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

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

*God's Powerful Presence

        Communion experience. The LORD was so powerful that I almost stopped breathing freely. I didn't mind that at all as I had experienced that before when I was praying, reading, blogging, or hearing something special said. When the Spirit of God takes over, you gladly submit yourself to him. 

**Most Beneficial Thing to Do

        It dawned on me this morning that attending Mass is the most beneficial of all the things I do. When l go to Mass, I get to receive the LORD in the Holy Eucharist, enter into union with him, and be assured again of going to heaven, not to mention the blessings I receive continuously throughout my life as a result of it. Nothing else I do can make such great gains.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

**Prerequisite to Exaltation

         To forget about yourself is to forget about your ego. Without an ego, God is ready to exalt you.  

**Christ Makes Us Beautiful

      Communion experience. I was so grateful that the Lord made me see all my warts and faults so that I might become more perfect. If you are not happy about yourself, go to Christ to let him make you beautiful.  

**Banishing the Ego

         Yesterday I misunderstood someone and said something that could have offended him. If I did offend him, I should appropriately feel sorry about that. Then I  sensed that perhaps that person no longer thought highly of me—I instantly realized the presence of ego. What people think of me should never be my concern; it's doing the right thing for the sake of the Lord that I need to focus upon only. The ego is to be banished forever!

'**A Christian's First Duty

        Don't ever believe that God has made you so that and you can't change. Since God has created you, surely he can change you for the better. In fact, a Christian's first duty is to grow holier and holier. This is how we can get close to God.

Monday, August 29, 2022

*Contrasting Fires*

        The fire of hell is most horrible, for it is to inflict punishment on the damned forever. On the other hand, the fire of the Holy Spirit is most gentle and sweet, for it burns our sins away and enkindles our love for God. Enjoy the fire of the Holy Spirit now to avoid the fire of hell forever.

**True Love vs. No Love

       One who truly love others would want everyone to go to heaven. But evildoers full of hatred don't care about anyone's soul, not even their own—they are to be pitied the most. 

***Go Fearless!

        Today is the Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist. In the Gospel reading from Mark 6, we heard read that King Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. The reason he feared John was that he knew he was a sinful man. People avoid Christ also because they basically don't want to expose their sins. When your relationship with the Lord is right, you are totally comfortable with him. You lose your fear of him because you know that he loves you, and you also lose fear of anyone else because you know that the Lord is now with you.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

**Best Way to Know God

        There are myriad counsels available to us from the Holy Scriptures, the saints, various authors and speakers, etc. Take the example "You shall love God with all your heart..." We know that it's right, but practicing it may not easily follow, for if the heart is not ready, nothing will happen. Since the end is know God, it's best that we approach him directly first. Once we know him, we'll know how to follow all the counsels without any effort. There's no better way than going to the greatest Counselor first to get counseled. He is open to us at all times. Pour your heart out to him and he instantly hears you. Our God is our Father, our Brother, and our Best Friend, the one who loves us the most beyond our comprehension. To ignore him is to be the greatest fool. 

**Repayment Not Our Concern

        In today's Gospel reading from Luke 14, Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. He told a parable to those who had been invited. Here's the final counsel he gave them: When you hold a lunch or dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. The bottom line is "do not expect repayment for whatever you do." Being repaid by others who have received some favor from you is meaningless, for it only servers to inflate your ego. As for the repayment by God, it will definitely come should you deserve any. So just focus upon doing good for the Lord and forget about repayment.

***Best Choice for Us to Make

        Today at Mass, I wanted the Lord to strike me, crush me, and zap me. This is not asking to be punished, but to want him to do whatever he wants with me. It is the key to being set free, the best choice for us to make for his glory and our salvation. 

Saturday, August 27, 2022

**No Need to Be Somebody

        Today is the Memorial of St. Monica. In reading 1 from 1 Corinthians 1, Paul writes that God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, the weak of the world to shame the strong, and the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something. In our secular material world, you always find others who are more famous, more talented, more wealthy, and/or more powerful in every way than you. If you don't know Christ, that can easily make you want to be somebody yourself. But once you know him, you are so happy with the freedom and peace you experience that you no longer wish to be otherwise. Such is the difference the Lord can make.

