God loves and died for all of us. We must love others like that too. Hatred, contempt, and unforgiveness must have no place in our hearts. Amazingly, this is how we can attain inner peace as well as external peace in the world!
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
It is hard to give ourselves up to the Lord God. Even if you are determined, it can still take some time. The Holy Eucharist can greatly aid us here. The important thing is to get started. First you open up to God and you start to experience some wonder. Opening up more, you experience more wonders along with more freedom and peace. As you let the Lord do even more for you, the going gets easier and easier. Finally, you abandon yourself totally in him and he makes everything effortless for you! Now you are completely free, experiencing unspeakable joy.
Repentance is a great therapy for us. It lets the Lord remove all your sins from your soul to make you clean. Now your worst burden is gone and your soul is ready to soar to him. Once you are forgiven by God, the whole world can hate you and it won't make a bit of difference!
If you live for yourself, you're likely to get unhappy every time things don't go your way, and you begin to dislike yourself. This is a clear sign that you are far away from God. On the other hand, if you live only to please the Lord, you accept whatever happens to you as willed by him and you remain at peace. You know that he loves you and are happy with yourself.
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
In John 10:14, Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep and they know me." If you knew the Lord, you would definitely feel that special joy of knowing him. This is the joy for which the infant John the Baptist leaped in the womb of his mother Elizabeth, when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, first greeted her at her house. This joy tests if you truly know Jesus or not.
We must listen to that small intimate voice of our conscience because that's how God communicates with us. So it's important to withdraw yourself from the world and enter into solitude from time to time. The Lord is gentle and it's easy to not hear his voice at all if you are occupied with your own mundane affairs at all times. Of course, if you are already in union with him, you hear him speak to you 24/7.
Heaven remains the same forever, while life on earth will be over before you know it. Whether you realize it or not, deep down heaven is what we have always longed for and been searching for. Once you are in heaven, your life on earth would seem to be like an unmemorable dream you once had.
At Mass, I was amazed to see that younger men and women could kneel down and get up effortlessly without holding onto anything. I forgot that I was like that in my younger days too. Now, to do it, I have to hold onto something like a chair to help me accomplish the act. The good consolation is knowing that I am getting closer to meeting my Lord and Savior in person.
Monday, September 25, 2023
In today's 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." To show that this totally makes sense, let me illustrate with two extreme examples: If you totally believe in Christ, you'll receive more and more blessings from him. And for anyone who deliberately chooses not to believe in him, he'll end up losing even his own soul.
Sunday, September 24, 2023
Look at all the people around the globe. Start with the lost souls who have completely messed up their lives and move onward, you'll find that there exist all kinds of people at various stages of their spiritual life. I say "spiritual life" because all lives, whether you are spiritual or not, will be judged by God on that level. Only God alone knows how to judge all of them fairly. I see how urgently we need his mercy! In his infinite mercy, there is hope that we can all be saved, but prayers are needed. So pray unceasingly with all your heart.
Saturday, September 23, 2023
Humility can be true or false. An example of false humility: You don't think that you can ever become a saint. This is believing that God cannot make you into a saint. Believing that God's power is limited is actually a sin, not humility! Then what's true humility? True humility is truly believing that nothing is impossible for God. The focus is always on the Lord, not on yourself. So if you want to become a saint, say yes to the Lord and it's a done deal.
Friday, September 22, 2023
I no longer live for the world. When you live only for yourself and are not aware that most of the world urgently needs salvation, you are living in a bubble and wasting your time and life on earth. The only meaningful way to live is to live for Christ and in Christ.
Thursday, September 21, 2023
The Lord has always called us to believe and trust in him, repent our sins, love each other, and pray for each other or we can face dire consequences; yet most people with hardened hearts just don't care. Today with hearts colder than ever throughout the world, heavenly warnings just fall on deaf ears. Here is a relevant video on Our Lady of Kibeho to watch. When will we ever learn and wake up?
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
I really encourage all to seek union with God thru the Holy Eucharist, for it's the most expedient way to know God. It's totally logical to say that if you are willing to give all of yourself to God, he is then ready to reveal all of himself to you. And all his teachings to you become crystal clear.
Christians on fire are easily misunderstood by many. They are thought of as being out of their minds, being oddballs or even menaces. I just want to say that if you ever came to know Christ well, you would likely act exactly the same way. You just want to spread the good news that God loves all. So be kind to them, for their mean well.
We'll all face the Lord one day. During Mass this morning, I realized I already knew him. In fact, we already dwell in each other, becoming inseparable. I look forward to seeing him in person and there absolutely won't be any shock, only unspeakable joy!
