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

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

***Church in Crisis

          After posting Fr. Mark Goring's video a while earlier and commenting on the sad state of the Church, I came across this John-Henry Weston video and feel that I must post it right here and now. 

Beyond World's Judgment

         I was struck by Isaiah 50-9a, the last verse of today's first reading: See, the Lord GOD is my help; who will declare me guilty? Indeed, if you are already in union with God or belong to him completely, no one can possibly judge you or touch your soul.

***Sad State of the Church!

       When evil has infiltrated much of the Catholic Church, the church Jesus had built upon Peter, it's a sign that we are in end times. All the more we need to safeguard our souls and pray hard to prepare for Jesus' Second Coming. Watch today's Fr. Mark Goring video. The Church's teaching is always correct. Unfortunately, many of today's clergy are only lukewarm or have become corrupt. They have totally failed the Lord in shepherding his sheep.


***Obedience over Perfection***

        After returning home yesterday, I resumed my morning walk today. The Lord gave me these thoughts. We are imperfect. We can submit ourselves completely to the Lord and still fall short. For example, as I was walking, I thought of a friend who was recovering from an ailment when I went on my trip 12 days ago—I hoped that he's completely well now. I must drop him an email to find out. At the same time, the thought that he would probably appreciate my concern upon receiving my email popped up briefly in the back of my head. I knew that if I were truly concerned about someone, I would not be concerned about whether I was appreciated or not. Here's the ego making an ugly appearance. But the Lord knows; he continues to remain gracious to me as long as my intention is good. This is how things go: we try to serve the Lord perfectly, we fall short, and the Lord continues forgiving and assisting us . . . till we die, go to him, and become truly perfect. For the time being, how perfect we are matters less than how obedient we are to the Lord.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

***Way of Becoming a Better Christian***

         I finally got home and finished unpacking. It's been a long drive. During one part of the trip, I turned on the the car radio and heard a priest speaking on a Catholic radio program. He talked about how a married couple must remain faithful to each other, we must be trustworthy in small matters, we must pray often, etc. Theses are all good rules to know and follow. Then I could easily add a hundred more such rules. If we can remember and follow them all, we'll definitely be better Christians. The problem is that it's not likely we'll remember all of them. I recommend that we surrender ourselves to the Lord to seek union with him. Once we attain that union, we'll be faithful to our spouse, trustworthy in all matters, pray often, etc., following all the rules effortlessly without even thinking about them. What an excellent, superb, and smart way to become a better Christian.

*Focusing upon the Lord

        I am going home today since leaving home eleven days ago. It'll probably take me nine hours to drive home, including taking a couple of breaks along the way. I've been missing the Lord a lot. Not that he's not with me, but since my friends were with me most of the time, I wasn't able to focus upon him always. Most of the friends are Christian, but Christ was never mentioned. Only once I had the chance to talk about him with one person in private. Christ is my Lord and my God, exactly how Thomas the Apostle felt about him. I look forward to be home so that I'll be able to focus upon the Lord a lot more.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Myopic People

        Today's thought. I see people, often the older folks, trying hard to think of ways to make more money. Of course, sometimes it's out of necessity, but in most cases they are already quite well off already. I feel sorry for them for not seeing that by believing in Christ, they can inherit all the riches of heaven for all eternity.

Friday, March 26, 2021

***Safe from Our Enemies

         From today's Psalm 18, David sang to the LORD after the LORD had rescued him from the clutches of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul, "O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold! Praised be the LORD, I exclaim, and I am safe from my enemies."  We who love and follow Christ are safe from our enemies too, for we are destined for heaven and no Satan or anyone in this world can possibly touch our soul, safe in the hands of our LORD!

*****Gems Learned from the Lord

     Today I thought of some of the gems the Lord had taught me. It's worth mentioning them again.
          (1) Let God love you and his love will make you perfect!
         (2) You have only one Lord, your God and Father. Never lord it over yourself for a single moment. Being a slave to God frees you completely, for now you are in perfect harmony with your loving creator.
          (3) Share all your thoughts and feelings with God so that there'll be no barrier whatsoever between you and him. This will lead you to union with him.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

***Time To Be Productive

        Today's observation. People who do not know the God of Christ well are more or less lost. They while away much of their time doing things to amuse themselves, not in any way involving God. This is a pity, for our time on earth is limited—if we are truly with the Lord, we need to be productive by storing up as much treasure in heaven as possible now.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

**Faith in God Essential

       Materialism has replaced God. The more materialistic we become, the further away we fall from God. If you do not have a strong foundation in the Lord, a good person is easily snared by materialism. Once captured, freeing oneself is nearly impossible without help from God. To become rich and comfortable, but without faith in God, cannot be your dream life. Faith must be present to fight materialism for the security of your soul. So it's God first and whatever might come last. 

