To survive on earth, we need our physical body. Therefore, it is proper to keep it healthy and functioning. But if we are obsessed about making our body attractive to others, then we have become vain. Know that the body is like our material possessions which we'll have to leave behind one day. So we should learn to become detached from it. Take care of your body to serve God well, but never "worship" it for your vainglory.
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
God is our greatest teacher and mentor, for he knows and understands everything. For your spiritual growth, you only need to consult him. Again, I advocate seeking union with him, for he'll help you every step of the way and once you attain union with him, you'll understand all his ways and thoughts. Now you grow to be like him and we can truly say "like father like son" or "like father like daughter." In our case, the father is the Father and that make it even more special!
Since Jesus remain holy and the same forever, he remain forever new and refreshing. By contrast, we sinners need to be renewed continuously by him to remain new. That's why I enjoy my union with him more than anything else in the whole universe.
Will we only turn to God in our last moments when we know that we are dying? But that would be taking an awfully big chance, for we don't know when and how we're going to die. But since we know that we will die one day for sure, then definitely it'd be wise to turn to God before we die, the sooner the better. We can also see that our whole lifetime is but one big dying moment, as we march toward death the moment we were born. Indeed life is just our way to eternity.
Here's another beautiful message from Mother Mary to the Medjugorje seer Mirjana. God is sending messages through more and more lay individuals. I think it's because there are now more trustworthy and faithful lay people than most of the clergy who no longer have the courage to preach the truth. The Holy Mother really needs our prayers. She told Mirjana that "Life is like a flower and is short, and all of us will soon meet God who will ask us about our life." And furthermore, "Be ready! I am calling you, through prayer, and the Holy Mass when my Son unites Himself with you in a special way, to try to be like Him; that, like Him, you may always be ready to carry out God's will and not seek the fulfillment of your own. Dear children! Do not forget that you are here on earth on the way to eternity and that your home is in heaven. Again I am warning you, pray for those whom my Son called, whose hands He blessed and whom He gave as a gift to you. Pray, pray, pray for your shepherds. Thank you." We can truly say that we are in our last days when God's judgment is near.
Monday, June 28, 2021
Jesus has made it so clear that we need to be prepared and ready for his coming. This means we must be prepared for anything that threatens my life and eternal life. What if you die right now? Are you ready? What if disaster strikes and shatters all your dreams? How would you handle that? Yet we don't even turn to God to deal with our sins, so how can we be prepared for his coming? Why is this generation so afraid to look at their own sins? God is ready, waiting, and willing to take away their sins anytime for the asking. It's not being aware of the need for salvation that's most alarming. Sadly, a great awakening is needed before they'll even consider getting themselves ready.
Sunday, June 27, 2021
God has made us so that we shall not have peace until we have reconciled ourselves completely to him. This truth becomes crystal clear once you attain union with him. It is good to know that we can have God and we can have peace. The Lord is our amazing hope!
Every time we sin and do not repent, we march a little closer toward hell. I am being blunt but realistic about it. Even if you just end up in purgatory, every little sin would increase your suffering for purification there. And little sins can add up fast over a lifetime. For example, if you habitually use the F word in your daily conversation with others, over years you can easily reach saying it tens of thousands of times. Always repent your sins right away and try not to sin again. This is the only way to halt your march toward hell. To go all out, seek to attain union with the Lord through the Holy Eucharist and you can forget all about hell.
In life, this does't happen often, but sometimes you meet the exact person or find the precise thing you need and you are overjoyed. My Communion experience yesterday (at the Vigil Mass): I just felt and knew that Christ was the exact person I needed for my life, my existence. And that completed my joy.
From today's first reading from Wisdom 1, I read "For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who belong to his company experience it." So the Lord made us the image of his own nature! That explains why we can understand him and know him! And we will not experience death if we belong to him, having nothing to do with the devil. We are indeed most special to God.
Saturday, June 26, 2021
We ask for favors from God continuously, but have you ever thought of asking him to inspire you? If you haven't yet, I urge you to do so. Of course, you need to be open to him. Ask him to inspire you in every way so that you would want to be like him. Ask him to inspire you to be humble to be exalted to new heights. Let him inspire you to become fearless and confidant in serving him. He can even inspire you to know all his thoughts and ways! Yes, let him inspire you to the max! This becomes truly living in union with him.