Today's Psalm 101 response: I will walk with blameless heart. To be blameless is to not do anything wrong and maintain a clear conscience. This is a great feeling. By contrast, the evildoer is always worrying about something. The other day I watched Trump being interviewed on NBC. He was asked if he would consider pardoning himself after being indicted so many times should he become president again. He said he never thought about that and wouldn't do it because he hadn't done anything wrong. That's a cool answer. So remain blameless and do not worry about anything.
Monday, September 18, 2023
When you make a donation to a charity or help someone in need, there are two possible motives. (1) To truly do some good out of love. (2) To let others know that you are generous. Make sure that you never have the second motive. Donate anonymously always if possible.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 7, a centurion asked Jesus to come to heal his slave who was ill and about to die. When Jesus was a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed." Jesus was amazed by his faith and remotely healed his servant. The more we feel unworthy of the Lord, the more he uplifts us. The Lord exalts the humble.
I know many people who are intelligent and well-educated, but they are just not interested in Jesus or Christianity. On the other hand, I am pretty intelligent and have earned more than one college degree, yet I believe in Christ with all my heart without the slightest doubt. So what gives? Faith is certainly a gift given by God, but does God withhold this gift from some people? Certainly, he has given his Son to all and the gospel Christ preached is for all. Anyway, those who do not believe have absolutely nothing to rely upon, while in my case, the Lord God has got my back. And the Christ I know is more real than anything I see, hear, and touch!
Sunday, September 17, 2023
When we came into the world, we brought nothing with us. As we grow up, we accumulate more and more things. Then we leave the world and have no choice but to leave everything behind. What I want you to realize is that all the things we have now, including ourselves, are not ours; they all belong to God! I hope this awareness will set you free from the world and make you humble (and wise) enough to give yourself back to your Creator. Now your journey back to your Father in heaven begins, fulfilling what has been his intention all along.
We pray for the world, for others, for our family and friends, and for ourselves. It's easy to neglect praying for ourselves, whereas that should be top priority. I think the reason is that it's just easier to see others' faults than our own, and praying for them to change is rather effortless compared to praying for ourselves to change. It should be top priority because the world cannot be better if we don't become better ourselves. Like the proverb "charity begins at home," prayer should begin with praying for ourselves.
The whole point of today's Gospel reading from Matthew 18 is that the Lord wants us to forgive others so that he may forgive us. We heard the parable of the unforgiving servant. I was led to see that each of us is responsible for his transgressions before the Lord and cannot blame anyone else, for the Lord alone is our judge. If someone caused us to sin, that person would have to answer to the Lord, but we still sinned. Mind our own business is right.
In today's second reading from Romans 14, Paul wrote, "For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's." To live and die for the Lord, so easy to remember. Ironically, this is how we become free! For to belong to the Lord who can and wants to deliver us from sin is to become free. Awaken, as long as we remain in sin, we are not free!
From today's first reading from Sirach 27-28, I heard this verse read: Forgive your neighbor's injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. In other words, forgive others and God will forgive you, super easy to remember. If you do not forgive anyone, it's a sin you need to repent and confess before moving on. Don't ever let unforgiveness stop you dead in your tracks spiritually. Look, if we always forgive everybody, we'll have peace instantly in the world.
Saturday, September 16, 2023
We all feel the pain when people do not understand or agree with us when we know we are right. One obvious example is that people just don't see why we make such a big thing out of Christ. Well, the Lord knew that the world would be divided because of him. Now image how much pain he must feel when billions of his children do not understand or agree with him! Realizing this, we shouldn't mind my own pains much anymore and should instead try to be extra good to alleviate the Lord's pain.
I've been advising that we don't let what others say or think about us bother us and tune in only to what God thinks about us. Let me add that we shouldn't even care about what we think about ourselves. Just follow the Lord and never mind anything else.
There are many compelling reasons. I'll just mention two less obvious but equally valid ones. (1) Submitting ourselves to God is the only way for us to become perfect, for only he can fundamentally transform us. (2) It is also the only way for the external world and our inner selves to attain peace, for when we submit ourselves to God, all conflicts cease.
I blogged the other day about not caring about what others think about you. This is part of not letting anything bother you. It's basically being humble. So we should become humble first and let all other virtues follow. Humility is not only our password to holiness, it is also the key that unlocks the door to heaven!
Every time you lose peace, it's a great opportunity for you to learn to become more perfect (holy). Figure out why you are disturbed. Then knowing that God always wants you to have peace, put the whole matter into his hands to let him restore your peace. Submission to God always works. What a great way to improve ourselves constantly, as we get bothered by so many things easily!
Friday, September 15, 2023
When you take God seriously, pray hard from your heart, and do everything for his sake, he actually lets you know that he hears you and that you help him shape his plans. This is such a great feeling to know that you can influence the Lord and help him in establishing his kingdom on earth.
