There is a very talented, creative classical pianist and composer named Nahre Sol who explores all genres of music and presents her findings on many YouTube videos. As one interested in piano music, I watched her recent video Nahre Sol Answers Your Questions. She says what she wants to accomplish is to spread her enthusiasm about music and her love for music to others. She has no idea where it will all end, but it's her obsession and feels happy about it. What came to my mind was that as Christians, what we want to accomplish should be to spread the good news about Christ and our love for him to others. We have no idea (in fact we shouldn't be concerned about) where it will all end, but it's our duty to do so and feel happy about it. Thank you, Nahre Sol.
Sunday, May 30, 2021
Today is The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The Lord makes me see that our greatest sorrow should be for our own sins and our greatest joy for his mercy. And I see that our greatest miracle is to be able to attain union with him through the Holy Eucharist. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, how great and glorious you are! May you be praised and adored by all your creatures for ever.
Saturday, May 29, 2021
If you are not truly happy about things in general and yourself, you clearly need God to make you perfect. Your perfection will please God greatly. When God your Father is pleased, you'll have peace and be happy about yourself and everything else. Believe me, I am hitting the truth! We are not happy because we sin, harming others and our own soul. And God is the one who can change all that, making us clean and blameless. It all comes down to having enough humility to submit ourselves to him totally. This is the challenge we all face. Blessed are those who can overcome it by abandoning themselves to God.
Friday, May 28, 2021
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 11, Jesus revealed to us the secret of having your prayers answered. He said to the disciples, "Have faith in God. Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours." The Lord loves that you place full confidence in him. How likely he'll grant you what you ask for depends upon how much you trust in him.
Thursday, May 27, 2021
If you already belong to Christ and know that you are heaven bound, what does it matter if you have to go through some hardships in this life? It may be easily said than done, but it does completely make sense. True, if you know you are going to be happy forever, you shouldn't feel unhappy anymore. The fact is that you can achieve this, as the joy of knowing Christ is so great that it's able to subdue all unhappiness.
The Lord God is wide open to us. His love is boundless and mercy infinite. The process of getting saved from sin and to heaven can't be simpler. Give yourself to God and all he has is yours. Yet how do we respond? In most cases we act as if we don't care! What has happened to our hearts, our conscience? Warnings have been coming to us nonstop and chastisements have already begun, but people remain blind, deaf, and close-hearted. If they don't repent and convert now, will they likely do so in their dying moments? I wonder.
God is the only one who can judge us, so whatever other people say about or think of us doesn't matter; we answer to God alone. If I draw a picture, I would show a line linking each of the billions of us to God with no linking among ourselves at all. It's how we live for God alone that matters. By the way, this is also how we can experience freedom from the world and not let anyone rob us of peace.
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
The second video by Fr. Goring is about Fr. James Altman. It's sad to hear that his bishop wanted him to resign. He needs our support and prayers. And don't forget to pray for his bishop. You may want to watch John-Henry Westen's presentation of Fr. Altman's case to find out how you can help.
I'd like to share some videos again. Two were made by Fr. Mark Goring. I'll post the first one first, a talk about the power of the Holy Spirit. I experienced it in the 1970s and the fire that kindled by the Holy Spirit in me is still burning today! (Pretty amazing.) Every Christian should seek Baptism in the Holy Spirit to know what it feels like to be the temple of the Holy Spirit.
It is clear from the Gospels that the Lord is most displeased with hypocrites. He said "Woe to you" many times to the scribes and Pharisees, calling them hypocrites. They were all religious people. So for a Christian to be a hypocritical, it's no light matter.
As I walked early this morning, I saw that the number of things that needed our prayers was absolutely staggering! This shows how much God is needed by us! No doubt that without God, we would be doomed. And with God, we need to go all out to trust in him to get all the help we need.
My oldest granddaughter just graduated from college and is waiting to start her new job soon. My oldest grandson in college is now on a short break at home, waiting to return to his campus. Day by day, we are always waiting for something. We usually know what we are going to do next, but ask yourself what you are really waiting for? The farthest thing I can think of is to be in heaven with God. It's farthest, but it's definitely worth waiting for. Since heaven is eternal, it is the end for us too. If you are waiting for something you can go beyond, then you still have a long way to go. But to those who are wise and farsighted, they've already secured a place in heaven, and that's their next stop.