I see so many hearts that have turned into stone. God has done his utmost to save us—he has sacrificed his own Divine Son to suffer in our place so that we may have eternal life. Yet so many of us still ignore him, reject him, or even blaspheme him. This is absolutely being heartless. If God cannot change you, then nothing besides yourself will be able to. Don't ever believe that without God everything will be fine. You always reap what you sow. By the way, whether you believe or not, hell does exist. Rejecting the God of Christ who is the only one who can save you is the sure way to hell. I want to warn all, for hell has to be the most horrible destination for anyone. To each his own? That would be a sad remark to make. Let us hear "For all, God is our hope."
We can not avoid physical suffering in this life. I believe that God has a purpose for allowing anything to happen to us. Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, was struck dumb when he doubted what the angel Gabriel told him, that his wife Elizabeth in her advanced years would conceive a son. He didn't regain his power of speech until John was born. And Paul was struck blind by a bright light on his way to Damascus when Jesus called him. He regained his sight three days later when Ananias of Damascus laid his hands upon him and he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul also mentioned his thorn in flesh the Lord gave him to keep him humble. We don't know what it was, but it could be a form of physical suffering too. My left shoulder joint due to a number of falls has suffered pain for years. I know that the Lord can heal me in an instant should he so wish. In the meantime, I know he has purposed it too. For us who follow the Lord, we know that offering our sufferings up to him glorifies him, and one day all our sufferings will turn into eternal joy in heaven.
Thursday, June 24, 2021
To be free, you can do whatever you want to do or do whatever God wants you to do? Which way is better? Most people would like to do what they want to do, but this "freedom" does not guarantee happiness, for it's self-centered and things do not always turn out the way you want. If you always follow God's will, then you are God-centered. With yourself out of the way, you remain free and happy as well.
It's undeniable that we have all strayed away from God, for we have sinned. So we need to return to him to become his obedient children as he had always wished. This explains why we are miserable on our own and shows how we can rightfully become free and happy.
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Our daughter-in-law suggested to my wife and me to have a bag containing all the important things ready so that we'd be prepared to leave in case we have to evacuate our house. I had thought about this before because I live in an area with a lot of trees around and California gets lots of wild fires every summer. With just two cars to load what we can carry, I pretty much have to leave behind almost everything normally you would want to keep for a while. This is virtually as "bad" as when you leave the world. Nevertheless, this has been a good exercise, making me realize that there is a time to let all things go and the time to learn to say goodbye to them is now.
With Christians facing persecution, the Church in disarray, and evil seemingly having filtered the fabric of our entire society, the days look dark indeed. But let's know that Satan is loose only because God has permitted it. It is a given that the Lord will triumph totally in the end. Because Satan knows that his days are numbered, he is fighting extra hard out of desperation. So we should fight him and his minions without any fear, but with full confidence in our God. It's only a matter of time before the days will be brighter than ever. We may not be here then, but that shouldn't make any difference to us. Just know that we are fighting a winning battle.
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
We were all born into this world and get to live our lives. We can choose to live a holy or an evil life or one anywhere in-between. Then when our time is up, we all die. So what does it matter how we live our lives? Answer: It matters a lot because we have a soul that live on forever after death. This life is only the infinitesimal beginning of our everlasting existence. You want to live it right in order not to screw up your whole eternity.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 7, Jesus said to his disciples, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And who find it are few." Jesus gave us these warnings 2,000 years ago and we still are not taking it seriously enough. Time to snap out of the doldrums!
The Lord has given each of us a conscience. The one who has a dull conscience can sin more and not get bothered too much. Then he won't have much inner peace either. Anyone with a sharp conscience sins a lot less, for he knows the pain of carrying a sin, so he enjoys peace in his heart almost always. It's a choice, but know that if you lack inner peace, it's God calling you to him.
Everything we do, the Lord knows, and we'll be either rewarded or punished. You can say that what goes out from us will always come back to us in some way or form. That is, there'll be consequences to whatever we do or don't do. It's good to remember Proverbs 22:8, "Those who sow iniquity reap calamity."
Because of the many prominent politicians who claim to be Catholic, but publicly go against the teachings of the Church and continue to receive the Holy Eucharist at Mass, the U.S. bishops are meeting, trying to come up with clear guidelines for the reception of Holy Communion. Actually, the guidelines are already there, but since the Church is now divided, the topic has become controversial. Some 60 Catholic Democratic congressmen have already called on the bishops not to weaponize the Holy Eucharist. Cleve choice of words indeed. One congressman who is all for contraception, abortion, divorce, and same sex marriage openly dared the Church to deny him Communion. This I know, when you say you are a Catholic and reject the teachings of the Church, you are a lying antichrist.
