In today's Gospel reading from John 8, Jesus also said to the Pharisees, "I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me." It is clear that we need the Lord to be with us for us to do his will. Seek to attain union with God and you'll have him with you forever.
"Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 8, Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do no belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins." To hear "you will die in your sins" from the Lord should send shudders down our spine. To avoid this ever happening to us, let us detach ourselves from the world and believe in him.
What holds us back from knowing the Lord is our stupid pride. You cannot know him well if you do not communicate with him openly from your heart! The way to know him fast is to share all your thoughts, your feelings, your problems, miseries, guilts, hangups, longings—you name it, from your heart, holding back nothing. Guess what: When you share everything in your heart with the Lord, he shares everything in his heart with you!
Whether you see the coronavirus as a chastisement or not, it is clear that it is a call to repentance. Do not miss this precious opportunity God has given us. A good Christian repents the moment he has sinned without delay. This simple act keeps his soul clean and readies him for death (to meet the Lord)! There is no other act more refreshing and exhilarating than repenting our sins from the heart to God, our Father, our creator, our judge, and our Savior. For you are made clean and fit for heaven!
Many have died from the current coronavirus. Should we feel sorry for them? If we truly trust in the Lord, we would feel sorry only for those who did not make heaven. After all, the Lord cares about our soul the most, and we should care foremost about how he feels. Feeling sad about someone who has died because you are going to miss that person is basically being self-centered. If you are quite sure that the soul is headed for heaven, you should rejoice instead! God knows exactly what he is doing and is always just, so we can confidently put ourselves entirely in his hands. Only his ways and his will matter.
Monday, March 30, 2020
Today's Gospel comes from John 8. It's about the woman caught in adultery. The scribes and the Pharisees brought her to Jesus. They said to him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?" They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus said to the, "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." In response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She replied, "No one, sir." Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more."
I've set in bold face the sayings of the Lord for us to remember. As sinners, we should not judge other sinners, and we should stop sinning to avoid being condemned by God.
Ezekiel 33.11, today's verse before the Gospel: "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord, but rather in his conversion, that he may live." It should be clear that the wicked will die forever, but if they convert, they will live forever! If you don't get this, then no one, not even God, can help you. For God wants to save you, but you'll have to let him convert you first.
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one. They form the most glorious Holy Trinity. When you have one of the three, you have them all. When you pray to any one of them, you pray to all of them. When you have fallen in love with any one of them, you are in love with all of them. When you praise God, you praise all of them. When God dwells in you, all three dwell in you. Now, get ready to hear this: We can join the union of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit by attaining union with God through the Holy Eucharist!
Sunday, March 29, 2020
I have four flowering shrubs planted on the roadside outside my house. The first three plants down the road have always looked healthier and grown larger, while the last one has always lagged behind in growth and looks not as alive. A couple of days ago to my surprise, while the three larger ones had shown some flower buds, the buds on the the small plant had all blossomed, showing the whole plant covered in beautiful red flowers. This is a case of "the last will be first, and the first will be last." It teaches me never to judge anyone.
Today's Gospel reading from John 11 is about the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, sent word to Jesus to say that Lazarus was ill. When Jesus heard this he said, "This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God." He remained for two days in the place where he was. Then he went with his disciples to Lazarus' village Bethany. He said to them, Lazarus has died. And I am glad for you that I was not there, that you may believe." When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise." He went to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha said to him, "Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days." Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?" So they took away the stone. And Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus ordered them to untie him and let him go.
The lesson here is that the Lord always knows what's going on and what to do. He is always right, we must believe.
In today's second reading from Romans 8, Paul writes, "If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit dwelling in you." When you are in union with the Lord, the Holy Spirit dwells within you. Imagine that this is the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead! With such a powerful Lord dwelling in you, you should be awed and never ever be afraid again!
Saturday, March 28, 2020
To me, not knowing God would make life completely meaningless—you don't know why you are here and where you are going. We just appear on earth, die, and become nothing? I always felt that emptiness before I found Christ. I believe that God has made us this way so that we might look for him. Putting my faith in Christ had turned out to be the breakthrough I needed to turn my life around. The Lord enlightened me and liberated me, and I felt completely fulfilled. And he has further filled me with the Holy Spirit to overflowing. Life has become more exciting and exhilarating than ever! Now that you know how the Lord has made us, don't miss the chance to make your life meaningful.
You've heard said that God loves you. What does that mean? Things still don't always go your way. Life is hard and bad things still happen to you. No one seems to care about you; you don't even get kisses or hugs. Let's pause and look at the situation. First of all, we are living in a most sinful world, including ourselves sinning continuously. It should be obvious that our brief existence on earth can never be perfect. To not be relieved from all the sufferings and hardships by God now does not mean that he does not love us. He had already come, suffered and died on the cross for us to be saved from sin. And if we believe in him, we'll have eternal life! If you still think that he does not love you enough, then you must have a very hard heart indeed.
Friday, March 27, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 7, Jesus went up to the feast of Tabernacles in Judea. He traveled not openly, for the Jews there were trying to kill him. When he started to teach openly in the temple area, they tried to arrest him. But no one laid a hand upon him because his hour had not yet come.
