Put Jesus first and he'll put you first.
"Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
Thursday, January 31, 2019
It is easy for us to hide things from others, things that would make us look bad. But it is impossible to hide anything from God. Therefore, if you can completely open yourself to God, letting him take away everything that shouldn't be in your heart, then there'll be nothing you need to hide from others anymore. You are now liberated and free!
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 4, Jesus told the parable of the lamp and ended by saying, "To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." How does this make sense? Think of yourself as a receptacle. If you leave it uncovered, wide open, God would fill it with all he wants to give you, so you receive more and more. If you leave your cover on, then pretty soon whatever you had would either rot, so you have to throw it away, or be used up, leaving you empty with nothing. Lesson: never close your door on God.
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Martha Argerich is unquestionably one of the top pianists in the world. I watched this old video on YouTube when she was rehearsing the Schumann piano concerto and liked what she said about how she approached music. You can watch the video by clicking here. To find out what she said that resonated with me, read below.
"You must try to achieve directness with music. You know, like with a person. If you figure you know how you'll act with someone, it' a fiasco. That's not how it works. You have to be in tune to how that person is at that given moment, not to the idea you have of him."
We should approach God this way too. That is, we go directly to him, remain open and spontaneous (no preconceived ideas), and tune in to him. And great benefits will come through to us.
There is a fundamental difference between being meek and being weak. It takes courage to be meek, which is to remain humble without ego. If you do not have the courage to speak out for the Lord or do what is right, then you are being weak or timid. For me, the Holy Catholic Church was established by Christ who promised that the gates of the netherworld should not prevail against it, so I firmly believe that the Church will always teach and safeguard the truths as she has so far done. Then because of it, all the more Satan wants to ruin her. With evil prevailing over the whole world, the time is so urgent that we follow Christ and be extra strong and active in fighting the battle for him. Sadly, there is a lack of both unity and strong leadership within the Church. At the meeting of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore last November, there was really no progress made in addressing the abuse crisis within the Church. Three days ago, I posted about the New York Catholic Governor Andrew Cuomo signing the horrible pro-abortion bill into law. The response from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York as to whether Cuomo should be excommunicated as some other bishops had suggested was weak and evasive, showing that he was definitely no warrior or even soldier for Christ. He basic message is that we can go against the teachings of the Holy Church or commit other mortal sins and still receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist when we feel like it. I also personally wish to hear a clear, strong, decisive voice coming from the Holy Father. This is no time to play nice, for billons of souls are at stake, while Christ is continuing to suffer because of us. The Lord was meek and humble, but he also spoke out without any fear. You can say that he is God and we are not, but aren't we supposed to imitate him?
In the first reading today from Hebrews 10, Paul lets all know that where there is forgiveness of sins, there is no longer offering for sin. Let me just remind all once more that even though we are sinners, God has already resolved the problem! We don't ever need to be burdened or enslaved by sin anymore, for the Lord can make us clean if we repent. This is not just good news; it has to the best possible news we can ever get. For with our sins removed, the way back to our Father in heaven is made all clear.
We all play little games in life. This is what I mean. We have good and evil in this world and we make sure that we get the best for ourselves. It's figuring out how to make the most money, get the best possible deal, get into the best school, ensure that we have good health, etc. But there are also heaven and hell and one big game we mustn't neglect to play, and that is figuring out how we can get into heaven and not end up in hell. So, we have those who foolishly play and win all the little games, but lose the the big one they forgot about, and those who wisely play and win the big game before "playing" any other games.
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
God needs to be experienced. We need to get in touch with him, to get connected to him, and if fact, to become one with him. How do we do it? It's quite simple. First, be completely honest with yourself and with God. In a quiet chapel or somewhere you won't be disturbed, open yourself up to God to let him see everything that's in your heart – hiding nothing – this is important. Then he will make you see what shouldn't be there, the true reasons you are unhappy about certain things, why you have no peace in general, etc. You'll be revealed things that you would never see if you hadn't gone before him like this. Once you see all these things, you'll experience relief and new joy. After all, self-understanding is the key to spiritual freedom. If you feel like crying, cry your heart out, for it's the Holy Spirit touching your soul. The joy comes from knowing that God has removed the barrier between you and him. You are now connected directly with him. Yes, we all need to go through a breakdown to be made anew by God. Now, experience and rejoice in him as your most intimate soulmate. Your joy is now complete. (A footnote. If you are a Catholic, the best time for you to open up to the Lord is right after you receive the Holy Eucharist.)