One blessing when you are in union with the Lord is that he sharpens your conscience to the point that you feel sin acutely, whether it's yours or someone else's. To experience inner peace, a clear conscience is a must-have. This is how God has made us. A clear conscience is also a great joy, for you know that you are pure and pleasing for the Father to behold. So, our top priority is to surrender to God to have him cleanse us thoroughly. Once you are made clean and possess a clear, sharp conscience, you'll never want to go back to your former state again, this I can tell you!
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
I realize that being human, no matter how obedient we are to God despite our best intention and effort, we still fall short of being perfect in many ways. I believe that the Lord judges us on how hard we tried and less on how well we succeeded. Both intention and sincerity count. This should make us all the more want to follow the Lord. It's best that we set our mind to it and not let any imperfection deter us.
If you believe that there is life after death and we go either to heaven or to hell after we die, then your top priority now should be making sure that you get to heaven. If that's not the case, then you must not believe or are not sure about life after death and all that. In this case, you need to look into it, for what if there is an eternal life to live? Christ came to us from heaven 2,000 years ago precisely to make it possible for us to have eternal life. To show that he meant business, he sacrificed himself on the cross to save us from eternal death, then rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. What more convincing do you need?
Monday, May 24, 2021
There have been many images drawn of Jesus' face, based upon the image on the Shroud of Turin. Even computer technology had been used to reconstruct the whole head of the Lord. I have seen and am now taking a closer look at the photograph of Jesus given to Sister Anna Ali of Kenya by Jesus around three decades ago. To me, it portrays the one who is both the Lord and love well—I love the image, wondering how I can get a copy of it. You can view the image here. The messages Jesus gave to Sr. Ali were published in the book On the Eucharist: A Divine Appeal. Unfortunately, the paperback is out of print and available copies can cost you over $100. You can find more about the Sr. Ali online.
Sunday, May 23, 2021
Thought I had this morning while walking. If i must go to the Lord now, the only unfinished business that might make me hesitate would be that I still have not finished converting some of the people yet. Then I heard the Lord say to me that if I were to abandon myself to him, I must include all the unfinished businesses too, no matter how important they might seem.
It's another May 23. The earth has been spinning about its own axis, giving us day and night, and at the same time revolving around the sun giving us a May 23 every year. This has been going on for a long time, perhaps several billion years. This in itself is a great miracle, showing the existence of God. I don't believe that all the scientists and engineers of the world put together will be able to built a small working model simulating such an action. (That some us are still trying to control the world is absolutely laughable.)
Today is Pentecost Sunday. I attended the Vigil Mass yesterday. Three parishioners were confirmed at the Mass. We all prayed "Come, Holy Spirit" for them. My thoughts are that the focus really should be more on the candidates. Here's why. God the Holy Spirit is ready to enter any baptized person who desires him. So it all depends upon how receptive you are. If you don't know this and don't expect anything, ask all you want and nothing will happen. (I saw one confirmed person and her sponsor left the Mass early.) But if you remain wide open and desire the encounter with Holy Spirit, believe me, you'll witness wondrous things happen!
Saturday, May 22, 2021
Friday, May 21, 2021
I had eggs for breakfast this morning. I saw the cracked shells and realized that the chicken egg has such a perfect shape that it cannot possibly somehow came into existence by itself. This alone showed me that God exists. In fact, I intuitively know that without God, there would be absolutely nothing—no you, no me, no anything, not even nothing! God has to be a being who always exists with no beginning nor end. Now, whatever I do not know no longer bothers me, for God knows it all. The incredible part is that not only I know that God exists, I also know him most intimately!
Ego and the lack of humility are closely related. I can't think of any sin we commit that has nothing to do with the two. If we are like the Lord who is holy, we would be totally selfless and most humble. Sometimes I say something I thought was justified, but not realizing that it could hurt someone's feelings. This ultimately comes down the lack of humility on my part. To kill the ego entirely and become humble, we'll have to submit ourselves even more to God. "Only God, no self" should be our ultimate goal. By the way, this is also how we get ourselves completely liberated by the Lord.
Perhaps there is not a single family in which all members get along with each other perfectly because we are all different from each other and not saints. That is why we need Christ in our lives to make us as perfect as possible. The motto "The family that prays together stays together" is right. Unfortunately, many Christians don't even pray enough on their own. Also, the good practice of examining your conscience everyday before you go to bed is pretty much forgotten. In sum, only by letting the God of Christ into our lives can we expect to achieve peace in the family, or for that matter, the nation and the world.