***One Top Christian Priority

       Recently, someone, an incessant talker, pointed someone else out to me and told me that the person was an incessant talker. I had to try hard not to laugh. It shows that we easily find faults in others and not see our own imperfections. Jesus is right in calling anyone a hypocrite who seeks to remove the splinter from his brother's eye before removing the wooden beam from his own eye. We need to examine ourselves first to be sure that we are as perfect as possible before the Lord. To lead by example should be a top priority.

**Tragic State of the World

        Being sinners, we need to be formed and molded by Christ to become fit for entering heaven. Sadly, most of us are being conditioned and regulated by our secular, materialistic world, leading us toward self-destruction. The Lord continually calls and warns us, yet we become increasingly deaf and numb to him. A monumental tragedy unfolds.

**MyTrue Home

        As I mentioned, I am traveling now. Even though the homes of my friends and relatives I stay at are all very comfortable, I instinctively, intuitively, and spiritually know that I am not truly home until I am with my Lord Christ Jesus. Without him, you'll always be seeking peace and rest endlessly.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

*To Die and Live Again

        In today's Gospel reading from John 12, Jesus said to Philip and Andrew, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever seres me must follow me." In short, for us to have eternal life, we must go through a spiritual death. Only by dying to ourselves can we have a new life. The key to achieving it is to follow Christ.

*Christ Our Only Passageway

         I haven't been able to blog these last two days because of traveling to visit my younger son and some friends. In Reading II from Hebrews 5 today, Paul writes, "When Christ Jesus was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him." We see that obeying Christ is necessary for eternal salvation. Therefore, if we can submit ourselves to him, we are ready. There is no way of bypassing Christ, as he is our final judge too.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Becoming God's Beloved

         After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17) When Jesus was transfigured on Mount Tabor before Peter, James, and John, the three saw him conversing with Moses and Elijah. Then a bright cloud cast a shadow over them and again, from the cloud they heard a voice saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." (Matthew 17:5) Now, if Jesus is our beloved Lord, that'll surely make us God's beloved children! 

*It Is a Sin . . .

 to deliberately reject Jesus when you know about him and why he came into the world to die for us.       

**Most Appropriate Prayer

        If you think that you are a pretty good person, then you are not good enough for God. Remember the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18? The Pharisee took up his position and prayed, "O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous. I fast twice a week, yada yada." On the other hand, a tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, "O God, be merciful to me a sinner." Jesus said to all, "I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted." Indeed, the most appropriate prayer for us to say is "O God, have mercy on me a sinner." When you truly say it from your heart, you are drawn instantly close to the Lord. To humble ourselves is to imitate the Lord Jesus, always the right thing to do.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

**Treasured Information for Us

        Also from today's Gospel's reading from John 5, Jesus said, "Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life." We see that the Son identifies himself with the Father and how we can pass from death to life. Such information is to be treasured!

**Proof that Jesus Is Our Savior

          In today's Gospel reading from John 5, Jesus said to the Jews, "Just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes." I am reminded of Jesus' healing of the paralytic in Matthew 9. People brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Courage, child, your sins are forgiven." At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming." Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, "Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"—he then said to the paralytic, "Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home." He rose and went home. That Jesus had the authority to heal the paralytic is proof that he had the power to forgive sins. Similarly, the Resurrection of Jesus is proof that he has the power to give life to whomever he wishes as he claimed in today's Gospel reading. He is our Savior.

***Easy Road to God

        Again from today's reading from Isaiah 49, the LORD says to the prophet: "He who pities them leads them and guides them beside springs of water. I will cut a road through all my mountains, and make my highways level." I really feel that the Lord has done all the work to remove all the obstacles and made our road to him level. Jesus had done the work and now we can get to heaven easily! The Lord wills something to be done and it's done. Well, we simply will to go to heaven by believing in Jesus and it's done for us! God has made everything easy for us; we just need to make it easy for ourselves.