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 3, the mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house in which he was speaking to a crowd. When informed that they were waiting outside asking for him, he said, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" Looking around at those seated in the circle he continued, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." So we can become members of God's immediate family by doing his will, no initiation required! As a matter of fact, if we abandon ourselves in God totally, he immediately becomes all ours!
In John 8.12, Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees, "I am the life of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Jesus has always given us the good news, straight and clear, showing his love for us; yet people find him to be a stumbling block. How come? I see a tug-of-war going on. If you are still resisting God, it's because Satan still has a hold on you, preventing you from joining God on the opposing side. You'll be free only if you break all the shackles holding you as a prisoner. This is the time to wield the power of your free will to let God set you free.
Monday, January 28, 2019
Of course, in life we do have things we must get done to meet some deadline, but most things can be left undone for a while. If you are OK with that, you have abandoned yourself to God to some extent. We all are going to die and I am sure on that last day, there will be many things still unfinished or not wrapped up yet, and we'll just have to let go. Since we do not know the day we die, why not let things go starting right this moment? We are just passing through on earth, so don't let anything tie you down. Remain free and enjoy life.
Jesus told his disciples not to worry about what to say when they face coming persecutions, for the Holy Spirit will teach them what to say. I am happy that I do not have to think about what to blog, for the Holy Spirit tells my heart what to say each time. Worrying should not be any Christian's cup of tea.
In the Gospel, a leper came to Jesus and said, "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I will do it. Be made clean." Here I learn another prayer. I simply say to the Lord, "If you wish . . ." and he knows exactly what I ask of him.
We are to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. If we truly believe that Christ is our Lord and our God, we have no choice but also to believe in him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. What's tragic is that many Christians do not take God seriously enough; they believe in him rather casually, not much better than being lukewarm. If one does not know God well yet, tell him to love God more, to believe in him more, or to be holier will not work. They must understand that only God can make all these things happen. Therefore, teach or advise them to abandon themselves to God first and he will make all things easy for them. This is absolutely truly. I'll again say: save your energy and let God do the work for you.
We just had our Walk for Life on the West Coast, equivalent to the March for life held in various other part of the country. The right to life is our God-given right to live. Don't forget that for us who get to live, we also have the right to claim eternal life! To terminate the life of the unborn is oppression at its worst. I like to close with this quote I posted some time back: "Everyone who supported slavery was free. Everyone who supports abortion was born. And that, my friends, is how oppression works."
Sunday, January 27, 2019
This past week New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (a self-professed Catholic) signed a radical pro-abortion bill into law, legalizing abortion for basically any reason up to birth in New York state. This is a clear case of man going against God. Satan has taken control of many in politics, the news media, the academia, and the entertainment business. I don't want to give the impression that America is going to hell, because we still have a patriotic, God-fearing, and God-loving majority who normally remain civil and quiet, but will rise to defend their liberty, their right to religious freedom, and their faith in the Lord if they must. The righteous may suffer awhile, but they will live forever. Let's pray the Fatima prayer: O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy!
We do things customarily without thinking much, but if we believe God with our heart, we should see, hear, think, and speak with our heart too. To live for God is to exercise our heart solely for his sake. Seek union with him and you'll automatically use your heart wisely in tune with God's will.
Saturday, January 26, 2019
I came out of church after Mass this morning. It was cold but sunny and beautiful. The parked cars, the trees, the sun light . . . all looked normal and delightful, but I saw the ultimate reality that we'll all face later – heaven or hell. I do not intend to jolt anyone, but the Lord made me see this reality that's veiled to many today. At least you see that heaven is one possible reality, and that should give us hope, expectation, and joy.
Jesus said in John 3.6: The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. So the Holy Spirit is like the wind. When the Lord Spirit prompts you to do something, it is spontaneous, never premeditated. Attain union with God so that following the Holy Spirit may become your second nature.
When we find great joy in the Lord, serving him becomes a joy and you feel that everything you do for his sake is special. Today I did routine things like going to Mass, receiving Holy Communion, tidying up the kitchen a bit, and getting ready to blog, yet I feel God has made them all very special. The joy of the Lord is something no one can ever take away from you.