Thursday, May 20, 2021
In today's Gospel reading John 17:20-26, Jesus prayed to the Father ardently that all those who believe and will believe in him and he and the Father may be one and in each other. He left no doubt that he wants us to seek and attain union with him. This is also the way to fulfill his command that we be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect.
To follow the Lord, we need to be patient. I've learned that zeal can cause us to rush ahead of the Holy Spirit and end up losing valuable time. Jesus never rushed around in a hurry. Surely we face urgent issues, but we still need the Lord to show us the way. To be patient is to stay calm and not worry, while we pay utmost attention to his guidance.
I just finished taking my morning walk. It was again a delightful day. I received both happy and sad thoughts from the Lord. He first made me see that he is the creator, meaning that he makes new things. We make new things too, but we can only make them from things that have already been created by him. So God is the original creator, in a sense the only true creator. He has created us, surely he can make us anew! This is our bright hope! Let the Lord have his way and we are transformed into new creatures, beautiful for him to behold and fulfilling all our desires at the same time.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
In today's first reading from Acts 20, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus. When he had finished speaking he knelt down and prayed with them all. They were all weeping loudly, for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would never see his face again. I know that we have all experienced the sorrow of parting. But we have one great consolation awaiting us, that we'll see the Lord in heaven and many other departed ones we once knew up there again.
Life on earth always comes to an end, so there is a time for stopping all things. If you are wise, you'd start detaching yourself to everything. On your own, this would be impossible to do, but with God, all things are possible. I'd start knowing the Lord as soon and as much as possible so that before it's time for you to stop everything, you are fully ready to leave without ever looking back.
Earlier I watched a short video showing all the places in Scotland worth visiting. I must say that some of the landscapes, rock formations, castles, monuments, etc., looked fantastic. It's like being a fairyland world. I understand that many scenes in the Harry Potter movie were shot in Scotland. It'd be fun to visit those places, but I realize that true peace can only be found within oneself in union with the Lord.
Bless all of you who read my blog regularly. Seeking union with God is not something everyone wants to listen to or even consider. Otherwise, this blog would have gone viral a long time ago. I still remember the time I couldn't bear reading the spiritual classic The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis—I wasn't spiritually ready. But now everything he wrote in that book sounds sweet and beautiful to me. Let the Lord God change us to become the happiest, freest creatures on earth. So God bless you and let's remember each other in prayer. A happiest time will be when we see each other in heaven!
I walked this morning again. The wind was rather cool and brisk in my face, but the sun gave me overall warmth. Then I realized that all these things were external and passing, only the Lord is internal and dwells within me forever. What a great consolation!
To know yourself is the key to knowing God well. First, you must realize that you are a sinner and need him to save you. Then to be strong in God, you must acknowledge that you are so weak that only he can make you strong. This is how you receive power from him, for his power will only enter those who humble themselves before him. Now you can be as strong as you wish. Always ask the Lord to give you whatever you need.
It's exciting to see that things or people change in amazing ways. Look at how technology comes up with ingenious devices and some people accomplish incredible feats. But it's even more exciting to discover that the Lord God can actually change you fundamentally! This is something many are not aware of because they don't try to change themselves and don't know God. As a result, they live a superficial life. When you are excited about God, you have finally found God and connected with him.
It makes perfect sense that purgatory exists. Say you have a saint, living a holy life. He dies and goes straight to heaven. Then say you have a most evil person, committing heinous crimes all his life, but repents just before he dies. Since God is most merciful, he is saved too. It would seem unjust to have him go straight to heaven too. This would be like letting a criminal go free without serving any time in jail. So God sends him to purgatory to get purified before entering heaven. God's justice is now fully served.
By the way, on May 14, I posted St. Gertrude's prayer for the souls in purgatory. I have shortened that to make it easier to remember and say. Here it is. "Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the souls, both living and deceased. Amen."
Monday, May 17, 2021
Jesus had wished that the joy of his disciples might be complete (John 15:11 and 16:24). Today I thought about how he had called me, revealed himself to me, taught me daily, and given me so much joy, and the fact that I am going to him for all eternity, my joy is more than being complete!
