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

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

**Month End Reflection

        On this last day of the first month of 2023, I look back on what I've done and what I've failed to do. I am happy that I love the Lord even more, but sorry that I failed to love him as much as I should. You can say that I have improved, but the improvement fell short. Nevertheless, following the Lord remains most exhilarating! 

**Complaining No Longer Befitting

       Today Tuesday, again the day for praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. After meditating upon the Passion Christ had undergone for our sake, I realized that we should not complain about anything anymore!

**Get Ready Now*

        Know that Christ not only will come to judge all of us, he is also ever present with us. So get to know him now to be prepared for his judgment.

***Most Intimate Union

        Communion experience. I received the one who loves me the most and whom I love the most. He became part of me and I, part of him. It's the greatest possible intimacy attainable only through the Lord with him. 

**Only One We Need to Listen To*

        When Jesus says "Be healed" and you are healed. When he says "Follow me" and you'll have eternal life. Everything he says to you is for your good and he is powerful. Listen to him and you'll have not a thing to worry about.

Monday, January 30, 2023

***Are You with the Lord?

        Words we need to hear. 

***How to Be Able to Love God?***

         Simple and true:—You just let him love you! Let God love you as much as possible and you'll able to love him as much as possible.

***Greatest Consolation

        Communion experience. Receiving the Lord in the Eucharist has to be the greatest consolation of my life, for it can overcome all my sorrows. 

*God Makes Us Worry-Free

        It's good to realize that there is nothing God cannot handle and he loves us and is always with us. This should be good enough to make us worry-free.  

**Our Christian Duty

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 5, Jesus healed a demoniac and said to him, "Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you." It is our duty that we announce to all what the Lord has done for us. Then you say that he wasn't even around when all those things happened. Does this mean that if we don't see him, then it has nothing to do with him? Of course not. God is in control and nothing can happen without his allowance. If you don't believe, you have no faith.

***Obedience to God Begets Peace

        Freedom lies in doing God's will. Solid proof: When we disobey the Lord, we lose our peace. 

*Joining the Heavenly Family

        Jesus is God the Father's only begotten Son and our only Lord. When we follow him, we become God's adopted sons and daughters. 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

**Taming of the Self

         A sinner unchecked is like a wild animal; he is self-centered and does what he wants to do for himself. Once you attain union with the Lord, he has tamed you, you might say. Now you listen to him and want to do his will only. Filled with the Holy Spirit, you willingly and joyfully want to please him alone. You now possess a super sharp conscience; you see all your imperfections and want to eradicate them all. No oppression is felt at any point. In fact, you feel completely liberated and renewed.  

**Mind Your Own Business

         This means that you become holy; love and serve God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and are to answer to him alone. Then you'll automatically know how to love others.

***Only One Thing We Need to Know*

        There are so many things we shall never understand in this life. That's OK, as long as we know and believe that Christ is our Lord and Savior.

**Good Way to See Ourselves

        Since the Lord God is all-knowing and created us, and we cannot understand anything without him teaching us, it is only proper and wise for us to see ourselves as kindergarten kids before him, alway listening to and learning from him. This'll teach us to remain humble too. 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

***Good Rule for Acquiring Humility***

        Whatever you attempt to do, if doing it will draw people's attention only to you and not to God, don't do it. This is a golden rule to follow if you wish decrease yourself and let the Lord increase in your life.

**God's Calling

        Communion experience. It's the Lord calling us to become holy! 

***What Jesus Came to Us For

        Never forget that Jesus came down to earth to save only sinners. The greater your sin, the more he wants to help you. To reject him is like refusing to go and see your doctor when you are sick and dying! 

***Evidence Jesus Is God

        Jesus accomplished whatever he wished simply by willing it. He willed to heal someone and the person got well instantly. He willed to change water into wine and it's done on the spot. He willed to calm down the storm and it obeyed him outright. Look at us, when we want to accomplish something, we can spend a lot of money, do extensive research and study, and still fail to come up with anything. Christ has to be the Lord God!

