Actually, God is always with us, so this question basically becomes "How well are you aware of his presence?" You can have the Lord dwell right within you or make him into an unknown altogether. Again, it's all up to you. (By the way, our free will is given by God. Hope being aware of that can help you make the right choice.)
Monday, February 28, 2022
It's the last day of February and I am resuming attending daily Mass after the hiatus caused by the pandemic. I went to Mount St. Joseph Seminary in nearby Loomis for Mass. The chapel there was where I attended Mass for years before our parish church was built. I went there before my blog started in 2009. It's a very peaceful place in a beautiful setting. After each Mass, I used to remain about 40 minutes, opening myself up to the Lord. It's during that time that he started drawing me ever closer to him and eventually made me fall in love with him. The desire to seek union with God thru the Holy Eucharist ensued. It seemed that I was entering the final phase of my spiritual life. After attending the Mass there again this morning, I had the feeling that the Lord's not done with me yet—he's going to make my last phase even better. The Lord has so much to offer us that we can just let him improve and refine our spiritual life every single moment. He can truly make us as rich as we want to be in him.
Sunday, February 27, 2022
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 6, Jesus said to his disciples, "Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother's eye." So you should always start with yourself first. Before you wish someone to be holy, be holy yourself first. Before you convert anyone, convert yourself first. Before you want others to surrender themselves to the Lord, you do it first. You must be spiritually strong yourself before you can effective help others. When you are a good example, not only you'll inspire others, the Lord will also be more attentive to you too.
Yesterday I heard the sad news that the Dominican Republic, the only abortion-free country in the Caribbean, is now being pressured by the Biden administration to legalize abortion. The bishop there is pleading for help. You can watch the whole story here and consider helping the people here. I feel the heavy burden and just want to go to Christ my Lord to cry my heart out at his feet, begging for mercy. Only he can console me and that's what I need now.
Friday, February 25, 2022
I have already quoted the famous saying of the French novelists Léon Bloy on this blog: "The only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is to not become a saint." This totally makes sense, which leads me to think that our greatest oversight in this life is to not take eternal life seriously. We live from day to day, planning for this life and not thinking about the afterlife. It's as if since it's an unknown, we don't want to waste time thinking about it. Of course, this is a serious mistake. It amounts to treating Jesus as someone who came, died for us, rose from the dead . . . all for nothing.
From today's Psalm 103, I read these verses. "The Lord pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion. Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger an abounding in kindness. He will not always chide, nor does he keep his wrath forever. For as heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us." The Lords knows that we have inherited the original sin, that's why he is so understanding. As long as we do our best not to sin against him and repent after we sin, he'll always forgive us. But if we choose to sin against him, we reject his kindness and mercy and incur our own condemnation. It's all very clear.
Thursday, February 24, 2022
In the many decades of living in this world, I have met people who can change in a split second and become an entirely different person (usually when money is involved). As for the public figures you read about a lot in the news, there are those who appear to be totally upright and trustworthy until you learn what they are like in private, not the image they project in public at all. (Some of them had a dark past too, but that doesn't bother me as much.) The lesson leaned: We cannot trust too much in any living person, but should place all our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, the one who has proven to us that he truly loves us.
There are many pushy, aggressive people out there, They are the ones who would cut in line to get ahead of others if they can. This kind of behavior shows up in other circumstances too. The thought came to me today that if you know you are going to heaven, you are already way ahead. So just let them get ahead in this world and pray that they will know Christ and see things your way too.
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
When people don't understand us, we feel frustrated. When we are misunderstood, we feel even worse. Do not seeking understanding from the world. First of all, what good is it for others to understand you if not to boost your ego? Would having them understand you bring you any closer to God? Anyway, God already understands you well. When Christ was on earth, he just did the Father's will and never bothered with seeking understanding from others.
When you first encounter the Holy Spirit, he sets your heart afire. The Scripture comes alive and you yearn to know the Lord. You want to let whole world know about Christ. Because you are so happy in the Lord, you don't think about yourself too much. Then eventually the Lord withdraws, wanting to make you strong enough to stand on your own feet. Without him, you become more aware of your weaknesses, shortcomings, and minor sins. The desire for perfection leads you to seek union with God thru the Holy Eucharist. Falling deeply in love with Lord begins. Once you attain union, God, more beautiful than ever to you, is now your perfect soulmate.