***Face the Lord and Live

         From today's first reading from Isaiah 49, the LOAD says, To those in darkness: Show yourselves! This is a powerful command. Every sinner needs to show himself to the Lord. What's the point of hiding from him who already knows everything about you? If your are afraid to show yourself, it only shows how much more you need to do it. Show yourself and the Lord will place you in his light and you'll never want to go back into darkness again. So show yourself now or continue destroying yourself in hiding. 

***How to Stop Sinning*****

         I've mentioned that one of the great benefits of being in union with God is that you no longer tend to sin, as you are now aware of God's loving presence within you at all times. We sin when we always want to do what we want to do. Once you wish to follow only the will of God, you see all things as he sees them and no longer judge others. You are then free, have peace, and stop sinning. The days of feeling that you need to go to confession again are gone! To recap, you have all of God, you are completely satisfied, you no longer follow your own whims and desires, you stop sinning, and you enjoy the Lord's peace. It's so very straight forward and clear. (One side benefit worth mentioning: you do longer get stressed out about anything and you blood pressure remains normal at all times. You probably would live longer too, but that's up to the Lord and shouldn't matter to you.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

***Heaven or Hell?

        I like hearing Fr. Corapi talk because he comes right to the point, unlike some others who speak a lot of words but don't have much to say. I love what Jesus said in Matthew 5.37: "Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes,' and your 'No' mean 'No.'  Anything more is from the evil one." Here's Fr. Corapi's new 3-minute  straight talk.

**Playing Game with God

        Even though a lot of us avoid looking at God, I feel that that they are still playing a sort of staring contest with the Lord. They want to be their own lord, not letting him be the Lord, and see who would win. Of course, we won't be able to beat the Lord at any game. In fact, the moment you intend to play a game with God, you already lose. The Lord does not play games. If you are smart or wise, you'd just listen to and follow him. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

***Jesus Is Trustworthy

         The Gospel reading comes from John 4. Jesus returned to Cana in Galilee. A royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum went to Jesus to beg him to come down and heal his son, who was near death. Jesus said to him, "You may go; your son will live." The man believed what Jesus said to him and left. While he was on his way back, his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live. He asked them when he began to recover. Thy told him, "The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon." The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live,"
         Let me stop here because at this precise point the Lord overwhelmed me with an unstoppable joy. I had to stop until I recovered. It's caused by the realization that whenever Jesus says something will happen and it happens just as he'd said. This is something very beautiful that touched me deeply. Let me finish the story with the happy ending: "and the royal official and his whole household came to believe."

***Most Merciful Lord

        The Lord is so merciful to us because he understands our weaknesses so well. After all, he created us and even became one of us to live among us at one time. The one who had taught us to forgive even our enemies wants to give us every chance to repent of our sins and turn to him. He only wants to save us and keep us from getting ourselves condemned! We must see this clearly. That we have such a loving and patient Lord is certainly cause for rejoicing. 

***Most Beautiful Relationship for Us!

        Do you know that God loves us so much that he wants to be in complete union with us? The most beautiful relationship we can ever have awaits us to be formed. This is our prelude to heaven!

****God Reveals Truth to Us

         In Matthew, when Simon Peter said to Jesus, "You are the Messiah, 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." This was Peter's great revelation. I know that only Christ (or the God of Christ) can save us—it is my revelation from the heavenly Father too. How do I know? I know because when God revealed something to you, you just know that it is true in your heart. No explanation needed and no further explanation I can provide.

***Only Sign We Need***

         Yesterday Fr. Mark Goring in his video talks about Medjugorje's 3rd secret revealing that there will be a permanent sign left by God at the apparition site presumably in the near future. Father mentioned past signs of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the spring at Lourdes, and the miracle of the sun at Fatima. The Lord does show signs to convert unbelievers. The miracle of the sun was indeed spectacular as witnessed by 70.000 people. No doubt that many became believers. The thing is that people tend not to connect themselves with anything that happened in the past. The Fatima miracle took place in 1917. The greatest sign has to be the Resurrection of Christ himself. That it did happen you cannot deny. (I had recommended the movie "The Case for Christ" to watch in case you still doubt about Christ's Resurrection. It was based upon a true story. I am going to leave the 2-minute long trailer below in case you're interested in watching the film.) The Resurrection rejuvenated all the disciples and got the Church going. What's true remains true forever. It is a big mistake for us to ignore any true sign just because it happened so long ago!