**God Speaking to Us Through Laity*

        Many believe that we are now living in some kind of end-times. Even the Church has been infiltrated by evil. And there have never been this many messages and warnings purportedly coming from heaven, asking us to convert, repent, and surrender to God. Of course, not all such prophecies are reliable, but you can trust the ones that come to us from the saints and those seers that have been approved by the Church. All this shows that we are in urgent need of returning to God or it may be too late for us. At Mass in most Catholic churches, you hear the usual complacent homily preached without any urgency. There have been courageous priests who did speak out, then they got reprimanded by their superior or canceled by the bishop altogether. I believe that since the Church doesn't speak out loud and clear for the Lord, he has no choice but to use more and more of his lay followers to help him spread his messages.

Friday, January 27, 2023

***Three Days of Darkness

         This has been prophesied by quite a number of holy persons in the past and I personally believe that it will happen. I think that the warning, the Illumination of Conscience, will come first, and the three days of darkness could follow sooner than we expect. You'll find many YouTube videos on the subject. Here is a good presentation not too long by Dr. Taylor Marshall. Anyway, the important message is that we convert and reman holy, and we'll have no need to fear whatever punishment or chastisement God sends our way.

**What Only Matters

        Communion experience. Obeying the Lord, serving and glorifying him, is it. 

***Our Greatest Miracle

         In today's Gospel reading from Mark 4, Jesus said to the crowds: "To what shall we compare the Kingdom of GodIt is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade." How good it is for us to be like that mustard seed, letting God make it grow! Know that when God transforms us, it is the greatest miracle that can happen to us.

***Living This Life Wisely

        Our life continues on beyond death, for our soul is immortal. We are only now living the minuscule beginning of our life. Not seeing this is blindly heading toward an abyss. One who follows Christ knows he'll always be with the Lord. This makes a difference as vast as that between day and night. The best I can say about living only for this life is being myopic to the extreme.

***Amazing Power of Love***

        Jesus is the only one who has died for us out of love and made many of us willing to die for him. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

**Proud and Humbling Experience

        Communion experience. The Lord is all mine; I now possess him! I couldn't quite believe that he would let me receive him, and this humbled me.   

****More than Free from Sin

        When God sets us free from sin, we also become free to love him!

***Surrendering to God for Maximum Returns

        We reap what we sow. How much we receive from God depends upon how wide we open up to him. To be wide open to the Lord is to surrender our will, our mind, our heart, our soul . . . our whole being to him. When we do that, it's like opening all the floodgates to let all God's blessings and graces in. This is reaping most abundantly from the Lord.

**Total Dependence upon God*

         On the physical level, without God sustaining us, we would instantly die. On the spiritual level, without him wishing to save us from sin, we would perish forever. He's the one to hold onto for existence!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

**Soul over Body*

        Communion experience. I see that my soul dwells in my body only temporarily. One day it will leave the body, discarding it altogether. From the numerous near-death experience stories, we learn that after a person's soul leaves the body, all the senses amazingly become even more vivid. So don't get hung up on your body too much, for the soul is infinitely more important. Saying "Happy Eternal Life" would be more meaningful than saying "Good Health" to anyone. (The only thing is that people might think you want them to die when they hear you wish them HEL, whereas GH clearly means "Don't die yet.")  Anyway, when I receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I know that my soul now belongs to him. 

***A Life Passing By

        I am already at a ripe old age, so I think I am qualified to describe what living a typical life in a country like the USA is like. Take a typical person who lives to about eighty. Of course, in the early years, you are just discovering the world and learning about it. Then you go to school, studying all the common secular subjects. Say you do get thru college. Now you concentrate on getting a good job. Your whole aim is to make a lot of money. As time passes, you work hard to realize you dreams. You might have already become a Christian by then, but Christ is just not you top interest. When you approach sixty, you either continue to pursue material success or start thinking about retirement. In the meantime, various health issues start popping up and finally, you start thinking about God and your own inevitable demise more. But the attachment to the material world is still strong and you face fighting a tough battle. You still decide to enjoy this world as much as possible in the time you've left, whereas abandoning yourself more to God is more appropriate. Really, the best way to live is to follow Christ first and only as early as possible, then you'll become detached to all material things. When death approaches, you look forward to meeting Christ your Savior and returning to the heavenly Father in peace and with joy. Heaven is now assured.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

**Not-of-the-World Feeling

        After Mass, I did all my prayers before the Lord in the tabernacle. As I drove home, seeing all the familiar roads, trees, and houses along the way, I felt that I no longer belonged to this world. I felt liberated—it was a great feeling! 

