In today's 1st reading from 1 Corinthians 2, Paul wrote, "I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God." We are to be completely genuine, to be ourselves relying upon God alone, and to be filled with his spirit and power. This is how we should live so that the world will see the Lord and not us.
Monday, August 31, 2020
There have been many mentions of "the illumination of conscience" and "the three days of darkness" lately. Both have been prophesied by various mystics, saints, and visionaries. Here is a video about the three days of darkness as revealed to Luz de Maria, a seer and stigmatist living today. Padre Pio wrote about the three day of darkness in 1950. I chose this video because you can also hear, beginning at 8:10, what Padre Pio said about it in 1959. All the revelations share similar details. It's good that we know about it so we can prepare for it. To learn about the illumination of conscience, you can read Christine Watkins' best selling book The Warning. I personally believe that this will happen first, perhaps anytime now, followed by the three days of darkness. The bottom line is that if you remain faithful in a state of grace, even if it'll be very scary to many, you won't need to worry about it, as the Lord will be with you. To read more about the three days of darkness, you can click here.
In Sr. Deirdre Byrne's powerful pro-life speech which I posted yesterday, I'll always remember that she said she's not just pro-life, she's also pro-eternal-life. I'd say that if you truly love someone, you would want that person to have eternal life. Otherwise, you don't truly love that person. If you don't care about you own salvation, then you don't really love God nor yourself either. Coming down to us from heaven, Jesus' whole mission was to save all of us, and this is also the mission he gave us before he ascended into heaven. We can't claim that we are disciples of Christ if our primary mission in life is not saving souls?
It's not good enough just to recite some written prayers without much heart. The Lord wants to hear your own thoughts from your very own heart. We need to get down on knees or prostrate before him and cry out from our very soul, then he will hear us and grant us what we request from him. The is the power of faith, the power of trust, and the power of obedience to his will.
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Because we humans are rebelling against the Lord, God's will is not being done. But this is only temporary, as there will be final judgement and all order will be restored. Then God's will will be done. It is obvious that the Lord will be totally triumphant in the end. So for Christians, the best is yet to come. All our trials and tribulations will pass; we are being tested and refined for our brightest future. So don't ever get disheartened.
In these dark days with senseless violence, burning, looting, and killing going on in the streets daily in this country, evil has become totally unhinged. So what are we to do but praying to the Lord for mercy? In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 16, Jesus began to show to his disciples that he himself must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Are we who follow him going through our ordeals now? Jesus then told his disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save this life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." This is what we need to know. He continued on, "The Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct." This is the hope we need to hear. Meanwhile, let us pray with all our heart that the Lord will crush all evil and save all souls.
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Matthew 5.10, today's Gospel acclamation: Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. To me, when God blesses you, he is going to reward you. And the greatest possible reward has to be eternal life with God in heaven. So I go straight to the Lord to secure that by believing in him, keeping his word, and receiving the Holy Eucharist (my triple guarantee) and I get blessed to the max!
Today is the Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist. In the first reading from 1 Corinthians 1, Paul wrote, "Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God." So, brothers and sisters, if you want Satan to notice you, just think that you are somebody. But if you only wish God to notice you, then become nothing. We have a clear choice here.
People feel sad when they hear that someone young in their 20s, 30s, or even 40s, has passed away because they feel that the deceased is going to miss the many good things of life. But this is how we see it, not how God sees it. If we are quite sure that the soul of the deceased has gone to heaven, we should indeed rejoice. But if we are not sure, knowing that God is absolutely fair and just, then there is nothing for us to be concerned about. We can always pray for the soul in case it has entered purgatory. Now, if we are quite sure that a soul has gone to hell, then we can feel sad, again more for the loss to the Lord than for the deceased. Not knowing what happens to the soul and feeling sad only reflects our own attachment to the world. With God, we become attached to him alone and see true reality.
Friday, August 28, 2020
Today's Gospel reading from Matthew tells the parable of the ten virgins. The five foolish ones who were not prepared for the bridegroom's arrival didn't make it to the wedding feast on time. When they knocked on the locked door and said, "Lord, Lord, open the door for us!" he replied, "Amen, I say to you, I do not know you." So every day we put off accepting the Lord, we risk being locked out of the Kingdom of heaven. This is true whether he comes in your lifetime or after you die. You have only yourself to blame for your banishment.