God's love is universally available to anyone who desires it, and everyone needs it unless you don't know that you are a sinner. Christ has come and made it clear how we can be delivered from sin and gain eternal life. This has to be the best possible news we can truly rejoice about. If you don't consider Christ, there is just nothing out there that makes a good alternative—this is what I see. So there's the reality. If you don't accept Christianity, think about what your reason is. Know that the Lord does not take away your free will because he wants you make the choice so that should you choose to follow him, faith is born! This would mean everything to both you and him. He could have forced you to believe in him, but that wouldn't have meant anything to you. The Lord is all love and kindness. Be fair and consider his invitation to accept his love, which will only be good in your lifetime. There'll be everything to gain and nothing to lose!
One big reason we lose peace is worrying about how we look to others. It all has to do with the ego. We should always care about what God thinks about us, not what anyone else thinks. This is hard to follow for anyone who still has some ego in them. Do whatever pleases the Lord will make those who love him love you, but those who hate the Lord hate you. Do you want to get to heaven or not? Would you choose being free over not being persecuted? God over the world? Anyway, to begin your journey to freedom, you need to get rid of the ego first.
We can grade what we do by the motives behind our acts. I'll list these motives from the worst to the best: (1) to hurt someone, (2) to benefit ourselves only, (3) no particular motive, (4) to help someone, (5) to help someone for God's sake. Acting with the first three, you wast time on earth. Only acting with the last two, especially the last one, will you be storing up treasures in heaven.
I feel the Lord drawing all of us to him like a powerful but gentle magnet. Perhaps it's a gift or a calling, but I believe that if you are open to him, you'll feel it. If you are totally closed to him, of course you won't feel anything. Then if you really open up to him, you should definitely feel his attraction. When you feel it, do not resist, for it's the holy, perfect, most loving Lord drawing you.
Thursday, September 14, 2023
When we pray to the Lord, we can see him as high above us and ourselves as little creatures begging for favors. This is proper and fine. Then I see another way I personally prefer. I see praying to my God as fellowshipping with him. He is not just my friend—he is my soulmate, my very soul! Prayer is my time to commune with him and become even more one with him, thus showing that I am totally with him all the way. The Lord needs our support, not just our obedience. To love him is to be dear to him who loves us so much as our Father.
Common experience. Union with God through the Holy Eucharist is our ultimate attainment that fulfills the Lord's most ardent wish. It is God and us melting or melding into one—it has to be the most jubilant occurrence that can happen to us in this life!
First part of reading 2 from Philippians 2: Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Every time you feel your ego surfacing, remember the Almighty Lord humbling himself for our sake, and we are all but helpless sinners who cannot even survive without him.
Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of of the Holy Cross. Entrance antiphon, Cf. Galatians 6:14: We should glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, life and and resurrection, through whom we are saved and delivered. We owe everything to the Lord!
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Be good and the Lord will reward you. But do not seek to be rewarded in this life, for this life is brief and your reward will pass. Build up your treasure in heaven now so that you may receive your reward in heaven that'll last forever!
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Communion experience. The more I feel my burden, the more I feel united with the Lord and surrender myself to him. And my burden becomes light and even a joy. If you don't turn to the Lord, you can only find some temporary escape and the burden remains. Go to the Lord is our only way out (Matthew 11:28-30).
In Christ, I feel great joy as well as great sorrow. The latter because the Lord is grieving over our disobedience to him. Imagine how you would feel if your children disobey you, ignore you, or even mock and blame you! We normally love our children, but God's love for us is infinitely greater. Then surely any grief and sorrow we cause him would be so much greater too. But there is joy in suffering along with the Lord, as it draws us ever closer to him.
You may believe in the Lord and feel that life is now meaningful, but if you still do not yearn for him, you don't really know him yet. The Lord is so lovely and beautiful that even if you are already satisfied with him, you can't help desiring more and more of him. That's why we need to get into heaven so that we may be one with him for all eternity.
I got to church early, parked my car in a shady spot and started to pray. I could concentrate better in solitude. But this morning a fire engine went by, loudly sounding its alarm siren—it must be responding to some emergency. At the same time, the sound of many other running vehicles reached my ears. I realized that when we are not asleep, we are always going somewhere or doing something throughout our lives, hardly thinking about God or doing anything just for his sake. The Lord who should be first in our lives usually ends up last. This is a huge imbalance (or injustice) that can make us truly regret later on. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said to his disciples, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides." You don't want to risk being shut out of heaven: no, no, no; you want to solidly secure your eternal life, skip purgatory, and go straight to heaven!
Monday, September 11, 2023
The love of God is the most beautiful thing there is. It's essential for our existence. It's precisely what we need to be saved from sin. It can transforms us completely to become like God. It's most beneficial for us. Abandon ourselves to God in his love and we'll enjoy peace and joy with him forever!
