After experiencing of the joy of knowing Christ, everything else becomes boring or lackluster. The best-tasting food or fruit, the best entertainment the world can provide, the greatest music or artwork man has ever created, the most beautiful objects or sights of this world . . . they all pale into nothing next to the glory of the Lord. For anyone who wants to attain union with God, he must choose between God and the world. You either let the Lord set you free or remain enslaved by the world (the evil one). It's all very clear.
Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Today is the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A "reading I" from Romans 12 contains these verses: "Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold onto what is good..." and "Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse therm." What is hard for us is to hate evil and not the evildoer. In the video below, Mary tells us that forgiveness is the most exalted form of love. To love is our calling, and if we still cannot forgive someone, then our love has fallen short.
Monday, May 30, 2022
I haven't been able to blog in the last few days as I've been traveling, visiting my younger son and some relatives and friends. This thought came to me on May 27. We all have family members and friends, but there are billions of others in the world we won't ever know. Since all earthlings are irrefutably children of same Father in heaven, we must see and treat everyone else as a member of the same family.
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Jesus said to Thomas, "Have you come to believe because you have see me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." (John 20:29) So we have those who (1) have not seen and have believed, (2) have seen and believed, and (3) have seen but still do not believe. It's simplest to belong to 1, Those who have the greatest faith deserve to be blessed. If you will only believe after you see, then what you expect to see may never happen. Weak faith doesn't deserve any blessing. As for those in 3, they have hardened their hearts and are on their own; they are to be pitied.
Jesus is all love, pure love and divine mercy. Once you know him, you can't help but fall in love with him and lose all your fears. If you are still afraid of or feel uneasy about him, that's because you don't know him yet. It's also his way of telling you that you need to know and love him.
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
If we arrive at the airport late, we can miss the flight. This has happened to me twice. Each time I lost some time, got on another plane, and I was on my way again. We can be late for other events and things too, but it's usually not a matter of life and death. Now, there are people who do not think about getting ready in time for meeting God. Perhaps they think that they'll have plenty time for that later. If you miss doing that, you can suffer horribly severe consequences. This is one thing one must not neglect or put off.
When I believe that Jesus is truly my Lord and my God, he reveals to me that he indeed is. This confirms my belief. When God Let you know, you just know. No explanation needed. (So if you want to know Christ, believe in him first. This is the beginning of humility.)
Monday, May 23, 2022
I look at the world and see many high achievers. Some of them are indeed so powerful that no one would dare to go against them. Then I see that one day they'll all appear before Christ to be judged by him, who was the most humble and meek man on earth when he was here. When we face him, our naked souls are completely at his mercy. Whatever power we had now means nothing and may even become our biggest burden. What a dramatic contrast to one who remains humble and meek in the world and let Christ exalt him/her high on judgment day.
Sunday, May 22, 2022
Saturday, May 21, 2022
In today's Gospel reading from John 15, Jesus said to his disciples, "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you." If you do not know Christ, naturally you would want to fit yourself into the world so that you may be loved. But once you realize that Christ is the truth and can save you from sin, you would want to follow him only. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if the world still loves you, you haven't given yourself to following the Lord completely yet.
How does the world hate you? Commonly, people try to distance themselves from you. Of course, there have been much worse instances, depending upon where you live and the circumstances. This is the price a Christian must pay. Jesus has said to his disciples, "What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?" (Mark 8:36). In turn, I can ask "What loss is there for one to be hated by the world for a little while and gain eternal life?" The answer is clearly "practically nothing."
Friday, May 20, 2022
Again, it's Friday, the day to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. The allergy of the season has affected me; my itchy throat has made me want to cough. I stopped attending daily Mass in order not to disturb others at Mass. This little bit of discomfort has started to annoy me. I thought of how Jesus suffered in order to save all of us. What I am feeling compared to what he underwent is virtually zero on any scale. So I really started to appreciate my Lord. I must accept all my sufferings patiently as he did if I ever hope to become more like him. He never complained about anything. When we are unhappy about so many things, we are unhappy with God, showing our lack of trust in him.
Thursday, May 19, 2022
This morning I am thinking that the God of Christ is unique in that we can achieve union with him, especially through receiving the Holy Eucharist. So God is not only external, he can dwells in us too. I don't believe that such intimacy exists in any other religion.