Luke 21.36, today's alleluia verse: Be vigilant at all times and pray that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man, says the Lord. The day to stand before the Lord will come for each of us. I cannot think of a better way to prepare for that day than achieving union with him now on earth. You become one with him every moment of this life, abandoning yourself to him completely, and are ready to accept whatever he wishes to do with you with joy. Yes, you might say you beat the Lord to it, but I have no doubt that he'd be pleased that you are being astute spiritually.
Today is the Memorial of St. Augustine. In the first reading from 1 Corinthians 1, Paul wrote, "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." You see, people want to see God perform miracles so that they might believe, but fail to see his great invisible power that can save them from perishment if they would believe in him. It is their self-centeredness that has blinded them, expecting God to submit to them and not the other way around. The foolish will perish, while the humble will live on.
Thursday, August 27, 2020
Today is the Memorial of St. Monica. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 24, Jesus said to his disciples, "Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. So you must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come." Once we realize this, the best way for us to be prepared is to focus only upon serving Christ from now on. There is no other way.
When I first accepted Christ as my Savior, he was not that real to me, for I did not experience his presence. Only once in a while, I sensed his presence for a brief moment. Others with a much greater faith impressed me. Then later after I got baptized in the Holy Spirit in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement, I was a changed person—Christ and the Holy Spirit became real to me. Now, finally, the Lord is more real to me than anyone else, for when he speaks to me in my heart, all doubts vanish. This is how faith comes about. Know the Lord and let him make your faith great. This is why I advocate seeking union with God through the Holy Eucharist to make all the difference to your faith.
The Hubble telescope in space has been taking photos of the universe for 30 years. The images are truly amazing. Of course, since the universe is so immense, the images captured could be billions of years old already. Seeing these images willingly makes me want to surrender myself to the Lord who created the whole universe. I wouldn't be surprised that the universe is infinite, for God is infinite. There are numerous videos showing such images. I have chosen a fairly recent short one for you to watch.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
There are numerous beautiful spiritual writings, sayings, and prayers you can read, but if your heart is not involved, reading them would all be in vain. To enjoy the Lord, turn you heart directly to him, for his beauty is beyond words. Gazing at or meditating upon the Lord with all your heart is so much more satisfying and rewarding than reading someone else's beautiful words about him. Your own open heart is the key to union with God.
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 23, Jesus said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean." To cleanse our inside, we need the Lord, for only he can cleanse my heart and soul. If our inside is clean, our outside will be clean too. Hypocrites are to be pitied, for they don't realize that they cannot fool God nor us. Today's hypocritical politicians can be easily spotted. They are self-deceiving fools.
Early this morning I had a horrible, vivid dream. I am traveling with my younger son. We fly for some 17 hours to a remote foreign destination. When it's time for us to return home, we go to the city center to look for the place to get transportation to take us to the airport, but we have trouble finding it. We walk and look and somehow get separated. And I do not have a cell phone with me. I am not sure whether I should stay put for him to come back perhaps or go look for him. I decide to go look for him. Then I get further and further lost, having no idea where to go next. I am going to miss the flight for sure and do not know what my son is going to do. Now I must go find out where the airline company office is, go there and buy a ticket home on another flight, possibly on another day. I just hope that when I get home, my son is back too. The feeling I had was so horrible that I suddenly woke up. And the Lord right away made see that in my dream predicament, I at least had the hope of getting out of it; but once one lands in hell, there is absolutely no such hope. I believe this is the message the Lord wants me to post today.
Monday, August 24, 2020
When we truly know Christ, we are liberated! Those who do not know him or know him well enough yet spend all their time dealing with their own imperfections and end up imposing unnecessary miseries on themselves. They can be good people, but without Christ, they do not see the light of the Lord and have no defense against the attacks of the devil. We must all follow what Jesus commissioned the Eleven to do before his Ascension: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature." (Mark 16.15)
There is no point in attaching ourselves to anything in the world, including our possessions, our accomplishments, our memories, and even our good times. All that's left behind will be gone instantly or in time. As Christians, our focus should always be on the Lord without ever looking back. In heaven, we shall live our new life enjoying every present moment.
When we pray, we must pray from our very heart and believe that the Lord not only hears us, but also will respond to our petitions. That is, we also believe in our own prayers. We are not just nobody; we are his most beloved children!