***Everlasting Relationship!

        Communion experience. Christ is my Lord and my God. I realized that this bond would last forever and was filled with joy.

**How to Do Unpleasant Things

        Many things we'd rather not do, but we have to do. For example, something around the house breaks down, now I must figure out how to fix it, go to buy whatever I need, and do the work. If it's something I can't handle myself, then I must look for a professional first. All these things I'd rather not have to handle. Then I regard doing such work as doing it for the Lord, and I lose all my anxiety. I am just going to get to it and complete it in a timely, orderly manner. By offering all work up to the Lord, he sets me free.

**Feeling Sorry for the Lord and Us

        We all sin against the Lord. We feel sorry for the Lord because he is holy, and for ourselves because we are sinners. This is good because we are close to repenting our sins.

*****Called to Console the Lord

        After my last post They Know Not What They Do!, I have these thoughts today. Christ our Lord had been mocked so much already when he was being crucified, and now 2,000 years later, people mock him even more blatantly—don't they realize that hell exists? If they don't really believe in God, I suppose they wouldn't care about hell either. They are to be pitied the most. (Then I see Catholics who support political candidates who fully support abortion. This is basically also mocking the Lord, albeit on a lesser scale.) To console the Lord who is enduring the pain inflicted upon him by the mockers, we need to be extra obedient, pray extra hard, and make more sacrifices for the atonement of all our sins.

Monday, January 23, 2023

**They Know Not What They Do!*

        I know that many of us are praying hard for the world so that the Lord may lesson or even eliminate any chastisement that's coming to us. Here's a new video showing how Madonna horribly mocks God. Watching it makes it increasingly difficult for us to pray for people of her ilk, yet pray we must for the the atonement of their sins, for God loves us all. Here's that video:

*****Christ Our Liberator and Joy*

        People generally talk about things of the world. It often gets boring or even depressing and I feel weighed down. Then I think of Christ and it's like receiving instantly a breath of fresh air that's liberating and exhilarating. I just can't live without my Lord and my God for a single moment. Life would be joyless and unbearable without him.

**Why Be Attached to God Only?

         Because He'll always be there and is the only one who can save us from sin.

***Why We Want God to Judge Us?

        Because he is always fair and right.      

**Our Decision Alone

        Christ the Lord is always present. Once you find him, he'll always be with you unless you decide to leave him. So it's all up to us. 

**How Not to Be Unmeritorious*

        All our thoughts, words, and deeds are measured by how much they draw others to the Lord. If they don't, they have no merit.

**Great Mass Experience*

         At Mass, I feel that I am being initiated into heaven. When I receive the Holy Eucharist, I know that the Lord is the one to whom I want to trust the care of my soul.

**How to Feel Free

        If you are willing to let the Lord see everything in your heart, then you'll feel the freedom and joy in him. To hide or run away from God is what robs us of peace. Only the Lord, being the truth, can set us free. 

Sunday, January 22, 2023

****Only Great Tragedy in Life****

         It was in the news that a man in the Los Angeles area killed ten people and injured another ten at an event held at a dance studio last night. Allegedly, it's reported that he's upset because his wife was invited to the event and he was not. Whether this was the true cause or not, if he had surrendered to Christ first, this tragedy wouldn't have had happened. For anyone, Christian or not, it is tragic if he or she does not know the Lord well. I'll quote again what the French novelist Leon Bloy has famously said: “The only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is to not become a saint." How true it is!