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Today I realize that we finite creatures lose control of ourselves easily. We become perturbed and nervous when we are under stress. We want to hit anyone who hits us back. When things go badly, we get depressed and can no longer think clearly. Then I see our infinite Lord who never loses his composure and cool, and always thinks and acts rationally. We can be sure that everything is under his control, even thought we see chaos. We need to remain patient and follow him with faith. This marks us truly as being his disciples. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31b)
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Most people still seem to focus on living in this world and are not too concerned about what the next life will be like, even in old age. To me, this is living precariously. I am so happy about knowing Christ because even though I am still in this world, I already know where I'll be going after I leave here. When that'll happen is not relevant. This is a tremendous advantage and a great blessing.
Monday, May 16, 2022
Looking at the current ongoing brutal war in Ukraine, we see people killing each other as if human lives don't mean much anymore. They are locked in fighting for a small area on this planet. Others are deeply immersed in finding happiness in this world. Christians can transcend all that to reach God and secure their eternal life! This is not escaping—instead, it's facing the reality that's open to all of us. For God is our Savior who can set us free for good, irregardless of whether you believe or not!
Sunday, May 15, 2022
God's love is most beautiful. It is what we need to become like him and to bring peace to our hearts and the world. This makes hatred, the total lack of love, most horrible. Clearly, hatred can only come from the Devil. Unfortunately, our world is filled with hatred, even hatred of things that are all made up. You can realistically say that our life is made of all the moments requiring us to decide whether to love or to hate. Anyway, love will triumph in the end, as God is love.
The Lord knows each of us thoroughly. He knows my thoughts, my feelings, my joys and sorrows, my pains and fears, what I need . . . things I don't even know about myself. This makes him my most personal friend. From him, I can get all the guidance I need, help, protection from evil, and the power to transform myself. It'd be utter folly to think that you can survive by yourself without him.
In today's Gospel reading from John 13, Jesus said at the Last Supper after Judas had left to his other disciples, "My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for oner another." How can we love each other as Jesus has loved us? The only way I can see to achieve that is to let the Lord love us so that we may know his love. This will give us the strength to love everyone else. We trust in God's mercy; we need to trust in his love too.
Saturday, May 14, 2022
In my last post, I see being chosen by the Lord to follow him as a most special calling. It follows that everything he sends our way is special too. This teaches us to accept all things he allows to happen to us and to bear fruit in all circumstances. We are called to live a most special life in Christ! Hallelujah!
Today is the Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle. In the Gospel from John 15, Jesus said to his disciples, "It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you." So if you are already a believer, know that he has chosen you! This is a most special calling we need to appreciate, treasure. and fulfill by bearing fruit that do not perish.
Friday, May 13, 2022
As you get to know Christ the Lord, you receive freedom, peace, and joy, more or less in that order, although they often blur together. As the Lord removes your sins, you experience spiritual freedom. When you are free, peace naturally follows. Joy, though it's now just the icing on the cake, can be most overwhelming. So God frees your spirit, sets you heart at peace, and fill you with heavenly joy. Plenty enough for us prior to entering heaven.
Jesus said that he would cause division among us. So has this happened, as we have those who believe in and follow him and those who don't. This division is no small, temporary separation. In fact, if not mended, it would last for all eternity! The main thing is that you want to be on God's side. Attain union with him to insure that you'll never be separated from him.
You may know about Jesus or even believe or know him to a certain extent, but that is not good enough. You must worship him, live and die for him . . . that is, loving him with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Why? Because he is your Lord, your creator, your most loving Savior who has died for you so that you may have eternal life. He is your most personal God.
Thursday, May 12, 2022
We are sinners living in a sinful world, so sufferings are unavoidable. Christ came into this world and suffered greatly. So we need to accept all our sufferings too. Otherwise, we can become lifelong complainers. Be willing to suffer for Christ, and we'll be fit for heaven.