We need to establish a personal relationship with God, as we are often so advised. How far should we go? Since the Lord loves us with an infinite love, we need to go all out to open up to his love. We need to abandon ourselves to him completely to remain in him. We need to yearn for him and rejoice in him at all times. We must not fall short of attaining full union with him. This would please him the most and give us the greatest joy at the same time.
With hundreds of wildfires burning throughout the state, we are now asked to stay indoors as much as possible, as the polluted air out there is very unhealthy to breathe in. The sunlight has turned red because of the heavy smoke. So far many people have lost their homes. My area is not immune from wildfires either. Should a fire happens quickly, I pretty much have to let everything go. I'll probably just grab the laptop I am using right now and flee. So we are all at God's mercy. Learn to be detached from everything except the Lord is the way to prepare ourselves. In the overall scheme of things, only having God matters.
Jesus will come again to judge all of us. We may leave this world before his Second Coming, but we can't escaping facing him right after we die. If we are not prepared, we may be in for the shock of our whole existence. Take my advice seriously. Reconcile yourself to the Lord now so that you'll never experience fear anymore.
Sunday, August 23, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 16, Jesus asked his disciple, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father."
When I first accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, I for the greater part became intellectually convinced and decided to take a leap of faith. To know without a doubt that Christ is the Lord and God has to be revealed by God himself. I know this because I've learned that when the Lord reveals a truth to me in my heart, I just know that it is true, no explanation needed. Intimate revelations from the Lord to your heart is one great beauty and joy of knowing the Lord.
I personally know of Catholics who are for abortion and/or gay marriage. Quite a number of prominent public figures also belong in that category. To follow Christ, we need to let him shape our conscience to be like his. Otherwise, you are not really with him. It is worse for a Catholic to go against the teachings of the Church than a nonbeliever who holds the same views. To imitate Christ is to be as conscientious as the Lord.
In John 15, Jesus said to his disciples, "It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you." If you are already following the Lord, feel honored and blessed that he has chosen you to serve him. There is no more satisfying and rewarding role you can take on in this world!
Saturday, August 22, 2020
When evildoers are exposed and cornered, they panic and become like wild animals trapped. Since they have no truth on their side, all they can do is to lash out at anyone they consider threatening, verbally and physically with no good reason. They become totally hypocritical, irrational, crazy, and destructive. You see plenty of such examples today, for we live in a world full of evildoers.
Here in California, we have some 500 wild fires burning at the same time. The sun through the heavy smoky air appeared like a bright red full moon. The thought came to me that even though the sun by volume is some 64 million times larger the moon, the Lord God had placed the much smaller moon close enough to us so that both appear about the same size in the sky, making a solar eclipse possible. Our God is truly amazing!
For some, being admitted into a prestigious university is a big deal. To others, getting a job at a great company is a big deal. When I was a student at UC Berkeley, I knew of one person who tried to get a job in Berkeley, for he loved the all-year-round weather there. After trying for over ten years, he finally succeeded. That must've been a wonderful deal to him. It's also a big deal for our government to be able to make a fair trade deal with some other countries. For us followers of Christ, to succeed in banning abortion nationwide would definitely be a big deal, but fundamentally an even bigger deal for us is to submit ourselves to the Lord so that we might become holy and spotless! For this would be a big deal to the Lord too.
Friday, August 21, 2020
The most foolish live and behave as if God does not exist, whereas the wise live and behave knowing that God knows everything. The division between the two camps couldn't be greater, but Christ can turn the most foolish into wise ones if they will only turn to him.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 14, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side of the sea, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening, the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the 4th watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him they were terrified. "It is a ghost," they cried out. At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to him in reply, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
It is clear to me that the Lord had all this planned out from the beginning and knew exactly what's going to happen and what he's going to do. And that is the way with each of us who follow him. It is so good that we can trust in him fully to have him teach us, take complete care of us, and save us!
Thursday, August 20, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 22, Jesus told the parable of the wedding feast, explaining again what the Kingdom of heaven was like. His conclusion at the end was that "Many are invited, but few are chosen." We should take this message seriously. If we ever feel that the Lord is inviting us to go to him, we'd better go. In fact, we should leave everything behind and go without hesitation, as the apostles did when they heard his call.
