Today's first reading comes from Ecclesiastes 1, containing the familiar verses: Vanities of vanities! All things are vanity! What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun? I am thinking about the things we do for ourselves in life. They are like the breeze which blows by and are gone. Only what we do to glorify God is not done in vain, for everything we do for God's sake turns into treasure in heaven.
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
(1) You realize you are a sinner and need salvation; you repent your sins and return to God. (2) You realize that you must love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind; you surrender yourself to him and ask him to make you holy.
God calls us. He knows exactly how he can use us, so he has a role for each one of us to perform. But we need to pay attention and respond to him. When you have fulfilled your role, you'll know. If you don't know what it is yet, you either don't know God or haven't responded fully to his call yet.
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Loving the evildoers is hard for us, but God measures our love by how much we love them. Just know that he loves them as much as he loves us. He pities them and never hates them, for he is love. Hatred can only come from the Evil One—don't fall into that trap. Focus on the Lord alone instead.
The Lord supplies us with material needs, but today I see (and am most grateful) that he can fulfill our spiritual needs by purifying our hearts and making us holy! This is a huge deal not to be overlooked. This also makes us God's most special and unique creatures on earth.
I am glad that the Lord God looks at my intentions and not so much how well I actually get things done. This makes it possible for me to pass and not fail as a student learning from him. I also find that discerning my own intention is quite exciting. When I sense that my intention is not quite totally pure, I know that it's the Holy Spirit illuminating me. It's deeply satisfying to remain in intimate communion with the Lord.
Monday, September 19, 2022
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 8, Jesus said to the crowd, "To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away." So to have God, we must start with accepting him or something. As we trust in him more and more, we also receive more and more from him. The progress accelerates. Finally, with him taking complete charge, our part becomes effortless and a joy. Now we have all of God!
At my age, having fallen numerous times, I make sure that I don't fall again. This morning as I was leaving home to attend the 7:30 morning Mass, I saw that my big garbage container placed next to the road ready to be emptied had been toppled by strong winds, and the garbage pickup truck was coming down the road. So I got out of my car, intending to put the container back in place. Well, after the early heavy rain, the ground was still wet. In reaching for the toppled container, I stepped on a pile of rounded stones and slipped. I first fell forward, then backward, and ended up lying on my back. Miraculously, even though parts of my clothing got all wet, I wasn't hurt at all. The garbage truck driver saw all that and came over to help me up and raised the container for me as well. Bless him! The lesson learned: We do what we sensibly should do, but unexpected things can still happen. Ultimately, it's our Lord God in control. So we always do our part, while putting all our trust in God.
Being lost can be terrifying. In my lifetime it has happened to me that I completely forgot about doing something or lost something really important. Although this is not exactly a case of being lost yourself, the feeling is similar. Such experiences can affect one's psyche deeply. This morning I had a dream I was lost somewhere and panicked, and I woke up. Of course, that was just a dream. And I realized that the most horrible feeling you can possible have has to be the loss of your soul, knowing that you are now cut off from God forever. Don't ever let that happen to you or anyone else!
Sunday, September 18, 2022
The humble person or the proud one? The humble one knows his limits. When he encounters difficulties, he turns to the Lord for help and accomplishes his task. On the contrary, the proud one thinks he can do everything on his own. And one day he suffers defeat. He's now set back or injured, in worse shape than before.
Proposition 1 that will be on the November ballot in California here is totally diabolical. After the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe vs. Wade and made abortion constitutionally illegal, California now wants to make all abortions all the way to birth constitutionally legal in the state, forcing all tax-payers to support abortions, including those that are performed on pregnant mothers from out of state. If you are a California voter, please vote No and let as many other voters know about it as possible. For those who are not Californians, please pray for the defeat of this proposition. This is serious spiritual warfare!
(1) Treat Christ right and you'll treat everyone else right too. (2) Letting the Lord draw you to him directly is the best and quickest way to know him. Rather than letting others inspire you to know Christ (and there are relatively few who are good at that), let the Lord himself be your inspiration.
