along, people welcomed him by spreading their cloaks on the road. His multitude of disciples praised God aloud with joy. They proclaimed: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest." The Lord should be welcomed by us all into our hearts – this is what he deserves. There will be no peace and joy for us until we treat our Lord and King right.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

**Letting the Past Go*

        If today you are happy in Christ, let go of all your past sorrows, for it was through those sorrows that you are lead to this day. If you are already in heaven, would you still brood over your unhappy times on earth? I don't think so. Always look forward to meeting your beloved Lord ahead.

How Alert Your Conscience

        With Easter approaching, we'll again see many who normally do not attend mass showing up at Easter Masses. So I see how we Catholics possess consciences at various levels of alertness. We have those who (1) attend Mass only to ease their conscience, (2) attend Mass regularly, but do not go to confession, (3) attend Mass faithfully and take confession seriously. Again, we must not judge anyone, but pray for everyone.

Do You Realize That . . .

if we address Jesus as Lord but do not obey him in all things, we are being hypocritical? 

**God Does It All for Me!

        Communion experience. Jesus died for all of us to save us, so he did die for me personally to save me. During consecration, when the Lord transformed the bread and wine into his own flesh and blood, I also knew that he did it personally for my sake. 

*Evil Ever Present

        In today's Gospel reading from John 11, the chief priests, the Pharisees, and the Sanhedrin conspired to kill Jesus. Today, just like in the days of Christ we have a political party conspiring to topple the duly elected leader from another political party. Of course, our leader is no Christ, but when you sin against anyone, you sin directly against the Lord God. For all evildoers and hypocrites, we must pray for their souls first, as only God can fundamentally change them.

**Hearing Directly From God

        Before Christ came into the world, the Lord God spoke directly to the prophets. Now, once we get to know Christ most intimately (as in union), the Lord God speaks directly to our hearts too. (This further strengthens our relationship with God. Indeed, to anyone who has, more will be given.)

Friday, April 12, 2019

*Joyful Living

        Live your life aimed at pleasing the heavenly Father and he will fill you with great joy!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Unsure Path vs. Sure Way to Heaven

        Let's be sensible and realistic. We are all going to die. In our limited time on earth, we are so immersed in things of the world and just don't think about God much. Then near the end of our life, if nothing unexpected happens, we finally realize that we have to leave all the things we've worked so hard for behind, and begin to turn to God, maybe. The smart way to realize this in advance and live for God and not ourselves. Then you'll enjoy living a joyful life not being weighed down by anything – a life without fear of death. It's taking the uneasy, risky path or the enlightened, sure way to heaven. 

**Privilege of union With God*

        Came across this video on YouTube featuring the great Brazilian guitarist Yamandu Costa accompanied by his great bassist Guto Wirtti. The two play differently, but together as one they play perfectly as if they read each other's minds. We don't need to know music to live as one with God with total understanding of each other – a special privilege we can all enjoy when we abandon ourselves in the Lord. Yes, make God your soulmate!

Bad Things, Good Blessings

        Tragedies and misfortunes can be blessings, for they might be the only way for God to get your attention. Any happening that draws you close to God is to rejoice about. 

**Our Stubbornness and Close-mindedness

        Before the time of Christ, we had people who believed in one God and people who didn't. When Christ was on earth, again we had those who believed in him and others who didn't. After Christ had come, we now clearly know that if we believe in him, we'll have eternal life; still the same division exists. Of course, that are also those who do not know about him yet. Anyway, God knows exactly how to judge each of us fairly. It's sad that we can be so self-centered and stubborn, preferring locking ourselves up in our own space, rather than opening up to God. If Christ is truly not our Lord and Savior, then Christianity has to be the biggest hoax in the entire history of mankind, fooling so many of us to die for him rather than giving up the faith. And you would have trouble explaining why even many more now experience freedom, peace, and joy in him. I believe we are divided, only because we are facing the true God.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

**Safe and Free in Christ!

        I abandon myself to God and my soul rests safely in his mercy. The Lord has set me free so that nothing can imprison my spirit anymore.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

**Knowing God Is Easy

        Communion experience. I let the Lord enter to heal my soul, mind, and body. The thought came to me that knowing God is easy. As long as you open yourself to him, not offering any resistance, he will enter to let you know of his presence. Of course, this would take some courage. We live in a physical world we can see, but we are also living in a spiritual world we cannot see. There are all kinds of spirits who would readily manifest themselves to you if you invite them to come, but the holy God is the one most immediate to us. Getting in touch with any unknown spirit can get you into trouble, but open yourself to the loving God who created and knows you best and he will make you holy and ready for returning to him in heaven.