****Our Huge Advantage*

         Let us remember that we are made in the image of God. This means that we can understand and know God and even become like him. Now we should see why God our Creator loves us so much. We have this huge advantage! Thru Christ we definitely know that we can return to our Father to live happily with him forever. We've got it made!

***Prayer to Bypass Purgatory

        I came across this prayer which purportedly was given by a deceased nun to her superior who was praying for her soul. She told her that by saying that prayer every night before going to bed, she paid all her debts and was excused from purgatory. It's a succinct beautiful prayer and I believe that if you say it sincerely from your heart, you can accomplish the same. Here it is.   
       
       Eternal Father, I offer you the Sacred Heart of Jesus with all its love, all its sufferings, and all its merits
To expiate all the sins I have committed this day and during all my life. Glory be..
To purify the good I have done poorly this day and during all my life. Glory be...
To make up for the good I have neglected to do this day and during all my life. Glory be...

Friday, August 26, 2022

**Serious, Weighty Matter

        Communion experience. Today I feel the "weight" of the Lord. I don't mean that as a burden—I just feel that he is like an anchor, totally securing my existence. Yes, he is God and he is with me all the way, and this is serious. 

*We Need God Dearly

        We poor sinners are totally unworthy before God. The good news is that God our Father can make us worthy to dwell with him forever in heaven! Therefore, we need God. In fact, we should hold onto him for dear life, for without him, we'd be lost forever. Besides, for what he has done for us, we should feel obligated to love him if we have any heart. 

*Being Foolish or Wise

        In today's first reading from 1 Corinthians 1, Paul writes, "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." So what is Christ crucified to you? Was he foolish or most wise? The truth is that if you think that he is foolish, then you are being most foolish, but if you think that he is wise, then you are truly wise indeed.  

**Disposing Ourselves for God*

        My first thought today. God is greater and more magnificent than we can possibly imagine. Therefore, even when we do our utmost to love, worship, and adore him, we still fall short of what he deserves from us. And he knows that. So let's just rest in him and enjoy him to the fullest!

Thursday, August 25, 2022

***St. Bridget's 12-Year Prayer

         Jesus has given St. Bridget of Sweden the 15 prayers for 1 year devotion to honor the 5,480 blows he received during his sacred passion and the 7 prayers for 12 years devotion to honor the 7 times he shed his precious blood for us. Those who fulfill either devotion will receive the many graces promised. It seems that the latter 7/12 devotion is more popular, as it's shorter and the 5 graces promised are most appealing. The one I like most is that the soul who practices it will go straight to heaven after death. Jesus also promised that if you die before the 12 years are up, he will accept you as having done its entirety. Since the prayers and meditations are too long to reproduce here, I encourage you to search for this beautiful devotion online. It may be just what you are looking for. God bless you.

**Exalted by the Lord

        Communion experience. When I received the body and blood of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I was humbled that he should stoop so low as to unite himself with me in such an intimate manner, and he greatly exalted me.

*To Make God Trust in You,

you trust in him first. Would you trust in your own children who do not trust in you?

**Most satisfying Feeling

        God and we make a perfect fit! When I submit myself totally to God, I know that everything will be all right and I am now totally fulfilled and satisfied. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

***Whom to Please?

        If you indulge in the pleasures of the world, you please Satan and will lose everything in the end. If you rejoice in the sufferings you receive in this world, you please God and will reap richly in heaven.

***Hearing God's Voice***

        You don't need to hear the Lord speaking to you audibly. In fact, the Devil can pretend that he is God and speak to you thus. Be still, preferably in union with the Lord, and you'll hear his voice in your heart. When you have peace, you'll know that it's from the Lord.  

**Communion Experienmce

        Psalms 139:14: I praise you, Lord, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! As I received the Holy Eucharist, I knew I was receiving what's going to make my life most wonderful!

**Christ Our Last Resort

        Since Christ will be our final judge thru whom we must pass, I see him to be the one who will straighten everything out, resolve all injustices, restore order in the universe, and settle our final destinations. He is our only Savior and last resort for everything. 