We do not physically see God, but he is with us always. So we are never alone. This makes you happy or afraid, depending upon your relationship with him. If you are happy that he is always present, then you should rightly rejoice, for you must be on good terms with him. If you are afraid that he exists and is watching you, you need to be concerned, for you must be trying to hide your sins. Then he is exactly the one you need to set you free from sin.
My friends, you may not believe in the Lord Christ Jesus, but it is impossible not to feel the joy once you believe in him. In him are love, light, hope, and the best possible news. A gloomy Christian is not a true Christian. We who believe in him rejoice and exult in him, as we head for heaven where we'll be glad for ever!
Purity and charity are two separate things. We must "strive" for purity first and at the same time always do good deeds. It is much better to become as pure as possible in this life to please the Lord and reduce or even bypass our suffering in purgatory. Pure souls enjoy special peace and joy from the Lord. Seeking union with God through the Holy Eucharist is the path to attaining purity of the soul. We'll have to meet the Lord anyway, so we might as well look as best as we can before the meeting.
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Saturday, May 15, 2021
In today's Gospel reading from John 16, Jesus said to his disciples, "I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father." Don't you see that we have all sinned and gone astray, and Jesus is exactly the one who can lead us back to the Father?
I was going to post the message that I love God because he first loved me and that I serve him because he has first called me. God's love is so great that all we need to do is to remain open to him. John who considered himself to be the disciple whom Jesus loved writes beautifully about love in 1 John, his first epistle. I am going to reproduce all the relevant verses below.
God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," but hates his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
We have Christians today who rightly hate evil but wish that the evildoers go to hell. That clearly cannot have come from God who is love.
Friday, May 14, 2021
Just thought I had posted my last message for the day, I saw this short YouTube video by Fr. Corapi. It came out today, but it does seem to be an old talk. Never mind, the message is clear and good that I wish more priests would teach like that. So I am making this one my last post.
Do you realize that we live among billions of people on earth, but only how each of us relates to God matters? Forget about all the other people, for basically you and God are alone. That's because he knows all about you, more than you want to know. And he'll be your judge at the end of your journey through this planet and has the power to save you for all eternity. So he's the only one relevant to our existence and the only one we need to live for. Love him and we are fulfilled in every way.
Today is the Feast of St. Matthias, who was chosen to take Judas' place in the apostolic ministry. In the first reading from Acts 1, Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers and sisters and said that the Scripture had to be fulfilled concerning Judas and quoted verses from the Psalms as proof. Since the coming of Jesus as the Messiah had already been fulfilled, you can be sure that the Second Coming and final judgment will happen too.
A good rule to follow is never do anything that you know would make you regret or lose your peace if you did it. In addition, never forget to do anything that would make you regret or lose you peace if you didn't do it. A case in point: a parent dies suddenly and the children finally realize that they should have looked after their parent a lot more when he or she's still alive, but now it's too late.
In whatever we do, God looks at our heart, our motivation. Know that anything we do to boost our ego or appeal to our vanity does not come from the Lord. Humility is what he wants to see in us, for he is most humble himself. Without humility, we'll never know how great God is!
We must never stop praying. The Lord hears every prayer from us. We may not know when and how he's going to respond to us, but respond he will. Our role is to trust in him and not be concerned about what's going to happen next. Pray hard, but remain in peace. To live by faith is most beautiful, for it shows that you are with the Lord.
Purgatory has changed my perspective. I now see us who follow the Lord on earth, the souls in purgatory who are heaven bound, and those who are already in heaven all belonging to the same Lord. We are one big family, loving God, supporting each together, and united as one. To learn more about souls in purgatory, read about Padre Pio. I'll always remember this incident. One night in 1944 the friars heard loud voices coming from downstairs saying "Viva Padre Pio." The superior told the doorkeeper to let those people out and lock the door properly. The doorkeeper went downstairs, didn't find anybody, and the door was double-locked as it was supposed to. He went back to report. The superior was puzzled and went straight to Padre Pio asking if he knew something. "Oh! Those were soldiers who had died on the battleground, and came to thank me for their salvation."
The best known prayer for souls in purgatory I know of is the one by St. Gertrude. According to tradition, She was told by Our Lord that each time she piously recites it, 1,000 (or a vast number of) souls would be released from their suffering in purgatory. Of course, you can always pray from the heart in your words. Here's St, Gertrude's prayer for the souls in purgatory.
Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, for those in my own home, and in my family. Amen.
Thursday, May 13, 2021
I watched a couple more episodes of Purgatory 101 and found that the existence of purgatory really makes a lot of sense. There are all kinds of sinners. One might be an evildoer all his life and finally abandoned himself to God; one might be a Christian, barely making it to heaven; one might not know Christ at all but had been a good loving person, etc. Purgatory is the right place for all of them to pay the dues before entering heaven. It also shows that God's mercy is great. I have always believed that any good person who does not get a chance to know Christ can be saved too. This is confirmed by Maria Simma when she was asked about it. Then you may ask why we need to know Christ. The answer is that only he offers the sure way—you follow him and you are saved. Other ways do not provide such assurance. Anyone saved is still saved through Christ. According to Maria Simma, many souls spend 30 to 40 years in purgatory. Even though it seems like a long time, compared to eternity it's practically zero. It you have time, you might like to read this interview with Maria Simma.
I went to see my dentist this morning. Whiling sitting in the waiting room waiting to be called, the TV was on, showing a long slick commercial. The show was about building a new house with the builder helping the owner pick out a granite slab to be made into various kitchen countertops. The show had captions turned on but not the sound. Over the sound system, I could hear some singer singing some pop song. My thought was "Where is my Lord Jesus?" In this and all other supposedly Christian countries, people in general are self-seeking and deeply immersed in modern materialism. You rarely hear the Lord mentioned in ordinary conversation with anyone. If you knew the Lord, you would want to talk about him all the time, realizing that he's the one you just can't live without. Sadly, very few people know his well enough to even want to mention him! The most beautiful is being ignored the most. Why, Lord?
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
We all have things or projects to work on. Many are small tasks, but others might take more time to finish. Today I was somewhat "training" myself to be detached from them. Right now the biggest project around home is to put some of my things in order and store them in the right place. I'd feel better if I get that done. Then I don't want to feel bad either if I can't get it done. Suppose I die now. I would lose control of everything and all unfinished work would just remain unfinished. So there is no point in getting myself attached to any unfinished business. Christ is all I need to hold onto. Let us be his unfinished business so that he may perfect us.
Purgatory is a controversial subject as most Protestants don't believe in it, the reason being that it's not clearly mentioned in the Bible. The Bible reveals only truths, but it does not mean that what it doesn't reveal has to be false. By the way, after Jesus ascended to heaven, the Gospels were not written right away and the Bible as we know it now did not exist for about half a millennium until the Catholic Church selected the books of writings that were judged to be inspired by God and put them together as one book. The Church relied mainly upon tradition in spreading the gospel. Jesus never told us to rely solely upon any forthcoming book. There were no Bible Christians for another millennium until Protestants broke away from the Church. My personal belief is that purgatory does exist. It is logical that there is a place for sinners to be purified before entering heaven. God's mercy is so great that if we succumb to his mercy, we are instantly saved. We are forgiven, but we still need to pay the price for having offended him. I came across this video on purgatory today. I had heard about Maria Simma, but didn't know much about her. The video gives you a good start on learning about purgatory. I have a feeling that you would want to watch the other videos in the series after seeing this one. I am thinking of getting the book Get Us Out of Here mentioned in the video myself.
I believe that being detached from the world and longing to see the Lord can contribute to shortening our time in purgatory or help us skip it altogether. Remember the criminal crucified next to Christ who abandoned himself to him, saying "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom"? The Lord replied, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
My three categories. (1) You put yourself completely in God's hands and are ready to go to him at any time; you have a good chance of going straight to heaven. (2) You are reluctant to abandon yourself to him, but get to do it before you die; you are saved, but you'll have to go through purgatory. (3) You choose not to yield to your Savior; you remain separated from him for all eternity. Our best policy is of course to abandon ourselves to him as soon as we can.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
In today's first reading from Acts 16, God delivered Paul and Silas from the prison. There was suddenly a severe earthquake that the foundations of the jail shook; all the doors flew open, and the the chains of all were pulled loose. When the jailer woke up, he, thinking that the prisoners had escaped, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul shouted out, "Do no harm to yourself; we are all here." He rushed in and, trembling with fear, fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved." We all know that, right? God has made it so simple! You just can't make it more complicated in any way unless you just don't care.