Monday, June 21, 2021
Hebrew 4:12 is today's Gospel acclamation: The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the the heart. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 7, Jesus said to his disciples, "How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye." These two quotes are directly related. It's precisely not hearing the living word of God that has made us blind to our own faults. This is the generation that never see themselves blameless and always blame others. Naturally, if you think that you are perfect, you don't seek God anymore.
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Knowing the truth is not the same as knowing about the truth. You can know about Jesus but not know him at all. Once I had a guide on a Holy Land tour who knew more about Jesus than any of us in the group, but he was a Muslim. To preach the good news, we must preach Christ and not about Christ. Even in a Bible study class, the focus should be on the Lord. Focusing on all the peripheral details won't draw you closer to him. A Christian must live fully in the Lord and not just observe him from the side.
Today is special, for it's the first Sunday we are able to attend all Masses inside the church with all seats in place. Only a few people wore masks, and social distancing was no longer observed. In today's second reading from 2 Corinthians 5, Paul writes, "Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come." What's so wonderful and great about Christ is that he can make us anew at any time so that we can remain new at all times! This certainly makes following Christ most exciting and rewarding!
Saturday, June 19, 2021
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 6, Jesus said to his disciples, "Do now worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides." Most of us are getting the order wrong. We seek these things first and God only when we didn't get them, forgetting that the Father is the provider of all the things we need. To reverse this order is to put your life in order, and you'll witness the wonders of God.
In today's reading from 2 Corinthians 12, Paul again boasts of his weaknesses, for the Lord told him that power is made perfect in weakness. I can see that the more we realize that we are weak on our own, the more we know that we need to rely upon the Lord. And the more we rely upon him, the more power we receive. Since God's power is infinite, there is no limit to how strong we can become! It's truly exciting to live and trust in God alone.
I saw a YouTube video showing an entire Italian village that had been abandoned about 15 years ago due to an earthquake. The crew who explored the place showed that almost all the houses abandoned were left open with pretty much all the personal belongings left behind, including clothing, artworks, personal letters, etc. One of the crew members remarked that walking through the village, he felt like he was the last man on earth. By the way, there are many other videos showing the mysterious abandonment of a single mansion or house. After I watched the video, I realized that one day, I may not abandon my own house, but I'll have to leave it behind with no choice. After I am gone, all my possessions will be disposed of by others. This realization brought relief, for it made me see the foolishness of being attached to all material things? Let them go and be free. God is the only one worth holding onto supremely!
Friday, June 18, 2021
Jesus is the light. When you are in union with him, he floods your entire being, enabling you to see the whole truth. Your soul now rests in the Lord in perfect contentment. You lack nothing, for God is more than sufficient. You are all set to live forever!
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 6, Jesus says to his disciples: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroy, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be." Let's ask ourselves how much time and energy we devote to storing up treasures for ourselves on earth and how much we spend on storing up treasures in heaven. If the passing grade is 60, will you pass? You've heard the proverb "Home is where the heart is." If you are not storing up treasures in heaven, then heaven is not you home yet.
In today's first reading from 2 Corinthians 11, Paul boasts of how he labored for Christ. He writes, "If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness." For us who love and follow the Lord, we can certainly joyfully boast of my total dependence upon the Lord. This is holy pride!
Thursday, June 17, 2021
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 6, Jesus taught his disciples to pray the Lord's Prayer and concluded by saying "If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions." These words came clear as a bell. So we must do our best to forgive others (evildoers included). Then the Lord will do his best to forgive us. The commandment "Stop judging, that you may not be judged" makes perfect sense now.
If you want to have a great relationship with the most loving God of Christ so that you get to know him intimately, belong to his heavenly family, and be all set for eternity, it's really simple—you just go beyond believing in him and surrender yourself completely to him. This can be accomplished in an instant and will be remembered by God the Father forever!