Monday, April 8, 2019

*Compelling God

        Today's Communion antiphon, John 8.12: I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. Jesus is challenging us again – should we believe in him or not? This is how Jesus causes division, as we are compelled to choose to be with him or not by our free will. There is not another one like Christ, as there is only one God.

**Most Common False Belief

        We fear God because we think that we would lose our freedom if we enter God, not realizing that we've been enslaved by the world. Once you have completely crossed over to God's side, you find unlimited freedom in the Lord and that all your previous fears were absolutely groundless. You see, God never wants to control us – remember that he gave us the free will in the first place. He never intends to lord it over us – remember how he came as our greatest servant? And he never wants to instill fear in us – remember how he loved us so much that he died in our place. It's pure foolishness on our part to stay away from our God. I had those old fears before too, but now I feel I may very well be the freest person in the whole world!

**Most Tragic Reality

        Today's Response to Psalm 23 at Mass: Even though I walk in the dark valley, I fear no evil; for the Lord is at my side. The world is darker than ever. The more you have God with you, the more you feel sorry for the evildoers in the world. I want to shout out: What are you doing? Why are you hurting your God who loves you? Don't you know that you are condemning your own soul to eternal death? If they don't listen to Christ, I doubt they would pay any attention to me. I can only offer up my sorrow to the Lord. They have the dazzling brightest hope ever before them and they don't even know it. When one no longer cares about his own soul, it is a sign that the devil has already taken hold in that soul.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

**Disgusting Cold Truth*

          The current pro-life movie "Unplanned," based upon the true story of Abby Johnson who was a clinic director of Planned Parenthood and one day turned into an anti-abortion activist, is doing quite well. See it if you can. Here is the latest pro-life video by An0maly worth watching. You can hear Abby Johnson speak in the last third of the video.   

**We Condemn Ourselves!

      First part of today's entrance antiphon, Psalm 43 1: Give me justice, O God, and plead my cause against a nation that is faithless. From the deceitful and cunning rescue me. This is how I feel about my own country right now. In today's Gospel reading from John 8, the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus, asking him whether she should be stoned according to the law of Moses. They did this to test Jesus, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. This made me think of the leftists today in this nation who are trying so hard to come up with some false charge against our duly elected President.
        The wonderful, astounding thing about Jesus was that he did not condemn the woman in the end at all. He simply asked her not to sin anymore. Yes, God does not condemn us. If we get condemned in the end, it would be due to our own doing, not the lack of God's mercy! A world which keeps rejecting God is one heading toward self-destruction.

**How to Serve God Right*

      Never consider how much you have done for God; care only about how faithful you are in following his every will.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

***Falling Short of God's Expectations

        Many love God, but few are willing to go all the way. It's as if we want God to come close to us, but not too close. There's that last barrier to keep God at a distance. Most of the prayers we hear, read, or come across reflect this fact. We pray for God's mercy, favors, etc., which is right and just. And we pray that we will be more forgiving, loving, etc., which is also proper. But I have never heard us openly expressing our desire to surrender ourselves completely to God to allow him to do whatever he wishes with us. This is falling short of total abandonment to God and is our great shortcoming. 

*Why Truth Causes Division

        In today's Gospel reading from John 7, some in the crowd believed that Jesus was the Prophet, while others said that he was the Christ. Still others did not believe that the Christ could have come from Galilee. So a division occurred in the crowd. Of course, the chief priests and the Pharisees did not believe in Jesus at all and were intent on arresting him. Simply put, truth always causes division because the world is in sin.

**Fighting Evil

        Today's entrance antiphon from Psalm 18: The waves of death rose about me; the pains of the netherworld surrounded me. In my anguish I called to the Lord . . . . This is how I feel now when I hear about the insane, out-of-control, crazy liberals demanding the killing of our own children (see my post of yesterday "Today's Radical Evil"). Today's response to Psalm 7 provides the answer: O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge. We seek refuge in God not to escape from evil, but to find more courage and strength to fight it. 

Friday, April 5, 2019

Reciprocal Treatment

        If we are proud of Jesus, he will be proud of us. If are are ashamed of Jesus, he will be ashamed of us.