The Lord God loves you so much that he willingly died for you so that you might have eternal life. You probably have heard this numerous times already, but it's true. If you believe, you should feel great about yourself, for you are loved by God! And you'd never want to compare yourself with anyone else anymore. For what would the point be—you are already good enough for God? Now you realize that God loves everyone and you stop judging anyone. You are on your way to being completely liberated from the world.
The perfect Lord lets me see all my imperfections. The more I see my own imperfections, the more I am bowled over by his perfection. The good news is that we don't need to struggle to become perfect; we only need to let him make us perfect.
We can talk about many things with others such as favorite foods, best travel destinations, cars, sports, etc., and if our views are very different from each other, that's OK. But when the topic gets more serious, such as abortion, the division shows up quickly. Then you finally talk about Jesus and many people feel uncomfortable and practically become your enemy. Why is it so? Could it be that people subconsciously know or sense that God is real? That God can cause the greatest division among us only shows that he matters the most to us! Only by submitting ourselves completely to him can we experience peace within us. Now you should understand why you don't have inner peace if you don't experience any.
Tuesday, February 22, 2022
I looked inside my house and saw all the things I had, some of which were quite personal, such as the photos I'd taken over many years. If I leave the world now, I can just let everything go and not say one goodbye. But there is one thing I cannot forget so easily—that's the people for whom I have prayed and God hasn't answered those prayers yet. Perhaps they will be answered after I am gone, but surely it'd be nice if they were answered before I leave. Then I am relieved when I realize that I can continue pray for them from heaven and will be even more effective because I am close to God more than ever.
I look at my house and see that it always needs some kind of maintenance or improvement, and the work that needs to be done can be extensive and expensive. The same happens to our body as we age. We continue taking medications and supplements and exercise more just to slow down its deterioration. By comparison, maintaining our spiritual health is so much easier and more pleasant. We sin, we repent, and we are forgiven. Dealing with God is simple and always a joy.
Jesus is suffering tremendously for the sins committed against him by so many of us—are you willing to keep him company just to make him feel better? Letting him know that you want to remain with him in all circumstances would be of great consolation to the Lord who deserves all of our love.
Sunday, February 20, 2022
Love and attachment are two different things. To be attached to someone may not be loving that person at all. In fact, if you love someone with God's pure love, attachment can get in the way. This is not easy to explain, but God's love must prevail at the highest level. Perhaps looking at Jesus can help us understand somewhat. The Lord loved the people with the greatest love and pitied them, yet he never got himself attached to someone to impede him in carrying out God's will.
Many people are interested in eating right so that they might live longer. You see articles that tell you if you follow their diet, you can live two or maybe five years longer. How would you know, as this is not something you can do experiments on to find out? And living longer may not even be a blessing if your health deteriorates. Now, believing in Christ and being assured that you'll live on forever—this to me is a lot more relevant and exciting.
We have a most merciful God who loves us, understands us thoroughly, and wants to save us with all his heart. All we need to do is to believe in him and obey him. Instead of ignoring him, we should rejoice every moment with gratitude and anticipation!
The world is wasting a lot of its time. Many do not believe in God or love him as much as they should and many are embracing evil. It's most lamentable. God loves us and unquestionably will vanquish all evil in the end. Many will be saved, but many will be lost too. If you sin, you just have to pay a price. But the God of Christ can remove all our sins and save us if you believe in him. That's why it's called the good news. It's actually fantastic, much better than good. Ask for his mercy right now before time runs out on you. Do yourself this favor you need the most. Please!
Since disobedience to God causes us to love money, it's even more correct to say "disobedience to God is the root of all evil" than "money is the root of all evil." To obey God alone requires that we trust in him alone and not in anyone else, ourselves included.
If you keep the God of Christ out of your life, naturally you'll never get to know him. He already knows you, so to know him best, you only need to open up wide to him. Then he'll come and reveal himself and whatever you need to know to attain eternal joy to you. There is no relationship more rewarding and beautiful than you and the Lord freely exchanging thoughts with each other at any time.
Saturday, February 19, 2022
Today's Gospel reading from Mark 9 is on the transfiguration of Jesus. Peter, James, and John were with him on the high mountain. He was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white. Then Elijah appeared along with Moses, and they conversed with Jesus. A cloud came over them and from it came God's voice, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him." The whole scene was just splendid and awesome! Don't you wish that you can be in heaven too? You surely can if you stick with Jesus.