As we grow older, depending upon our age, we grow stronger or weaker physically, but we can always grow stronger spiritually, the sky is the limit. As our time on earth is running out, we should see that growing holier is so much more important than maintaining our health or growing richer materially. That's all I have to say here.
The first order of business for all Christians is to be holy. It follows that the first order of business for the Church is to be holy too, free of corruption and scandals and filled with the spirit of teaching its flock with zeal and clarity. We must all clean our own house first, to be free from sin. The two critical issues the Church faces today are the irreverence shown to the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist, and the ongoing slaughter of the unborn, which I see as part of Satan's plan to destroy the family. If Christ is no longer believed to be present in the Holy Eucharist, then there's no point in celebrating the Holy Mass and nothing to hold the Church together anymore. If abortion is allowed to continue on and Christians remain relatively silent, then we are all hypocrites and we know that Jesus said "Woe to you" to the hypocrites in his day. The fact that these two crises affect the laity more than the general clergy shows that something is not right with the Church. Look how difficult it is for the bishops to come to a decision to bar politicians and public figures who support abortion from receiving Holy Communion. Is the profanation of the Lord no longer a matter of concern? The Catholic Church is the original Church built by Christ upon Peter which Jesus promised that the gates of hell should not prevail against it. I believe that having allowed evil to infiltrate the Church, the Lord is in the process of restoring it to purity again. (Check out my video The Magnitude of Abortion if you haven't seen it yet.)
Monday, May 10, 2021
If you know that you are a Christian, then know that God has chosen you and has work for you to do. Be holy first and you'll know what he wants you to do and do it well. You'll reap abundantly for the fruit you produce for him. An idle Christian is one who neglects his duty.
Sunday, May 9, 2021
Jesus' teaching has always been clear, straight forward, and easy to understand, even commonsensical. Yet it becomes tough learning for us when we are unwilling to submit ourselves to him. In theory, we can become saints in an instant, but some never learn much in their entire lifetime. Pride has to be our worst enemy. What a sad case!
I corrected a mistake in yesterday's post "Warning, Miracle, and Punishment." Listening to Conchita again told me that she knew the date on which the miracle would happen, not the warning. Then I am still not sure if God had already told her the date or would let her know when the time comes. Anyway, it should be on the way. I was impressed by what she said about the dulling of conscience with today's generation. It is true that morality has fallen so low that sins are no longer considered sins. I have lived long enough to see the decay taking place. People have always sinned, but they felt the shame before. Now the consciences have gotten so muddy that sinful behaviors are accepted as norms. The coming warning should give us new hope, but it's still up to us to accept God's mercy or not.
Saturday, May 8, 2021
Ralph Martin of Renewal Ministries also speaks about the Illumination of Conscience, so you may be interested in listening to him. I have known about Ralph since the days of Charismatic Renewal in the Church. I've heard him speak and read some of his books. He is Spirit-filled and inspiring and I respect him a lot.
God has created us in his image. He once became one of us to appear on earth and many got to know him well. Even today, we can seek and attain union with him most intimately. So my message is that we can and are expected to experience him. He is not an abstract being or a figment of our imagination; he is more real than anything you see, hear, touch, or know, for he created all of them. And most of all, he loves and desires to know you totally. If you do not experience him, that's because you don't expect to ever experience him. To begin with, you need to have some humility. Cast aside all your doubts and desire to know him. Then open up yourself to him sincerely and you'll experience him. Once you experience him, you'll be so glad that you don't ever want to remain the same again. To shut him out of your life is to cut yourself off from the source of all life.
God (and heaven) are more wonderful than you can possibly imagine. Satan (and hell) are more horrible than you can possibly conceive. (If you think hell won't be all that bad, you'll be in for the shock of all eternity.) Know all this now, for you don't want to find it out later. If you have God, the God of Christ, you can forget all about Satan and hell. I am giving you the best possible information I have now.
Friday, May 7, 2021
The Lord God does great things through us who are obedient to him. We do not know what he specifically wishes to accomplish nor how things are going to turn out. They do not concern us. Remaining obedient to him is all he asks of us. This is great, for it brings us peace. I am sure that in heaven all will be revealed to us.
