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

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 up 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

        This powerful video was voted the Best Short Film at the 1970 International Catholic Film Festival.

***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. VoilĂ , 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. 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.