Sunday, March 14, 2021

***Being Good Not Good Enough*

         Of course, we should try to be a good person, but believing in Jesus as your Lord and Savior matters infinitely more than just trying to be good on your own. For with Jesus, your sins get take away for sure. Without him, they remain with you. 

***Superior Way of Living****

         It's not easy to let the past go. I saw an unhappy family blaming each other for the past mistakes they'd made. It'd be better to live in the present, making the best of what you have now. Then I see the superior way of living in Christ, which will take care the past, the present, and the future for us. Dwelling in the eternal Lord, we become eternal as well.

*Patience Needed in Following God

        These thoughts came to me as I walked this morning. God is in control and the good righteous people he will always defend while the bad wicked ones he'll punish. Things may not happen quickly as the Lord follows his own time schedule, so we must remain patient and keep our faith. Take care of our own soul and pray for all others—that's all we are expected to do.

***Formula for Holiness

        How holy you are is directly proportional to how obedient to the Father you are. 

**Officially Follwing Jesus

            Communion experience. I received exactly what the Apostles received at the Last Supper, and I heard the Lord say in my heart that "You are my apostle too."

Saturday, March 13, 2021

***Do You Know . . .***

that God has made all of us good enough to become saints? It is true!

****What Life Is all About Again

        I am already an old person, so you should understand why I talk about life a lot, for I have seen a lot of it. I just had two volumes of my personal photos published, one in black and white, and one in color. I am giving some copies away to those who appreciate art and/or had supported me in the past. Just visited a friend who still has a clear mind at 98 and truly understands art, and gave copies to another 98-year-old local internationally-prominent artist friend already in hospice care. My wife just interrupted to inform me that a church friend had been diagnosed with sepsis in a hospital. We used to hike together and he walked at such a brisk pace that not many of us in the group could keep up with him. I believe that he's in his 80s now. So I can say that our whole life is on borrowed time from the Lord. 
        As I was walking this morning, I saw that we all entered the world to start our journey through this life. We depend upon others for many things, but basically we alone are responsible for the decisions and choices we make. If we do not have Christ as our guide, we simply wander through life to who knows where. If we do have Christ guiding us, then the world can go into chaos and we still know exactly where we are going and will end up. This makes all the difference to us!

Friday, March 12, 2021

**What Life Is All About

         When we are young, we follow ourselves. We can still be nice to others, but mostly it's ourselves first over all others. As we grow older and our body starts to weaken, we start to think about God more. This is a grace. We all will have to return to God, so life is all about whether we return to God during our time on earth, and if we do, when. Considering the fact we do not know how long we shall live on earth, if we continue ignoring God, we are gambling with our soul. 

*****Greatest Act of Love

        These thoughts came to me while praying the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary this morning. God has loved us from the very beginning. Jesus came to reveal to us how great that love truly is and how easily we can get ourselves saved. I can die for someone too, but the most I can accomplish is to save that person's life on earth. Only God can save the whole humanity for all eternity! Christ, the Son of God, took on that role. He did it selflessly and most humbly, leaving us to decide whether to believe in him or not. It was the greatest possible act of love! It is this love that has made me want Christ to be my Lord forever. God's love, our greatest joy! My journey back to my creator is now  complete.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

***Truth Is Compelling!***

         In  today's Gospel reading from Luke 11, Jesus said to the people, "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." Choosing sides is now compelling. Otherwise, there's no point for him to have come to us at all! He compels as he is the truth!

**Instant Destruction and Instant Salvation

        Instant destruction—be your own god and do whatever you want to do.
        Instant salvation—let Christ be your Lord and God.

       The line separating the two is thin. How hard it is to cross over to the salvation side depends entirely upon how willing your heart is.        

Going to Heaven!*****

        As I walked outside today, I couldn't help rejoicing that the God has made it possible for me to have eternal life. Then realizing he has already assured me of that put a big smile on my face. 

***Warning for Us Too

        Jeremiah 7:23-28 is today's first reading. The prophet gave the people the message from the LORD. Let me quote some of the verses.

         Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper. But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed. They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces, to me. I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets, yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed; they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers. When you speak all these words to them, they will not listen to you either; when you call to them, they will not answer you. Say to them: This is the nation that does not listen to the voice of the LORD, its God, or take correction. Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is vanished from their speech.