Some say that if you truly have faith, you would just pray for something to God, believe that he heard and will answer you, and that'll do. It sounds logical. Besides, it'd surely simply the spiritual life a lot. Then Jesus told us to pray and believe, and persist in prayer. He did not teach us the Our Father to pray just once. Besides, we need to keep communicating with the Lord through prayer to maintain an intimate relationship. Prayer is sharing ourselves with the Lord and nourishes the soul. We stifle the Holy spirit if we stop praying often. So we pray to the Lord because we trust in and love him. Pray unceasingly and our faith grows stronger too. Faith and prayer are indeed inseparable.
Today Friday I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary as I walked, meditating upon the Lord's Agony in the Garden, Scourging, Crowning with Thorns, Carrying of the Cross, and Crucifixion. Naturally, I felt bad that he went through all that and couldn't help asking him why, and I heard his tender voice saying "For you" in my heart. Of course, I already knew that, but to hear his personal voice answering me was deeply moving.
"We are not free until we abandon ourselves completely to God." This truth reveals why sinners do not feel free as well as the exact remedy they need. When we pray for someone to convert for a long time and nothing happens, we begin to get discouraged. It shows that we haven't totally abandoned ourselves to God yet. God wants us to abandon all those we love and everything else to him in order to be his alone. This is how you become free in him. It is the beautiful paradox: the more we become slaves to God, the more we become free. God must have made us this way.
I had a fruitful walk this morning as the Lord gave me a number of thoughts to post. But I'll start with this one which I had before the walk. I have not seen many people who are truly happy in this world—they are busy looking for happiness all right. Instead, we see so many families that are dysfunctional or broken, for love no longer exists among the members. And we have many people looking for happiness chasing after money and fame. Corrupt worldly influences do not come from God, for they cause us to fall further away from him. This I can tell you: we'll never find true happiness outside of Christ, for he is the Light and our one and only Savior!
Thursday, May 6, 2021
Today I suddenly realize that I am a tiny creature in this vast universe, living for a very brief moment on this planet earth. I have not seen the creator of this universe who also created me, yet he has revealed himself to me so well that I know him more than anyone or anything else. I am connected with him and and even belong to him! Through receiving the Holy Eucharist I got to be united with him both physically and spiritually. And soon I'll return to him, see him, and remain with him for all eternity! This whole realizations is incredibly satisfying!
People tell me that if I trust in the Lord, I should just pray to him and not worry about anything anymore, since he will take care of all things. This is correct in theory, but in reality it's not always so simple. If you already know the Lord to the point that you are right aware that he is with you, you can't help thinking of him and feeling the sorrows we have caused and are still causing him and the terrible sufferings we have inflicted and are still inflicting upon him. You do not worry, but do grieve and suffer along with the Lord. It'd be impossible to leave him alone. In no way does this show that you don't trust in him enough.
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Someone on Facebook just posted a picture of Pope John Paul II (now Saint John Paul II) showing him forgiving the man who shot him. The poster also supplied the following text: Keep in mind that forgiveness is not for others. It is for you. Forgiving is not forgetting; it is remembering without anger. It frees up your power and heals your body, mind, and spirit. Forgiveness open up a pathway to a new place of peace where you can persist despite what happened to you. Then I also saw Fr. Larry Richards posting the same picture on Pinterest with these words: "Forgiveness is above all a personal choice, a decision of the heart to go against the natural instinct to pay back evil with evil" (St. John Paul II). "For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment" (James 2:13). Forgive others and show them mercy and you will know God's mercy! When you become an instrument of mercy, you will have the peace you seek. Forgive and be at peace. Amen.
We are all on a spiritual journey. As of any moment, we have those who are heaven bound, those who appear doomed, and the rest teetering between these two extremes. Of course, the Lord does not condemn us until after we die, and things can change at any time. But what I have described is a realistic picture of all of us. Being aware of it can help us do the right thing while living. It is right to always do the best thing for ourselves spiritually.
(1) Prayer turns you to God. How much you enjoy praying shows how much you love him. (2) Faith in Christ can sustain us through our entire life on earth, for it opens the door to receiving power from the Lord. (3) Submission to God as your Lord is the key to experiencing the greatest freedom! This explains why we are unhappy without God. (Believing that God will enslave you has to be one great untruth.) (4) Spiritual Priority—there is only one—serving and pleasing the Lord God alone. Putting anything else ahead of it is to court disaster.