***God Our Salvific Light

        Today's readings at Mass again remind us that we walk in darkness and the Lord is the light we need for our salvation. This is the very truth you won't find anywhere else. To be saved for sure, we need to realize that as sinners we indeed live in darkness and that Christ is the light that shows us clearly how we may be saved. Know that even in complete darkness, the Lord knows our hearts and souls inside out. We either live in God's light or remain in darkness for ever.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

***Strengthening Your Union with God

        I just washed some dishes; I did it expressly for Christ and felt his closeness the whole time. So do all things expressly for him to experience his intimate presence. Let this further strengthen the union you attained with him through the Holy Eucharist.

**Are You Wasting Your Time?***

        The so many things we want to do, placed next to what God wants us to do, may all be nonsense. The smart thing is to do only what God wants us to do, that is, to be obedient to him. Our time on earth is so short that every second we don't mind God is every second lost. Then it'll be too late to know him, the one who loves us the most. 

****Pray for Oneself First*

        We praise God, we thank God, and we tell him that we love him. Then we pray for the world, for the Church, for our own country, family, friends, etc. But it's really more relevant to pray for ourselves first, because if everyone of us becomes perfect, the whole world becomes perfect. If the proverb Charity begins at home is correct, so can we say Holiness starts with oneself. If we are not strong ourselves, how can we help others? If we are not perfect, how can we change the world? We'll all answer to God each on our own, so perfect yourself by presenting yourself to God first, then pray for all other things.

**What People Say About You

        This is the short reading from Mark 3 today: Jesus came with his disciples into the house. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." When you follow Christ faithfully, your relatives or others may think that you are out of your mind. You are out of your mind only if you let what they say about you bother you. Live for and respond to the Lord alone and just pray for everyone else.

*****Best Move to Make*****

        Christ has offered himself up to God the Father to obtain our eternal redemption. It would be right and just for us to offer ourselves up to him, warts and all, just to show our gratitude. Of course, in doing so, we gain eternal life. And this has to be the best reward we can possibly get, one only God can give.  

**Mass Experience

        Attended morning Mass. Today is the memorial of St. Agnes. I was heartened to see that the church was quite packed and after Mass the confession line fairly long. Before Mass started, I just wished to bask in the Lord's radiance and holiness. 

Friday, January 20, 2023

***Surrendering Ourselves to God**

        To show that we truly love the Lord, we need to surrender ourselves to him fully. If you find this difficult to do, then ask yourself what disadvantages there might be in doing so. See if you can come up with something worth considering. I hope this can help you come to a decision. We can always start out with our willingness and ask the Lord to help us attain what we desire. This is one way to get the surrendering process going.

**Sin and Inner Peace*

        When we sin, deep down we know it, and we lose our inner peace. God has made us this way so that we know when we have sinned. There are those who carry their sins all their lives and finally have to confess them before they die so that they may die in peace. But what if you die suddenly, die in sleep, or suffer dementia first? We just can't take any chance with our soul. Best yet, the moment you lose your peace because of sin, get Christ to take all your sins away so you may remain clean and pure. This peace is a special gift from the Lord showing that you are in a state of grade before him and he is pleased with you. Therefore, treasure it and preserve it by all means.

***Submission Most Satisfying

        Communion experience. When you submit yourself to God completely, it's so satisfying! for you are now completely fulfilled. By the way, this experience can be quite overwhelming, but you'd know that it comes from the Holy Spirit and love it.

***The Sin That Sums up All Sins***

        We don't love God enough.

****Most Beautiful Response to God

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 3, Jesus appointed his twelve Apostles. We read from the Gospels how some of them dropped everything to follow him the moment he called them. This strikes as a most beautiful response to the Lord. He speaks and we obey immediately, as it should be. For he is the Lord and we are nothing without him! Only following him can do us good. The reason the world is such a horrible state today is precisely that we no longer obey the Lord!