Russia invaded Ukraine just 11 weeks ago and has so far already caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people. It looks like Vladimir Putin is not going to win this war. He's in a really tough spot. He can keep on fighting, hoping to somehow win, so he won't look so bad to his own people, or swallow his pride, admit defeat, and withdraw from the invasion. Either way, I think his career is over. It all comes down to following your own pride or following God. To avoid ever getting into a bad spot like that, remain humble always, for pride leads to self-destruction.
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
As I was praying the Our Father at Mass this morning, I came to the phrase "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." I felt great sorrow because the world today is so far from doing God's will! A chastisement for the world seems inevitable. Nevertheless, continued prayers from the faithful are always needed, for God's mercy is unfathomable.
At Mass this morning, I received great peace from the Lord. I remember that way back in the early days when I didn't know Christ yet, many nights I went to bed trying to forget what's troubling my heart. What a change it's been! Now, I won't be able to sleep in peace if I do not have Christ in my life.
(1) You live for Christ completely, you die and go straight to heaven. (2) You live for yourself, but one day you wake up and start living for God. You die and enter purgatory to get purified first before entering heaven. The length of purification would depend upon factors known to the Lord only. (3) You live selfishly for yourself only, not believing in God at all. You die and enter hell. Of course, there are many grey areas in-between. The first and last extreme examples simply define the range of all possible cases.
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Submitting ourselves completely to God has to be our greatest personal achievement. No other achievement can surpass that. This act reconciles us fully to God. Now we are shielded from sin and dissolve any disorder we've created. And we receive freedom, peace, joy, and power. In sum, when we yield to God, we easily receive all the things that are good for us.
Monday, May 9, 2022
In this life on earth, you can concentrate wholly upon gaining riches and fame for yourself and succeed. But if you end up not being any closer to God—what good would that be? Life is worth living only if you can get to heaven after you die. Otherwise, it would've been better if you were not born.
Sunday, May 8, 2022
God always loves us and is most understanding. As long as we love him, even if we fall short at times, he loves us the same. Because of this great mercy, we can all be saved. So march on and do not let anything stop you from reaching him. Ideally, do not offer any resistance to let him draw you all the way to him.
Today's Gospel reading comes from John 10, in which Jesus said to the Jews, "My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand." How good it is to hear these assuring words from the Lord! How he loves us! Know him to hear his voice and follow him, and we are set for eternity. Rejoice in this promise now and forever!
The joy of Christ our Savior is special and unique. There is no other joy like it. Once you know the Lord, you are filled with this most sweet, selfless joy that bursts forth from your heart, making you want to share it with everyone. You have been liberated and wish to liberate everyone else too!
We all have the natural urge to share our feelings with someone we know or trust, hoping to gain understanding and/or sympathy to relieve any burden on our hearts. Unfortunately, people who really care enough to listen to us and are also able to understand us well are hard to come by. I suggest that we always share our feelings with God the Father first. He is really the only one who understand us perfectly and can grant us true peace. Besides, every time you share your burdens with him from your heart, you bond with him intimately—something most beneficial to us.
Saturday, May 7, 2022
We invest for the future of this life, But there are always risks involved, as we cannot always predict the future. For example, those who invest in the stock market can make millions one day and lose their shirt the next. I know of actual cases. Trusting in Christ is also a form of investment for the future, but it's entirely on a different level. it is 100% secure, the return is absolutely satisfying, and the future extends to eternity. It is the best investment you can ever have.
On this first Saturday, i spent some time meditating on the role of Mary in reparation to the her Immaculate Heart. Now, we feel sorry for anyone who suffers. It Would be hard to imagine how grievous and painful Mary must have felt when she saw her own son go thru such horrific torture and suffering. Simeon's prophecy for her "You yourself a sword will pierce" came true. Now she's grieving for all of us who are "crucifying" her son again. I wish to console her as much as I can. Then I realize that she'd be most happy if we love her Divine Son even more! So that's what I'll do. It's clear that if we make Christ the Lord happy, we gladden all the saints and good angels in heaven too.
This is the feeling you get when you are in union with the Lord. You remain in him, no longer rushing ahead on anything nor worrying about things to come. His time is now your time and his plan, always yours as well. In full sync with the Lord, you needn't be concerned about time anymore. With no more anxieties, you live in his peace.