*Today's Radical Evil*

        How should we react when we face evil? For example, we now have crazy, insane radicals who want the mother to have the right to order her child killed even after birth! It's hard to believe that evil has taken hold of so many of us today. One extreme thought is to round them up and kill them all, but we know that would make us as evil as they. So the clear action to take is go the other extreme as Christ did when he came to save sinners. Since only God has the power to turn evil into good, we must pray extra hard asking the Lord to crush evil and at the same time make us holier than ever so that we might be more effective in fighting evil.

*Glorious Final Hours

        In today's Gospel reading from John 7, some of the Jews tried to arrest Jesus, but no one laid a hand upon him because his hour had not yet come. We all have our hours for various things to happen in our lives, and only God knows them. We who follow the Lord faithfully know that we can move on with confidence without fear. When our final hours arrive, glory will be ours. 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

**Saving All Souls

        In today's Gospel reading from John 5, we read that many did not believe in Jesus. It's no different nowadays. Satan has blinded the eyes, hardened the hearts, and polluted the conscience of many among us. The pro-abortionists and the extreme leftists are prime examples. They no longer listen to reason; they are like zombies or wild animals that have been trapped, not even understanding why they so behave. You can't help pitying them. Under the circumstances, we need to double our efforts to become holy and pray for those who have fallen into the clutches of Satan.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

**Meet Me on the Bridge*

        After the preceding post, I think you'll enjoy watching this much happier BBC story. Here's a brief description of it: 
        When Kati Pohler was three days old, she was left at a market in China and was later adopted by an American family. When she was 20, Kati discovered her birth parents had left her a note, and that every year on the same day, they waited for her on a famous bridge in Hangzhou.

***Reality of Evil

        As you know, Planned Parenthood in the United States is basically an abortion mill. Here is a great testimony given by Patricia Sandoval last year in Sacramento, CA, exposing how PP operates and telling how she found salvation in Christ. It will both horrify and move you. Do not watch this video if you do not have a strong heart! The talk starts at 2:04 and ends at 38:20. (In case you missed seeing my post "Magnitude of Abortion," you can click here.)

Do Not Misunderstand God

        Today's Communion antiphon, John 3.17: God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world may be saved through him. So, relax. Jesus came to save us! Be afraid only if you reject him.

***God Challenging Us for a Reason

        John 5:17-30 was today's Gospel reading at Mass. Jesus succeeded in incensing the Jews, for he called God his own father, making himself equal to God. Reading the 14 verses confirms that the Jews heard him right. Jesus truly challenges us here again: we must say he is either equal to God or someone who doesn't know what he's talking about. There is no way out; we are cornered and must make a choice. We can evade everything else, but not this matter pertinent to our eternal survival. This is how compelling God can be for the sake of our salvation.

Let God Make You Beautiful

        It is most beautiful to let God transform you into a new spiritual being, beautiful for him to behold. The world worships physical beauty which can be a curse, for it can inflate the ego, fostering pride. When God makes you beautiful, you are beautiful indeed. And it's only what he thinks of you that matters. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

*Being Open-minded or Not

        In today's Gospel's reading from John 5, Jesus cured a man who had been ill for 38 years. The day was a sabbath. The Jews found out about it and instead of being curious about the miraculous healing, they began to persecute Jesus for doing it unlawfully on a sabbath. People who always find some fault with Jesus are the ones who do not want to believe in him in the first place. I met one person once who said that he could not believe in Christ because he referred to himself as the Son of Man, not as Son of God. This is something you can easily explain away. Anyway, to those who want to believe, everything comes together and there are no stumbling blocks. 

**Don't Ignore God

        God is not limited by time nor distance. He lives forever and is everywhere. As long as you open your heart to him, he enters to dwell within you. You could have been one who followed Christ while he was on earth 2,000 years ago; but if you hadn't allowed him to enter your heart, he remains outside of you. On the other hand, if today you who haven't even seen the Lord open your heart to him, he is all yours. God is always there, but we pass. Therefore, grab him while we can or we'll leave this world empty-handed.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Up to Us First

        We need to leave all things up to God, but it's up to us to make it happen or not – we hold the starting gun.

**Great Partnership

        In serving God, he accomplishes his will through us and we accomplish ours through him.

**One Great Feeling!

        Being aware that the Lord actually dwells in you in complete union with you.