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Yesterday while I was cleaning out a desk drawer in my old study, I found something I wrote in 1975 on a typewriter. It's about ten pages long, double spaced. You see, I was involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal at the time and that was written as an assignment for a group of us seeking inner healing from the Lord at a person's house. The Lord has the power to heal all our inner wounds, pains, and sufferings, both present and past. We were to recall and write down everything that had robbed us of inner peace and present it to the Lord. It took me quite some time to get that done. Of course, we did not share any of these private recollections with each other at the meeting, for it sufficed that the Lord knew all about them. Anyway, I quickly went over what I found. If that had been written by someone else, I'd feel very sorry for that person, for he surely was unhappy, all mixed up, and lost, struggling to be somebody. Then I realized that I was now a completely different person, being so happy in the Lord and myself that I had zero desire to be someone else. I wanted to celebrate my freedom—it's all God's doing! Because the change took place over a period of time, I didn't not realize how far I had come. The past is all gone and the future is brighter than the sun. When you know you are on your way to be with your most beloved forever, how can you possibly not feel exhilarated?
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
In yesterday's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus said to his disciples, "Offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow." I could see that Jesus himself certainly practiced what he preached. But how about us? I have great difficulty with the first saying about offering no resistance to one who is evil. What if someone wants to kill me and my entire family? I even have trouble giving money to anyone who asks of me, when I know that it's a scam. Should we not even fight evil? I believe that the Lord basically wants us to always love others, including our enemies. What he requires us to do is most difficult, all the more we need to abandon ourselves to him. I believe the consolation here is that if we love God, he will never put us to any test we cannot pass.
I used to be teacher at a college. Usually, I set the passing score at 60%. If a student scored a 59, should I fail him? You need a cutoff, but how strictly should I adhere to it? What about the student who would have done better if some unfortunate event hadn't happened to prevent him from studying for the exam? Shouldn't the student who tried really hard to pass be given special consideration? These were the questions I asked myself. I believe that God's mercy is flexible. We already know that he loves us and wants to save as many of us as he can. Many of us are basically imperfect, but not exactly evil. He'll look for any little merit we have in order to save us. The existence of purgatory is a sign of his great mercy. Repentance ensures that we'll get into heaven. To me, the best policy is to love and serve the Lord to the max and we won't need to be concerned about how he's going to judge us anymore.
Monday, June 14, 2021
There are people we cannot reach or we can reach but are not able to convert. This is where we need to abandon ourselves completely to God. We work for him, but let him complete everything we do. And know that when we serve the Lord, we are always his first beneficiaries.
It pains me greatly to see people not taking Christ seriously. One case in point. I saw the work of an artist playing around with the images of Christ on the cross and the Cross. These images probably amused a lot of people, but to me they were so irreverent as to be blasphemous. If I were at that art show, I would have let him know of my concern. The artist obviously didn't know Christ, but he was absolutely stupid not realizing that what he planned to do might offend many others to whom Christ was the Lord God. Know that with God, we are playing with the fire we can be cast into one day if we are not being careful with it.
All those people who have had a near-dearth experience claim that even when they were out of their own body, they could see everything that's going on in the world except that they couldn't contact us. This was also confirmed by some seers who receive messages from heaven when they were asked this question. I personally believe that there are all kinds of spirits out there who see exactly what we are doing on earth, but are invisible to us. Of course, God is the only one who not only sees us, but also knows everything about us and can contact us. Just know that we are being watched at all times, but living for God alone is all we need to mind.
Sunday, June 13, 2021
I have visited many beautiful and magnificent cathedrals, basilicas, and churches which are big tourist attractions. Examples are Notre Dame of Paris and St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. People flock there to see the impressive architecture, sculptures, murals, paintings, etc., but I would be surprised if many visitors actually felt drawn to Christ during their visit. All the attractions can easily become distractions. I attended Mass at one church in Escondido, CA, once. The singer was so good that it made me focus on the singing more than on the Lord. Over a decade ago, I attended daily Mass at a nearby seminary. The Mass was held in a small chapel with an altar and some stained glass windows. There were not even regular pews. So it's a rather spare place. Yet in remaining at the chapel alone after Mass, I experienced many spiritual breakthroughs. Now this chapel had been fully furbished with pews, red carpet, improved lighting, etc. and looks beautiful. Somehow I miss its former spare look which was less distracting. I had mentioned that I felt the intimacy of God most when I woke up late at night or very early in the morning when it's quiet and dark. So the best way to experience God is to be in solitude without any distraction, leaving only you and God alone together. The world does not know God because it is being distracted by all sorts of things not of God.