Today's Gospel reading came from Luke 6. On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him. But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, "Come up and stand before us." And he rose and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" Looking around at them all, he then said to him, "Stretch out your hand." He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus. These hypocrites were so intent on finding a reason to accuse Jesus that they became oblivious to the amazing miracle Jesus just performed. Alas, today so many of our government and Church officials remind me of them.
Sunday, September 10, 2023
Ego is the worst enemy of a Christian and can only be eradicated by the Lord after you have submitted yourself completely to him. For the Catholic, it makes seeking union with God through the Holy Eucharist your top priority, for that will prepare you best to overcome any spiritual obstacle!
In todays's Gospel reading from Matthew 18, Jesus said to his disciples, "Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." This shows that whatever we do on earth shall directly shape what happens in heaven and that the Lord will alway be with us when we gather together in his name!
Saturday, September 9, 2023
In today's homily, Fr. Steve mentioned "Too many neglect their souls." How true, foolish, and tragic that is. This applies to Christians too. Being lukewarm is neglecting your soul. Being not watchful, unprepared, or living a self-centered life is totally neglecting your soul. To continue to do evil is to have already lost your soul.
Why doesn't God wipe out evil outright every time for us? In overcoming evil, God makes it neither too hard nor too easy for us so that if we have enough faith in him, we succeed. He always tests us to help our faith grow. Naturally, the stronger your faith becomes, the easier it is to ward off evil.
Satan has taken over a large portion of our world. Only by accepting the love of Christ can we be set free. Listen to the latest urgent message from St. Michael the Archangel to Archbishop Vigano regarding the state of this country. (You may skip to 2:03 just for the message.)
I am amazed that we eat a lot of different foods and the body knows how to process them so that we absorb the useful part for nutrition and health, and discard the waste that's of no value to us. Furthermore, we understand good and evil. These two facts alone show clearly that an omnipotent God created us.
Friday, September 8, 2023
On this Friday, I thought about the horrible sufferings Jesus had undergone for our sake. We cannot possibly go back in time to console him, to help him carry the cross, or to alleviate his pains in any way. Knowing that he is still suffering today for our unbelief and unfaithfulness, the least we could do is to accept our own cross and follow him. I believe this should please him and is also what he expects of us.
Again during consecration of the bread and the wine at this morning's Mass, Fr. Phil recalled the words of Jesus at the Last Supper: "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." These words are filled with pure, selfless love that should melt our hearts.
Today is the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary. From the first reading from Romans 8, we heard the following read: We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son... So God not only wants to save us from sin, he intends that we become like his Son too.
Thursday, September 7, 2023
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 5, Jesus got into Simon's boat and asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch." Simon said in reply, "Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets." When they had done this, they caught such a great number of fish and their nets started tearing. What got me was Simon Peter's response "at your command I will . . ." This is the admirable attitude we should assume always, obeying whatever the Lord commands at all times.
Wednesday, September 6, 2023
What people think about you doesn't matter a bit. Only what God think about you counts. What good is it if the whole world adores you, but you don't make heaven? Anyway, never compare yourself with others. Focus on pleasing the Lord alone. Mind you own salvation first and pray for all others to be saved.
Life on earth is brief. Compared to eternity, its duration is virtually zero. And there are billions of us living on earth right now. So the smart and sensible way for me to live is clearly to trust fully in my God and follow him faithfully so that I may soon enjoy eternity with him forever!
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
John 15.5: I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Jesus is right. All power comes from the Lord. To receive that power, we must acknowledge our total helplessness without him and our total dependence upon him. It'll be total submission and total abandonment to him. This is how we become saints.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 4, Jesus ordered the spirit of an unclean demon to come out of a possessed man. The demon recognized Jesus as the Holy One of God and came out of him without doing him any harm. The spirits and demons have no choice but to obey the Lord. If we likewise recognize Christ as the Holy One of God, we should obey him instantly too. But in our case, God does not force us to obey him in any way because he loves us and wants us to show our love for him by choosing to obey him, for faith is necessary for salvation.
From today's reading from 1 Thessalonians 5: Jesus Christ died for us so that we may live together with him. Since Christ has already come to us, we can confidently attain union with him through receiving the Holy Eucharist. Living together with him is absolutely no problem now. Alleluia!
Monday, September 4, 2023
Communion experience. Christ is both our light and conditioner. He enters me and lights up my entire soul and puts it in a fit state. Having a healed and clean soul is one of the best feelings you can experience on earth, letting you know that heaven is now awaiting you.
Sleep normally refers the state of rest our body needs to recover from physical or mental fatigue. When a person dies, we sometimes say he or she has gone to sleep. But the most dangerous kind of sleep is being spiritually dead. This is someone who is wide awake and active in the world, but has no awareness of God's existence or relevance. He or she is to be pitied for risking being lost forever.