**What to Secure Foremost

        We all face various problems in life. I've just repaired some holes in my irrigation drip lines in the yards—I could see the animal tooth marks on them. I still need to caulk some cracks that appeared in the window ledge of my stucco house. And the emblem on the front of my car got blow off during a car wash. I know others have faced or are facing much bigger problems. But there is one most important thing we should take care of foremost: the securing of our eternal life. There is no point in solving all our life problems without knowing where we'll go after we depart from this world. Once you are assured of your eternal destination, you'll see all your present problems in a new light and deal with them in ease. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

*****God's Greatest Offering*****

        At Mass, when Jesus offers his own body for us to eat and his own blood for us to drink in the Holy Eucharist, this is the greatest offering of love from God to us! It humbles us and exalts us at the same time. And it's also an invitation from the Lord to spend eternal life with him in heaven!   

***How to Possess the Lord***

        If you desire all of the Lord, just remain passive and be wide open. When you are ready to be totally his, he is all yours.

Monday, August 22, 2022

***Growing Rich in Heaven

        Today I am most grateful to the Lord for knowing everything about me. This alerts me to watching everything I do—even the motivation, intention, the degree of sincerity ... they all matter. Once you know the Lord, this is not that hard, for you just let your sharpened conscience guide you. Now, everything you do stores up for you more treasure in heaven.

**Woe to the Hypocrites!

        Today is the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 23, Jesus repeatedly said to the crowds and to his disciples, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites." A hypocrite is someone who is full of ego and duplicity; he's basically a phony. And the Lord doesn't like that a bit, for he wants us to be honest and genuine always. Know that when we say we follow Christ but sometimes do not do his will, we are being hypocritical too! To attain union with the Lord, we need to be obedient to him to the letter at all times.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

*Joy over Sorrow

        At Communion time, I felt the sorrow of not having loved God enough. Then it was overcome by the joy of receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist.

**Second Coming a Nonissue

        When Christ comes again, he'll straighten everything out in this world. But he had already come to give us the good news and I am already receiving the Holy Eucharist to be in union with him. So for me personally, the Second Coming is no longer an issue.

***Feeling Free Before God?

        We can know God, be humble before him, and worship and adore him—but do we also feel free before him? God is our creator and Father, and he loves us dearly with an infinite love. If we truly love him, then there shouldn't be any barrier between him and us and we would feel completely free before him. If not, then most likely we haven't submitted ourselves completely to God yet. A perfect Father deserves our total submission.

**Sweetest Feeling!

        At Mass this morning, I realized that when you have Christ as your Lord and God and experience the great joy of abandoning yourself in him, it has to be one of the sweetest feelings you can ever have this side of heaven.     

Saturday, August 20, 2022

**Two Master Choices

        Life is brief, so our time on earth is extremely limited. We must choose to live for God or not. If we choose God, we must choose if we go all out loving him or not. Make two wise choices and you are assured of eternal life. And these two choices will guide you in making all other choices.

**Taking Care of Our Conscience*

        We all possess a conscience. A sharp conscience deters us from sinning, while a dull one easily permits it. But no matter how muddy the conscience may have become, deep down we would still know if we have sinned, and lose peace. For the conscience is something God has embedded in our souls. It is a most precious gift from him, enabling us to know good and evil and choose salvation. Let the Lord nourish it and keep it crystal clear so that we may be ready for entering heaven.

**Solitude with God Necessary

        I didn't get to blog the last few days because I had to be away from home. At home, I enjoy greatly my solitude with God. I know that many of you who are still working deal with people and various things all day long, making it practically impossible to experience solitude. Those who live with many family members may face the same problem. So it's important that in such cases, you find time to spend with the Lord alone as much as possible daily. If you have already attained union with God, that would help immensely, for you now see that you are serving the Lord in whatever you do.

Monday, August 15, 2022

***Inspiring Quotes from Mother Teresa

        These quotes are simple, profound, and easy to understand. They are beautiful sayings of a beautiful soul! 

**How to Become Humble*

        To succeed in becoming humble, we need Christ to occupy all of us so that we dwell totally in him and not in ourselves anymore.  

*****Rejoicing in Mary Our Mother

        Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I feel so blessed that we have her as our model, our ally, and most of all our dearest personal mother. She watches over us and prays for us always. I want to thank Christ my Lord and my God for giving us such a wonderful gift, beautiful beyond words.