         This above describes today's Western nations well. From Jesus' parable of the tenants (Matthew 21, Luke 20), you learn what would happen to the tenants who mistreated all the servants the owner of the vineyard sent them and killed the son of the owner in the end. To neglect Christ is to neglect your own soul. Reject him and you doom yourself for good.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Understanding & Learning from Jesus

        I shall reproduce today's entire short Gospel reading from Matthew 5 below and add some thoughts of my own.

         Jesus said to this disciples: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."

         (1) Jesus had come to fulfill the law and the prophets mainly to save us! So I can say that he had come to fulfill us! (2) "Until all things have taken place"—what could that mean? It seems that one day Jesus will have wrapped all things up according to God's plan. (3) We need not only obey God's commandments ourselves, but equally important, teach others to do so too. 

****Smart Approach to God

        Let's face it, God will have the last say on anything. So you might as well start listening to and obeying him. This is smart thinking. But more properly, you should see that God is your most loving Father and that for his sake you should submit yourself to him to receive all his love. Now, you are being super smart.

*****Harnessing the Power of the Holy Spirit

         Thought about the Holy Spirit this morning while walking outside. The Holy Spirit is most powerful, yet most gentle. You can easily shut him out, for God respects your free will. But if you open up to become completely receptive to him, he will totally overwhelm you to make you most powerful. This makes living for God truly exciting! 

***Bishops Get Slammed

         Another courageous priest speaking up against the bishops. Decades ago, I was in a different parish then. When the idea that we should recognize gay marriage first came up, the parish priest was brave enough to put an ad in the local newspaper along with the signatures of many parishioners who supported him, announcing that marriage is intended by God for uniting a man and a woman only. With no strong support coming from the higher hierarchy, the effort fizzled out  quickly. The same pretty much happened to the charismatic movement within the Church. It did not get the support it deserved and gradually died down. I believe that my many bishops have already made up their mind on many issues and become closed to the Holy Spirit. Hope that I am wrong.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

***Forgiving Others a Must

         Today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 18. Peter asked Jesus how often he must forgive his brother who sinned against him. Jesus then told him the parable of the unforgiving servant (vv, 23-35). The lesson is clear: We must forgive others as the Lord forgives us. No way out. Whether we succeed or not, we must try our best. But if you surrender yourself to God, it becomes a cinch.

**Eternal Life, a Must Consideration

        Today I heard someone say "She's got a whole life ahead of her," referring to some young woman. Of course, the speaker was thinking about life on this earth only, so the statement didn't mean much. It becomes significant when we understand life to mean our whole existence, including the part after death. So eternal life is not to be ignored, making believing in Christ a must.

*Pride Our Big Stumbling Block

         It is so very clear that what we do shapes what God does to us. That we reap what we sow and that we have a conscience prove beyond a doubt that God is real. If we believe in and obey him, we'll have peace and prosperity. And if we ignore him, we'll be punished in this and/or the next life. It's so simple and clear, but our pride prevents us from seeing or accepting the truth.

***Our True Destination

        As sinners, we need to return to God, our Father and creator, as lost sons and daughters to reconcile ourselves to him. Whether the last days are approaching or not, we need to live Christ, think Christ, breathe Christ, and even consume his body and blood. This is how we can be purged of our sins, made clean, and have eternal life to inherit all that the Father has for us.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

**Not Following Any Trend

        The more I hear about prestigious, high-powered people who have earned great recognition and mass admiration in some secular field, the more I see that only whether we get to heaven or not matters. I don't follow any trend and care only about what God thinks of me. Take God seriously and you take care of everything.

***God's Power & Wisdom Ours for the Asking

        In today's second reading from 1 Corinthians 1, Paul wrote that to those who are called, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. For us who have access to the Lord, we can receive all his power and all his wisdom. Absolutely fantastic! We'll be able to overcome evil and know how to live a holy life. Remember that nothing is impossible for God. When it comes to getting ourselves transformed, it's right up his alley. After all, he created us.

*If You Are Suffering . . .

read what Peter wrote in 1 Peter: The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. God saves the best for last for all of us who love him. 

*Myopic Fools

        This morning as I was taking a walk outside the house, the temperature was perfect and the skies clear and blue. Flowering trees have started to bloom. I could hear the small birds chirping happily in the trees and geese flying overhead honking. Yesterday I even heard a woodpecker working hard on a neighbor's tree. Then I couldn't help asking myself why so many people are blind to all these beautiful things and seek only to take control of all others around them? You can't help but feel sorry for them. 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

*Why We Don't Get Uplifted

        As long as we think or talk more about ourselves than about the Lord, we won't get uplifted by him.