Thursday, January 19, 2023

*****Never Go to Hell!*****

        In John 21:18, Jesus said to Peter, "Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. It is true in general that when we grow old, we become increasingly helpless and would need others to do many things for us. Now, in hell the souls are completely helpless; they are not in control of anything and suffer whatever they deserve for all eternity. At the same time, those in heaven experience the greatest freedom and joy everlastingly. So, think about your own future right now! Don't ever end up in hell! Do your utmost to keeps all others out of hell too. This is my message for the whole world. I am bringing it up squarely before all because not thinking about it amounts to committing suicide. God does not go away and we'll all ultimately face him. For both his and your sake, think about him right now. With God the Omniscient, we must be completely open and go all out to know him. Avoiding him is terribly wrong and a huge mistake. So please help me warn as many others as possible. God bless you. 

**Taking Advantage of Your Sins

        The more sorrowful you feel about your sins, the more you should abandon yourself to God. Never despair, but hope and trust always. Then God will set you free from all sins. Let each sin make you holier until you sin no more! Be amazed by his love and power!

***Truth About Us (and a Choice)

         God has made us in his image so that it'd be possible for us to become like him, then sin gets in the way. But now we have Jesus Christ our Savior right with us, ready to remove our sins to turn that possibility into a reality. So our choice comes down to "become like our God" or "remain in sin." The second one just sounds so horrible to me.

***My Greatest Intercessor

        In today's first reading from Hebrews 7, Paul writes, "Jesus is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them." It's good to know that Jesus is interceding for me; he's on my side and is totally for me! How can I possibly fail? Who can be against me? He has surely made my life most memorable!

*****Greatest Free Gift*****

        God's love for us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

**Heaven Calling

        You probably have heard the saying "Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one want to die to get there." As Christians, we know we can get to heaven and even how we can get there! If you yearn to go there and know that it'll feel like going home, you have been called by the Father.

**Money as a Burden

        Money can be a great burden in life. I still remember way back after I got out of college, I finally found a job. I was happy, even though the pay was not very good. I was single and rented a room in a house, sharing the kitchen and the bathroom with others. As a new convert to Catholicism, I was filled with joy. I decided to support two overseas children thru a charity and freely donated to other causes too. Saving money for the future never entered my mind, and I truly was carefree and free. After I got married and started having kids, giving away money became less free. Anytime you work hard and earn more money, money just becomes more precious to you. The point is that money can weigh us down. And we should give away for the glory of God as much as possible under the circumstances. Happy is truly the one who is free to give away whatever amount he wishes. 

**Goal Attained

        Communion experience. I have attained my ultimate goal on earth and am ready to return to the Father. 

***Inextricably Related to God***

        The Lord God created us, gave us life on earth, supplies what we need for our sustenance, and has even paved the way for us to return to him after this life. We are totally dependent upon him for everything and related intimately to him as his beloved children. Without him, we wouldn't even exist. If you don't think you need him, you can't be more lost. Even after we die, we'll have to appear before him to give an account of our past. In other words, we are inextricably involved with God, whether you realize it or not. Next time you sin, pause first and know that God knows everything about you, that is, you can't hide anything from him. So be smart and live in complete obedience to him and start you days in heaven on earth.

**Why Satan Is Still Free

        God can bind Satan and wipe out all evils in an instant if he so chooses. He hasn't done that because we haven't stop sinning against him. If we all obey the Lord and become holy, Satan'll be rendered completely "useless" and we won't need to be chastised anymore either. Since the reality is otherwise, Satan is allowed the freedom to test our faith. The love, mercy, and humility of the Lord alone should have been sufficient to awaken us to want to follow him and become holy. But we have not all responded favorably. Hopefully, seeing the terrible and horrendous things sin has caused will turn us around.

***One Best Thing About Heaven!

        Happy moments or events in this life don't last long. After a while, they just become memories. Now, in heaven our joy will continue on forever! We should all want to go there. So go to Christ to have him take away all your sins right now!

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

****Why Pray Unceasingly

        When we pray, we communicate with the Lord and deepen our relationship with him. Once we share everything with him from our hearts and become totally open to him, with the aid of the Eucharist we can attain union with him. So God is accessible and can be ours. Therefore, pray to him unceasingly. He is the most important person to our existence! To ignore him is to ruin our own lives. Everything is not OK without him! We need to wake up to the truth, the reality.