Whether you are young or old, extrovert or introverted, if you feel lonely, you do not know God yet. Attain union with the Lord so that he becomes one with you, then you can be in the desert all alone and still do not feel lonely. As a matter of fact, the lonelier the place, the more acutely you'd feel his presence.
If we are to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength, namely, to the max, then let's do everything to the max for the Lord. This would include praying from the heart, loving others, maintaining our sanctify, remaining genuine, speaking the truth always, submitting ourselves to him, worshipping him, praising him, and all other good deeds we perform. When you love the Lord to the max, you will be blessed and rewarded by him to the max too. This is living to the max, the happiest living.
In Matthew 7:11, Jesus said, "If you who are wicked know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him." You can be sure whatever you ask for that's good for you, the Father will give it to you! God cannot refuse us blessings when we seek them. Ask for "what will make you holy and glorify him" to the max. Holy greed is perfectly fine.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Going back decades before I knew Christ, I read a book that says prayers work. I don't think the author was any fervent Christian; he just wrote what he had discovered. So I thought that must be something to prayers. Of course, now I know that Christ is real and is God, and he hears and knows everything we do. If we pray with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength, you can be sure the Lord will open his heart wide to us and bless us or the world in some way. So with prayer we can influence and change God's heart, ultimately to benefit us and the whole world.
Friday, June 11, 2021
Sometimes there are myriad things on my mind to pray for and I don't even know where to begin. I decided to just pray the name of Jesus. While saying "Jesus" each time, I let him know my request. It could be just one thing or group of things. This way I save a lot of words and proceed in a proper order and the Lord knows exactly what I pray for each time I say his holy name.
One big fault we have today is that we see the faults in others but not in ourselves. It's so easy to blame and complain about others, but never about ourselves. We wish that others would change, but not us. This is being self-centered, wanting everyone to live up to our expectations. It is forgetting that only God is our judge and only he is perfect.
Today is the Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Think about our heart, it is one of God's most amazing creations. We all have a heart and know that the purity of the heart determines our sanctity. It is our very center and what we use in contacting God. The Lord looks at the heart when he judges us. It is the heart that experiences God's peace and joy and all our other emotions. And the Lord usually always speaks to us through our heart. Most of all, when God chooses to dwell in us, he choose to dwell in our heart. Right now my heart tells me that we do have an amazing creator, our Lord and our God.
Our relationships with other fellow human beings can be good or bad. In a good relationship, you and the other person will always love, support, and help each other. How about a good relationship with God? It has to be better than any good relationship between two humans. Think about it, God knows you more than anyone else can. He knows exactly what you need and what's best for you. He can protect you from all evil if you trust in him, and guide you to heaven! Nothing is impossible for him to accomplish for you. He is with you always and can be contacted instantly. His love for you is greater than any human love. Put yourself entirely in his hands and you'll become like him. So, seek to attain union with God to enjoy the extraordinary and most exalted relationship you can possibly have for your existence.
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Monday, June 7, 2021
Today I saw a photo posted online showing two public figures posing in a disgusting manner. There are now so many such sick and godless people out there that many people, including Christians, wish that they would die and/or go to hell. We must ask how Jesus would want us to treat them. I know the Lord must be weeping over them, for they know not what they do and he loves them all. I also know that he does not want us to judge them. So like him, we should pity them and pray for them, especially if you know that you are heaven bound. If we hate or judge them, we may get locked out of heaven ourselves. For to receive mercy from God, we must be merciful to others.
After we commit a sin and feel sorry about it, we can always repent and ask the Lord to forgive us (or go to confession if the sin is serious). Then he takes the sin away and we are clean again. But the tendency to sin still remains. To take care of that, you need to surrender to God completely. Once you attain union with him, he removes that as well. Now you live in great peace.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. Here's one of the Beatitudes he gave: "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God." I say amen to that. One who has a clean heart is with the Lord, for he has nothing to hide, and he enjoys his constant companionship. Let the Lord purge you of all your sins so that you may enjoy living a happy and peaceful life in him.
Sunday, June 6, 2021
I have posted a number of recordings of Ave Maria in the right sidebar under Good Websites, Blogs, Videos.... Of course, Schubert and Bach/Gounod's Ave Maria are best known. But in recent years, William Gomez of El Salvador composed an Ave Maria that's magnificent. I also love the version by the Polish composer Lorenc which was played in the Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ film. You can find all these videos in my list. Today I am going to post another beautiful Ave Maria attributed to the 16th century Italian composer Giulio Caccini and the 20th century Russian composer Vladimir Vavilov. I listed both names because no one is sure who the original composer was.