I am only one voice among the multitude, but I feel that the Lord hears me and I can move his heart. Abraham pleaded with God not to destroy Sodom for the sake of the righteous among the wicked. The Lord agreed that if he finds 50 righteous people in Sodom, he will spare the whole place for their sake. But Abraham kept on asking: what if there are only 45, 40, 30, 20, and finally 10 righteous people? Each time the Lord agreed that he would not destroy the city for the sake of the righteous. (Read Genesis 18.16-33.) God values each of us equally, so every one of us can move his heart if we mean it and are persistent. With enough of us praying hard, there is no question that we can reshape our world.
Friday, January 25, 2019
Too many people are concerned about their own happiness in this life and not about the well-being of their soul. Is it because they don't believe that there is a soul or believe that their souls are just whole and fine? Or could it be that they, in their sinful state, are just plain afraid of facing God?
I have a lot of things in my heart to let the Lord know about. Going through them one by one would take quite a bit of time. At church after Mass this morning, I simply opened my heart wide to God and knew without the slightest doubt that he saw everything in there and knew exactly what I asked of him.
We are created by God to live for something. It's a fact that we all seek something to make life meaningful. If you do not know Christ yet, you naturally start seeking financial security, good health, a happy marriage, good education for your children, etc. But you sense that these things are just not good enough to live for, because they are not perfect and do not last forever. Now perhaps God should be considered. Those of us who have heard the Lord's call and responded can declare triumphantly that he is indeed the one who has made us look for something to live for and that we know we won't be satisfied until we find him.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
If you give someone a nice gift so that the person might like you, then it's like bribing the person and you have the wrong motivation. But if you give solely to make the receiver happy, then even if the person doesn't like and rejects the gift, you wouldn't mind. This is giving with the right motivation. Genuine giving is giving without expecting any reward, and God will reward you. It follows that genuine love is not affected how we are treated by others. Look at Jesus. Some of us love him, some of us don't care about him, and some even hate him, but he loves us all just the same.
I posted Fr. Jose Maniyangat's testimony of his life after death experience some years ago and found out that the link to that YouTube video no longer worked. Anyway, you can now read the whole story on the website of his healing ministry here.
Today's Communion antiphon, John 15.16: It was not you who chose me, says the Lord, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. When I think about it, the Lord has always been around, and I chose him only after he had chosen me and revealed himself to me. Of course, he also loved us first. So this is the Lord who has created us, sustained us every instant, died in our place to save us, chosen us, and been watching over us, listening to and answering our prayer requests, healing and guarding our soul, teaching and feeding us spiritually, giving us hope, inspiring us to do great things, and calling us to become one with him. When we have this Lord, we are set for all eternity.
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
There are those who follow the God they believe in and would wipe out all those who do not share their beliefs with a vengeance. And there are those who follow the God they believe in and would willingly lay down their own lives for their friends, following the example of their God. There is only one God and who do you think got it right?
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Today is the Day of Prayer for the Protection of Unborn Children. Evil had infiltrated the human hearts in this country and is still continuing seeking the ruin of souls. The darkest day of this country has to be the day our Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973. On this day, the green light was given to those who don't mind killing the unborn for whatever reason, resulting in creating the greatest holocaust in the history of mankind. We need to weep for the unborn, the abortionists, and ourselves. But for those of us who are with Christ, there is great hope, for no evil can possibly defeat God. And there's also the joy of Christ's Resurrection, sustaining and rejuvenating us. Just as God will surely vanquish evil, his joy will wide away all our sorrows. We agonize with the Lord for a short while now, but will rejoice with him later forever.
Monday, January 21, 2019
The March for Life and Women's March just took place in Washington, D.C. One group clearly knew its righteous goal, while the other seemed confused and lost. Here's a video put out by TPF Student Action. The contrast is pathetic.
Sunday, January 20, 2019
When we truly live for Jesus, we do everything for him and through him, which is the same as letting him do everything for you, which is doing everything with him as one. It is letting him motivate you in all the things you do. Enter deep into the Lord and you'll know his motivations.