I am not leaving the world right now because I know that my hour is not here yet. The Lord has a plan for each one of us. It is good to know why we are still here and what he wants us to do. Otherwise, we are likely to waste much valuable time on earth. We reap later what we sow now on earth. Become one with the Lord so that you may know his plan for you.
I feel sorry for the world, for so many of its inhabitants live for themselves without any consideration for the welfare of their neighbors. They are marching away from the Lord, the truth, toward their own destruction. They are wasting away their time on earth. But God is merciful, and there will be more chastisements and warnings coming if they continue their ways. All the more we need to pray for the world.
We feel hurt emotionally or get upset because we remain uptight and take everything very personally. To cure this, we need to truly abandon ourselves in the Lord. Once we are totally in the Lord, we would only care about how he treats (loves) us and what he thinks of us, and are no longer bothered by what happens to or around us. Otherwise, we are simply being foolish to let all those things take away our peace.
Philippians 4 mentions the the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. This is the sweet endearing gift that you receive when you are totally obedient to the Lord. When you lose it, you know you have sinned against the Lord and feel awful. So this is the peace you would want to preserve in your heart at any cost. It's a treasure indeed.
Jesus is the perfect example for us to follow if you want to be perfect. His main purpose of coming into the world is to give us the good news of salvation, but he also wants to show us how to live to become holy and free. *Attain union with the Lord through the Holy Eucharist to make following him a breeze.
In Luke 9.62, Jesus said to anyone who wishes to follow him, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God." Here is the perfect rule to follow to make getting to heaven easier. We must attach ourselves to the Lord alone and nothing else. The past is gone forever. Wanting to get to heaven is precisely the ardent wish of our heavenly Father. If you know in your heart that you are going there, you will live a life in freedom.
I am posting Fr. Mark Goring's video of yesterday to reinforce what I have said:
Thursday, March 26, 2020
What? You do not know where God is? He is in heaven alright, but he is also everywhere and can even dwell within us when we attain union with him. No matter where he is, he is instantly accessible. Speak to him from your heart and he hears you. Open up your heart wide and you'll hear him. So start right now telling him that you love him!
At this time when so many in the world are suffering losses of various kinds, we need to be thankful for what we still have and not focus upon what we've lost. We shall all die and should never regard anything to be ours, including ourselves. If you already have Christ, you have everything! If you want even more, you don't have the Lord completely yet and you remain unhappy. Think about it, nothing can be yours except Christ. Rejoice! Rejoice!
God is always calling us. It's easier to hear and turn to him when times are bad. If you don't even hear him then, you probably won't ever turn to him. Those who hear and believe in him when times are good are the wise ones who are ready for whatever times coming they way.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
We are influenced by the world so much, as it's headed in the wrong direction. We think we can take care of ourselves and don't even think about God anymore. What I love about believing in Christ is that I know that he is the truth and as truth, he is absolutely trustworthy. So I know where I am headed. The majority of the people in the world may live perhaps a seemingly interesting life, but ultimately it's an empty one—much like many of the movies produced nowadays for our entertainment, which may be superficially interesting but ultimately aimless. Without knowing the truth, we know not what we do.
We all look down on any yes-yes-person. But when the angel Gabriel came to the virgin Mary to tell her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and she would conceive in her womb and bear a son who would be great and called the Son of the Most High, Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." In any case, if you always say yes to the Lord God, you'll be exalted by him and be great in his eye.
Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. I just followed Fr. Mark Goring celebrating Mass on YouTube and received spiritual Communion. His new video A Real Man today is good for all to watch. I am sharing it with you here.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
In the documentary on Issac Stern I've been watching, I caught him saying "If you know music, you learn how much you don't know and how much there's always to learn. Then you learn you can spend a whole life and not know everything." Let me contrast that to learning about God. With God, it's impossible to know everything about him, since he is infinite. But there is no need for us to know all about him. All we need is to believe that he is trustworthy and follow him, and we are saved and can get to heaven. If you really want to learn all about him, wait until after you get to heaven. Perhaps he will then tell you everything. But I bet you'll be so happy up there that you don't care about asking any questions anymore.
Issac Stern the famous violinist told young performers never to think about going out to the audience and reaching up to them, but to be yourself and bring the audience to you and encompass them with your playing with your arms. It got me thinking if Stern's advice is helpful to those of us who wish to know the Lord. I think so. We normally think that the Lord is way up there and struggle hard to reach him. But the right and sensible approach is to just be yourself and open, then the Lord will come to you for you to embrace him.
In today's Gospel reading from John 5, Jesus healed a man who had been ill for 38 years. He said to him, "Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you." Jesus knew that the man knew what sin was. In fact, we all have a conscience and know what sin is, except for anyone who has sinned so much that his conscience has become muddy. We battle our conscience all our lives, that's why we do not have inner peace. Here is the real game-hanger for you. Seek union with the Lord. Once you attain union, you no longer need to struggle with your conscience any more, for you are now in complete alignment with the Lord and enjoying inner peace.