***What Receiving Holy Communion Is***

        The Holy Eucharist enters our body, despite the fact that our body with a lot of bacteria both on and in us is not physically clean. But the Lord doesn't mind, for he is essentially making a spiritual connection with us. He's going to cleanse our hearts and heal our souls—this is what matters. So receive him only if you are in a state of grace and unite with him in spirit with all your heart. He's going to make you become like him!

***God Fulfills Us***

        We all feel the need to love and be loved by someone. Those who are lonely often find some pet to fulfill this longing. Christians fulfill it in the Lord God totally. The one who loves them and whom they love is no less than the Almighty, their creator, their Father, and their Savior! It is a fulfillment that came straight from heaven. The Lord God indeed fulfills all our desires and is the only one we need to know in our life.

*****Only One Worthy of Trust

        One thing we can be absolute certain about the God of Christ—he is 100% genuine and truthful, and is filled with love for us. He is the only one we can trust with all our mind, with all our heart, and with all our soul. How good it is to have such a Lord and Father! Don't you see that trusting in him and we are all set for eternity?  

Monday, January 16, 2023

**Division More Acute than Ever (a Warning)

        The Lord is loving and gentle and never forces his will on us, for he respects our free will. He simply reveals the truth to us and we are free to accept or ignore it. Those who accept the truth acquire faith, leading them to salvation, and those who don't, remain rudderless and lost. That Satan is waging such a fierce war against God intensifies the whole situation. We either see the secular material world we live in as our worst enemy or have already been lured by it to join Satan's side. It's really that clear and simple. To not see it to live in an unreal world! Our time on earth is the only time we have to discover, discern, and accept the truth.

***Make Us Holy, Lord

       God is most holy and we must respect, reverence, and be awed by his holiness. It's his sanctity that separates him from us, but at the same time makes us aware of our sinfulness and need for salvation. At Communion time, I realized that I was not only receiving the food of immortality, but also the Lord himself who can make me holy to be like him. Praise be to him forever!

Sunday, January 15, 2023

***Fighting Our Greatest Evil

        This week on Saturday, Jan. 21, the annual Walk for Life West Coast will be held in San Francisco. Since abortion was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973, over 63 millions unborn children have been aborted. I shudder and want to cry at the thought. Imagine that seven of the nine judges on that day played God. Even though the current Supreme Court just overturned that decision in June last year, some states still protect the rights of abortion, and California is the worst one. In case you missed seeing my post Magnitude of Abortion, I invite you to take a look at it.

***Most Efficient Way of Knowing Christ***

         You can do a lot things to know Christ better. You can study the Bible, read spiritual classics or about the saints, attend conferences, listen to talks, go on retreats or pilgrimages, attend daily Masses, pray and meditate, etc. This can take a whole lifetime. But if you are in a hurry and yearn to know the Lord most intimately, go straight to him and surrender your will entirely to his, and the whole thing is accomplished. This is best done after receiving the Holy Eucharist. Now, he'll direct and teach you in all things. This will save you so much time, not to mention the freedom, peace, and joy you'll experience!

Saturday, January 14, 2023

****We Are Precious to God!****

        At Mass during consecration of the bread and wine, Fr. Steve, again, recalling the words of Jesus at the Last Supper, said: "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." The Lord has redeemed us with his Most Precious Blood! We are truly wonderful and most precious to him! Be Thankful and rejoice!

***Mind Your Spiritual Health

         To remain in sin is so much worse that to have the poorest health, for the former affects your soul everlastingly and the latter only your body for the time being. Seize on Christ our Savior so that we'll never die in sin!

**Heaven in Contrast to Hell

        The joy we experience in heaven will be infinitely greater than any happiness we can experience on earth, and the fear we experience in hell will be infinitely worse than any nightmare we can possibly encounter on earth. So heaven will surprise and hell, shock us.