A pianist who dazzles his audience with his technique but does not bring out the intention of the composer cannot be a great pianist. Similarly, a speaker who impresses others with his eloquence but does not make the central message clear cannot be a greater speaker. Hopefully, when we live as Christians, people will see the Christ in us and not just us.
Confessing our sins to the Lord goes beyond getting ourselves forgiven. It shows that we trust in God's mercy, that we are humble enough to submit ourselves to him, that we want to to please him, our Father, and that we comply with his wish for us to enter heaven. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. On the other hand, not confessing your sins is heading straight toward eternal darkness.
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Communion experience. I focused on the Lord and saw that he is infinite, merciful, and filled with love for me. I focused on myself and saw a sinner, needing salvation and to be loved. So God and I are a perfect match to become one for all eternity. A breakthrough in seeing.
People today think that they are cool by dressing, decorating, and carrying themselves differently from others. But this outward coolness only reflects one's inner insecurity. The truly cool person is one who leaves all things to God and remains unruffled (cool) interiorly always.
The smart way to fight temptation is to run away from it. The smart way to kill your ego is to starve it. Similarly, the smart way to overcome any sin is to ignore it and head straight for the Lord. Seek union with him and you'll be shielded from all evil. How nice it is that you would rest in God while he removes even all your tendencies to sin! God to be loved is to be enjoyed too.
From today's first reading from Hebrews 4: No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account. Because God knows everything going on with us, we need to render an account to him at the end. Of course, you are free to believe that God does not know everything that's going on with you, so there is no need to render a thorough account or even any account to him. In that case, you have a God you can easily fool or you are just making a big fool of yourself.
Friday, January 18, 2019
Christians are to bear witness to what God has done in their lives. Therefore, those messages we hear or read that are simply opinions and commentaries on the Lord or his teachings do not make much impact on us and are generally forgettable.
We do not have inner peace because we sin against the Lord. True peace can only be found in the God of Christ after we reconciled ourselves to him and know that we have been saved. This is how God has made us. I acutely sensed this at Mass this morning. (Footnote: There is only one God. I specified God as "the God of Christ" because many have falsely believed that Jesus is not God the Son.)
Afterthought after the last post. It is amazing that God can and wants to fully restore our original status so that we may return to him to enjoy eternal happiness. This is not a dream – this is truth which has been revealed to us by God the Son! Get in tune with Christ and listen to and obey him, and you are in – a simple step you can make as easy as you want to.
As sinners on our own, we are most unworthy to be saved. But because God so loves us, he has provided the way to have our sins removed and our souls saved. Not only that, he can make us as pure and as holy as we'll let him. This is precisely what makes living in Christ exciting! If your spiritual life is on the dull side, you have not let the Lord into your life enough yet.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
I just posted about obedience to God, then I realize that sometimes we do little things we don't think much about and have no intention to hurt anyone either, but nevertheless our motivation may not be that pure. Therefore, what we have done is still a sin. Am I being nitpicking? Maybe, but it's necessary because it is part of obedience to God. Don't forget, as sinners we need God's help in all things.
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 1, Jesus cleansed a leper and said to him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. Here is a clear case of disobeying the Lord. We usually do what is natural for us to do, but we need to listen to the Lord carefully and do what he wants us to do even if doing it goes against our grain.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
I see union with God in a new light today. It is true that in union, God and you become one. We know that God the Son and God the Father are in each other and they are one. But for us, it is more accurate to see us in God and not the other way around, as he is infinite and we are finite. I could say that the Lord is in me, but that's because I am in him. So from now on, I am going to see myself completely dwelling (hidden) in God. I now belong to him and to his house, learning from and being fed by him directly.
The Lord made me see today that if we let him have our heart, he can totally transfigure it! Receiving the Hoy Eucharist is the perfect time to ask him to do this. A transfigured heart is one in total union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a terrific grace we can receive from the Lord. It is hard to imagine that we can attain that state, but this is what would please him the most. With God, the higher you aim, the more he makes you realize your goal, as there is no limit to how much he wants to favor us.
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
I dare guess that many of us have heard the Christian song "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Jesus is our friend for sure, but he is in truth the only friend you need to have. Here's why.
(1) He is a friend who always wants to be with you.
(2) He is a friend you can always trust, for he is most faithful.
(3) He is most understanding, for he knows you through and through.
(4) He will always be kind to you.