Today's verse before the Gospel from Psalm 51: A clean heart create for me, O God; give me back the joy of your salvation. If you want to experience true joy in life, just let the Lord make your heart clean so that you'll know that you are saved. This is a unique joy that is sweet yet powerful and deeply touches the soul. It's a joy a worldly person cannot know.
Today's responsorial psalm consists of 6 verses from Psalm 46. Verses 2-3 read as follows: God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Therefore we fear not, though the earth be shaken and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea. This is the kind of faith we should have, no matter what hardship we go through. For we know that our God will be victorious in the end. He will come to judge all of us and straighten out everything and order will be restored. Sins will be wiped out and salvation of the righteous complete. That we experience all the horrible things now is just part of the process. Have faith always!
Monday, March 23, 2020
Today's Psalm reading comes from Psalm 30, a psalm of David. Verse 6 reads as follows: The LORD's anger lasts but a moment; a lifetime, his good will. At nightfall, weeping enters in, but with the dawn, rejoicing. This is how the Lord deals with us sinners. There is great mercy and compassion, and we should rejoice that we have such a loving, tolerant Lord. He is the one who can and wants to rescue us.
The Lord God loves us. He delights in us and wants us to be a joy to him. Can we live up to his expectations? Amazingly, we can, as nothing is impossible for the Lord. We only need to let him make us into what he wishes us to be and he will become our joy and we'll be delighted with ourselves as well.
If you do not know the Liord well and believe that something is true, you are never sure that you are right. But if you know the Lord so well that you become one with him, you'll know what is true without a doubt, for you already know the Lord who is the truth.
The coronavirus can teach us many things. It tests us to see if we are spiritually fit. It compels us to think about life. It asks us if we are ready to die. It gives us a break time to gain wisdom. As a wake-up call from the Lord, it is a blessing. Unfortunately, there are always those who go on partying as usual. Fortunately for them, it's not the Second Coming of the Lord yet. For at that time, when you hear about it, wake-up time will be no more. So I also see the coronavirus giving us an opportunity to rehearse what we should do in preparation for the Second-Coming.
My recurring bad dreams are always about losing my way on going somewhere to meet someone, forgetting to have carried something with me that's needed, or missing an appointment or some scheduled event. This morning I dreamed that my car was somewhere and I didn't know how to get it back. I believe that these dreams show that I was affected by losing, forgetting, or missing certain things in the past that were important to me. Then I thought of Jesus who is absolutely the most important person to me. That I never have any bad dreams about him is because I know both consciously and subconsciously that he and I will always be one so that it'd be impossible for me to lose, forget, or miss him! (By the way, all my past dreams about Jesus have been fantastically good.)
Sunday, March 22, 2020
This morning I walked outside my house down a road which was on my property and back. It took 20 minutes to do the round trip 3 times, just the amount of time I needed to pray the Rosary. It was a beautiful spring day, hard to believe that the world is in such a sinful state and people are dying all around the globe from this coronavirus. I did see clearly that Jesus is our end. We were all created through him and will end with him. There is nothing beyond him. I rejoiced that I was going to him in whom I should find eternal rest. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. (Today's response from Psalm 23.)
In today's first reading from 1 Samuel 16, the Lord God sent Samuel to Jesse of Bethlehem to choose his king among the sons of Jesse. He told Samuel not to judge from the appearance, for man sees the appearance but God looks into the heart. Let's remember this. Make letting God create a clean heart in us our first order of business. This will not only please God greatly, but also make us feel great.
For those who do not get to attend Sunday Mass because of the coronavirus, you can always follow one on YouTube. EWTN televises Mass daily from a chapel. I followed Fr. Mark Goring this morning from my home. He offered Spiritual Communion to all who watched him. Pretty cool. Most likely, he'll be offering Sunday Mass for a while. You can also perform the Act of Spiritual Communion on your own. Here is the prayer from EWTN you can use.
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
Saturday, March 21, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 18, Jesus said, "Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted." Our world is in trouble because most people exalt and very few humble themselves. The ratio between these two numbers indicates how godless the world is. As we ask the Lord to have mercy on us, let us ask him to help us humble ourselves too. Clearly, the proud need mercy, but the humble receive it.
Many people are dying from the coronavirus and other bad things too. From the human point of point, we feel sorry for them. But God's thoughts are not our thoughts. For example, we are saddened to hear that someone young has died in a car crash and, on the other hand, comforted to hear that one has died peacefully in sleep. And as for someone who has died very quickly, we may not feel too badly because we figure that the person probably did not suffer any pain for long. Well, the young person who died in the tragic car accident could have gone straight to heaven and the one who passed away in his sleep who didn't get a chance to make a last confession could have landed in hell. So, how long we live and how we die are not for us to understand. We need to trust in God who alone knows life as well as death.
Friday, March 20, 2020
The coronavirus has totally interrupted our way of life and perhaps changed our outlook on life too. I believe that many of us now realize how brief and fragile our existence is on earth and that there has to be more to it than just surviving some calamity we face. What if the world is ending now, how would you react? I say let's secure our eternal life in Christ right now and we'll see all things in a new light and feel good about it.