**To Know God's Will

        We need to be patient for God to reveal any specific will he has for us. He does not want us to be anxious about anything, including knowing his will. More often than not, the revelation evolves over time and in the end, you know what he wants you to do and you feel right and comfortable about it. This is your reward for trusting in him. God is love, joy, and also peace.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Nosiness and Contentment

        Of these two, one is undesirable and the other desirable. The definition of nosiness is undue interest in the affairs of others; prying. The motivation here is not pure, so we must avoid wasting time being nosey about the affairs of others lest God is displeased. Contentment is feeling that you no longer lack anything after you already possess God. If you are still not happy with yourself or life, you are not happy with the Lord yet. 

Saturday, March 30, 2019

God Makes the Big Difference

        Today I realize that Christ Jesus has made everything in life significant and meaningful for me; for this I am most grateful, not to mention a host of other much greater benefits or blessings. 

**Intention Over Execution

        Communion experience. I knew that my execution to be perfect was imperfect, but my intention to be perfect was good enough for the Lord and saved my day.

**A Question We Must Respond To

        We are all sinners and only God our creator can take away (forgive) our sins to make us clean again. Do we want to remain in sin and die with sins unforgiven or take care of them before we die? We must respond to this simple but critical and no-nonsense question before we die, the sooner the better.

***Complete Abandonment to God!

        The desire to be a saint or a martyr can originate from the ego too. The intention sounds good, but is it pure? If you wish to be a saint because you love God, that would be fine. On the other hand, if you want to be a martyr, God may wish you to live a long life instead! Therefore, the best attitude to assume is to desire the Lord's will only – you just trust in him and accept whatever he wishes you to do or be. This is total obedience and abandonment, the perfect Christian way, simple and most beautiful.  

Friday, March 29, 2019

*To Be Restored to Perfection

        We may not be addicted to something as bad as gamboling or narcotic drugs, but we can be addicted to things such as cussing, getting impatient, fishing, golf, video games, etc. In general, I do believe that we are all addicted to my own ego and acquiring material goods. In other words, we are all shackled or enslaved to various degrees, one way or another. Here's where we need God to enter our life (heart) to free us from all our shackles. We need to be restored to the way we should be as God's perfect children. Since nothing is impossible with God, it's up to us to make it happen.

*Most Incredible Mercy

        Again, today is Friday and I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. I thought about Jesus who came into the world and got himself killed. Those who did it not just killed another human being, but unknowingly killed one who is the Lord God, our beloved creator! Jesus knew that this was going to happen to him, as he carried out the Father's plan of salvation for us. On the cross, he even prayed for those who put him to death – "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." If they had repented, they would have been saved too. The mercy of our God is truly incredible!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

*Bearing False Witness*

        In today's Gospel reading from Luke 11, Jesus drove out a demon that was mute and the mute man started to speak. Some in the the crowds falsely believed that it's by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that the Lord drove out demons. This reminds me of today's leftist main stream media and politicians who knowingly ignore the facts and keep on accusing falsely those on the right they do not tolerate. This is a clear violation of God's 8th Commandment: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. I pity those who keep on doing this relentlessly without repentance, for they doom themselves. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

**Our Big Folly*

        Communion time thoughts. Here's our living, eternal, holy God who is our creator and knows all about us. Here are also all of us, finite and sinful, who think that we'll do just fine on our own. Don't you see the utter folly of our posture? We are no better than those who crucified the Lord for whom he prayed on the cross, "Father, forgiven them, they know not what they do." We are a big bunch who does not know what we do either. (Note: Not all of us are like that – I am just trying to make my point.)

*How to Love Properly

        We all have concerns that place heavy burdens on our heart. Our most urgent prayers are usually said for family members who are dear to us. Then when I place my trust fully in the Lord, I see that he is truly the one to take care of everything, way beyond the people I pray for. In this way, I become detached from them. Of course, I still love them, but this love is now transferred onto the Lord God in charge. As a result, I feel peaceful with no unnecessary concerns anymore. I see that loving properly is to love with faith and in peace.

Monday, March 25, 2019

***Going the Only Way***

        In Deuteronomy 6.5: Moses tells the Israelites: "You shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength. In Mark 12.30: Jesus says: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." The only way for us to accomplish this is to surrender ourselves completely to God to become one with him. There is not another way! Once you've done it, you would be so happy that you did it, for now the Lord communicates directly with your heart. Without such a breakthrough, your spiritual progress will always be restrained.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

***How to Be Free and Happy*

        Surrender yourself to God and do his will. This is the only way. And this is the simple truth. (This is how he has made us.)