**Burden of Riches

        Being rich and wealthy is not a blessing. It can become a curse if you are enslaved to it. Learn to detach yourself from all material things. Surrender yourself to Christ and he will deliver you free. There is not another effective way.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

***Me-First Generation

        Many Christians no longer take their faith seriously. They turn to the Lord only when they need help to get them out of some trouble. Otherwise, they live the way they want and God gets to share little of any part of their lives. It's always me first and God only when I need him. This is today's big tragedy.

**Need for Salvation

        Communion experience. Before the Holy Lord, I saw the utter ugliness of sin and felt so sinful that I absolutely need Christ to save me.

***Way to Become Ego-Free

        The ego is so tenacious that to become thoroughly free of it, you need to be humble enough to see that everyone else is better than you in every way.   

**Healing Past Wounds

        God is not limited by time. If we have hurt someone in the past and deeply regret it, we can ask the Lord to go back to that time to heal all the wounds we caused, and it'll be done for us. 

Saturday, August 13, 2022

**Accepting Reality

        As I was heading home after Mass this morning, driving on a straight road, it seemed as if the earth was fast slipping rearwards under my car wheels. This reminded me that my life is slipping fast away from me as I head nonstop toward God. There is no sadness here; I simply accept the reality in peace.

***Deep Commnion

        Communion experience. As the Lord dissolves in my mouth. he is in direct communion with my soul. 

**Be like Little Children to God

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew19, Jesus said to his disciples, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Little children are always amazed by the many things their fathers can do. We have a most amazing heavenly Father for whom nothing is impossible. Shouldn't we then believe in him like little children? If we do, the whole Kingdom of heaven belongs to us!

**All Up to Us

        As sinners we start out with a big disadvantage—we must work out our salvation. But God has taken care of that—we only need to accept and follow Christ. So it all comes down to how we personally choose, which I think is very fair. 

**I'm Glad That . . .

this life will end, for who would want to live in this sinful world forever? I am also glad that there will be a judgment by the Lord so that justice will be served, setting all things straight. Best of all, we have a loving God who can save us the moment we wish to be with him forever.

Friday, August 12, 2022

**Grateful to God for This*

        I am so happy the Lord knows all about me so that he may show me exactly how to live the best life on earth. 

***We Need to "Help" God

        God's sole mission is to save us and he needs our cooperation. For without it, he cannot do anything. Then we may be doomed. So if we want the Lord to help us, we must "help" him too. There is no relationship more beautiful than God and us becoming of one mind and one heart!

**Christ, Source of Our Peace

         The peace we need the most is the peace we experience when we have reconciled ourselves to God through Christ. This is the peace granted by the Lord that surpasses understanding. No other peace is on that level nor as permanent as this one.

***We Absolutely Need God

        Today I realize that we absolutely need God, no matter how righteous we are. First of all, without him sustaining us, we would instantly stop breathing and die. Secondly, as sinners, how are we going to overcome evil and save our souls without his help? Among the myriad reasons, these are just two most fundamental ones.  

***The Lord Serves Us!

        The Lord, being most meek and humble, always serves us. We ask him for so many favors, to do this or that. And he often does more than we ask for. Shouldn't we at the least serve him back equally?

Thursday, August 11, 2022

***Beautiful Miracle

        This maybe an old video, nevertheless the sign is wonderful. I have seen another photo taken here in California not far from my place, showing a light beam shooting straight up through the roof of a house where a priest resides. It turned out that the beam originated from a consecrated host that happened to be in the house at the time. 

**Greatest Ignorance

        To those who know Christ, everything is meaningful; to those who don't, life is big puzzle. Being ignorant of God is the greatest ignorance'

**Lamenting the World*

        I weep for those of the world who have rejected Christ, the only one who can give them life now and forever. They know not what they do nor what's coming to them, remaining alone and lost.

***How to Love God?***

         Simple. Just obey him. This is all he wishes from us (out of love) and the best we can do. This is also the way to receiver power from him!