Yesterday I posted about not to pay attention to what anyone thinks about you. I'd like to elaborate on that a little bit. This advice basically tells you that you should care only about what God thinks about you. For what God thinks is always true, whereas what anyone else thinks about you may be false and you shouldn't let a lie rob you of your inner peace. The only exception is when you are bad and someone points that out. Then you can consider that to be a blessing and go before the Lord to ask him to correct you. We are to respond to God alone always.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
I went on the Divine Mercy website (thedivinemercy.org) and came across this post of March 17, just two days ago. It's titled "Make Your Life as Clear as Crystal." These words came from a Sr. Faustina's confessor who spoke to her. I'll just quote directly from Sr. Faustina's Diary to show you what he said.
Sister, God is preparing many special graces for you, but try to make your life as clear as crystal before the Lord, paying no attention to what anyone else thinks about you. Let God suffice you; He alone.
Good for us to meditate upon these words: "Make your life as clear as crystal." "Pay no attention to what anyone else thinks about you." "Let God suffice you; He alone." [I highly recommend that you read St. Faustina's Diary on the Divine Mercy of Christ.]
Repentance is the key to salvation. If we do not ever wish to repent, we are on the path to committing suicide, to be blunt but realistic about it. Suicide is a one-way journey, irreversible. I suggest that you latch onto our only Savior and Hope, Christ the Lord, and you'll never have to worry about anything that matters anymore. Honest truth!
In both Mark 8 and Matthew 16, Jesus asked, "What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?" At this time, it is appropriate to ask "What profit is there for us to conquer the coronavirus but still not repent of our sins?"
We shall all die and now many of us could catch the coronavirus and die. We are truly in God's hands. The question is if your are ready to die right now. Is your soul clean enough? This is the key question. All the governments are doing all they can to protect their people, but if we remain unrepentant and continue our ways, worse calamities surely will follow! I see countries suppressing Christians and other minorities, our own Church in confusion and division, and abortion legalized in this country since 1972! God has been extremely patient with us. Are we so stupid as to continue pushing our luck? Christ has warned us to remain awake and be alert always, and we've had the chance to learn to do that for 2,000 years. Shame on us! It only takes a change of heart to turn things around. Be cleansed of your sins and ready for dying with joy, for our Lord awaits those who repent and follow him.
We love to think independently in all areas of our lives. Even now, there are those who ignore the official coronavirus warnings, doing what they want to do and putting others at risk. It's all about "me." But we'll never be free if we do not follow God. The first thing we need to do is to submit ourselves to God totally, then we'll be free to do whatever we want to do and still do the right thing. It's plain common sense that we need God's guidance. You cannot set yourself free, period.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
I am posting this CBN video to show you why God has allowed such things as the current coronavirus to happen. I know I'll be mocked by the atheists too. No matter, I pity them who have no faith in God. They can laugh all they want now, but if they don't change, they'll be crying and wailing later.
This is my most urgent plea. We do not know when Jesus will come again. Nor do we always know when God is going to chastise us for straying away from him. The threat of the coronavirus is real, but hell is infinitely worse and I pray that no one will ever go there. Since God is infinitely merciful, it is never too late to repent of your sins as long as you are still alive and capable of thinking clearly. Chastisement or no chastisement, repentance is in order to keep the soul safe to show how grateful we are for the love and mercy of our Father. May we all return to him to live forever with him!
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
To be ready to meet the Lord, we must not attach ourselves to the world so that when the time comes to have to give all things up, we'll be happy to let them go. Let us train ourselves for that day. Time can run out quickly. While you may still have a lot of unfinished businesses to deal with, don't ever let them tie you down. If you still drag your feet about detaching yourself from this world, you are not ready to meet the Lord yet.
Fifty teams of epidemic experts including those from universities across the world have predicted that in the worst-case scenario, the coronavirus death toll in the US could hit 1.7 million. The Lord God definitely wants us to wake up from our sinful state. We must ask ourselves if we are ready to die. If not, then why? I heard that some elderly people still go out everyday to have a good time, figuring that they are going to die anyway. Such foolish thinking! If you are attached to Christ only, you should be ready to die. Clinging to the world is like staying with a sinking ship. In this case, you are most likely to sink before the ship completely sinks.
So far, thousands of people around the world, including less than 100 in the US, have died from the coronavirus virus, and people are scared and starting to predict the worst that might happen. They are oblivious of the fact that worldwide, about 154,000 unborn children loose their lives daily each day! Might the coronavirus be God's warning to us for our committing this horrendous sin? Now my country is doing its best to stop this virus and protect the economy. I feel it's more important to stop the virus and protect the life of the unborn and raise all moral standards. Otherwise, something worse than the coronavirus will surely happen to mankind again.
Monday, March 16, 2020
I heard someone say that he just couldn't be holier and wouldn't mind going through purgatory first. This attitude is worrisome to me, for it amounts to saying that God cannot make one holy. If you don't aim high, you may not even make purgatory! So, believe that God can make you holy with your permission. Aim high and you'll be assured of getting into purgatory or even getting into heaven without going through purgatory altogether!