Sunday, September 3, 2023
We pray for many things to the Lord; but ultimately, we want to become totally obedient to him. In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 16, Jesus gave us the right counsel: "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
From today's reading 1 from Jeremiah 20, we heard read "I say to myself, I will not mention him [the LORD], I will speak in his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it." Let me tell you that the LORD is real and you can develop a most intimate relationship with him until he becomes your conscience. Now you lead an absolutely exhilarating, rewarding existence!
Recently, quite a number of old folks I know have developed dementia. This should be a warning to all older persons who have not considered accepting Christ yet. My advice is to look into Christ when your mind is still clear, no matter what age you're at, as he is our only Savior and the one who can give you eternal life. Accepting him has absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.
August 30. When Christ underwent his Passion on earth, he faced his sufferings squarely, never complaining nor shrinking back, in carrying out the will of the Father. I look at myself and see that when things don't go my way, I easily lose patience, get upset, start complaining, or even pity myself. Shame on us who do not follow the Lord's example perfectly. But things do get easier as we surrender ourselves more to him. Progress we must if we are not to remain lukewarm.
August 28. I felt the burden when I saw that most of the world did not know or had forsaken God, the God of Christ. And I realized how infinitely heavy the burden the Lord God must be carrying when he looked at the ungrateful world. It was unimaginable for me!
Nothing but God can truly satisfy us. I enjoy listening to music, but I definitely don't want to do that forever. God hasn't made us to live for this life only, and I am glad that my time here is limited. To live with the Father in heaven forever is what I desire and was made for. Above all, it's the Father's wish. He loves all of us, understands our deepest desire and knows exactly how to satisfy us. Aim heaven high is the way to go.
On Aug 27 I realized the following. Since we are all unique and different from each other, finding a perfect soulmate is nigh impossible. Then there's the Lord God. Not only he understands each of us perfectly, he can also transform each of us. Submit ourselves to him, receive him in the Holy Eucharist, and we attain union with him and become like him. Now we and the Lord God are soulmates with each other!
At the Vigil Mass on August 26, in the Gospel reading from Matthew 16, Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in replay, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father." It dawned on me that many of us also believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, without any doubt, so it's the same heavenly Father who has revealed that to us.
I am back after I last blogged on Aug. 25. On Aug. 26, I boarded a plane flying to another city very early in the morning. The window shades on the plane were all lowered, so I couldn't see a thing outside. As the plane was getting ready to take off, I only sensed that it was moving in a certain way. Minutes later, we're airborne. I trusted in the pilot that he would get me to my destination on time. Then I realized that this is how we should trust in God, even more so, for he is infinitely more knowledgeable and reliable than any human pilot.
Friday, August 25, 2023
As long as we are open to the Lord, he'll come to us even if we are unclean, for he is most merciful. In fact, the more unclean we are, the more we need to be saved and the more "anxious" he is to come to us. (Note: I'm going to stop blogging for a week or so, as I shall not have a computer to use. I expect to resume blogging on Sept. 3 or 4. God continue to bless all of you!)
Thursday, August 24, 2023
Today I again realize how wonderful and amazing that we can form the the most beautiful permanent bond with God the Father. And we can actually gain eternal life through this relationship. It's impossible not to rejoice in the Lord always!
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
All the great saints played a role in glorifying God. We too each have a role to play, whether we are saints or not. The main thing is that we love and obey God, no matter what our roles are like. Let the Lord take over and everything becomes easy. Life is hard only when you want to do everything on your own!
Our thoughts pop up nonstop throughout the day. Many thoughts seems quite natural, but they may not be that innocent, often subtly ego-oriented. So learn to discern your thoughts. It helps to have a sharp conscience so that you may catch the not-so-good ones and banish them outright.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 20, Jesus told the parable of the workers in the vineyard: A landowner hired various laborers to work in his vineyard at various hours. At the end of the day, all workers received the same daily wage, despite the fact that some had worked more hours and others less or a lot less. Those who had worked the most grumbled. The landowner said to one of them, 'My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?' Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.
In this life, some turn to God early and others in their last moments before death. Once you get to heaven, anything that happened to you on earth will be forgotten. To let the Lord be Lord is to let him do whatever he wishes with you. Follow him singularly and never compare yourself with others. This is the way to lead a happy life in God.
Since God has already given his only Son to save us from sin, of course he listens to our prayers. This means that each one of us has the power to influence and sway the Lord. Being this important to him, we should always pray seriously. Besides, you are not speaking to anybody; you are speaking to the Holy One who created you and loves you the most.
Tuesday, August 22, 2023
Any pleasure of the world is temporary and tends to enslave you. If you get an overdose of it and you can even get sick of it. By contrast, the joy of the Lord is ever refreshing and liberating. It deeply affects the heart and soul and doesn't wear off. It's so intoxicating that you can never get enough of it.