In my last post, I extolled perfect obedience to God. Today, we have disobedience to God everywhere, within and without the Church. Ralph Martin's new video brings an excellent message that may shock you, but we need to stay informed. This we already know: Confusion can only come from the Devil.
If we obey the Lord, we'll automatically be humble and ask for the right things. What if I ask the Lord to make me a great saint? This doesn't sound like I am very humble. Yet this is what the Lord wants to hear from us, for he had said to his disciples, "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). We make such a request only to obey the Lord, and it does take great humility to obey whatever he tells us to do and not question him. Perfect obedience overrides all consequences. Abraham is a great example. When God tested him by asking him to offer up his son Issac as a burnt offering, he readily compiled. Of course, our perfect model is Christ himself who died for our sins in perfect obedience to the Father. Yes, we are to do God's will single-mindedly with all our heart and with all our soul.
Friday, February 18, 2022
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 8, we hear Jesus say to the people, "Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words . . . the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angles." It sounds fair enough. Thank you, Lord. Now I know exactly how to treat you and your words so that you may be proud of me and grant me eternal life.
The Holy Church is supposed to be the light in the world, making disciples of all nations and proclaiming the gospel to every creature, keeping the souls of the faithful safe and defending mankind against evil. The fact that today the Church seems to be more in line with the world than the teachings of Christ indicates that we are truly in end times, you might say, and the Lord will be compelled to do something to wake all of us up. I have no doubt that his Holy Church will be purified, restored, and become stronger than ever. Meanwhile, we need to double down on praying harder than ever.
Thursday, February 17, 2022
In the past, I have been involved in mathematics, product design, rental business, photography, CD collection, etc. They're all interesting. Now that I am primarily involved in saving souls, I can say that it is the most satisfying involvement yet. For you remain in communion with the Lord at all times and experience freedom, peace, and joy. Shall I say that the Lord God is the best boss there is and working for him the fringe benefits are fantastic?
Even though we were not at the Last Supper, we still receive the same body and blood of the Lord Jesus at every Mass as the Apostles did at the Last Supper. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The Lord fulfills his promise he made in the last verse of the Gospel Matthew that he is with us always, until the end of the age.
It is by Christ's perfection, especially his love and humility, that we are made to see our own imperfections, shortcomings, weaknesses, and faults. He is the perfect one for us to imitate and follow, the perfect shepherd for us who are his sheep. And he is also the shining light that dispels all darkness around us and keeps us on the path to heaven. Rejoice that we have such a Lord!
Once when I was traveling with my wife Maria in Yucatan, Mexico, I almost lost her. Fortunately, I found her again. I mention this because we all experience great pain when we lose a loved one, temporarily or permanently. I thought of God the Father who loves us infinitely more than we can possibly love others. Imagine how much pain we would cause him if one of us is lost to him forever! If you have any heart at all, you should realize this. So do your best not to sin, and if you failed, get your sin forgiven without delay, for you mustn't lose your soul! You are loved by the Father, the saints, the good angels, and all those who are heaven bound, and that's a lot of people. Nevertheless, God's love alone should be sufficient for you to want to safeguard you most precious soul. Heaven awaits you and is ready to give you the biggest possible welcome when you turn to the Father to tell him that you want to come home to him. Or you'd rather remain an outcast to be shut out of heaven forever?
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 8, a blind man begged Jesus to heal him. Jesus laid hands on the man's eyes and his sight was restored. To those who don't believe in Jesus yet, surely if you ask him to help you see the spiritual truth, he will heal you spiritually blindness too.
In today's first reading from James 1, the Apostle writes, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world." I'd like to go over that last bit of advice: to keep oneself unstained by the world. Everyday we turn on the news, watch some shows on TV, or just hear others talk around us, the world is trying to stain us! To protect ourselves, we need to dwell completely in the Lord. This is accomplished by attaining union with him. There's not another way, for only God can keeps our soul unstained and safe. The fact is that God is always inviting us to abandon ourselves in him to achieve this union, but we must will to accept his invitation to make it happen. For those who have not responded yet, you are facing this crucial moment right now. This invitation will expire when you expire.
The greatest gift the Lord God has given us is of course Himself. Christ the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Eucharist we've received are all Him. After the Lord, I personally rank the Holy Mother as our next greatest gift. She, conceived without sin, loves us with God's pure love, prays for us unceasingly, and is our best partner in doing the will of God the Father. She's the Mother in whom we can fully trust and find protection and guidance as we return to the Father. With her in company, the journey is now a total delight!