(5) He will be your wisest guide, for he knows everything.
(6) He can make you beautiful before God.
(7) He can lead you to heaven.
Jesus is our perfect friend.
Today at morning Mass, the first thing the Lord made me realize was that he can make us see all things through his eyes. We may feel inadequate in serving him, but he showed me that we are most precious to him and that despite the deficiencies we feel in us, we can always serve him in some way comfortable to us with humility. The Lord truly loves the weak with a good heart. I have posted before that anyone who is unhappy with himself must not have known the Lord well yet. This remains true. If God loves you, how can you not love yourself? After you come to know the Lord well, you begin to see things exactly as he sees them and become a well-rounded spiritual being.
Monday, January 14, 2019
Our mind seems to have a mind of its own – we have great difficulty in controlling our own thoughts. Somehow, this morning I experienced a great stillness in my heart and was able to focus upon the Lord without any distracting thoughts. I sense that if we remain still in the Lord, even our thoughts come to find rest in him.
Let's face it. Deep down we all know that life is empty without God. We do have that spiritual hunger and thirst within us whether you think about it or not. If evildoers seem not to feel it, it's because they choose to ignore it. The fact that we do not have inner peace is clear indication that we do not have enough of God in us. The Lord is always knocking on our doors. Nowadays you hear so many voices out there in the world that are confusing. Even the Church lacks clear-cut leadership, thus hindering the Holy Spirit. Being weak and being meek are not the same thing. Evil is rampant and time is urgent. There never should be time for dillydallying. Do what the Lords wants and never mind what people think. The good news is that we can always go to God directly to get our hunger satiated and thirst quenched. In fact, the direct way is the best way. Of course, at no time you should disobey the teachings of the Holy Church. It's a story too long to tell here: I have learned that trusting in the Lord alone, not even letting any miracle get in the way, is the way he desires. If you read St. John of the Cross, you'll find him making this point. Go straight to God now and you'll go straight to him later too.
Sunday, January 13, 2019
I took a walk outside my house today. I live in a city, but in the "country" part of the city. I could still hear the street traffic in the distance, but nearby were tall trees and large granite boulders. A stream also flows by my house. Now that rain season has begun, it's doing quite well. Amazingly, there is plenty of wildlife all around. So far, I've seen or heard deer, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, possums, wild turkeys, humming birds, egrets, Canadian geese, woodpeckers, hawks, many squirrels, snakes, lizards, and unfortunately, rats too. There are also goats, sheep, alpacas, horses, cows, to keep the weeds down, chickens, ducks, geese, and, of course, dogs and cats. As I was taking the walk and praying the Rosary, I heard frogs croaking nearby, geese honking overhead, and dogs barking in the distance, creating quite a cacophony. I knew all these sounds would all pass, our own lives on earth too. It's like everything that passes has its own clock. Each of us has one too and only God knows when each clock will stop ticking. I wasn't sad or anything – my thoughts just drifted toward God as usual – how could I possibly not be aware of his presence when he dwells within my heart? He let me see it's not how long I live, but how I live my life that matters. It's quality over quantity! It comes down to whether I live for God or not.
When one loses inner peace for whatever reason, he becomes occupied with his own state and serving God couldn't be further from his mind. Therefore, maintaining inner peace is of utmost importance, and that peace can only be restored by entering deep into the Lord. There are millions of things around us tending to upset our peace, but one Lord can fundamentally transform us to become unperturbed by any of them. For he is our shield, our refuge, our rock, and our stronghold.
This is the month Walk for Life or March for Life will be held nationwide in the United States. The Lord has placed a heavy burden on the heart of those who love him, realizing what a grave sin we are committing. Plant Parenthood is basically all about abortion. Here is a video you may not want to watch because it'll make you sick. Pray hard that God will crush all evil and save all souls!
Saturday, January 12, 2019
(1) God will forgive our trespasses if we forgive those who trespass against us.
(2) If we acknowledge Jesus before others, Jesus will acknowledge us before the Father. (Matthew 10.32.)
(3) If we are ashamed of Jesus, he will be ashamed of us.
(4) If we trust in him, he will trust in us.
Exception: If we do not love him, he still loves us.