***Faith Is Good Enough

        Communion experience. I attended Vigil Mass today. Possessing only a finite mind, I could not comprehend how the elements of bread and wine consecrated in the Eucharist could change into the body and blood of the Lord, yet I could believe without a doubt that it did happen. This is having faith: we do not comprehend, yet believe. This is how we finite beings connect with the infinite God. We are to depend upon him in all things. 

***God Our Perfect Corrector

          In today's Gospel reading of the parable of the lost son from Luke 15, you'd understand why the the older son got angry if you read what he said to the father after his lost younger brother had returned. Here it is: "Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf." He was jealous. This is normal human reaction. But the Lord can perfect us. I have mentioned that God is the greatest psychiatrist there is and that remains true. Once we have him, we have the best we can possibly have, and we no longer admire, envy, or get jealous about anyone anymore. Finally we are set free by the truth and become like the Lord himself. So you can say that God is our secret formula, our perfect corrector, or our ultimate defender.

**Making Heaven Happy

         Luke 15:21 is today's Gospel acclamation. This is what the lost son in the parable of the lost son said to his father upon his return: "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you." This is all we need to say to our heavenly Father to get back in his good graces. Why should it be so difficult for us to say it? God awaits to hear from us. Say it and the whole heaven rejoices! Nothing can be more heartening than knowing that you've made heaven happy!

**Lamenting Extreme Polarization*

        We have Catholics in union with the Lord; they obey his every will and don't ever wish to offend him in the slightest; then we have those who are Catholics in name only. They are anti-life and pro-same-sex-marriage and spread lies. In fact, many of them are holding top positions in our government now! They are today's Pharisee and scribes. At the same time, the Church is facing a similar division internally, causing many to leave the faith. But I know this will pass, for Jesus had already told us that the gates of the netherworld should not prevail against his church. For the time being, I am crying more for those who have betrayed our Lord than my country or my church, as the Lord's most ardent wish is to save all souls! 

Friday, March 5, 2021

***Going Directly for the Lord*****

        As an aficionado of piano music, I used to attend various piano festivals and events. Once, I attended a weekend workshop in Portland, Oregon, not too far from my home here in California. I was going to learn about a method of playing the piano that would minimize the risk of injuring your hands. To buy the whole set of videotapes, it would cost around $800, as I recall. After watching many sample videos and listening to a number of lectures, I pretty much learned what the technique is all about. There were basically three principles you need to know, which I could explain and demonstrate easily in a few minutes. We often spend way too much time and effort trying to reach a certain goal, not realizing that we can get there faster and more surely another way. For example,
        We all wish to grow closer to the Lord, but many people are not going about doing it the right way. They attend many conferences. workshops, Bible studies, and retreats, listen to many speakers, and read a lot of books. Why not go directly to the Lord to get to know him? The Lord is instantly accessible to you at any time, no matter where you are. Communicating with him is easier and faster than any modern mode of communication. When you open yourself up to him, he's ready to reveal himself to you. Then you start learning everything from him directly. To strengthen your personal relationship with him, you don't need to go through other fellow humans anymore. They can only help you know more about the Lord. Only the Lord himself can draw you to make you know him. Seeking him without focusing mainly upon him is a waste of time. Head straight for the Lord who wishes to be one with you!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

**When To Receive What's Good

        Today's Gospel reading from Luke 16 tells the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. After both the rich man and the poor Lazarus died, Lazarus was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham, while the rich man landed in the netherworld and suffered torment in flames. The rich man saw Abraham with Lazarus at this side. He cried out to Abraham for help. Abraham replied, "My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from going from our side to yours or from your side to ours." So what we think is good during our lifetime may actually be bad if that's all the comfort we are going to get. Aim for receiving what's truly good all in your next life. No instant gratification! It comes down to choosing what's only good for now or what'll be good forever later. It should be a no-brainer. 

**God's Omnipotence, a Joy or Terror?

        In today's first reading from Jeremiah 17, The LORD says, "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." God knows our mind and heart and our ways and deeds thoroughly. We are completely transparent to him! Don't ever think for a moment that you can hide or escape from him. He knows exactly what your are thinking and what's in your heart at any time. Your ways and your deeds are shaping your own destiny every moment of your life. Knowing this could be a joy to some or a terror to others. Hopefully, once you realize how omnipotent God truly is, you would rejoice!