I was deeply moved by the song. The melody is gorgeous and the images shown in the video made me realize how sorrowful Mary must have felt about the death of her son. Her sorrow must have been doubly intense and painful, as Jesus was not only her son, but also her Lord! Then I realize that Jesus is not only my friend and soulmate, but also my Lord and Savior, and my joy doubled! The video is long because the song was played I think three times over. But if you are drawn into it, you can meditate on it and time will go by quickly. May watching this video increase you love for both Christ and his (and our) mother.
As you might know, I like both music and photography. I enjoyed listening to various genres of music. Performed well, music can touch one's heart and perhaps even the soul. As I photograph, I look for images that resonate with me. So what I see often touches me deeply too. Then Christ, whom I do not hear nor see, captures my heart and soul totally—this is the amazing part. I know that there are people who live only for their music or the art they create. But only Christ is worth dying for! After you know him, all else just fade away. Now you remain free in him and live for him only, no longer attached to anything in the world.
Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. If Christ is truly our Lord God and Savior, then we must absolutely take him seriously, for our entire existence and survival now depends upon him. To ignore, dismiss, or reject him can no longer be an option. If you don't have him, you'll have absolutely no one else to go to, for there is not another one like him. I am being dead serious. Again, it's all or nothing with the Lord, a mark of the true God.
Saturday, June 5, 2021
A good Christian has no fear of evil because God is with him; he always hopes for the best in the Lord and never panics. On the other hand, an evil person panics easily for fear of being exposed at any time. (At least he still has some conscience left, one reason we should never write anyone off completely.)
Friday, June 4, 2021
We normally do what we want to do first. If some emergency comes up, then we have no choice but to drop whatever we're doing and attend to that emergency first. If God's will is made clear to us, we must also treat it like an emergency and drop whatever we were doing to attend to his will first. The Lord will sure reward you amply. (Think of yourself as an emergency doctor serving the Lord, saving souls.)
I talked about being of one heart and one mind with God in my last post. I recall my early days as a Christian. Yes, i believed in Christ, but I wasn't one with him yet. I called him Lord, not realizing that in reality I was still my own lord. I did not go against him, but I didn't obey him in all things either. My conscience sharpened only after I got to know him better. To transfer all my authority to him is not something that dawned on me, especially when I wasn't committing any sin that seemed to be serious to me at the time. Only after knowing him much better did I realize that God demands perfection from us, for any sin wounds him. Of course, once you fall in love in him, you naturally want to become like him. Now your conscience becomes super sharp, guarding you against sinning. With that you experience freedom and peace. Now I know why I didn't feel free nor have peace before—I didn't let my Lord be my lord. I was a hypocrite all right.
I know of people who practice meditation, hoping to achieve some sort of nirvana or enlightenment. This is playing a dangerous game because you don't know what you can get yourself into. Unknown spirits are legion out there, ready to enter your life. This I can personally testify. Then you can meditate like that for many years and realize nothing extraordinary, and whatever you might realize still turns out to be your own thoughts. Meditating upon the Lord is totally different. For one thing, you already know who he is, the only true holy God. The other thing is that you don't have to strive hard in any way, hoping to receive wisdom or illumination. On the contrary, you only need to be receptive to his word and rest passively in him at all times. Then he'll reveal all you need to know for your salvation. This is spontaneous, effortless learning, opposite to how we learn things in the world. This is how how we can achieve union with the Lord with the aid of the Holy Eucharist. To be of one heart and one mind with the Lord is our ultimate fulfillment on earth.
Thursday, June 3, 2021
As I was walking this morning, I saw that the Holy Eucharist is an amazing awesome gift the Lord has given us. It is the Lord's own flesh and blood. In John 6:54-55, Jesus said, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. For my flesh is true food, and my blood true drink."
When you receive this Most Blessed Sacrament, you are receiving your creator and the Lord of heaven and earth physically into you! Therefore, you must be in a state of grace. In 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, Paul wrote: Whoever eat the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.
How can we not be ready beforehand and still remain the same sinner afterwards? Not only we must prepare myself for receiving such a glorious gift, we should also spend time thanking the Lord for such a great privilege and favor. Instead, parishioners leave right after or even before Mass ends. How could we treat the Lord so casually? The Church has surely failed in teaching her flocks. Now pretty much anyone who goes up to receive the Eucharist gets it—one may not even believe in the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist or is in a state of mortal sin. Why don't priests from time to time before Mass remind us of the requirements for receiving the Holy Eucharist, especially at Easter and Christmas times when all the CINOs surface? Don't we care about how the Lord feels anymore?