To serve God, we must always make an effort. I am not saying that we struggle hard in any way. In fact, we should never struggle in spiritual life; instead, we rest in the Lord to let him help us do all the necessary work. To make an effort simply means to not miss any opportunity. It's too easy to sit back and skip doing some of the little thing for the sake of God, when doing them can mean a lot to him and benefit our own spiritual life greatly. I can still recall the pop song "Little Things Mean a Lot" of the 1950s. The title means something to me now.
A humble person realizes that he is a sinner, so he repents of his sins to God and is made clean and is saved. Now he feels free, enjoys inner peace, and is filled with great joy. On the other hand, a proud person does not admit that he is a sinner and keeps on sinning, so he never feels free, experiencing no peace nor joy—he could remain in this miserable state all his life. I am not making all this up; it's sad reality.
Tuesday, February 15, 2022
The Hail Mary prayer, of course, I, as a Catholic, have prayed countless times. It goes like this: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and the hour of our death. Amen." The first part is based upon the greetings given to Mary by the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation and the second part upon that given to her by her cousin Elizabeth when Mary visited her, both came from Luke 1. The last line, a petition, was added to complete the prayer. When I say that petition, I thought I simply ask Mary to intercede for us from now on to the hour of my death. Today I listened to Dr. Taylor Marshall's podcast on YouTube and he made me see something new. The petition in the prayer says "now and the hour of our death," not "now to the hour of our death" as I had thought. This is significant: we are actually asking God to grant us a special grace at the hour of our death. And it happens that God does make many aware of their sins in that last minute, giving them one more chance to repent and be saved. Therefore, we must not cease praying for anyone we wish to save.
We love God, but he loved us first. We open ourselves to him, but he's always open to us. He has always existed, as he had revealed himself to be I AM, while we are the late, late arrivals on the scene. It makes complete sense that we let God initiates all actions and we just follow him.
Monday, February 14, 2022
There are two ways. Choose to be rich and beautiful in this world and after you die, you'll be poor and ugly forever. Choose to be rich and beautiful in God now and after you die, you'll be even richer and more beautiful for all eternity.
I watched an educational video on Bluetooth. It was quite amazing to learn what certain electromagnetic waves can do for us. The scientists probably have only understood them to the point they can built devices using Bluetooth technology to communicate wirelessly with each other. The Lord God who created everything of course knows all about that and more. We have to think hard, do research, experiment, and finally come up with something new, but God knows it all and does not even have to think and it is accomplished. (Notice how healed the sick instantly as he willed.) Yet with such infinite knowledge and power, he never teaches us such things. He only teaches love to us, for that's most important and all we need to learn. Know how to love now and we'll know everything in the end.
When we sin, can we blame it on Satan? I thought about this today. If we do not sin, then Satan can't do a thing about it—I am sure of this. For example, when you are in union with God, you enjoy his presence so much that sinning couldn't be further from your mind, and Satan would have no way of sneaking in. Then suppose I am in a bad mood and don't feel like doing something I as a Christian should do, this would please Satan for sure, then I don't know exactly how he can make things worse. I believe we are ultimately in control of deciding whether to sin or not, but Satan might have been permitted by God to tempt us to a certain extent. At any rate, we should respond to God only and ignore Satan. Always stick with the winner and dismiss the loser.
Sunday, February 13, 2022
Living in the world, we learn how to survive successfully, but the world only teaches you how to serve yourself and not God. To serve God alone, we need to follow God alone. Success in the world is meaningless if you can't get into heaven. In Matthew 16:26, Jesus said to his disciples, "What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?"
I have blogged about what life is all about from time to time. There are different ways of looking at it. Today I see that it's all about combatting sin. Since we were born with original sin, to overcome sin becomes our No. 1 problem. And we need to solve this problem within our limited time on earth. Of course, Jesus is precisely the solution God has provided us. It comes down basically to whether we want to get into heaven or not.
Saturday, February 12, 2022
If we want to live longer, we don't have a say. If we wish to die sooner, we don't have a say either. And there are at least a million other things we can't do a thing about. The smart way is to leave everything up to God. This is total abandonment, the way to freedom. You see, you no longer lord it over yourself.
Are you aware of the presence of your ego? Ego is definitely something to be starved or rid of if possible, for it destroys humility, thus keeping you from knowing God. A well-fed ego can inflate to the point that you are no longer aware of its existence—now you are in the danger zone, spiritually. Know that some day it might get popped and hurt you horribly, but that would be your big blessing.