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 20, Jesus explained what the Kingdom of heaven was like to his disciples by telling them the parable of the workers in the vineyard. A landowner hired various laborers for his vineyard throughout the day. In the evening, the owner started to pay all the laborers. When they all received the same wage, those who were hired early grumbled against the owner that those who were hired late and worked less hours received the same pay. He said to one of them in reply, "My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous? Thus the last will be first, and the first will be last."
To see the point more clearly, imagine that you work hard for the the Lord all your life and get to heaven. Then you meet someone there who had been bad all his life, but was saved because he repented just before he died. Would you feel upset? I don't think so, for all is fair and square. In fact, you'll probably feel good that you have served the Lord well. Besides, when you are so happy and content in heaven, you wouldn't know how to grumble against God anymore.
Today's Gospel acclamation, Hebrews 4.12: The word of God is living and effective, able to discern the reflection and thoughts of the hearts. All the more we need to give our heart to God. When the Lord has our heart, he will reveal all we need to know to us, setting us free! Yes, offer your heart up to him to become one with him!
In today's first reading from Ezekiel 34, Ezekiel prophesied against the shepherds of Israel that since they no longer looked after the Lord's sheep, the Lord was going to save his sheep by claiming them from their shepherds and pasturing them himself. This is how I feel about our Church divided today: we are no longer being pastured by our shepherds. All the more we need to go to the Lord directly to seek union with and guidance from him.
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 19, Jesus said to his disciples, "Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life." From the business point of view, this has to be the investment with the best possible returns. Anything that will give you eternal life is definitely to be grabbed. Put the Lord first for a brief time on earth and he'll make you blissful for all eternity! For any amount of effort we put in to honor him, he'll always reward us to the max.
Monday, August 17, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 19, a rich young man asked Jesus what he must do to gain eternal life. Jesus told him to keep the commandments. He asked him, "Which ones?" Jesus replied, "You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself." The young man said to him, "All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
We see that giving up your material possessions is even more difficult than keeping God's commandments. But to be perfect, we must detach ourselves from what we have. In practice, we may not be free to give up all our things for whatever reason, but at least we must be willing to do so, should such need arises.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, churches and many business have been forced to close down and most of us to remain home as much as possible. It is ironic that many of these government officials who enforce these restrictive laws have no qualms about (1) letting unruly mobs loot and burn other people's properties and endanger other lives and (2) supporting unconscionable sins such as abortion that would cause many to lose their souls! No wonder the Lord say "woe to you" to the hypocrites!
The second part of today's entrance antiphon from Psalm 84: One day within your courts, O God, is better than a thousand elsewhere. Living in this world on our own is like wandering in a vast wilderness. You are attracted to go here and there, but you do not know where you should go. Once you know the God of Christ, you don't need to go anywhere anymore, for you have now found the way, the truth, and the life, all in one Lord.
This is the typical way we lose God. We start out following the secular world like almost everyone else, not being aware that many things are sinful to the Lord. Gradually, we sink deeper and deeper in sin, falling further and further away from God. It would take a rude awakening for us to ever get back to him. On the other hand, if you start out submitting yourself to God and enter deeper and deeper into him, sin will become so distasteful to you that you will not ever want to offend the Lord again. Now you soul is safe and eternal life awaits you. Starting out with God makes all the difference!
Sunday, August 16, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 15, a Canaanite woman called out to Jesus, begging him to heal her daughter tormented by a demon. Jesus said to his disciples, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." The women still came and did Jesus homage, saying, "Lord, help me. He said in reply, "It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters." Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." The woman's daughter was healed from that hour. Faith won the day! The Lord never gives up on us. Let's not ever give up on him.
We as Christians should do everything to please the Lord, but it's so easy to forget that and do just what we feel like doing, and worse yet, do what feeds our ego. I followed Sunday Mass on TV this morning and watched one reader reading who wore a flowery dress with her whole arms and small parts of her upper body all exposed. I understand that this is summer time and I am sure that she would blend in well at a shopping mall or a summer party. But at Mass, everyone is looking at you reading from the Scriptures and you surely do not want anyone to lose their focus upon the Lord. I know some people will say that they do nothing wrong and if others have a problem with it, then it's their problem. Let me quote Luke 17.1: Jesus said to his disciples, "Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur." Be in touch with the Lord always; never mind if the whole world think you are out of touch with them.
Saturday, August 15, 2020
While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed." He replied, "Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it."
The Lord is telling us what pleases him the most. We can praise him with words, but praising him by observing the word of God is best.