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
To know God, you need to be still. So you need to enter solitude first. Whenever I wake up from sleep late at night or early before dawn and it's all dark and quiet all around, I feel the presence of God in stillness. I also felt it years back at the chapel where I attended daily Mass. After I received the Holy Eucharist and Mass ended, I remained alone in peace, experiencing and enjoying the Lord's companionship in stillness. Of course, I am now aware of. his dwelling within me at all times, but in stillness, that awareness becomes most acute. It's a pity that people do not seek solitude and hardly reman still nowadays, so they never know God.
Monday, May 3, 2021
Of course, we'll experience the greatest joy when we get to heaven. Another joy would be meeting some of the friends and loved ones who had gone there before you. Then you'll probably feel sorry for those you knew, but didn't show up in heaven. I believe that this sorrow will be short-lived, for there isn't a thing you can do about it and you know that God is perfectly just.
We tend to look down on anyone who appears to be meek and humble, but are easily attracted to and even admire those who are full of pride and showy. One amazing thing about Christ Jesus is that even though he is the meekest and humblest of all of us, he is able to win so many hearts and make us look up to him and even willing to die for him. Only God can accomplish that.
Sunday, May 2, 2021
In today's Gospel reading from John 15, Jesus told his disciples that he is the vine and they are the branches, and to bear fruit they must remain on the vine. He spoke much about the importance that they remain in him and he in them. Here the Lord is speaking about our being in union with him. It is only in union with him that we can accomplish his will freely. And there is nothing more honorable and rewarding than being called upon to do his will!
In today's first reading from Acts 9, Saul (Paul) arrived in Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. Then Barnabas reported to them how he had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. He moved about freely with them in Jerusalem, and spoke out boldly in the name of the Lord. He also spoke and debated with the Hellenists, but they tried to kill him. When the brothers learned of this, they sent him on his way to Tarsus. Following Christ can be dramatic and is always exciting. It is real living. To live without the Lord is basically drifting in darkness. And Christ is exactly the light we need to show us the way.
In this imperfect world, things never continue to turn out the way we would've liked, and we become unhappy or upset. This is human nature. Realistically, all our worrying and loss of peace do not helps things a bit. Since God is in charge, nothing happens without a good reason. If you believe that God takes care of you, then everything that happens to you has to be a blessing. This is hard for us to understand because we do not have the overall picture in our mind as he does. We should trust in God and praise and thank him for everything that happens to us. This goes against our nature, but it's best for us to please God the Father by taking on his nature so that we can be like him.
I recall reading about St. Thérèse of Lisieux in her autobiography The Story of a Soul the following: “Another time I was working in the laundry, and the Sister opposite, while washing handkerchiefs, repeatedly splashed me with dirty water. My first impulse was to draw back and wipe my face, to show the offender I should be glad if she would behave more quietly; but the next minute I thought how foolish it was to refuse the treasures God offered me so generously, and I refrained from betraying my annoyance. On the contrary, I made such efforts to welcome the shower of dirty water, that at the end of half an hour I had taken quite a fancy to this novel kind of aspersion, and I resolved to come as often as I could to the happy spot where such treasures were freely bestowed.”
Saturday, May 1, 2021
To battle for God, we need to let God change us fundamentally first. Otherwise, despite our good intentions, we won't do much good. I've watched a video showing how to recover from the loss of parishioners due to the pandemic. The first piece of advice offered was to make everyone extra welcome. Throughout the whole video, Christ was not mentioned once. If you do get everyone back, talk to them happily, and be extra friendly, you are not drawn any closer to the Lord. All fundamental changes can only come from above. Once we are transformed by God, we'll automatically have the Holy Spirit guiding us. Seek union with God first to serve him well. This is the formula for spiritual success.
In today's Gospel from Acts 13, when the Jews saw the large crowds that had gathered to hear Paul preach the word of God, they were filled with jealousy and with violent abuse contradicted what he said. Later they even incited the women of prominence who were worshipers and the leading men of the city, stirred up a persecution against Paul and his companion Barnabas, and expelled them from their territory. It's clear that that the spiritual warfare had intensified ever since Jesus came to us and has been continuing to this day. Only the enemy has changed from the Jews to the globalists. Satan has never stopped fighting hard. But one day this will be all over with God coming out on top. It's all very dramatic and we are the ones caught in the middle who must choose sides. Our eternal destiny depends upon the choice we make now!