Friday, May 6, 2022
If I consider Christ to be my soul, I don't mean that he is my soul literally; I am only expressing the feeling that he is as dear and close to me as my own soul. Since he is my creator and Lord, I can even say that he is closer to me than my soul. Anyway, once you attain union with him thru the Holy Eucharist, you can't get any closer than that short of heaven.
In today's Gospel reading from John 6, the message Jesus gave to the Jews while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum can't be clearer or more affirmative.
"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last Day. For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."
That's why I as a Catholic worship the Holy Eucharist.
Thursday, May 5, 2022
God grants many joys. The joy of obedience is a fundamental one. When we obey the Lord, we have inner peace, knowing that he guards and guides us, that we are completely with him, and that we are on a straight path to heaven. All other joys ensue from this joy.
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
In today's Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus said to the people, "I will not reject anyone who comes to me" and "Everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life." So if we don't get eternal life later on, it's because we have rejected Christ and his promise. We have only ourselves to blame.
In today's first reading from Acts 8, we read that Saul was trying to destroy the Church; entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment. We know that later the Lord called and converted him. This is clear evidence to me that the Lord sees exactly what's going on and what he needs to do to correct things.
Jesus always wishes us peace, both external and internal. I see him as the only one who can grant us true peace. If we become like him, we'll have peace. This is our challenge! Anyway, if we follow him, we'll be with him and inevitably end up in heaven forever.
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Looking back on my younger days when I did not know Christ that well yet, I was always looking forward to my next vacation, the next party to attend, the next exciting movie to see, etc., for these were the fun things in life when I was bored with school or at my job. They were really my escapes when I didn't know what life was truly about. Knowing Christ well changed all that. I now try living to please him alone every moment. The old fun is gone, but what I have gained are invaluable—peace, contentment, and excitement about living. I am now more alive than ever and consider all time wasted if I don't live for Christ the Lord.
Monday, May 2, 2022
It seems that the majority of the troubles we have are troubles with other people. You always hear someone talking about someone else. Well, that's because we still have our own trouble with God. If you have a perfect relationship with the Lord, then you won't see others as giving you trouble anymore.
God is everything to us. If you abandon God, you abandon everything and you'll have nothing left. I can also say that if you abandon eternal life, you'll have nothing left anymore. God never abandons us, so never abandon him and you'll have everything!
Seeing how tragically human lives and properties are being destroyed in the ongoing Ukraine war, I lament the fact that even though we humans know that we are going to die, we keep on doing stupid things. If we don't submit ourselves to God, there'll be no more help available to us. Wake up and wise up!
The Holy Spirit acts like the electricity. You don't see the electrons flow, but when they do, you can see the lamp all lit up. Similarly, we don't see how the Holy Spirit acts, but when he does, you are transformed or set afire spiritually.
Sunday, May 1, 2022
God can do all things by himself. He can vanquish evil instantly if he so wishes. It is for our sake that he needs our prayers. You see, we are totally involved in the war Satan is waging against the Lord, battling for our souls. So we must choose sides. To get the needed strength to fight for God, we need to yield ourselves to him thru prayer. In this way, he also earns our trust.
In yesterday's Gospel reading at Mass, the Lord said to his disciples, "It is I. Do not be afraid." (See my post Christ Makes Us Fearless.) In today's Gospel reading from John 21, when the risen Jesus revealed himself to his disciples for the third time, this time at the Sea of Tiberias, John first recognized Jesus and said to Peter, "It is the Lord." It is exiting to hear the Lord say "It is I" to us and equally exciting for us to recognize him and say "It is the Lord." Knowing Christ is pure joy! It is a joy you can't let go and can't get enough of it. The love of Christ is our greatest love, and so is his joy our greatest joy.
When people tell me things that are boring, trivial, or inconsequential, especially when I am trying to focus my mind upon the Lord, it can be rather annoying. The Lord showed me this morning that I should treat it as a form of suffering, accept it, and offer it up to him. I am grateful that he made me see it this way so that I may always have my peace. This is how I should handle anything that's unpleasant from now on.
Prayer is a great weapon. Use it wisely and we can shield ourselves from all evil. Thru prayer we can receive God's mercy, gain entrance into heaven, and save the world. It's our direct personal link to God, and nothing can stop us from receiving God's power thru it.