Today we have prominent politicians known to be Catholics, but blatantly opposing the teachings of the Holy Church. And there are not a few bishops and cardinals in that category as well. These souls are to be pitied the most and they urgently need our prayers
At Mass, we do ask the Lord and Christ to have mercy on us. It seems that when we pray that, we are also surrendering ourselves to God. For it wouldn't make sense to beg for God's mercy when we haven't decided to obey him in all things yet.
Anything you do that's not Christ-centered is wasted effort. Do I sound too severe? It would seem so to those who do not know him yet, but not to those who already know him well. Think about it. Christ is the Lord and God and a lot more . . . he is to be glorified forever by all! So anything not done for his sake is not going to do us any good.
To know or to reject God, it's all up to us. If our faith is weak, it's so easy to drift away from the Lord. We close our heart to him and we'll never know him. We remain humble and really want to know him, and he shows up to enter our heart. God absolutely wants to give us the very best, but we must allow him in first.
I read that Mary once appeared to the visionary Marija of Medjugorje a few minutes after a consecration. She neither prayed nor spoke to her, and left after a mere few seconds, having only blessed the small group at the Holy Mass. Later when the attending priest asked Marija why it had happened so quikly, she, directing her hand toward the front of the altar, said, "Mary didn't talk to me because Jesus was standing right there." So Jesus is present at all Masses. In fact, he is present with us at all times. Anytime you turn to him, he's there. The awareness of the Lord's constant presence should help us remain reverent to him always and also deter us from committing any serious sin.
Saturday, September 17, 2022
The world we live in today is just so horrible with people rebelling against, insulting, and attacking the Lord, our God. So what are we to do? Of course, we need to pray for God's mercy on all. But the Lord made me see clearly that we must foremost be concerned about our own relationship with him. Of No. 1 importance is that we surrender ourselves to him to become obedient and holy. This is his urgent call and cry! If we all do this, we'll be giving our God our greatest help and joy, and have peace on earth. In any case, let us who hear this call give in to him so that his mercy may safeguard our soul even more securely.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 8, Jesus told the crowd the parable of the sower. "A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold." When the disciples asked him what the meaning of this parable might be. He explained it all. First of all, the seed is the word of God. About the seed that fell among thorns, the explained that they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasure of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. I see a lot of people today in this category, being choked by the world.
Friday, September 16, 2022
It's the lack of reverence for the Lord God that leads people to commit sacrileges nowadays. The Lord God may be our friend, my brother, and even our servant, but he is foremost our Most Holy God, our Father, and our Creator. Hence, he deserves the highest reverence, praise, and deference from us.
Today is Friday, the day for praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. It came to me that it would please God and make us holier to practice embracing suffering for Christ at least once a day. Hopefully, over time we'll be able to accept all sufferings as blessings from God with joy.
Thursday, September 15, 2022
The Lord God being our Lord and God, we should serve and love him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength. This is our proper role and duty. If we accomplish anything, don't expect any reward. It's entire up to the Lord to do whatever he wishes. But today we pretty much have rejected the Lord and even blame him for all the mess our sins have caused. We have fallen badly and need to beg for his mercy more than ever. As sinners, we don't deserve anything good. It's his love and mercy that we should appreciate forever.
A priest offers a Mass with total lack of reverence. This is an abomination! Pray for him and others like him.
People, to make sure they can take care of themselves, want to be their own lord and not to submit themselves to the Lord God. We try to save ourselves in this life and not realize that our lordship ends the moment we die. How foolish can we be? The Lord God is the Lord of all things for now and ever! Jesus has already told us, "Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." (Matthew 16:25, Luke 9:2) Wise up before it's too late!
Today is Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. Mary's heart suffered tremendously for the sake of her Son in her life on earth. Our heart is an amazing gift from God. It experiences both joys and sorrows. Through it we communicate with the Lord and come to know and fall in love with him. When we attain union with God, our heart and his Most Sacred Heart are united. A good, clean heart delights the Father and brings us peace. Take care the heart and we take care of the soul.