Best Lenten Offering

        During this Lent, giving up something like eating chocolate cookies is good, but it's infinitely better to give up yourself to God so as to attain union with him. This positive approach will result in your becoming a saint for the rest of your life. With God, always go as far as you can for maximum security and enjoyment.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

***Perfect Submission to God

        Communion experience. It should be a time of experiencing peace, but I felt that it's also a good time to let the Lord shake us up. Whatever God does to us can only be good for us. Therefore, remain completely passive to let him do whatever he wishes with you. 

***Living the Perfect Life

        Let the love of God reign in your heart so that everything you do will be motivated by him who is love. This happens when you let God increase to 100% and yourself decrease to zero. Then guess what, the Lord increases you to 100% in him! This is how he rewards us!

***Our Most Beloved Father

        Today's Gospel reading from Luke 15 was the well-known Parable of the Lost Son. All of us are sons and daughters of our heavenly Father. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are officially adopted by God. Can't you hear the Father calling each one of us "My son" or "My daughter"? How endearing he is to us! At the same time, we must realize how much we can hurt him if we sin against him, for he loves us so much.

Friday, March 22, 2019

*To Rein in Our Speeches

        We speak freely on our own most of the time, and when we are inspired by the Holy Spirit, we speak what the Lord prompts us to say. When speaking on our own, if we are not discerning enough, what comes out can be critical of others or even start an argument. This happened to me recently at a small group sharing. In responding to something someone said, I expressed my point of view and sounded as if I was criticizing the person. If Jesus were at this meeting, he probably wouldn't have minded at all. Afterwards, I realized that I still did not have enough humility in me. From now on, I want to say only what Jesus wants me to say or whatever meets his approval. Humility must rule and the ego never surface. More submission to the Lord is in order.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

*Ultimate Spiritual Action

        God alone is more than sufficient for us. Once you have him, you can let everything else go. Therefore, the ultimate spiritual action to take is to dive deep into the Lord to remain in union with him. You fulfill all your desire and receive continual graces from him. This is living in the Lord, not just surviving on your own.

***Our Last Hope

        Today's Gospel reading from Luke 16 gave us the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Both the rich man and poor Lazarus died; the former descended to the netherworld and the latter was carried away by angles to the bosom of Abraham. In torment, the rich man begged Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his five brothers still living lest they also end up in the place of torment. Abraham replied, "They have Moses and the prophets to listen to. If they will not listen to them, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead." Now we have Jesus, the Son of God! If we won't even listen to him, we certainly banish our last hope of being saved. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

**Our Most Amazing Master!*

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 20, Jesus told the Twelve about his coming Passion, yet after the mother of the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, asked Jesus to make her two sons sit, one at his right and one at his left, in his kingdom, the other ten heard about it and became indignant at the two brothers. It just shows how far our thoughts and ways are from God's. Jesus summoned them and said to them, "Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servants; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." Indeed, Jesus came and never lorded it over us nor made us feel his authority over us. This is the amazing fact: our God is our greatest servant!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

**Devotion to God Alone

        Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph. Many of us Catholics have great devotion to saints. My personal favorite saint is St. Thérèse of Lisieux whose spirituality is most attractive to me. At Mass, the Lord gave me these thoughts. Devotion to any saint is good as long as it draws us to him. That is, devotion to Christ must always be foremost. Likewise, miracles should always lead us to their producer. When we start chasing after miracles instead of God, we start going astray. I know all great saints are most humble beings and would rather remain hidden in God. Putting them on too high a pedestal would probably make them squirm. They'd rather we go to the Lord directly than through them. So my point is again to always go to the Lord first. If you happen to celebrate the Feast of some saint, don't focus upon the saint; rather, ask the saint to help you increase your devotion to Christ. We can live without the saints, but we can't without the Lord. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

**To Live in the Present

          I see so many people worrying about so many things in this world. At my age, most people I know are older folks and they are very much concerned about how they are going to be taken care of in the near future. This is a legitimate concern, but to worry about it is wrong, especially if you profess to be a Christian. I can quote from Matthew to show that Jesus does not want us to worry about tomorrow or about life, and if we seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness first, everything will be taken care of for us. But most people dismiss these sayings outright because they think you have to be pretty naive to believe in such easily made statements. What I want to say is if you really believe in them to the letter, you'll find that they speak the truth. What is needed is faith.
        Today I see clearly that God has a plan for me. He knows how much time I have left in this world and what he has in mind for me to accomplish if I continue following him. I myself only have an inkling of what I should do within the next year or so. Therefore, I do not worry about anything, knowing that God knows it all already. Should my inkling turn out to be off, that's fine too. We only need to do our best each moment and not be concerned about the next.