On the physical level, to become a muscle person, you need to have been born with the right genes. If you wish to become an excellent ball player, you need to have the right coordination and good reflexes. Not everyone are so gifted. The same on the mental level: not anyone can become a top mathematician or proficient pianist. But on the spiritual level, since God can reach your heart and soul, there is no limit to how holy you can become! This is something to rejoice and be excited about. We can reach God, beyond even the stars! Open up to the Lord to let him exalt you to the highest possible level.
Friday, August 14, 2020
Christians are in the world, but they must not be of the world. As we age and approach leaving this world for good, it should help us become more and more detached from the world. After all, what's the point of holding onto anything you'll have to leave behind forever? To be in Christ is to be out of this world, for we are now free and belong to him. Let aging help you see this truth.
The illumination of conscience has been prophesied by various, saints, mystics, and seers to happen to us any time now like a mini-judgment to wake us to God's mercy. Once you realize that God knows everything about us and that his judgment is absolutely just, we only need to do his will on our own and not worry about anyone or anything else anymore. Each of us trusting and obeying him is all he asks for!
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 19, Jesus said to the Pharisees who came to test him, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall became one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery." His disciples, said to him, "If this is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry." He answered, "Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven."
It is absolutely clear that God has intended marriage to be between a man and a woman only, and that marriage is not intended for everyone. To go against God's intention is to create disorder.
Today's Gospel acclamation, 1 Thessalonians 2.13: Receive the word of God not as the word of men, but, as it truly is, the word of God. It is only by the word of God that we can know the truth and not be deceived by the word of men. Otherwise, we easily become lost in this world. Start with God to know how to live right and forever.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
This morning the Lord made me see clearly the world we are in and the kingdom of God. The world is an evil place where many sinners have sided with Satan. It's in utter disorder and chaos because they have rebelled against God. Those who seek refuge in the Lord know that he has freed them from evil and that they have entered the kingdom of God. What they should do at this time is to trust in God and seek to become one with him evermore. He is our beginning and our end. It is his wish that we obey him completely and there is never a more challenging and appropriate time than now to surrender ourselves to him! This is in fact the best way to fight evil. Once we are one with the Lord, we'll know what he wants us to do and this is all that matters for mankind.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Today is the Memorial of Saint Clare. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 18, the disciples asked Jesus, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?" Jesus called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven." What I see is that to become like children, we only need to imitate the Lord in every way. Since he is the most humble of all, we'll become humble too.
My oldest grandson is getting ready to leave home for college. I have many thoughts to share with him. Actually, whatever advice I have for him is also good for everyone, myself included. Of course, if one knows Christ well, he can learn everything from the Lord directly. Anyway, here I give a short list that pretty much covers the important things.
- Honor your father and mother always, even if they and your relationship with them are not perfect. Don't wait until you are a parent yourself and realize that children should honor this one of the Ten Commandments of God.
- Do not not anything to be popular. Do it only if it is right and pleases and honors God.
- Do not do anything no matter how much pleasure it can give you if you know that you will regret doing it afterwards. Know the consequences of your action.
- Have the courage to say no if others are wrong. (Stand up for God.)
- Talk to God about everything, attend Mass faithfully, and go to confession as soon as the need arises. Saving your soul comes before grades and everything else.
- Learn everything not for yourself, but for the purpose of honoring God.
- Last, as you'll be reading so many new books, do not neglect reading the Gospels regularly.
Here is the text to Fr. Mark Goring's Surrender Your Life to Jesus prayer which he said in his video today. A simple, straight, basic prayer good for all Christians to say often.
Lord Jesus Christ, today I ask you to be my Savior and my Lord. Lord Jesus, today I surrender my life to you. Lord Jesus, I beg you to please have mercy on me because I am a sinner and I have offended you in so many ways. Lord Jesus, I am sorry for all the ways that I have sinned against you. Lord Jesus, I beg you through the power of your most precious blood to please forgive me all of my sins, all the sins of my whole life. Lord Jesus, through your most precious blood wash me clean and make me new. Lord Jesus, I thank you for your redeeming love on the cross. Lord Jesus, today I give my life to you, I give you my heart, and I ask you Lord to come into my heart to be the center of my life. Lord Jesus, from now on I only want to do your will. Lord Jesus, I beg you to fill me with the Holy Spirit you promised you would clothe your disciples with power from on high. Lord Jesus, please fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit, help me Lord Jesus to love my Father in heaven, to know God the Father and to be a good child of my loving Father. Help me to walk in your ways, help me to be holy, help me to be pure, help me to love others, and help me to do your will. Lord Jesus, I will follow you all the days of my life. Thank you Lord Jesus. Amen.