People get lonely without God. If you are young, it's not that bad because you are still much engaged with the affairs of the world. Then you grow old and retire, and you start feeling lonely. But for those who know God all along, they can never be lonely, for the Lord is their constant companion or soulmate.
Thursday, February 10, 2022
I like Fr. Goring's video posted today. It is most interesting. Watching it I learned that God truly knows our heart. Every thought we have, every gesture we make, everything action we take . . . he knows, and they are not trivial to him. If I pray without being 100% reverent, he knows. If I praise him or confess a sin without total sincerity, he knows. Nothing escapes him. Being aware of God's omniscience makes me want it live a solid life, not a flimsy one that can crumble. And trusting in him makes that entirely possible.
We have God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, the same God in three. I see that the Father is the one who sets us free, the Son the one who grants us peace, and the Holy Spirit the one who gives us joy. We've got it all! God is all we need.
At the presentation of the child Jesus at the temple, after Simeon saw the child and knew that he was the Messiah, he was ready to go to God in peace. We who already know Jesus personally as our Savior should likewise rejoice and be ready to go to God in peace.
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 7, Jesus said to the crowd, "Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person: but the things that come out from within are what defile." Later he explained to his disciples that all evils come from within the man, from his heart, and they defile. We see that we are all potential evildoers and we need the Lord to cleanse us so that we may have eternal life. This is what life, our existence, and our survival are all about. See this and all your life problems are solved. There's nothing more urgent to know.
Mother Mary's favorite prayer is what's inscribed on the Miraculous Medal she gave us: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." Recently, as I was praying this prayer, it dawned on me that those who have no recourse to her yet would need her to pray for them even more. So I started praying "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for those who do not have recourse to thee."
Do not seek praise for yourself. At my funeral service, I want no eulogy, not a single word of praise for me. How about seeking understanding? If there is any misunderstanding between you and someone, clear it up if it's proper and possible, but ego must not play a part. It it doesn't work out after you have tried your best, just let it go. After all, you have the Lord understanding you perfectly and that should be more than sufficient for you. So, do not seek any human praise but accept all God's understanding.
If you wish to know more about Jesus' Divine Mercy and St. Sister Faustina, watch this documentary. I read her diary many years ago and started praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily, sometimes more than once for specific intentions. After watching the video, I am inclined to read her diary again. I have not been attending daily Mass since the pandemic started, but I am now drawn to resuming that practice since I feel the benefit of praying right before the tabernacle. There is nothing more consoling and satisfying than pouring your heart out in close proximity to the Blessed Sacrament. Trust in God's Divine Mercy and we'll have life in God and be able to save the world.
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
I thought more about how Jesus suffered for us. Abortion is today's most horrific crime, killing the unborn who are innocent. But Jesus was not just innocent, he was in fact doing all the good deeds and preaching the kingdom of God, with the sole aim of saving us from death! So they killed the one who loved them the most. This is even more unjust! But I suppose that was God's plan to show that he was even willing to sacrifice his own Son to save us from sin. This revelation alone should uplift our spirit and inspire us to love God and all others as much as he loves us.
I was praying the first Sorrowful Mystery of the Holy Rosary, the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, and recalled that the disciples couldn't stay awake to keep him company as Jesus underwent it—I suppose they did not quite know what the he was going to pass through yet. We now know exactly how the world is still causing the Lord agony, so we need to remain awake and do all we can to alleviate his suffering and console him.
It struck me today that the forgiveness of sins is a big deal! God can actually take away our sins to make our soul clean again! It is astounding that God can and is eager to do this for us so that we may enjoy heaven for all eternity. Unless you have no sin, how can anyone not care about the forgiveness of their sins?
Monday, February 7, 2022
To know our place before the Lord, we need to realize that we are made in his image and he loves us, that we, having inherited the original sin, need salvation, and that God the Son had already come down to earth to die for our sins so that we might have eternal life in heaven.
Once we believe in Christ and decide to follow him, we must not look back or even sideways. That is, we must not let anything of the past or the present make us lose our concentration upon the Lord. There are just so many things of interest around us that are distracting. Of course, we should dismiss outright anything that can cast doubts on our faith, but we shouldn't let any alleged prophesies and miracles get much of our attention either. Keeping our eyes on the Lord alone is the safest way to proceed.