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
This is the most difficult but most fundamental of all the prayers. It should be your first prayer, for it prepares you for praying all other prayers. Here it goes: Lord, may I surrender myself completely to you so that you may do whatever you wish with me. This is also the prayer that readies you for attaining union with the Lord.
If your heart is troubled, go to the Lord first, Ask him to show you why your are troubled and how you can regain peace. Last, ask him to heal any wounds you might have suffered. Then thank and praise him. Know that whatever happens to you is allowed by him for a good reason. The Lord whom we should love the most is also the one in whom we should trust the most. Let all things take us to him.
John 3:17, the last verse of today's Gospel reading: For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Do you get it? No condemnation intended; salvation, God's only intention. So there is no need to be afraid of the Lord at all! Yet people do not approach him because they are afraid that he would reveal their sins and force them to change their way of life, while they really should be concerned about their salvation. They need to see this and make a complete turnabout.
Today is Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. We who follow Christ must deny ourselves and take up our cross (Matthew 16:24). The Lord is suffering from carrying a most heavy cross, as the world continues sinning against him. When we willingly carry our cross, we help the Lord carry his. Let us who love the Lord love the cross too.
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 7, Jesus raised a widow's son who had died. If the Lord can raise the dead, surely he can transform each one of us. Unfortunately, since we are still alive, we often exercise our free will to block God's action. This is why we do not experience wonders.
I got to the chapel at Mount St. Joseph for Mass a little early this morning, so I remained in my car for a while. Through the windshield I saw a panorama of distant trees and some houses. Somehow I sensed that I am in this world, but I am not really part of it. And the Lord showed me that in the limited time I have left on earth, I should just do his will—do one thing at a time—with love and no rush nor anxiety. It was good advice for me to have.
Monday, September 12, 2022
Communion experience. Chinese emperors are known to have searched for the elixir of life, hoping to achieve immortality. Even today people try to find ways to look young and live a long life. As I received the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I knew that it's the bread of life, the living bread from heaven, and whoever eats it will live forever (John 6:51). The is fantastic! It's the sure way to immortality. You not only live on forever, you get to live on in peace and great joy as well!
You can easily tell whether the Holy Spirit is present or not. When he reigns, we have peace, unity, and harmony. When he's absent, we have discord, bickering, and chaos. The Holy Spirit is most kind, patient, and gentle, yet he can bring about great miracles and set our hearts afire for God. I also see him as the protector of my soul. When filled with the Spirit, no evil can touch you. Praised be the Spirit of the glorious Holy Trinity.
During the liturgy of the Eucharist at Mass, we hear the words of the Lord asking us to take the bread that has become his body and eat of it, and the chalice of wine that has turned into his blood and drink from it. When we willingly obey and receive the Holy Eucharist (in a state of grace, of course), we perform a most beautiful act of obedience for which the reward is nothing short of eternal life!
When you surrender yourself to the Lord, you are being both wise and smart. You are wise because you please the Lord and know that he's going to make you holy and a delight to him. You are smart because you may even get to go straight to heaven when you leave this world.
In today's reading from Psalm 40, verse 9a reads, "To do your will, O my God, is my delight." You have to be in love with the Lord to feel that way. Only when you are deeply in love with someone are you willing to do what that person wills. And when that person is the Lord God, this becomes something most beautiful.
Sunday, September 11, 2022
Communion experience. When the Lord was about to transform the bread and wine into his own body and blood during their consecration, I felt so grateful that I had to give myself to him totally. I gained a lot more than he did though, for he gained only little me, while I gained all of Almighty God!
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 15, we heard the parables of the lost sheep and of the lost coin. Jesus let it be known that there would be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. Indeed, repentance is essential to being saved by God. No repentance, no salvation! But it's best that we do not sin against the Lord in the first place. An excellent way for us to achieve that is to be open and transparent to the Lord at all times. This way he watches over you and will let you know when your are about to sin. You now gain a super sharp conscience on guard to help you remain righteous.