Monday, August 10, 2020
In today's first reading from 2 Corinthians 9, Paul wrote: God loves a cheerful giver. I realize that in God, we become free, and one of the freedoms is giving cheerfully to others in need. Essentially, after attaching ourselves to the Lord, we are able to let all other things go, for they are now nothing compared to him. If you still want more than God, you never really had him. When Jesus gave us the greatest and the first commandment: "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind," he wanted us to experience the full freedom in God.
Sunday, August 9, 2020
- Hypocrisy, the sin that makes Jesus say "Woe to You." Playing phony before God the truth is the dumbest thing you can possibly do. We see hypocrites in politics and within the Church. I pity them for being hypocritical and not even good at it.
- Abortion, opposite to Jesus' greatest love which is the laying down of your own life for others. Abortion goes directly against the Lord who creates all of us in his own image. Self-proclaimed Catholics who promote abortion are the worst kind of hypocrites. As long as there is no sanctity of the human life, there will be no peace in this world.
- Child sex trafficking. This is no ordinary sin. It involves exploiting defenseless children for your own profit and causing pedophiles to sin even more. It's sin upon sin. Both abortion and child sex trafficking are grave sins against humanity and God.
Evil spirits are known to shy away from even holy water. So if you are in a pure, blessed state in union with the Lord, they cannot possibly touch you. On the other hand, if you reject the Lord, then you leave your door wide open for evil spirits to enter, leaving your soul defenseless—you are now a big spiritual fool.
In today's first reading from 1 Kings 19, Elijah was taking shelter in a cave on Mount Horeb and the Lord told him to go outside before the Lord, for he would be passing by. A strong and heavy wind came, but the Lord was not in it. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When Elijah heard this, he hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. I have learned that the Lord does speak to us in a tiny whispering sound. He communicates with us through our heart. If you hear his voice audibly, you cannot be sure that it's his. But if he implants a message in your innermost heart, you know that it has to be from him, for no one else can do that. I personally believe that Satan can put a thought in our mind, but not in our heart. So it is important for us to spend time with ourselves to listen for the Lord's intimate voice.
Saturday, August 8, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew, Jesus cured a possessed boy whom his disciples had faile to cure. They approached Jesus in private and asked him why they could not drive the demon out. Jesus said to them, "Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have the faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." The faith I see here is not the faith believing that we can accomplish what we want to accomplish, but our faith in the Lord. After all, all power comes from him; we are merely channels of his power. So, to have great faith, we need to trust in him. To trust in him, we need to know and become one with him.
I know Jesus. In fact, I know him more than anyone else on earth. That's because he remains absolutely trustworthy forever! Besides, when he reveals himself to you, you know that he is the Lord. This morning it dawned on me that this Jesus I know is no ordinary person; he is in fact Almighty God, creator of the universe and me! And nothing is impossible for him! Everything that exists depends upon him. Most amazingly, he loves me to death. I can't believed that I am this blessed and privileged! This is the One who is one with me! I am feeling so elated that I forget all my problems, since I am completely in his care now!
Friday, August 7, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 16, Jesus said to his disciples "Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." In one sentence, Jesus tells us how to gain eternal life. Essentially, he wants us not to be concerned about saving our own life, but to follow only him; then we'll live forever. The truth is always simple and logical. We are all concerned about ourselves most. But the Lord is so much greater than us and can take complete care of us. The breakthrough for us is to see this and accept it. Faith is needed here and it is only faith in the true God that can save us. Not trusting in God is equivalent to shutting him out and we'll end up losing our life altogether.
To take that first step in anything can be hard. One example is getting up from your comfortable bed in the morning. Once you are up, you enjoy the morning and get a few things done, and you start feeling pretty good. Joining a gym to start exercising is another instance. You dread the physical exertion, but then you get going and feel better physically, and you are glad that you made the move. Surrendering yourself to Christ can be a most difficult step to take. But once you take it, you come to realize that you've made the best commitment of your life, for your reward now is nothing short of eternal life. It is a natural law that the greater the commitment you make, the greater the reward you receive.