**Message to Fr. Michel Rodrigue

        This is the first video I saw early morning today on YouTube. It affected me very much and stayed with me thru morning Mass. Of course, the Church does not mandate Catholics to believe in any private revelation, officially approved or not. One thing I learned from the message is that if enough believers pray hard enough, the Lord hears them and will grant what they ask for. In John 14:12, Jesus said to his disciples, "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these . . ." Perhaps praying to make the Lord change world events or any of his original plans is one of those greater works.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

**Another Tragedy

        In Matthew 15:11, Jesus said to the crowd, "It is not what enters one's mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one." Jesus is right. People don't change unless they allow God to change them interiorly, and that's difficult for many, for they have already become deeply mired in the material world. So they remain the same. And God gets shut out.

***God Infinitely More Merciful

        God is infinitely more merciful than us. If I pray that someone will not be lost, I am sure the Lord would want to save him even more. Suppose my guess of the ratio of those who'll end up in heaven to those who'll end up in hell is say 7 to 3, I wouldn't be surprised that it turns out to be 8 to 2 or even 9 to 1. God is always more generous than we can expect.

**Our Choice Here

        God knows all about us and it's up to us to create the kind of record we'd like to have in heaven. We can make it delightful for the Lord to look at or make him want to vomit when he sees it. It's our choice.

*Help Galore

        To the Catholics, help is available not only from God, but also from all the saints, the angles, and the souls in purgatory. Pray for the last listed and they'll in turn pray for you.

**Full Request to God

        Ask God not only to take away our sins, but also to prevent us from future sinning by giving us the discernment to know what is good and what is evil and by letting us taste his love and sweetness as well as the pain of offending him. 

**Praying for the Worst Evildoers?

        In the Fatima prayer we say at the end of each decade of the Holy Rosary, we ask Jesus to save from the fires of hell and lead to heaven especially those in most need of his mercy. This makes sense. But we are often so turned off by the worst evildoers that we wish them dead. Of course, this is wrong, for God loves all of us equally. Pleasing God must be our sole concern and goal.

***Serving the Lord

        In today's Gospel reading from John 12, Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be." It's so comforting and a joy to know that when you serve the Lord faithfully, you are always with him. What a beautiful relationship!

***First Step to Knowing God***

         Realizing and acknowledging to God that you are a sinner. With this new humility, your journey to him can now begin. (To speed up things, surrender to God as much as possible.)

*Controlling Our Emotions

        Sometimes we get excited about the wrong thing. For example, my wife and I would react differently in a certain situation. We both think that our own reaction is the appropriate one and the argument can get a little heated. Then I realize how silly all this is. First of all, the whole thing is a trivial matter. Then why didn't I keep my calm? Was it my ego surfacing? Anyway, a good Christian should be able to keep his emotions in check by remaining calm always and getting excited only about the Lord.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

***Quick Way To Know God***

        God already knows you. If you want to know him, you need to let him know that, for he won't force his way in if you are closed to him. The quickest and best way to get going is to pour your heart out to him. For if you are free to let him know all about you, he is ready to let you know all about him. If telling him everything about yourself is hard, look at it this way: he already knows everything about you, so what's the point in hiding anything from him?  And there is a point in telling him everything, for it shows that you now trust in him.      

**Bearing Small Crosses for the Lord

        Jesus has suffered so much for our sake. He is suffering still now as so many of us continue offending him. We also face problems and hardships daily, but they are nothing compared what he faces. So consider our small sufferings as many small crosses. Let us bear them patiently for the sake of consoling our Lord. I know he would really appreciate it.  

*Short, Endearing Prayer

        Praying to God to have mercy on you is acknowledging that he is your Lord. Therefore, pray "Lord, have mercy on me" unceasingly to remain endearing to him.  

***Conscience for Living a Holy Life

        When you are in union with the Lord, the Holy Spirit sharpens your conscience to the highest level, making it easy for you discern and follow God's will. With a dull conscience, you end up living a sloppy spiritual life.

****Sure Way of Getting into Heaven***

        Christ is most exalted precisely because he is most meek and humble. It strikes me that if we are willing to follow Christ, we can't help becoming meek and humble too. Then God is going to exalted us and get us into heaven for sure. 

**God Has Made Us So

        God has so made us that we feel best after we have reconciled ourselves to him and start obeying and resting in him. It's such a good feeling when we delight the Lord!  