Today is the memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 19, Jesus said to his disciples, "Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life." To me, giving up everything for Christ's sake is surrendering yourself to him completely. May I add that eternal life from the Lord is infinitely better than any other gift we can possibly receive in this life.
Monday, August 21, 2023
To attain union with God seems so advanced and not-for-me. Yet it's so basic and what the Lord most desires of us. With the aid of the Holy Eucharist, it becomes something entirely within our reach. If you love the Lord and wish to be perfect as he has commanded, you should make that your first priority. Ruling it is out is telling the Lord that he has not made you good enough or he is incapable of transforming you. Either way, that's a grave sin. You should rejoice that he thinks so highly of you that he can make you perfect! To believe that you cannot become a saint is debasing yourself or false modesty, not something coming from the Lord. I hope you will all seek to attain this highest state of existence on earth, fulfilling God's great expectation of you. "Nothing is impossible for God" is absolutely true. Again I recommend that you read the spiritual classic He and I by Gabrielle Bossis, which tells how the Lord longs to be one with us.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 19, A young man approached Jesus and said, "Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?" He answered to tim, "If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." The young man said to him, "All of them I have observed. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." It seems that following all the commandments may be good enough, but there's always that next level of perfection. Here it is giving away all your possessions. An analogy for Catholics may be that going to Mass, fulfilling all your obligations, and remaining righteous may be good enough to get into heaven, but we can always aim for perfection by making a complete surrender to the Lord to attain union with him through the Holy Eucharist.
If we trust in God, he will trust in us. If we take him seriously, he will take us seriously. If we honor him, he will honor us. If we serve him, he will serve us. Be open to him and he will reveal himself to us. If we forgive others, he will forgive us. Obey him and he will grant us our wishes. If we want to attain union with him, he will gladly unite himself to us. In sum, treat the Lord right and he will always treat you right, and his treatment is edifying, liberating, life-changing, and most rewarding.
Sunday, August 20, 2023
At Mass this morning, I saw in the pew in front of me a daughter sitting between her two parents. The girl seemed to be 10 or 11 years old. The mother was constantly holding her close to her side, caressing her at times. The love there was obvious. We parents pretty much all went through that stage. Then a point was reached at which the daughter or son just grew independent of you and left home and often the Church too. I've seen this happen to many families. So what went wrong? Well, I see the cause to be a relatively weak Church going against overwhelmingly powerful secular forces. To be strong, we need both parents to be fully dedicated to the Lord. Being lukewarm just won't cut it. I have not seen Catholics make the sign of the cross and say grace before a meal in a public restaurant. Many don't even do that at home. And there are many other signs of weakness. At a time like this, the Church and all of us need to be on fire to go on the offensive! We need to be as shrewd as serpents (Matthew 10:16). We cannot afford to remain complacent when the glory of the Lord is at stake.
Yesterday I posted about childlike faith most valuable. Today I see an advantage (benefit) of being childlike. You see, when you are like a kindergarten kid to the Lord, he reveals everything to you at your level, and that makes learning easy and a great joy!
Saturday, August 19, 2023
Communion experience. The bond we form with God is forever. His love for us is forever. This is precisely why he can truly satisfy us and make us happy forever. This is the Lord whom we can trust and rest in forever. If you are still looking for the truth that can set you free, check out Jesus Christ first to save time.
Christ will come again to judge all of us, the living and the dead. Seek union with him thru the Holy Eucharist is the best way to prepare ourselves, for in union the Lord has already entered you and his final coming will simply be an awaited confirmation. It'll only be a shock to those who have not prepared themselves.
Everything we have belongs to God, even ourselves! Realizing this can set us free from all our unapt worldly attachments. With no baggage, we can be sure that our journey back to our home in heaven will be a smooth one without a hitch.
This is today's short Gospel reading from Matthew 19: Children were brought to Jesus that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." As God's children, we need to be childlike in believing in the Father. You may be the most intelligent, knowledgeable person in the whole world, but if you don't have a childlike faith in God, you are not one step closer to entering the kingdom of heaven.
Friday, August 18, 2023
How do you view a city or a country? Do you look at its history and culture? Its architecture? The number of modern skyscrapers and shopping malls you see? How affluent or poor its people are? How beautiful the sceneries are? All such things we notice. But the Lord God looks only at the hearts of the people which we cannot discern. This is the true, realistic view that will determine the eternal destinies of those at that locale.
Each of us has a life to live. It is how we live it that matters! I can't come more to the point. If you are too busy or not aware of this, you need to stop right now and look at how you've been living your life. Everything we do has consequences. What we do now determines what kind of lives we'll live in our next life. Do we live for God or ourselves? If however we live doesn't matter, then there's no right or wrong and no God, making living totally meaningless.