Let's be clear that we are completely at God's mercy. After all, he has created us and can do whatever he wants with us. We are totally dependent upon him for our very existence. This awareness should help us abandon ourselves to him without reservation.
Saturday, September 10, 2022
Looking at the problems we face in this life, I am glad that I won't be around forever. Most recently, after I caught COVID-19, the cough I had was pretty bad, making it almost impossible for me to fall asleep. Knowing that you are heaven bound can really help. It gives you the strength to endure all your sufferings patiently by offering them up to the Lord. Once in paradise, all past sufferings will be forgotten, for they are nothing compared to the eternal heavenly joy you experience. So accept your sufferings. It's thru suffering that God is glorified.
In today' Gospel reading from Luke 6, Jesus tells his disciples that anyone who goes to him, listens to his words, and acts on them is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it. But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was destroyed. So acting on the Lords's words bears fruit, and fruit secures our eternal future.
Friday, September 9, 2022
The most important thing we need to have in our life on earth is to be connected with God. Without this connection, we are lost souls. Once connected, we'll be with God our Father forever. Don't ever let the lure of the material world blind you from seeing this truth.
Thursday, September 8, 2022
If you are unhappy with anything, you are unhappy with God. One who enjoys the Lord totally is the happiest person, and nothing can rob him of that joy. If you have the Lord, nothing else matters. God is not only love, he is also joy. (If God makes you happy, that's plenty enough.)
During Mass when the bread and wine are consecrated by the priest, they are transformed silently into the body and blood of the Christ as happened at the Last Supper. This strikes me as God's most humble miracle. Since it's most humble, it's also most exalted.
Today is the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so Happy Birthday to our Most Holy Mom! May we love your Son enough to make you happy. From the Gospel reading from Matthew 1, we heard read that the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that through the Holy Spirit, a child had been conceived in Mary. She would bear a son to be named Jesus, because he would save his people from their sins. Lately, the Lord has impressed upon me the many basic truths I am already familiar with. So I was struck again when I heard that Jesus would save his people from their sins. I want to let that sink in once more. Yes, it's another huge deal, not to be taken for granted. A little later during Mass, when I received the Holy Eucharist, the Lord entered me to unite physically with me—another huge deal not to be taken lightly. Living in the Lord is surely both memorable and exciting!
If we meet someone who is say 100 smarter and more knowledgeable than us, we most likely would pay close attention to everything he or she has to say. Now, the Lord God is infinitely smarter and more knowledgeable than any of us, then why is it that we sometimes don't even want to hear from him?
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Communion experience. Assuming that you are in a state of grace and wish to receive the Lord in the Eucharist, I could see that the Lord wishes to enter you even more than you wish to receive him. I also see that he loves us more than we can possibly love him and wants us go to heaven more than we want to go there ourselves. His infinite goodness is beyond our finite comprehension. We can never outdo the Lord. Therefore, follow him and be surprised and amazed by him throughout your life.
Is it possible to find something in this world that can satisfy us forever? Of course not—we can't even find anything that can satisfy us totally in this life. We need to look beyond this world and this life. And there Christ the Lord is, shining brightly like a beacon amidst total darkness. He is exactly the one we need to fulfill our hunger, our thirst, and all our desires forever—a truth to be realized and appreciated.
Today I am struck particularly by the fact that our God can become most personal to us. Through receiving the Holy Eucharist, we become one spiritually with the Lord, and he is now our soulmate. How can we possibly ask where God is? He is Jesus the Christ and he is all ours when we let ourselves be all his! Wake up to this astounding truth!
Tuesday, September 6, 2022
Christ is so merciful that he never wishes to condemn us; he only wants to convert us to save us. If we get condemned, it's by our own choice, and we cause him great sorrow. Also, he had suffered so many physical blows already when he was crucified for our sake. Continuing sinning against him, we continue inflicting wounds on his Most Sacred Heart unceasingly. It's time for us to pray for our own soul like never before!