Trying to publicize my video "Magnitude of Abortion" of Nov. 16, 2018, I searched for pro-life sites online and was greatly impacted by the many excellent contents and presentations I came across, exposing the true horror of killing the most innocent and defenseless of us all, our own children! Right now as I am typing this message, their lives are being snuffed out. Abortion has to be the most horrible sin of our times, and there shall be retribution. Each of us should at the least pray daily for this abomination to end. Lord, have mercy on us! Christ, have mercy on us! Lord, have mercy on us!
Communion experience. Jesus came to take away my sins! Think about it; this is a huge deal! More than meeting each other, the Lord entered me to be one with me when I received the Holy Eucharist – another huge deal! I love the Lord overwhelming me.
In today's Gospel reading from John 3, John the Baptist said to his disciples, "I am not the Christ; I was sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease." So John regarded himself as the best man at the wedding. I guess we can take on the roll of flower girl or ring bearer. Rejoice!
The Holy Spirit is gentle, but can be overwhelming too. When he permeates you with his peace, you want to rest in it forever. When he fills your heart, he sets it aflame with his burning love. When his joy moves your spirit, its sweetness is irrepressable and you desire to be totally crushed by it. I love my Lord, the Holy Spirit.
If you think that the correct reason for believing in Jesus is that he is truly our God and Savior, you are right. I have not heard anyone say directly that he believes in Jesus because he wants to go to heaven. This is also a perfectly good reason. To want to go to heaven is not being self-centered, for heaven is exactly where our heavenly Father wants us to go, exactly why Jesus came to us to tell us in the first place. So, yearn for heaven and believe, and Jesus will take care of you.
In my early days, I lived for this life. My goal, like almost everyone else's, was to do something to make a lot of money to achieve security and have a lot of fun in this world. (Wouldn't it be nice to win the lottery?) As I grew older, I became wiser and less myopic. I now finally see that the only worthwhile goal is to serve God, the God of Christ. It doesn't sound very glamorous, but it will get you to heaven. After all, it's only where you'll end up that counts.
Back when I first accepted Christ into my life, it was like after hearing a good story, I found it to be exactly what I needed to hear and decided to believe in him, not particularly feeling the presence of God in any way. Fast forward to the present . . . I know Christ as my Lord and God so intimately that he is more real to me than anyone I see or know now in the world – it is most personal knowing. When you and God are in each other, God becomes as real to you as yourself. I enjoy and love it!
Friday, January 11, 2019
One obstacle in our spiritual life is that we cannot totally accept ourselves yet. This shows that you still have that ego in you. But if you have a pure heart that God cares about the most, you should rejoice and not dwell on your imperfections. It is what God thinks of you, not what you think of yourself, that matters!
I have heard people say that they don't worry and just leave everything up to God. Is this abandonment to God? True abandonment to God involves total detachment to all things, everyone else, and even yourself, so it goes a lot deeper. Since birth, each of us knows only our own self best. Therefore, transferring trust in yourself to trust in God would understandably be hard, but this is a fundamental, life-changing shift that will set you free to return to God in heaven! It is good to know that once you make that shift, God will make the rest of you way easy and a joy. Let's remember that in both Matthew 10 and 16, Jesus said, "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Time and space all belong to God. With God, time does not exist, for he is eternal. For us, you might say that we exist on earth briefly on borrowed time from God and if we remain obedient to him, we become eternal too after our earthly life ends. Basically, we do not own anything, but can be owned by God as his beloved sons and daughters. Then if we rebel against God, we get ourselves disowned by him in the end. It's all pretty straight forward.
I've been promoting my short pro-life video "Magnitude of Abortion" which I posted on Nov. 16, 2018, and came across the website www.jacksonvilleforlife.org. This is Jacksonville, Florida. If you look in the left column at the statistics on abortion, they are pretty horrifying. I feel that the God-fearing, more civilized, and law-abiding majority of this country have remained too quiet. Before they wake up, abortion has been legalized, same-sex marriage too, and now rich powerful corrupt public figures can literally get away with murder. We have plenty of them committing perjury, treason, violation of others' constitutional rights, etc. We need to get fired up and fight for God with all our trust placed in him. Or we'll have blood on our hands (not from fighting for God, but for not fighting for him) when we appear before him.