As this virus is now pandemic, the message from God is loud and clear. It is that we need to turn to him to repent of our sins. It just seems most difficult for most people to deal with their own sins. In the worst cases, they are not even aware that they are offending the Lord. As the Second Coming of Christ approaches, we seem to be falling away from God even further. Here is a calling for those who do believe in the Lord to double or triple their effort in praying for all falling sinners.
To fight evil, we normally go after and actively attack it in whatever ways we can. But there is the superior way. It is that we go before God, confess our sins, ask him to make us clean, and then beg him to crush the evil. If every one of us does this, there won't be any evil around. To be realistic, we still need to actively fight evil at this point in time, but we must let the Lord make us holy first so that we may rely upon him to crush all evil.
Sunday, March 15, 2020
We can love many things or persons in the world. We may love music, stamp collecting, traveling, fine food, our pets, or someone who attracts us. Such love are in general self-centered and can enslave us, so they are really not pure. Then we can love God. Is this love different? I believe so. You see, God is already unconditionally loving us. When we love (or more correctly, fall in love with) him, we are set free by his love. We are not self-centered because we can't help wanting to please him only. Love for God is the purest love we may possess, for it is in fact his pure love that makes us love him.
Since I did not go to Mass, I read today's Gospel reading John 4.5-42 at home. It's all about Jesus asking a Samaritan woman to give him a drink at Jacob's well. I have heard this reading many times before. Today, as I read it myself, I was astounded by the many things Jesus said. Now, if you do not see him as the Messiah, you would be confused like the Samaritan woman was at first. Today I saw him as the Lord and was amazed by the amount of truth he reveals to us. I do encourage you to read these 38 verses yourself to let him speak to your heart.
Suppose you live in a beautiful place in a most comfortable house with a most beautiful view. Let's even say that the weather is always perfect. And you have no problem whatsoever financially and can enjoy anything you wish. And you have perfect health always as well. Everyone loves you and thinks highly of you with no one ever giving you any trouble. Then you die and become nothing. Would you say that you have lived a meaningful life? If yes, where's the meaning? Let's now look at a case at the other extreme. You born poor and lived all you life in a miserable condition. People look down on you and treat you badly. And you are always sick and suffer pains all your life and you wish to die. You do die and become nothing. All that suffering for what? Is your life now meaningful? For most of us, we lead a life between these two extremes. So what is a meaningful life we can realistically live?
For us, life becomes meaningful only if we see a higher purpose and know that we'll have a better life after death. The reality is that all things beautiful on earth are earthbound, evil is real, and suffering unavoidable. God is the eternal reality and wants in fact to deliver us from this world that imprisons us. Life on earth is a test. If we believe in Christ, we shall pass this test and head toward eternal life. So we can live right and make our life completely meaningful, as we enter the most beautiful final part of our existence.
Two days ago Friday, the bishop of my diocese finally granted a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday for all members of the Catholic Faithful. It's sad not to go to Mass. Although I could still go, but being in the high risk group, I didn't want to take the risk and end up affecting all my family members. I just watched a video on the city of Nanjing in China which claims that the number of cases of coronavirus infection there has dropped to zero. The control is strict and thorough alright, but it seems to me that what has helped the most is not letting people get close to each other. So, what can we do if we stay home on Sunday? I urge you to listen to Fr. Mark Goring on this video which came out yesterday.
Saturday, March 14, 2020
I just watched a very good podcast. The speaker made it clear for all Christians that this is the time to go all out to battle evil for God. In the first half of the talk, he brought up various things for us to follow. I'll just mention a few. (1) First of all, be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect, as Jesus had commanded. (2) We must deny ourselves and take up our cross to follow Christ. (3) Do not presume that you are going to heaven. (4) You must have faith and also works. (5) Do not remain complacent. These are all good things to remember, but if you try to follow them all, it may not be easy. That's why you should gain access to the power that can help you accomplish all these and more first. This is done by attaining union with God! When you are one with the Lord, you'll automatically do these things without thinking about them. Besides, you would know that the Lord is taking you with him to heaven!
Today's Gospel reading from Luke 15 is the best-known parable of the lost son. We learn that sin saddens our Father greatly, but admitting to him that we have sinned cheers him up greatly, so much so that the whole heaven rejoices. That a simple choice by us can affect God so much only shows how much he cares for us. We need to decide whether we continue sinning or repent.
God will be our final judge, casting all evildoers into hell in the end. How should we approach him? All we need to do is to trust in his mercy, for he wishes to pardon us and delights in his clemency. If we would just follow the Lord in full confidence, there's really not a thing to worry about.
I've always been attracted to the Carmelites and their spirituality, St Thérèse of Lisieux being my favorite saint. I thought that visiting Mt. Carmel in Israel would be an exciting adventure, then I realized that I could enjoy the Lord every moment anywhere. It's experiencing the Lord, not anything that's associated with him, that should be central to us.