Jesus is forever refreshing, for he can refresh you spiritually at all times, especially when you are in union with him. You can always start anew with him, up to the last minute of your life on earth. But why take a chance, for you may suffer dementia or die suddenly without warning?
The first thing I felt today was the joy of going home to my Father, also the Father of Christ our Savior. It's only a matter of time. I don't desire that it come sooner nor later; I am just looking forward to it. This is what makes life worth living, no matter what kind of life you have now.
Thursday, August 17, 2023
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 18, Peter approached Jesus and asked him, "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times." (Some translations say seventy times seven times.) In other words, the Lord wants us to always forgive others. So if we do not forgive anyone, we go directly against the Lord—something we must not do if we don't ever want to impair our soul!
We usually pray to God asking for something. But even if we don't ask for anything, communicating with God from our hearts always endear us to him, bringing him closer to us. Our objective should be to attain complete spiritual union with the Lord. Be one with him so that we may become like him.
Wednesday, August 16, 2023
The world is in a horrible state. Looking at my own country, I see so many lies being propagated daily, so much hatred among people . . . godlessness and lawlessness in general. Good news is always followed by a lot more bad news. Will things reach a lowest point and turn around? At times like these, our faith is being challenged to the core. For those who follow the Lord, they are experiencing a form of martyrdom, even though they know that the Lord will triumph in the end. It's like us watching Christ undergoing his Passion, knowing that he'll rise from the dead and ascend into heaven afterwards. Meanwhile, they must offer their own passion up to the Lord, never deviating from the truth. Mercifully, life on earth doesn't last that long.
As sinners living in this sinful world, it's impossible to avoid suffering. The right attitude is to accept it, believe in Christ who went thru so much suffering for our sake and is still suffering horribly today due to our unbelief, and offer all our sufferings up to him for his sake. This way we earn merits and will be rewarded greatly in heaven.
You probably have heard of Pascal's wager. Pascal is a 17th century French philosopher and mathematician. The wager goes like this: If God exists and you believe in God, you'll go to heaven. If God exists and you don't believe in God, you may go to hell. Of course, if God doesn't exist, it wouldn't make any big difference whether you believe in him or not. But if he does exist and you don't believe in him, you'd be in big trouble. So it's wise that we don't take a chance in not believing in him. Let's look at Christ. He is either true or false. If you cannot prove that he never existed, he never worked miracles, he never rose from the dead, or what he had taught was all false, then you'd better believe in him totally.
We'll either go to heaven or go to hell for all eternity after we die. Witnessing how the world is sharply divided between those who follow Christ and those who reject him, you see clearly where they are headed now. Of course, anyone is free to change his destination at any time. A clear conscience is our best hope.
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary was bodily taken up into heaven, which explains why she doesn't have any relics left behind for us as many other saints do. Non-Catholic Christians erred in believing that we Catholics worship Mary. We don't; we worship God alone. But we love Mary, for he is our Lord's beloved mother whom he also gave to us to be our mother. We also venerate her as the greatest saint among all the saints, for she was conceived without sin. This is completely fitting for someone who's going to bear the Divine Lord. Praying to her simply means asking her to intercede on our behalf. Protestants tend to ignore her, for they didn't find her mentioned much in the Gospels. Well, the Gospels don't cover everything; they are to support, not replace, the tradition of the Church. I remember reading the private revelation of one Church-approved visionary and learned that Mary, out of humility, specifically asked the Apostles not to mention her because she wished that all our attention be on her Son. In Luke 1, we do find Mary prophesying before Elizabeth ". . . behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed." From today's reading 1 from Revelation 11, we heard read: "A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth . . . She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne . . . Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: 'Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed One.'" There's no question that Mary is the woman mentioned here. In more recent times, the Holy Mothers has appeared more and more frequently to us, giving us messages and warnings from heaven. It's quite clear that God is using her in a major way in his war against Satan. He has already promised her that she will triumph in the end. To understand more about the Assumption, you may wish to watch this Fr. Corapi video which came on YouTube today:
Monday, August 14, 2023
We have a big problem with sin that robs the world and ourselves of peace. So we definitely need God's help. Then I thought of all our frailties and all kinds of weakness and shortcomings which have nothing to do with sin, all the more we need God now.
Sunday, August 13, 2023
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 14, After Peter realized that it was Jesus walking toward him on the sea during the night, he said to him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." Jesus said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Faith is something that I still need to understand more. How can I increase my faith? Should I believe that I can heal others and step out to do it? Or must I wait until the Lord has given me this gift first? The only time my prayer worked miraculously was the time when my eldest son suffered a virus attack and was near death at age 27. (I've mentioned this in a previous post.) I walked up to him in ER and blessed him on the forehead with the sign of the cross, proclaiming "Be healed in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." He recovered and was discharged from the hospital on the 4th day. That time, the words just came out of my mouth without premeditation nor hesitation. Why can't I do this to someone else again today? Does this have anything to do with faith? Jesus' last saying to Peter above is most helpful to me. We are not to go out to do anything, just because we think that we have great faith. But whatever we are called to do, we need to do it without a doubt—this is the key! In Mark 11:24, Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours." This is it! To increase your faith by forcing yourself to believe won't work. The right way is to believe without any doubt.