Jesus said to us, "Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." Do you believe that God want you to become a saint? I believe that you would answer yes because we can't imagine that God would ever say to any of us, "You are good enough for me; you don't need to be holier." So, you agree to become a saint. Now that you have the desire, do you think that the Lord would just leave you alone and let you struggle to be holy on your own? Of course not. He is now so joyful that he would do all the work to fulfill your desire to comply with his wish. You see, the path to saintliness is really straight and simple: you desire and surrender, and God does the work. And it's a beautiful, most satisfying journey. You feel the joy when you give your Lord joy.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Many Catholics wear these two sacramentals given to us by the Blessed Mother. In 1251, Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock, a Carmelite, in England. She handed him the brown woolen scapular and said, "This shall be a privilege for you and all Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall not suffer eternal fire." In time, the Church extended this privilege to all the laity who perpetually wear it. The Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel has promised not only to save those who wear the scapular from the fires of hell, but also to free them from purgatory on the Saturday after their death, should they go there before entering heaven. There are certain requirements to meet before wearing the scapular. You can find all about it online.
The Miraculous Medal was created in response to a request from the Blessed Virgin through St. Catherine Labouré in 1830 in Paris. The inscription on the medal reads: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." Mary promised to Catherine that those who wear it around their neck will receive great graces. Again, you can read all about it online. I have worn both the scapular and the medal for decades. The fact that I get to know the Lord so well today has to be one of those graces. The Church does not require us to believe in these sacramentals, but they both are silent prayers. Considering the benefits promised by the Blessed Mother, wearing them is a no-brainer.
This is a world filled with confusion. People follow all kinds of leads, express all kinds of opinions, not knowing where they are going. They are troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd – this was how Jesus described the crowds he saw in his days. Confusion is what Satan loves to sow in our hearts. Therefore, we need to wake up to let the God of Christ into our hearts. He is the exact guide and anchor we need amidst all the confusion. Know Christ and we'll know exactly where we should go and how we should proceed.
I got to church a little early this morning, so I sat in my parked car, looked at the parking lot and saw the trees, the cloudy sky, and noticed the bright sunlight behind the clouds. The Lord made me see that he was right there with me. Indeed, you do not have to reach hard for him, for he sees you, hears you, and knows everything in your heart. You can witness a miracle in an instant if he so wishes and you can communicate with him at any time too. He becomes instantly yours if you give yourself to him. And he can immediately touch your heart when you open your heart to him. He is remote only when you do not believe in him!
God is so merciful and loving that we can become instantly reconciled to him at any time during our entire lifetime on earth. Even though life is relatively short, every moment is a good moment for us to wake up, repent, and return to the Lord. Purgatory is absolutely necessary for purification of the soul before entering heaven. No matter how much or how many times you have sinned, repentance is the key to entering heaven – remember this! I know what I am talking about because I am old enough and have known the Lord well enough. He is more real and intimate to me than any person I see and know now. Know him, the truth, and you are set free. Amen.
Monday, January 7, 2019
Sunday, January 6, 2019
If you pray the Our Father and say, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," but do not forgive your trespassers in your heart, you are being hypocritical. If you pray the Our Father to ask him not to lead you into temptation, but have no qualms about going to see an impure movie, you are a hypocrite. Also, if you ask the Father to deliver you from all evil, but still harboring evil thoughts, you are being hypocritical. We must mean what we say and say what we mean.
Saturday, January 5, 2019
To pray for the soul of someone is to pray for the salvation of that person, which means that he or she will have to repent and be reconciled to God. When all souls turn away from evil and to God, we shall have peace on earth. Therefore, I see praying for all the souls as the most fundamental prayer to change the world and to please God. Modeled after St. Gertrude's Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, I have come up with this succinct prayer:
Eternal Father, I offer you the most precious blood of your Divine Son, Jesus, for the salvation of all the souls, both living and deceased.
Today there are a lot of gurus on the internet warning us about the impending and possibly the biggest economic collapse in the history of our nation. They may be right or they may be wrong, but many are preparing for it. I thought of the inevitable Second Coming of Christ at which many will no doubt receive the biggest shock of their existence, yet not many even think about it much. Are we so enamored with this world and this life?
In Mathew 19.29, today's Communion antiphon, Jesus said, "Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life." Here Jesus again revealed the truth, letting us choose freely to believe in him or not. Obviously, he said it out of love for us and not for his own gain. Here's our most selfless Lord.