God's Light and Mercy

        I love feeling that as a disciple of Christ, I am constantly basking in his light and mercy. His light helps me see what he sees, the reality, and my own life and path so clearly. And his mercy draws me ever close to him and helps me love him and all others throughout my life.

*To Be Like the Father*

        Jesus had said, "Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." In today's Gospel reading from Luke 6, Jesus said, "Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." If you are perfect, you must be merciful too. Now, does being merciful make you perfect? If to be merciful is to be loving, then the answer is yes. For to be loving is to be like God who is perfect. So be merciful to all, do not judge anyone, and be concerned about their eternal life. Anyhow, be like the Father to become his favorite sons and daughters. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

**God to Be Experienced

        One watershed moment for the Christian is the moment he realizes that he is a sinner and needs Jesus as his Savior. He feels the Lord touching his soul definitively – usually an emotional experience he would always remember. Many Protestant brothers and sisters as well as myself who is a convert had it. The MS-13 gang members display this burst of emotions prominently in the video "God's Power of Conversion" I posted last Thursday. I have not encountered any cradle Catholics who talk about such a moment. I think it's because the question never came up for those who did not have to convert. Nevertheless, God should be experienced. If you remain open, the Lord will definitely make you aware of him. When I questioned him about us being the temple of the Holy Spirit, the gift of tears came to me unexpectedly. Of course, attaining union with the Lord is another big watershed. To experience God is to know him well and to love him.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

***Ego, Our Worst Enemy

        The Lord made me see that ego is what keeps us from obeying him. It follows that ego is what prompts us to sin. Take a man who merely fantasizes and entertains impure thoughts – it's also the ego seeking self-gratification. The presence of ego shows the absence of humility. It is humility that frees us and ego that enslaves us. The path to God and heaven is clear. Seek union with God to rid yourself of ego to be perfect. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

**Ideal witnessing for the Lord

        Whenever we preach or witness to, or share with someone about Christ, we must be sure that we are promoting Christ and not ourselves. Sometimes you hear a great speaker and come away really impressed, but what you remember is the speaking and not so much the message. There are many homilies you hear from the pulpit that may be impressive, but fail to draw you deeper into the Lord. It's like listening to a pianist playing with great technical virtuosity, but not much feeling for the music. To be effective, we must live a hidden life in Christ with zero ego. Then let the Holy Spirit set our heart on fire so that the focus will be upon the Lord alone. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

***God's Power of Conversion

        As I have said, only God can fundamentally change a person. This short video shows how Jesus Christ had changed many MS-13 gang members. Praised be our Lord. Please pray for more conversions of them.

***Fast Way to Union With God

        One sure way of getting to know Jesus well is to talk to him whenever you can. Tell him everything on your mind and in your heart. Everything means everything, including things you wouldn't share with another human being. Keep doing this and receive the Holy Eucharist regularly and you'll reach union with God fast. (Naturally, you are expected to have all your sins removed by God first.)

*Be Prepared for Anything*

        I have planned on doing a few things for the coming months, then my wife had a new health issue and I realized that depending upon how it's going to turn out, I might have to scrap all my plans. I started thinking that I must be prepared for anything. Priorities must remain flexible, for all is in God's hands. If my plan doesn't work out, so be it. It's better to expect less and be surprised than expecting too much and be disappointed.
       The parable Jesus told at a dinner he was invited to in Luke 14 came to my mind. The Lord said to the invited guests and hosts, "When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, 'Give your place to this man,' and you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, 'My friend, more up to a higher position.' Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table." The bottom line: we should always remain humble – contrary to what the world teaches.

**Endearing Yourself to God

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 7, Jesus said to his disciples, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." We as followers of the Lord do not knock on his door enough; it's as if we don't want to bother him too much. Let's realize that his riches are inexhaustible and he wants so much to give them to us. Not taking advantage of this is somewhat rejecting his love. In fact, it endears us to the Lord to be greedy for his offerings!