Friday, March 13, 2020
By definition, a soulmate is a person with whom one has a strong affinity, shared values and tastes. Obviously, when you are God become one, you become soulmates. But wait, this is no ordinary relationship, for God happens to be your creator and truly knows all about your soul. So that makes him the most extraordinary and fantastic soulmate you can ever have!
It's so great to be one with the Lord. Of course, it goes without saying that the Lord and you are now completely open to each other, with you in him and him in you. You pray to him, but you are really speaking to him right within your heart and soul. And you know that you are absolutely safe in him. Praise be to him, your most beloved!
Outside of China, Italy has been most affected by the coronavirus. The current lockdown has made Rome look like an abandoned city. During this Lenten season, I feel that the Lord is calling all Church leaders, beginning with the Holy Father, to publicly renounce their sins to inspire the whole Church to follow suit. If they can humble themselves like this, the Lord shall surely bless them and the whole Church abundantly. This is the way to avoid divine chastisement. For reinforcement, watch Fr. Goring's new video "Pachamama & Coronavirus" below.
I have stopped attending daily Mass for the time being, as coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the county I live in. This morning at home, as I was gazing upon an image of my Lord being baptized by John the Baptist, I saw so clearly that Christ is the life. In John 14.6, Jesus did say (to Thomas) "I am the way and the truth and the life." Indeed, the world without him is dying, but those who possess him have and will have life eternal without a shadow of a doubt!
Thursday, March 12, 2020
Also from the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man, suffering torment in hell, begs Abraham to send Lazarus to his father's house where his five brothers lives to warn them, lest they too end up in the place of torment. But Abraham replies, "The have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them." He says, "Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent." Then Abraham says, "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead." Now, consider us. Jesus, the Son of God, the Lord himself, greater than Moses and all the prophets, had come, and many of us still do not listen to him! What is going to happen to them? I can only pray for them and leave the answer to God.
Today's Gospel reading is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus from Luke 16. As you know, the rich man dresses in purple garments and fine linen and dines sumptuously each day. And lying at his door is Lazarus, the poor man, covered with sores, who would gladly eat the scraps that fall from the rich man's table. When the poor man dies, he is carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also dies and is sent to the netherworld where he suffers torment in flames. Between him and Lazarus, a great chasm exists to prevent anyone from crossing to the other side. At this critical time when the world is fighting to rein in the coronavirus, it is good to be reminded that after we die, we'll end up in either heaven or hell. As long as we are sure that we are headed for heaven, we can remain in peace.
Excerpts from Jeremiah 17, today's first reading: Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD. The man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD, is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: it fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. I, the LORD, alone probe the mind and test the heart, to reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds. Therefore, trust only in God, not in other human beings or even yourself, for only he is trustworthy. Also, God will be the one to reward (or punish) us, for only he knows our minds and hearts.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
From today's Gospel reading from Matthew 20, Jesus said to his disciples, "The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." The Lord knew his mission and had no fear of death. What then is our mission? Well, clearly we are to serve the Lord God without fear of losing our lives. This is good to know as we are facing the threat of possibly losing our lives to the coronavirus.
Whether we face any crisis such as the coronavirus or not, we should always turn to the Lord, repent of our sins, and put ourselves in his hands. Those who choose to live only for themselves are doomed. There will be no reward from God after they die. What fools they must be to choose this life which will be over in the blink of an eye over all eternity.
Yesterday I posted "Reacting to the Coronavirus." Today Fr. Goring's video "New York Needs to Repent" echos my thoughts. It's time to turn to God and repent, more urgent than ever. To ignore God is heading toward eternal death. Only the Lord of Christ can lead us to eternal life.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew, Jesus said to the crowds and the disciples, "Do not be called 'Rabbi.' You have but one teacher. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called 'Master'; you have but one master, the Christ." This tells me that God is our most important teacher, father, and master. And we must learn from him first, obey him first, and go to him for help first.
Is the spread of the coronavirus a chastisement from God? Maybe, considering how rebellious our generation has been against him. I do believe that God is always trying to get our attention to turn to him and to follow him. If we continue ignoring him, we give him no choice but to shake us a bit to wake us up. If we would all realize our sins, get on our knees, repent, and beg for his mercy, he will surely wipe out this terrible virus instead of letting it wipe us out. Rebellion against God cuts off his mercy; only repentance can open up the way to receiving it again.
Monday, March 9, 2020
A great video from Fr. Goring to watch, as many are worried about the coronavirus. In Matthew 8, Jesus and his disciples were in a boat and Jesus fell asleep. A violent storm came up suddenly so that the boat was being swamped by waves. The disciples got scared. They went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" He said to them, "Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?" Then he got up, rebuke the wind and the sea, and there was great calm. Let's not ever hear the Lord say to us, "O you of little faith." We are to wield our faith always!
Today's Gospel reading came from Luke 6. In the first verse, Jesus said to his disciples, "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." This set the tone for what's to follow. He wanted them to stop judging, stop condemning, forgive, and give. It is a high calling for all of us. Whatever the Lord asks of us is possible if we are with him, for nothing is impossible for him.