In today's Gospel reading from John 1, Philip found Nathanael and told him that he had found the Messiah. He then took him to see Jesus. Nathanael believed when Jesus told him that he saw him under the fig tree even before Philip talked to him. I feel blessed that our Lord knows everything about us and me. Knowing that he watches over me, I've never felt so secure in my life.
Friday, January 4, 2019
The world is in chaos. The Church is in chaos. If Christians cannot see the light clearly themselves, how can we expect the secular world to see it? This is no time for complacency. In fact, it is time to repent our sins most urgently and surrender ourselves completely to God. Right now, our physical body prevents our soul from leaving this world. Once our soul is free, it'll either rise to heaven or descend into hell. After receiving Holy Communion today, I asked the Lord to wash me clean with his Most Precious Blood. Be ready during these last days for his imminent Second Coming. Don't ever give me the chance to say "I told you so"!
In John 6.51, today's Communion antiphon, Jesus said: I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. If the bread the Lord offered us at the Last Supper and at every Mass today were merely ordinary bread symbolizing his flesh, what he had said would have made no sense.
In the battle against Satan, it is a foregone conclusion that God will crush all evil in the end. For us, there will be either heaven or hell awaiting us. If we are smart, we shall ally with God right this moment. Fr. Mark Goring posted this relevant video today:
Thursday, January 3, 2019
There are people who do not wish to know or understand Christ and tell me that they are happy and feel peaceful the way they are. These are good people and I don't doubt them, but they do not know what the true joy and the deep peace one experiences after being saved by God are like yet. Wait until the moment they are dying and heading into the unknown. Would they still feel the same? I doubt it.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
For me, it is the Real Presence of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist that make you experience his dwelling within you. If ordinary bread and wine (or grape juice as used in some churches) are used to symbolize the body and blood of the Lord, you may still be moved or get uplifted, but I do not believe you can ever experience that great intimacy of union with God, as the Eucharist realizes and seals that union.
It is not good enough not to do anything evil. Often, with a dull or lethargic conscience, we become inactive in serving the Lord. Being lukewarm is most displeasing to God (Revelation 3.16). To wake up on your own is not always easy. This is why I advocate seeking union with God from the very beginning, for the Lord will keep you awake by turning your ordinary spiritual life into exuberant and exiting living.
Satan wants you to believe that Jesus is merely a good teacher, a good man, but not divine. Therefore, it is a grave transgression to believe and claim that Jesus is not God. (Applying this criterion, you can easily spot those religions, denominations, or sects that are false.)
In today's Gospel reading from John 1, John the Baptist testified to himself. He admitted that he was not the Christ, denied that he was a prophet, and said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as Isaiah the prophet said." We who follow Christ must also know who we are, what our role or calling is. It does not have to be specific, but we should at least know clearly that we are to serve God. In my own case, since 2010 the Lord has made it clear to me that he desires union with us through receiving him in the Holy Eucharist. I will devote myself to spreading this message as best I can for the remainder of my life.
God is both strict and lenient. He is strict because his words are truth and we must believe and obey them. He is lenient because he is love and will consider our circumstances and intention in each case and modify the rules, you might say, to be fair to us.
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Today January 1 is the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. We all need a perfect mother and that mother is the mother of our Lord whom he has give us to be our mother. When you feel drawn to this Mother, the Lord is drawing you to him. Being most holy and close to the her Son, sometimes I feel that Mary is the only intercessor I need. I love the mother of my Lord, our Mother.
Happy 2019 to all! Nowadays you can easily watch the New Year's celebrations around the world online. I sampled a few of them and would guess that Dubai had the most beautiful fireworks display. I wonder why people are so happy to welcome each New Year. Is it because they hope or believe that things will get better for them in the new year? Or is it because they see themselves getting a new start in life? Perhaps they are happy simply because New Year is new? The reason could be a mixture of all three or more. I can't help shifting my thoughts to Jesus, who is forever new to us. What I mean is that he can continuously teach us something new, make us anew, and give us fresh hope at all times. Besides, the happiness he gives is not anticipatory – we actually receive deep, sweet, refreshing joy in our heart that's soul-cleansing. That explains why once you've tasted the Lord, New Year is just not very exciting anymore.