*Under God's Protection

        This early morning in a dreamy state, I sensed that the Lord was absolutely the one for us to follow. As a child, we always feel good when there is a big brother or sister or some adult whom we can trust and who is strong enough to protect us. Well, our God the Father is unquestionably the strongest of all and loves us the most. Therefore, if we trust in him and put ourselves totally in his hands, we'll absolutely be secure and not have to worry about anything. In this way, we also form the strongest possible bond with the Lord. Do not doubt what I have just stated; put all your faith in him first. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

*God Revealing Us to Ourselves

       Often we do something or feel a certain way, not aware of what the true motivation or the reason was. For example, in my own experience I once did something that made me feel unhappy. I went before the Lord and opened up my heart. He then revealed the hidden cause and I felt exhilaratingly liberated! Our God is the only one who can expose what's hidden or buried in our innermost, revealing us to ourselves. Again, I am most grateful and rejoice that we have such an understanding, loving Lord.

*God Can Make Us Clean!

         The feeling that you are clean, that your sins have been forgiven or taken away by God is one of the best feelings you can have. To preserve that feeling is to stop sinning. God is the one who can make us new, thus saving us! This is how he has made us and we should rejoice for that.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

**Going Far With God*

        You see your sins and imperfections and sincerely wish to overcome them. It is possible that you spend your whole lifetime focusing upon this and end up merely maintaining your status quo. The excellent way is to aspire to become holy, looking beyond your present state and asking the Lord directly to make you a saint. Doing this and not dwelling on your woeful state will lift you to a higher state. There is absolutely no limit as to how far you can advance. Go positive and be on the offensive! Yes, get all the help from God you can to make everything easy for you – this is showing that your trust in and love your heavenly Father.

Monday, March 11, 2019

**Most Personal Lord

        Our God, the God of Christ the Lord, turns out to be the most loving Father and personal friend you can ever possibly have. He is the one who fulfills and completes our existence.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

One Everlasting Relationship

        All relationships we have with other humans on earth will end, but my relationship with God once established will last for forever.

Learning From History

        Look at the history of mankind. So many people have come and gone. Those who believed and obeyed God went to heaven and those who didn't went to hell. We who are living are still marching on. Make sure now that you'll get to go where you want to go as you leave here.

*Happy Living

        Will you be happy about how you have lived your life if you were to leave this world right now? Happy is the person who is not concerned about what kind of things he has done or how much he has accomplished, but has followed the will of God all his life. He is ready to leave the world to receive his reward from the Lord.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

How to Preserve Peace

        Let no one "bother" you except Christ, or mind no one except Christ.

Spiritually Stuck

        To recognize that Christ is Lord and Savior and that he can free us if we submit ourselves to him is not that hard. The hard part is to do the submitting part to make it all happen. This is the struggle we face. We then let the whole thing slide, and we are stuck and remain stagnant.

Serious Urgent Issue:

to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior or not in your lifetime.

*Only God Is Relevant!

        This thought came to me when I was about to fall sleep last night. We are supposed to get detached from everything and get attached to God alone. In that case, how people think of or treat us becomes irrelevant.

Friday, March 8, 2019

*"About" Is Not Good Enough

        To know about Jesus does not make you a Christian; you remain an outsider. To know Jesus makes you a Christian, putting you on the journey to heaven. It is also true that if you merely preach about Jesus, you won't change many hearts. But if you preach Jesus, you'll have the power to convert souls. Another example to show the difference. I attended a Bible study once and we studied a lot about the peripheral things instead of focusing upon Christ. As a result, I was not drawn any closer to the Lord through this course. To involve the heart, we must always focus upon the Lord himself.

***Take the Fast Track

        Again, seeking  spiritual guidance directly from Jesus is taking the fast track. If you go to another human being for guidance, he could be getting his guidance from another human being who is doing the same, and so on. This won't be effective in getting you up to the next level. Going to a saint can help, then you might as well go directly to God to whom all the saints go. St. Therese had a spiritual director first, but after she lost him, she headed straight for Jesus always. Your goal is to attain union with the Lord directly. Do this and you can safely skip reading my blog.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

*Being Intolerant of Others

        If you cannot change yourself for the better, don't try to change others for (what you think is) the better. Once you see your own shortcomings, others' may not bother you anymore and the world will be a more peaceful place. Unfortunately, without turning to God, everyone thinks that he or she is pretty perfect.