Today's realization while praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Christ Jesus is the humblest and meekest of all beings, yet he is the Lord we, the whole world, must answer to. He is most merciful, but if we do not repent of our sins before we answer to him, we become the most foolish of all beings.
Sunday, February 6, 2022
Communion experience. Fr. Steven recalled the words of Jesus at the Last supper during consecration of the bread and wine: "TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT: FOR THIS IS MY BODY WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU" and "TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT: FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT, WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME." When I heard these words, it's the Lord giving himself up for us—this is absolutely a huge deal! I was going the receive the greatest possible gift, the Lord himself, shortly!
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 5, Jesus, sitting in Simon's fishing boat, asked Simon to put out into deep water and lower the nets for a catch. Simon and his fellow fishermen had worked hard all night and caught nothing, but at Jesus' command lowered the nets. And they caught such a great number of fish that the nets started to tear. The catch filled their boat and their partners' boat to the point of being in danger of sinking. Simon Peter saw this and fell at the knees of Jesus and said, "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man." For astonishment seized him. May all nonbelievers and believers have a wake up moment like this. It's such a beautiful moment. It's like the Lord suddenly opening your eyes for you to see the light.
As the Holy Church is going thru a period of great turmoil and confusion, Catholics are being tested severely. One thing we must realize is that all Church members, including the Pope and the entire clergy, can sin, but the Lord is always holy. We must never leave the Church, for doing it breaks up the Church which is the body of Christ. We must not do anything to hurt the Lord further. The right course of action to take is to pray for the Church, ourselves, and the whole world even more fervently.
In Corinthians 13, Paul writes, "If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but I do not have love, I gain nothing." This has inspired me to say that if I worship, adore, and praise the Lord but do not obey him in all things; I worship, adore, and praise him in vain and am a hypocrite.
Saturday, February 5, 2022
In today's first reading from 1 Kings 3, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, "Ask something of me and I will give it to you." Solomon humbly asked for an understanding heart so that he might distinguish right from wrong and judge the people wisely. The Lord was pleased with Solomon and did as he requested. It struck me that we can ask the Lord for what we think would glorify him and he's likely to honor our requests too.
There are no perfect nations in this world. You can go to a country and live a pretty comfortable life as long as you don't speak up against the government. Or you can live in a country where the people have the freedom of speech and that right gets abused and you end up with chaos. Also, you can find nations that are materially affluent but morally corrupt. I can go on and on. Yet people still seek to live a happy life in this world, not realizing that life is a lot more than just being happy in this life. It should be clear that you cannot find true happiness on earth. Even if you can, it'll be short-lived. We are made by God to find true, permanent joy in him. So quit chasing after an empty dream on earth and start storing up treasures in heaven to prepare for your eternity. This was what Christ had come to tell us all along. It's either him or oblivion.
As I was praying the 5th Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary this morning, the Finding of Jesus in Temple, I recalled the 12-year-old Jesus told his parents after they found him that he must be in his Father's house. This got me thinking that we must be wanting to go back to the Father in his house. We surely don't want to be left outside the Father's house forever!
To know Christ, we must know about him first. At some point, we make a leap of faith and become believers. Now the danger is that many things can distract you and lure you away from him. So I advise that you focus exclusively upon him and never let anything make you look away from him. Of course, anything that draws you even closer to him would be fine. Remain Christ-centered and you are sure to reap your heavenly reward.
We do so many things in life, trusting in ourselves. And we don't really turn to God unless we are in some kind of trouble. The question is whether we truly treat God as our Lord. If we do, then we need to trust in him only, consulting him in all things beforehand and leaving the outcome to him. This is the proper, easy, and happy way, believe me. Trusting in yourself basically amounts to letting the blind lead the blind.
It was in the news that on the 29th of this past month, a young Catholic priest, Fr. Joseph Tran Ngoc Thanh, was killed while hearing confession in his parish church in a city in Vietnam. The death was tragic, but triumphant, for he died serving the Lord. It's better to die like this than dying in sin. Here are two worst ways of dying. (1) You die at the hands of a sin. For example, you lose your temper, fly into a rage, and suffer a fatal heart attack. (2) You die while you are committing some serious sin. Since we don't know the hour of our death, it's best that we be holy at all times. You wouldn't want to be caught dead doing anything that could make you lose your soul forever, would you?