**Things We Can Be Sure Of

        God loves us. When we pray to him from our hearts, he hears us and will responded to us even if it may not be obvious to us. We have the power to changes God's mind if we trust in him. If you want him to save you from sin and go to heaven, he'll absolutely be delighted to make it happen.  

**Perfect Protection Against Evil

         I am still reading the book "Get Us Our of Here!!" on Maria Simma. On page 113, she tells us that we don't have to worry about evil if we remain humble, in a state of grace, and in prayer. She says this protection is far stronger than anything the demons can do. I totally agree here. Just remember these three things I underlined above.   

Monday, August 8, 2022

***Unifying Power of the Holy Eucharist***

        I am amazed and greatly rejoice that I can know my Lord God, the Holy Mother, and all the other great saints so well that I become one with them through partaking of the Holy Eucharist. I am not in a dream, for I am wide awake. It is all God's doing. When you let God do what he wants with you, he sets you free and lifts you up high. And this is just the beginning. 

**Jesus, End of Quest*

         There is absolutely nothing worth pursuing beyond Christ, once you learn from him all you need to know to have life forever!

***To Love God with All Your Heart . . .

 is to not miss doing every little thing with love for him.

*****Uplifting Personal Prayer

        "My Lord and my God," uttered by the Apostle Thomas after seeing the resurrected Jesus is my favorite prayer. It's so personal that I can claim that the Lord is mine! I feel good saying it from my heart. When we submit ourselves to the Lord, he greatly uplifts us! 

***Amazing Lord***

        Today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 17. Jesus and his disciples were in Capernaum. In order to pay the temple tax, Jesus asked Peter to go to the sea, drop in a hook, take the first fish that comes up, then open its mouth and find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Compared to making the blind see and raising the dead, this miracle may not seem that grand, but it's equally amazing in a different way. The truth is that whatever the Lord does is amazing, and we should not take for granted anything he's done for us.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

*Be Extra Holy

        God is extra forgiving, and we should be extra holy. Why? Because we want to show our appreciation. If we just try to be holy enough to squeeze by, then we really take advantage of the Lord and do not appreciate his great mercy. 

**Mass to Be Reverenced

        We celebrate Mass, but we must do it with utter reverence, focusing our attention on worshipping the Lord alone and not allow anything to distract us. I know that many parishioners will disagree with me, for they don't mind swingy music, entertaining homilies, or other disruptions that are not part of the Mass. Consider me to be out of touch, too traditional, or whatever, I don't mind. It's just my personal belief that we shouldn't do anything at Mass we wouldn't do at the Last Supper. I must be an extremist. 

**Joy and Sorrow of Receiving the Lord

        Communion experience. After received the Holy Eucharist, I felt so blessed that I couldn't help feeling sorry for those who do not know the Lord yet and even more sorry for those who receive him but do not appreciate it as much as they should.

***God Is Good!

         We are commanded by God to love him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. At Mass this morning, I did see that God is so good that he truly deserves to be loved by us to the utmost.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

**Family Unity

        Do you ever notice that the members of a family that never talks about God can get along with each other quite well, while a family with only some members who are faithful Christians is usually divided? Only families that are all strong Christians have the greatest unity and love for each other. All this tells us something.

***Reality Check

        Let's take an honest look at ourselves. Our biggest problem is sin, a problem we have inherited. Sin has caused wars, infidelity, lying, cheating, greed, abortion, destruction of the family, and all kinds of corruption and disorder. To solve this immense problem and save ourselves, we need God, the God who loves us and has given us a Savior. This is our own way out, whether you realize it or not! Life is short, but it does give us enough time to wake up, repent, and save our souls for all eternity. This is what matters the most. I sincerely hope that this honest look at reality will help those who are asleep or on the borderline to head in the right direction for their own sake.  

*****Our Final Settlement

        St. Augustine has said that God has made us for himself so that our hearts are restless until they rest in him. I really feel that nothing about us is settled until we have personally surrendered ourselves to God. When God truly becomes our Lord, we'll experience peace, freedom, and order in our lives.