Today's Response to Psalm 79: Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins. Indeed, if the Lord marks iniquities, who can stand? (Psalm 130.3.) Fortunately, the Lord will deal with us according to his mercy, for he is merciful. Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect, says the Lord. Surely, if we can be as merciful as our heavenly Father is, we are on our way to becoming perfect.
This morning I went to Mass. I had an utmost urgent petition on my heart, so I begged the Lord hard to hear me. Then I heard the Lord's calm voice from within my heart, letting me know that he already knew my burden and I only needed to trust in him and it'd be done. I instantly calmed down. Yes, trust in the the Lord and it's done—what an easy way to get things accomplished!
Sunday, March 8, 2020
God to many can be someone or something quite vague and remote. But I believe that as humans, we won't be satisfied until we have a God we can get to know most personally as our best friend or even soulmate. *And we have the God of Christ who fits the bill perfectly. He is actually the one we all search for secretly, whether you realize it or not. If your god is vague, remote, impersonal, or unsatisfying, simply switch over to Jesus Christ and you'll receive eternal life to boot. I am not kidding!
We should get to know the Lord well and come to realize that he is all we need to attach ourselves to. Then we'll be able to detached ourselves from everything and everyone else, even from ourselves, and become free. Normally, we think of everything as those things of the world that give us pleasure, then the Lord made me see that it should also include things that give us pain too. We don't like to suffer, but if we can detach ourselves from all pains, then suffering won't upset us anymore. Yes, the Lord can liberate us from all burdens!
Saturday, March 7, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus said to his disciples: "You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you." The Lord always raises the bar to want us to be perfect. And we should feel good that he regards us to be good enough to be made holy by him!
I posted sometime last year about my injured left shoulder which had been troubling me for almost two years. Whenever I moved my left arm around, especially when I tried to lift it above the shoulder height, I felt a sharp pain. Various exercises, massage, heat treatment, etc., didn't help. If I were to remain like that for the rest of my life, I suppose I could handle it. But if my right shoulder goes bad, it would even make things such as getting up from the bed difficult. I blogged about this, saying that this might be my thorn of the flesh.
Encouraged by how Jesus wanted us to persist in our prayer, I started to pray that the Lord would heal me. Of course, my most urgent prayers are to ask the Lord to crush evil and save all souls, stop abortion, restore and purify the Church, protect this nation from all evil, and draw all to him. So I tack on the prayer to heal my shoulder at the very end. Now, the Lord could heal me instantly, help me heal naturally, or surprise me in some unexpected way. And he chose the last.
Late last year I cam across a YouTube video on the exercises that can help you heal the shoulder. I did not think that I would learn anything new, for I knew and had tried most of these exercises. I watched it anyway, as it's a short video. Then the two presenters in passing mentioned a book they said was very good. It's titled Shoulder Pain? The Solution & Prevention, written by Dr. John M. Kirsch, an orthopedic Surgeon. I got curious and bought a copy on Amazon. What's amazing is that Dr. Kirsch has discovered one simple exercise that pretty much cures all shoulder problems. In fact, many people who had been scheduled for shoulder surgery got well after doing his exercise in a relatively short period of time.
The exercise is called dead-hanging—you grab onto an overhead bar, with palms facing away from you, and hang yourself from it. This lets your body weight stretch your shoulder joints. Apparently, this enlarges all the spaces between the various bones of the shoulder, eliminating all causes of pain. I built a structure using the scrap wood I had to support a metal bar I also had. With one good shoulder, it took me several weeks and some help from my son and grandson to get it done. So far I have performed the exercise for five weeks, hanging twice a day. I can tell you that the pain is almost all gone, and I know that if I keep doing it, my shoulder will be totally well. Dead-hanging makes the whole upper body feel free and loose. The lesson, have faith in God and he will answer your prayer.
Friday, March 6, 2020
When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you can't help thinking about and wanting to talk about the Lord at all times. You long for him and are eager to bare your heart to him and hear his voice within it. He becomes real, more relevant and exciting than anyone or anything in the world. Only he now matter to you. I can go on and on. To sum up in one sentence: God and you now exist in complete harmony as one!
When we see our personal doctor, we allow him or her to examine every part of our body so that we may get our health back. Shouldn't we allow the Lord to examine our mind, our heart, our conscience, and our soul so that we may become spiritually healthy? Isn't the soul infinitely more important than the body? Right answers: yes and yes.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus said to his disciples: "I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven." So there he set a minimum standard. In fact, he went on to tell the disciples not to follow what they had heard was said, but to listen to what he tells them. The smart move is to never mind the scribes and Pharisees and what anyone else had said, but to go straight to the Lord and listen to him alone. We make heaven not because we not holy enough; we make it because we follow the Lord.
Today's entrance antiphon from Psalm 25 contains the verse Look upon my affliction and suffering; take away all my sins. We are sinners and need God to take away our sins. Today's response from Psalm 130: If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand? If God pronounces you guilty, you are dead guilty. Then the Communion antiphon from Ezekiel 33.11: As I live, says the Lord, I do not desire the death of the sinner, but rather that he turn back and live. God wants us to live. These three truths compel us to to turn to the Lord to ask him to save us.