**Happy with God

        Today I feel happy that God not only knows but also understands all my needs and good desires. This is a joy, for I need not be anxious about anything anymore. The Lord shall meet all my needs and fulfill all my desires as he sees fit. We are to follow him always, not the other way around. Ask and still follow is OK, but know the Lord first so that you'll know what to ask is best.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

**Our Great Responsibility

        Our own soul and all others' souls.

***God Our Ultimate Quest

          I have quoted this saying of St. Augustine many times: "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you." This is so very true. I'd like to go beyond a bit and say "The more we surrender ourselves to God, the more we become like him." God is meant to be our refuge and perfector!

***How to Deal with Evil

         We get discouraged when we see that evil has taken over the world; you can feel the oppression. Now, God deals with every single soul. If you rebel against him, you'll get separated from him for eternity. Whether we have one evildoer or a billion of them, they will all be "taken care of" in the end. That sounds good, but it's most tragic. For God the Father loves all of them and the loss of one soul to him is as sad as losing all of them. For the sake of loving our Father, we must do our utmost to save as many souls as possible. That's why judging others is wrong, for it stops the flow of mercy from us. So hate the sin and not the sinner. Our sole business is to live for and to please God the Father alone, not to play God for an instant.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

**To Be Ready to Meet God

         Americans are not good at saving money. Most people live from paycheck to paycheck. They make money and spend it fast for instant gratification. When a spouse, usually the husband, dies, often nothing's left for the wife to live on. I have witnessed so many cases like that. All this makes me wonder—if you don't know how to prepare yourself well to live a life on earth, how are you going to prepare yourself to live a life in heaven? It's a great feeling to know that you are ready to meet God your Father anytime without fear. In fact, you should yearn for that day. To prepare for that day, you need to know the Lord intimately to the point that you are one with him on earth. When you become inseparable from him, you are ready. 

***Obedience to God, Most Beautiful!

        Do God's will first. Everything else can wait. People often rationalize what they're doing by saying that God has given them this talent, so they must keep on doing it. It sounds right on the surface. They also want to justify making a lot of money by saying that with more money, they can help others more. There is truth here too, but it might not be their prime motivation. Anyway, to do God's will is to do his will without any interference on our part. If he tells you to go ahead to make more money or do whatever else specifically, you go ahead. It's listening to him only and not at all to yourself. You must be totally in tune with him to remain in obedience. This is the challenge and a joy. Let the Lord truly be your Lord and you'll have peace and be amply rewarded in the end.

**God's Infinite Patience

        Not only God's love and mercy are infinite, so is his patience. Most of us live for years. If you live till 80, you'll have 29.200 days. Assuming that you sleep 8 hours each day, the number of your waking hours comes to 467,200. Assuming that you won't fully understand and know how to make a decision to accept Christ the first ten years of your life, you'll still have 408,800 hours left for you to turn to Christ. Are you going to waste all those hours not even considering him? The Lord has done his part and now simply awaits in patience. You may still get that last dying moment to repent and save yourself, but that's taking an awfully big risk.

Monday, March 1, 2021

**Be like the Father

       In today's Gospel reading from Luke 6, Jesus said to his disciples: "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." Then "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you." Last, "The measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you." 
           Let me try to summarize all this.  (1) We must be as merciful as our Father. (2) The standard we set in dealing with others will be used by the Father in dealing with us. If we make it hard (easy) for others, God will make it hard (easy) for us.

***Why Go to Jesus

         John 6.68: Simon Peter said to Jesus, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." Peter is right. Jesus is the only one who has the words of eternal life. Therefore, he is the one and only one we need to go to!

Human History Is All About . . .

man rebelling against God who created it out of love and whether it will turn to God to repent of its sins and start obeying him again. 

**Feeling Good About Yourself

        It's easy to admire or envy others who seem to be more fortunate and have a lot more than you in so many ways. And you start to feel sorry yourself and become unhappy. This shows that you do not know the true God of Christ yet. Christ himself was despised, looked down, ridiculed, laughed at, insulted, stripped of his garments, scourged, and even put to death, yet he never complained. If you have him, everything the heavenly Father has is now yours. You'll feel so content and thankful, realizing that you are the luckiest and most loved creature in the universe, just now awaiting your return to your Father. Those who have the world are to be pitied, not admired or envied. Know Christ and you'll know the truth and be set free! Good thoughts to start off this new month of March, 2021.