****Prayer We Need to Say Most*

        I have heard prayers of the faithful said at Mass for the Pope, the bishops, the world, the sick, the jobless, etc. The prayer I really like to hear said is most fundamental and also what we need to say the most. It is praying that we may surrender ourselves completely to God to become obedient to him in all things. This may sound extreme, but you don't want to be lukewarm, do you?

**Choices Available to Us

        (1) The God of Christ is the truth and is trustworthy. (2) I believe in myself, for I know best. (3) I can find a better "God" more to my liking. (4) I don't know what to do.

**God Calling for Laborers

        The Lord called the twelve Apostles in his day. Today he is calling everyone, for the need for laborers to harvest souls for him is greater than ever. I see working for the Lord as the most constructive way of living. By the same token, working for yourself is destructive to your own soul. You work for either God or yourself.

***God and Us*

        God is holy and we are not. We can obey him or rebel against him. To whatever we do to him, he always reacts with love, for he is love. We get condemned only by our own choice. This we need to know.

Friday, August 5, 2022

***Amazing Obedience***

        It's Friday again and I thought about the Passion of Christ. Jesus did suffer horribly, but I am amazed that he suffered willingly, never raised any objection, and even forgave those who crucified him. In other words, he followed the Father's will to perfection—this to me is the amazing part! He's no ordinary man for sure.                     

*Love and Hate Mutually Exclusive

        Christ is all love. If we are filled with him, it won't be possible for us to hate anybody. If one knows God's love, he or she would never consider aborting an unborn child. Those who say that they love God but still hate someone are basically hypocrites.

***The Lord Challenging Us

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 16, Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." We are being challenged again. It's either Christ or no life. Jesus is good at placing the ball in our court, making us work out our choice. Know that if we make the seemingly difficult but sensible choice, the reward will always be tremendous! How hard the decision is to make is irrelevant. Instead we should focus only upon the consequences of our decision.

*Know that God Is Lord

        Today's responsorial psalm response from Deuteronomy 32: It is I who deal death and giver life. It is undeniable that God is in charge of our life and our death. Then we have no choice but to accept him willingly as our creator, our judge, and our savior. In other words God must be our Lord

Thursday, August 4, 2022

**How God Speaks to Us

        When God speaks to you, he's alway gentle and with love. He never touches your free will, so you are free to respond any way you choose. If you say yes to him, it will entirely be of your own volition, for he never oppresses you. 

***Die so You'll Live

         If we die to ourselves and live for Christ, we'll die and live forever. But if we live for ourselves only, we'll die and never live again. 

***Underlying Prayer Motivation*****

        When you pray, your motivation should always be allowing the Lord to do whatever he wishes and that you give him your full support. Submission is what he needs the most from us, not petitioning for this or that. By trusting in him and being willing to follow him, we make it easiest for him to conquer evil and bring peace to our hearts.   

**Jesus Is the Light

         Communion experience. Once you have the Lord with you, he is so dazzling that all things around fade away.

***God's Drawing Power

        Things of the world can never satisfy us fully. For example, I enjoy listening to great music. But if I listen to it nonstop, I get tired and would want to stop listening for a while. Eating something you enjoy is another example. Eating too much of it and you don't want to touch it anymore. Knowing Christ provides the greatest contrast. The more you enjoy him, the more you want to enjoy him, for he continues refreshing, renewing, inspiring, and cleansing you. Such is God's drawing power.

***Simple Rule to Remember

        Also in today's Gospel reading from Matthew 16, when Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly and be killed and on the third day be raised, Peter began to rebuke him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do." Lesson learned. God always knows what he is doing. We may not understand, but we must always follow along and never question. Saying no to God is a no-no.

****Revelation from God Needed

        Today is the memorial of St. John Vianney. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 16, Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father." In my early days, I came to believe in Jesus after I read and heard a lot about him. It's my intellectual conviction and spiritual thirst that made me decide to accept him. Of course, I now see the truth without a doubt, for I have opened up to him and he has made himself more real to me than anyone else I now see, hear, or touch. It is important that we remain open to the Lord to receive revelations from him so that our faith may become super strong.