Thursday, March 5, 2020
I watched a British TV show, The Repair Shop. People brought old and broken objects such as pieces of furniture, stuffed dolls and animals, music boxes, toys, vases, clocks, paintings, etc. to the shop to be repaired or restored. The repair-crew were all amazing craftspersons. The owners wanted their things brought back to life because they were mostly heirlooms which they wanted to remember their ancestors by and pass onto their own descendants; and they had happy memories associated with the respective objects they owned. So when they came back and saw the object all restored, they were all so exited and happy. In some cases, they were moved to tears. I felt happy for them too, but I couldn't help also feeling sorry for them, for with such attachment to these material things and the past, they wouldn't be free to leave this world when the time comes.
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. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." So you can confidently go direct to the Lord to seek or ask for whatever you need. It doesn't matter whether you are a sinner or a saint (although I do have the feeling that the sinner would get the bigger welcome). Our Lord is pure love, totally accessible, and eagerly wishes to be one with us. He created the universe, keeps us alive, and gave us his only Son so that we might have eternal life, surely he can and would want the best for us. Time to run toward him at full speed.
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Trying to make spiritual progress without accessing the Lord God is like trying to lift yourself up by pulling on your bootstraps—it won't work! This is not a new message; I am giving it again only because I saw people again praying that they might become more patient, more sensitive to others' needs, more obedient to God, etc. . . . all centered upon themselves. It should be obvious that the effective way to getting results is to go straight to the Lord, telling him all that you desire and asking him to take over to help you succeed. And you'd be surprised by how easily he can fulfill all these good desires of yours.
Today's Gospel reading came from Luke 11. Jesus said to the people that their generation was an evil generation, for it sought a sign, but no sign would be given it. Our generation today is the same. Many of us do not believe in the Lord unless they personally witness a sign. If you have a hardened heart, do not even acknowledge that you are a sinner, and still expect the Almighty God to do some wonder so that you might believe, you have to be out of your mind! Don't you see that Jesus has been our greatest sign for the past 2,000 years? If you don't see that, no other sign will do you any good. Be humble and know your place before the Lord first and desire to know him, then you'll have made the right start.
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
To hear the Lord speaking to us, we need also to go limp so as not to offer any resistance. To go limp is to open up ourselves to God completely, to abandon ourselves in him totally. It's letting the Lord take over, do whatever pleases him the most with us. This is the ideal perfect state for us to be in, with us "vanishing" in him and all set to spend eternity in heaven.
God reads our hearts and minds. We may not succeed in doing something good, but if our intention is good, God values that. We try to imitate the Lord to become like him. Of course, we'll never be as perfect as he is, but he would still appreciate our intention. Always have good intentions and do your best, and the Lord will not blame you.
Abandoning yourself to God is like trying to get up in the morning. We all want to sleep or relax some more in our comfortable bed. To get up requires making an effort. But once you are up and see what a beautiful day it is out there, you are glad that you are up. Not to deal with God may make you feel guilty, but it's a "comfort" you enjoy after all. So to abandon yourself to God would require a great deal of effort on your part. But once you've done it, you would never want to go back again, for you feel and know that you've been liberated. The truth is that as long as we play God even for a tiny bit, we are not free. Let God be God and we are finally set completely free.
Monday, March 2, 2020
When you attain union with God, you no longer fear death, for (1) God is so real that you know the eternal life he promised is real, (2) you are so in love with him that you long to see him in person, (3) experiencing the freedom in the Lord, you become detached to all things of the world, (4) you already possess the Lord and lack nothing anymore.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 25, Jesus talks about The Judgment of the Nations at his Second Coming. Two things are made clear. (1) The Lord will separate all, one from another, into just two groups. There will be (a) the righteous blessed by the Father to inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world and (b) the accursed to be sent off to eternal punishment prepared for the Devil and his angles. (2) It is the presence or absence of love in our heart that determines if we'll be blessed or accursed. To make sure that we would be considered righteous by the Lord, love all others not on our own, but for his sake alone.
Know that God wants to reward you in your next life. That can only mean one thing: he wants you to have eternal life! But if he only wants to reward you in this life, that would be horrible news, for it can only mean that you will lose your life forever after death. My advice is that you seek to attain union with him now. Then not only you will have eternal life guaranteed, you'll also receive the best possible reward you can have on earth, the joy of knowing God as your soulmate!
Sunday, March 1, 2020
If you have not surrendered yourself to the Lord completely yet and ask him to help you grow spiritually, he won't be able to accomplish what you ask for freely. Surrender and get yourself out of his way before asking him for help, then you'll make rapid progress. (In theory, you can become a saint instantly.)
Communion experience. I receive the Lord and know without a doubt that my soul is now safe. This is no magic. It is based upon his ironclad promise that whoever believes in him and eats his flesh and drinks his blood will have eternal life. (John 3.16 & John 6.54.)