Do you ever feel the need to change yourself for the better? As sinners, we know that we are not perfect, and the Lord God of Christ is the perfect one who can fundamentally change us to make us perfect. Ask him to to do that and you'll please God as well as feel happy with yourself.
God is always calling us. We are all given a conscience, and we need to have a clear conscience to hear his calls. The voice of the Lord is ever so gentle that a soul in turmoil won't be able to hear it. To have some time to turn to God is absolutely crucial to hearing him. Living a busy life, you can easily not hear the Lord your whole life and miss all the golden opportunities to reconcile yourself to him. This would indeed be a great tragedy.
We want to bring as many souls as possible to Christ. There are some who are doing this work admirably, for they are gifted speakers or writers and know how to spread their messages through mass media and by other means. How about many of us who are not able to reach so many souls. The Lord made me see that we only need to enter deeper into him. For the more we are in tune with him, the more effective our prayers will be, and deep prayer is the key to saving more souls. Where we lack power, the Lord fills in. Do our small part well and our works will become great too.
Listen to God and he'll listen to you. Respect God and he'll respect you. Praise him and he'll praise you. Trust him and he'll trust you. Enjoy him and he'll enjoy you. Open up to him and he'll open up to you. Communicate with him and he'll communicate with you. If he is beautiful to you, you'll be beautiful to him. Appreciate him and he'd appreciate that. See how you can make God treat you according to your wish? But no matter what you treat him, he'll always love you.
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Men are often enslaved by physical desires, among which the sexual desire, especially in today's culture, can be dominant and overpowering. The pleasure men get from sex makes such a sin most difficult to overcome, even though they know that if they indulge in it too much, the pleasure can become sickening. Nevertheless, with gratification on mind, you don't think beyond it. To break free of such enslavement or any serious bondage, you absolute need God to enter your life. Submitting yourself completely to the Lord is always hard, but you must make your first attempt. Much prayer is needed. Find someone with faith to pray with you. Know that your soul is at stake and it's either do or die. Only by experiencing the peace and joy of the Lord will you be able to overcome this sin. Know that nothing is impossible for God. Cry out to the Lord from you heart if you must and he will surely hear and take care of you.
Through Nahre Sol, the pianist and composer whom I posted about on May 31, I came to learn about Andrew Huang whom Nahre Sol interviewed in her video The Brilliance of Andrew Huang. He is a Canadian musician very popular on social media. On YouTube alone he has almost 600 videos, garnering 2.2 million subscribers. I think Andrew is creative, ingenious, and a hard worker, not afraid of exploring lots of genres and instruments. While many talented people are admirable, they also make me treasure what I've chosen to follow even more. What I have discovered in my Christ is not only rich and beautiful beyond words, but also absolutely pure and simple. I only need to lie back and enjoy the Lord.
In today's Gospel acclamation from John 11, Jesus said: "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me will never die." Is there anything not clear to you? If you do not believe in Jesus, it has to be either you believe that he was lying to you or you just reject the truth.
Since God knows everything about us, what's in our heart and on our mind, we must be completely honest and truthful to him, for an iota of deviation from that he can instantly detect. Being completely honest and truthful to God greatly strengthens our union with him. This is how we really get to know the Lord.
As we age and experience physical deterioration and begin to depend upon others more to do some of the things for us, we think about God more. When we were young, we might be attracted to God, but still thought that there's so much time left that we easily attended to things of the world first. For me, I now catch myself making more and more mistakes even in typing a message like this one, as the old physical dexterity is no longer there. Anyway, turning to God is a great blessing! The ultimate realization is that the God of Christ is all we need. For all things of the world pass.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Today's Gospel acclamation comes from Ephesians 1 in which Paul prayed for all that God the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ might open the eyes of their hearts. Yes, our hearts also have eyes and ears through which God communicates with us and we get to know him intimately. When you are totally obedient and receptive to the Lord (or in union with him), you hear and see him. He now is your lifeline, your inspiration, your counselor and guide. Hearing the voice from him alone is enough to transform, nourish, and sustain us. Now you know that you are one with and belong to your God. What a glorious feeling!