***Christ the Ultimate Quest

        We usually admire people who look good, are powerful, are generous and loving, never show off, and/or are holy. Look at Christ Jesus and you'll find all these attributes and then some. In fact, he is the embodiment of everything that's good and beautiful. This is why so many of us have fallen deeply in love with him. In him, you find total fulfillment, the completion of your existence.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

*Myopic Learning

         We all learn the ways of the world fast. We find out how to get good jobs, invest our money wisely, know influential people, etc. We learn from both mistakes and other people and pretty soon do quite well in this world. Sad that we don't see the forest for the trees. Know God first and you'll know how to live this life wisely and take care of your next life as well.   

**Awake or Asleep?*

         We are supposed to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind. So how are we doing? Looking at the world, I can't say that most of us are even awake. Even though God's mercy is infinite, it wouldn't do us any good if we remain oblivious to it. On the other hand, we can make his work in saving us effortless. Then our eternal joy is assured. The choice we face: to wake up or to remain asleep (possibly forever).

***To Be Super Strong . . .

become super weak in Christ, the source of infinite power.

**Heavenly Experience

        Communion experience. I have never been to heaven. But after I received the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I was virtually in heaven. 

**Beautiful, Logical Sequence

         (1) Say the Lord's Prayer with all your heart. (2) Abandon yourself completely to the Lord. (3) You are ready for union with God.

***Most Personal Lord

        When Jesus changes the bread and wine into his own body and blood during the liturgy of the Eucharist, he does that for all those present. Nevertheless, at Mass this morning I felt that he, being my personal Lord, just did it for me, and I was overwhelmed.         

**This Is Also Trust in God

        God does not discriminate. He treats and judges us differently because our backgrounds and life experiences are all different. He knows exactly what we deserve in each case. We are to mind our own business and not judge anyone else. 

**Living Fully in Christ

        Since there is no limit to how much we can love God, we always fall short of loving him as much as we should. This precisely makes wanting to live a full life in Christ challenging and exciting!

***Proof God Loves Us*

        The fact that we can establish a most personal relationship with him, achieving intimate union with him through the Holy Eucharist.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

**Old Age Wisdom

        As we age, we should think more about where we are going and not to get more stuck in this world. You should see that all things pass and when you pass away, you'll have to leave everything behind forever. So the older you get, the more you should let things go. If you still hold onto what you have now, most likely you are not ready to face reality yet and that's not good for your soul. So wake up when you still have time.

***Cause of My Joy

        Today I am really happy because I see God as the only one who can touch. purify, and take care of my soul and I have him. A huge deal it is!  

****What God Is Like

        If you think that God is severe and inclined to punish us, you don't know him yet. Know that it's out of pure love that he tells us how we should live. If we obey him, then living becomes a piece of cake. If you rebel against him, you are asking to be punished. it's all so logical. The fact that he sent his own Son to die on the cross so that we might have life forever should leave no doubt that he is all love. Once you know the Lord personally, you'll see that he is endowed with all delights and sweetness in every taste (borrowing words from Wisdom 16:20), and that's still an understatement.

***How God Suffers!***

        I just noticed that a beautiful low plant in the back of my house is missing, leaving a big empty spot among the other plants. The gardener was here last Friday tidying up the yard, but he surely couldn't have mistaken it to be a giant weed. Then I remembered his son was here helping him out that day, who's not an experienced gardener. Only he could have done it. That plant wasn't a common one and had been around for well over a decade. I feel the loss not so much because I was so attached to it that I couldn't let it go but rather because it's something that had been surviving nicely and is now gone. This made me think of how the Lord God must have suffered and is still suffering when so many living souls, all his children, have been and are still being destroyed worldwide. Abortion, wars, drugs . . . are just some of the big causes. Time to console the Lord by obeying and loving him even more!

Monday, August 1, 2022

**God and We Need Each Other*

         We absolutely need God's mercy and peace, while God needs our total trust in him. Now you know how to fix all problems and make both God and yourself happy.

***"First" Obedience***

        At Mass this morning, during the liturgy of the Eucharist, Fr. Steve recalled the words of Jesus at the Last Supper before he gave the bread and the cup to his disciples. They are respectively "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." It struck me that I was to eat his body and drink his blood out of obedience. The Lord made me see that this obedience will lead me to obedience in all things! I was most grateful for this revelation.