Saturday, August 12, 2023
Our love for others are not that pure. The feeling is commonly triggered by sexual attraction. Of course, sometimes we love others when we realize that it's our duty or do feel the pity or compassion for someone. Here the love is more pure. Then there are saints who love God so much that they are able to love others with God's pure love. As for God's love for us, it's always 100% pure, completely selfless and unaffected by anything external. His love is so great that he's ever ready to lay down his own life for any one of us. (John 15:13)
Today I am so proud of my God, for he is such a holy, perfect, loving Father. He loves all his children magnanimously. He's humble and selfless, most patient, considerate, and understanding. His sole wish for us is that we return to him to live happily with him forever! There is no one else who can possibly be better than our God.
Friday, August 11, 2023
I appreciate God's great mercy. As a sinner, I can go to him, repent all my sins, and I am good to go to heaven again! What a fantastic grace! The Lord can't save me, only if I reject him. How beautiful it is to embrace and live in his mercy!
In this world, if you call someone names or hit someone, that person is likely to retaliate in kind. So to have peace in his world, everyone practically needs to become saints, and that's unlikely to happen. This shows how much we need the God of Christ, for he is the true God who can transform us, and even if we fall short, we can get forgiven. Perfect peace will prevail only in heaven, another reason we need to believe in God.
Thursday, August 10, 2023
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. The Father will honor whoever serves me." Of course, I rejoiced in hearing Jesus say "... where I am, there also will my servant be." I knew where I'd be and that the Father would honor me—the Lord made my day!
When you have the Lord God, everything else fades away, for all such things no longer have any power over you. Imagine that you are now before the Lord and see all his glories and beauty, I don't believe that you would ever want to hang on to the materials goods to which you're enslaved. So start cutting your ties to the world right now to be sure that you will see God's glories and beauty one day.
A flat board placed across a gap can sag under loads, but if you make it slightly arched, it becomes a lot stronger. You see this done in architecture and construction. The point is that to counteract any tendency we want to overcome, we need to push back beyond the neutral position. This principle applies to living our spiritual life too. For example, if you wish to overcome temptation, not seeking it usually is not good enough—you need to actively seek to avoid any such occasion. Eradicating ego is another case. To succeed, become extra humble is necessary. In general, not sinning is laudable; but to be excellent, go all out to glorify the Lord. In Matthew 5:41, Jesus counseled, "Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles." For the Lord, we should at least double our effort.
Wednesday, August 9, 2023
When we pray to God, it's easy to think about something else or rush through it. But if you mean business, you will want to take your time, focus upon the Lord alone, and mean every word you say from the bottom of your heart. Then you'll feel the Lord drawing you close to him. Prayer will now be an unforgettable heartwarming experience.
Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Find a place where you can be alone and review carefully your own life. Suppose God now lets you judge yourself to see whether you deserve to go to heaven or not. Even if you think that you might not make heaven, if you'll just repent of your sins and ask him to save you, he'll do just that unhesitatingly with joy, for his mercy is infinite. And this should be great news to all of us.
Also in today's Gospel reading, during the fourth watch of the night, the disciples in a boat on the sea saw Jesus walking toward them. Once Peter realized that it was Jesus, he said to him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" What Jesus said helps me to understand how to have greater faith. It's simply pray and trust with no more doubts or worries. And this can't be accomplished by trying hard in any way. Instead, you simply rest peacefully in the Lord. With practice, we can attain complete abandonment in God. In sum, to have great faith simply means you don't ever worry for the Lord anymore.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 14, after dismissing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain by himself to pray. If the Lord needs to pray to the Father, how much more we'd need to pray to him! Seeking union with God thru the Holy Eucharist is one sure way of becoming aware of the Father's presence at all times so that we may succeed in praying unceasingly to him.
I arrived at the seminary early, about half an hour before morning Mass started. I sat in my car in the parking lot at the top of a hill. Normally, I say some of my prayers then. Today I looked thru the windshield and saw the whole distant view, a landscape of trees dotted with houses here and there, extending as far as I could see. It just looked so peaceful in the cool sunny morning. We should really be so content living a peaceful life and enjoying all the good things the Lord has given us. Yet people still seek fame, power, and wealth, trampling on others along the way. This is our biggest problem, making us the only creatures on earth that sin against God, soiling our own souls in the proocess. This makes a mockery of Christ's sacrifice for us on the cross. A huge awakening is needed or we'll receive the greatest shock of our existence upon leaving this earth!