Friday, February 4, 2022
From what I've read so far, it seems that when we go before the Lord to be judged by him, he's going to show us the harm we've done to others, how we badly we've made them feel. (I believe this is what we'll experience when the illumination of conscience takes place.) So it would do us great good to start working on not hurting anyone in any way.
The Lord always looks at our intention in whatever we do. Whether we succeed or fail is not as important as our original intention. Sometimes we fail to accomplish God's will because it's not easy, then God understands. Peter's denial of Jesus comes to my mind. If we have sinned, we need to repent the sin. If we have failed to do God's will, we need to pray for more submission to him so that we might not fail the next time. God loves his children who repent and obey him.
Thursday, February 3, 2022
Some people pray to God hard, do not hear anything from him, and conclude that he does not exist. The better approach would be to remain passive and listen for his voice, for God is always calling us thru various means. Revelation 3.20: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me." In life, anytime you feel discouraged, rejected, hopeless, bored, or burdened down, it's the Lord calling you to look his way. If you'd just listen with your heart, you should hear him calling you to follow him. This would be such a blessing! Of course, if you've already hardened your heart and/or in a wrong environment, you probably wouldn't hear anything or a voice so faint that you can easily dismiss.
If we truly love others, we would harbor absolutely no hatred for anyone and forgive always everyone, and we'll have peace in our hearts. Fr. Mark Goring's video today, inviting us to become fire to ignite lives, is most timely. The Spirit-filled message comes straight from his heart.
We do not expect to see miracles very often, yet there are ongoing miracles we don't even notice. One prime example is the fact that we can remain alive on earth for many years. This morning before I got out of bed, I noticed the sunlight on a part of the bedroom wall outlining the window opening thru which it came. Then I realized that this light has been visiting me every year at the same time on the same day at the same spot for all these past years; perhaps it's been consistent like that for billions of years since the earth came into existence. This has to be a miracle made by God. I further realized that he must have made the size of the earth, its distance from the sun, the speed of its rotation about its own axis, the speed for it to go around the sun, etc., just right so that we who reside on the earth do not even feel that we are being whirled thru space—all this is truly miraculous too. The infinite God has truly created infinite miracles around us. Actually, everything he does is miraculous, and the most amazing miracle of all is that he loves us and is ready to transport us into heaven to be happy with him for all eternity. Let us appreciate our miraculous God.
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. In the second reading from Hebrews 2, Paul wrote that the Devil has the power of death, but Jesus can free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. It makes me see that if you fear death, you are not free, and the resurrected Lord is precisely the one who can remove the fear of death from us to set us free by granting us eternal life.
This we can be certain of. When we start to consider God's beauty, mercy, faithfulness, sanctity . . . all the good qualities, the reality has to exceed our highest expectations, as it is impossible for us finite beings to comprehend fully the infinite God.
Christ or the God of Christ is the only one everyone must face now or later. There is not another one like him, for he is our creator, our final judge, and our God. In John 1, the Apostle speaks about Christ: "He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be." Again in John 14:6, Jesus said to Thomas, "I am the way and the the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." His Crucifixion proves that he loves us and his Resurrection and Ascension prove that he is indeed the Lord God. Since facing him is unavoidable, it'd be wise to face him now, not later. If you don't believe all I've said here, then you are living in an imaginary world.
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
In this life, unpredictable things happen to us our whole life. Blessed is the one who finally realizes that he cannot possibly be happy without the God of Christ, turns and gives himself to him, and finds meaning in life and peace in his heart. Now he can finally say what David proclaimed to God in Psalm 86: "You are my God." The has to be the big realization that cheers up the whole heaven.
Just saw this video featuring the Prahran House in Melbourne, Australia. It's a luxurious home beautifully designed with expensive art works filling the whole house. It seems that everything about the house was specially designed and the overall picture you see is quite impressive. Then I do feel that one would not feel free living in such a home, for everything has to be in place and safeguarded. The bottom line is that we cannot be spiritually free if we must serve our own material treasures. In fact, it is in suffering that we find it easy to unite ourselves with the Lord God. (To see and read about this house, you can go here.)
When we hire someone to do a certain job, we screen the candidate carefully to make sure that he or she is the best person for that job. Now, to determine whether we are to go to heaven or hell is so much more important that whether we are qualified for filling some job vacancy. The Lord has to be sure that we are holy enough. That's why we need to do everything according to God's will. For every thought, word, and deed of ours he knows and matters.