Monday, September 5, 2022
Communion experience. I felt that the Lord was "too much" for me, not as a burden though. I say "too much" because I was overwhelmed by his love, mercy, generosity, understanding, as well as his holiness, humility, beauty, and omnipotence. I'd like to add that when I submitted myself totally to the Lord, I felt peace, tranquility, and total freedom from the world. No one else could have made me feel that way but the True God.
It struck me at Mass this morning that God can make us holy. This is a huge deal! To become holy is not something many of us think about, even though we might believe that God would want us to be holy. If we say yes to him, he will certainly make it happen and everything will change for the better for us. This is our chance for him to make us beautiful for him to behold. Do not miss it.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 6, the scribes and the Pharisees watched Jesus closely, hoping to discover a reason to accuse him. Today's hypocrites are even worse. Corrupt politicians create hoaxes and fabricate false facts in attempts to take down anyone they see as a threat to them. Then look at California. Even after the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that abortion is not a constitutional right, the Democratic governor has proposed to make it a right in the state constitution. When evil has become even uglier, you can be sure that God's chastisement is near.
Sunday, September 4, 2022
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 14, Jesus challenged us. He said, "If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." Also, "Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple." So we must make Jesus foremost in our lives if we wish to follow him. All his demands are justified if he were truly our God. Personally, I am so glad that he had made clear what's required of us. For without such guidance, we would be lost, not knowing whom to follow nor how to live our lives so that we may be set free and gain eternal life. Meet his challenge and we'll be greatly rewarded in the end!
The greatest offer we can make to God is to surrender ourselves completely to him so that we become 100% obedient. This enables us to love him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. Guess what: Now we experience the greatest possible freedom this side of heaven!
Saturday, September 3, 2022
Since I am doing the First Saturday devotion, I went to confession this morning. Confession officially starts about ten minutes after Mass is over. I have learned that if you are the first one to receive Holy Communion, you are likely to be the first or at least near the first in line for confession. But today when I saw that many people were trying to get to the line as quickly as possible, the Lord made me see that it is a sin to leave the pew to join the confession line right after receiving him when the Mass hasn't even ended yet. I should have spent that time thanking, savoring, and adoring the Lord on knees, and not thinking about anything else. So I withdrew from the line and went back to the church in the afternoon to confess this sin. I am glad to have realized that what I thought was a clever thing to do clearly did not come from the Lord.
Friday, September 2, 2022
When you have a most serious intent, you do something most serious to fulfill it. This was exactly what God did when he gave his only Son to die on a cross in our place in order to save us from eternal death. This is going to the extreme all right. Saving all of us must be his most serious intent. There is no way you can say that the Lord did all that for nothing! So let's get serious and know that we can now be saved from sin!
We were born sinners. We can try to stop sinning on our own, but what guidelines should we follow? Our own or someone else's? Living in this secular, material world filled with temptations, how long can we remain untouched? But we have Christ who can not only take away our sins after we repent of them, but also remove our tendency to sin as well! For he is our Lord and creator, the only one capable of fundamentally changing us to save us from sin.
In today's first reading from 1 Corinthians 4, Paul writes that the Lord will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts. If our motives are always good and pure, even if we fail in what we do, we do not need to worry about God's judgment. Know the Lord well and he'll take care of your motives.
Thursday, September 1, 2022
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 5, Jesus called Peter, James, and John, and they left everything and followed him. This is way the we should respond to the Lord's call, and he is always calling us! He may want us to pray more, to fast, to tell a friend about Christ, to stop complaining or worrying, to watch less TV, to get up early in the morning, etc. We must respond without hesitation. It does take discipline, but to say "I'll do if for your sake" to the Lord each time starting out can get you going. Soon you'll know the joy and satisfaction of always answering his call.
In today's first reading from 1 Corinthians 3, Paul writes that the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God and that the thoughts of the wise, as it is written, are vain. To me, the world knows how to make gains for itself well, but what profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? (Matthew 16:26) We all are going to depart from this world one day. True wisdom is following the Lord now so that you gain life for all eternity. It goes way beyond and above the wisdom of the world.