Become Fire!

Fr. Mark Goring's latest 1-minute video. Amen.

*Most Serious Message

        In today's Gospel reading from Luke 9, Jesus said to all, "Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?" Here Jesus was challenging us as the Lord again, if we cannot dismiss him as one who didn't know what he was talking about, we must take him most seriously, for our soul is at stake!

Closeness of Christ

          I woke up this morning at around 1:20 a.m. It was still all dark and quiet outside and I strongly sensed the closeness of Christ. I just poured out my heart to him and knew that he was taking care of everything for me. More joy of knowing the Lord!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

*Biggest Problem We Face*

        What we must face is the reality of sin. We all know it, even though we don't like to think about it. Ignore our sinfulness is to face devastating consequences later. Jesus came to us precisely to show us how to free ourselves from sin so that we can make heaven. You have to be out of your mind to ignore him! 

**Appreciating God's Love

        It's Ash Wednesday today. We are to remember that we are dust and to dust we shall return. This is true, but I also know that Christ has changed me into golden dust, and I shall return to God my Father in heaven as his adopted son. What a difference the love of God can make to us! I love the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Glory be to them forever!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

**No Repentance, No Salvation**

        With Lent starting on Ash Wednesday tomorrow, I wonder why so many people find it so hard to repent their sins. Even professed Christians do not do it as often as they should, which means that they are not always clean. To repent is such a joy, knowing that God is making you clean again. Once it becomes a habit, you'll find that you won't have peace until you repent. This is a wonderful blessing. Best of all, you please God the Father the most when you are clean. Repentance is a spiritual breakthrough, the key to salvation. Neglect repentance and you neglect your soul.

*Elementary Message

        You see, God wants you to go to heaven to be eternally happy, for he loves you. He's already cleared the way by sending his only Son Jesus to us. You know that you are a sinner and need help. And you know well that this world can never make you truly happy and that heaven would be the ideal destination. You've got all these things going for you; all you need to do is to let God the Father know that you are coming, and you'll be on your way. He will surely help you reach your goal if you follow him faithfully. I apologize if I spell things out as if you were all kindergarten kids. Just ignore me if you already know all this. But if I could reach just one person with this message, it would make at least two people very happy – that person and I. Naturally, God the Father would be overjoyed too.

**We Create Our Own Fears*

        Anyone who remains completely in the Lord becomes fearless, proving that all our fears are self-generated. How foolish we are!

Only One You Can Trust

        Since God is the only one you can entrust your soul to, he is the only one you can trust.

*Most Intimate Feeling

        Communion experience. I received the Holy Eucharist and knew that all barriers between Christ and me are gone – the Lord was completely open to me! I never felt that close to my God! Great joy filled me.

Letting God Power You or Not

        Is it hard to obey the Lord at all times? Is it easy to be holy? Of course, nothing is impossible with God, so how hard or easy would depend entirely upon how much you are open to the Lord. Submit yourself to God fully and you'll receive unlimited power. Life not powered by God is dull living at best, while life fully powered by the Holy Spirit is always exciting and uplifting.

**Be First and Remain First

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 10, Jesus says to Peter that no one who has given up everything and followed him will not receiver a hundred times more now in this present age. He added, "But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first." I am thinking: why can't we be first at all times? The Lord makes me see that if we remain in union with him, we'll remain first always. 

Monday, March 4, 2019

*Focus Upon God a Bit

        If you are immersed in this life with attachment to so many things around you, chances are you don't even think about God. My suggestion is that you look beyond your immediate surroundings to focus upon the Lord, even for brief moments. If you hear him speak to you the slightest, this could be the beginning of a blessed new journey for you. The saddest thing is to cut yourself off from your creator completely who loves you so much.

***Always Acceptable to God

        I am sure everyone of us has been rejected for one thing or another in life. I've been rejected to join a team at school, to work at a company, to show my artwork at an exhibition, even to volunteer in a church ministry . . . . . But if you want to join God's family in heaven and belong to the Lord in totality, you will be welcomed to the hilt, for your Father in heaven, unlike any human beings, you yourself included, will never reject you. So go to him as you are and he'll take complete care of you, for all eternity to boot. 

Hardened Heart Warning

        We can die if our natural heart blocks the flow of blood, but a hardened heart that does not hear the voice of God is a lot worse, for it's a closed, judgmental heart, set to dismiss what might be the truth, thus placing the soul in great danger.