***Compelling Challenge

        The first half of today's first reading from Hebrews 4: The word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account. Christ so challenges us that we are compelled to love him or fear him. If you cannot prove that he is false, then you have no choice but to embrace him totally. Otherwise, you remain in a state of limbo.

Friday, January 13, 2023

***About Truly Loving Others

        God's love is pure, while our own love is not always genuine or selfless. We can go thru the motion and not really care that much in our hearts. To perfect our love, we need to know God and let him love us first. Once we experience his love, we'll know how to love others as he loves us. If you do this, he will surely bless you. Now, God manifests his great love for us in wishing to save our souls from sin. So if we are not concerned about the salvation of someone we claim to love, we fall short of truly loving that person. Anyway, the right start is to know God and get yourself saved first.

***Always Safe in God of Christ!

        The world is in disorder and chaos because people have abandoned God and thus easily captured by Satan. To safeguard yourself, just let the Lord be your refuge. In him, all your fears vanish as no evil can possibly touch you. In God, we are saved and our souls safe. Yes, we can easily reshape the world by choosing God!

**Right Approach to Loving God

        If you are ill and are anxious to get well, you won't get well quicker. To rest in peace and let your body and medication do the work is the way to go. The same with wanting to love God. If you struggle to love him, you become restless. So the right approach is to rest in God and let him do the work. You see, he knows all your good desires and can fulfill them only if you are out of his way.

***The Lord's Passion a Miracle!

        It's Friday and I meditated on the Passion of Christ. It is astounding and incredible that our Lord chose willingly to undergo such horrendous excruciating suffering for our sake. I see it as performing a miracle much greater than healing the sick and casting out evil spirits. I would put it on the same level as his Resurrection and Ascension into heaven. How wonderful our Lord is and how blessed we are!

**Entering into God's Rest

        In today's first reading from Hebrews 4, Paul writes about this. We need to find that rest while we are still in this world. To me, to enter into God's rest is to abandon ourselves completely in the Lord. Then our spirit will be free to soar to him when our time on earth is up. This is the triumphant way to enter heaven, passing all obstacles and returning to the Father without delay—the ultimate Home Sweet Home!          

***Home-Sweet-Home Feeling

        We all know the home-sweet-home feeling. You travel around world to visit all the beautiful places, but after a while (around three weeks for me), going home is still the best feeling even if your home is a very humble abode. I must say knowing Christ the Lord has already given me the home-sweet-home feeling with him no matter where I am.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

***Believing in Christ a Must

        There are people who don't know Christ yet. It's understandable that they wouldn't accept him yet. It's like telling someone who has never seen a car that it can zip him around. Naturally, he would hesitate to want to own and learn to drive one right away. In Christ's case, I would have to tell all unbelievers about him first. This is what I would say. Never mind that believing in him will give you freedom, peace, and joy; more importantly, it'll get all you sins forgiven and ready you for entering heaven to spend all eternity with God the Father. So accepting and believing in Christ is a must, a huge deal, most serious business, and absolutely not something to be dismissed. This is the truth; even Christians who already believe need to remember and appreciate it always.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

**Be Genuine Best

        In this world, we are used to maintaining a certain facade when we deal with others. We want to project an image of ourselves to our advantage. Rarely, do we act the genuine selves. Sometimes that might be necessary, but it seems to me that if you cannot be genuine, it'd be better that you don't project anything at all. This may be a challenge. Again, know the Lord well so that the Holy Spirit may teach you what to do or say.  

**Way to Be Forgiving*

        Keep praying for God's mercy on yourself and all others, and you'll be able to forgive all others. Always be a channel of God's grace.

*****Reaping Riches from Our Father*****

        Today after morning Mass at the chapel of Mount St. Joseph, I remained in prayer as usual. But this time for the first time I took the time to say each word of each prayer clearly and meant what I said with all my heart. Wow, I felt so connected to the Lord that I was rewarded with unspeakable joy! Realizing that the Lord is our infinite, inexhaustible treasure, we can certainly sow as much in him as we wish to reap from him, and there'll still be a lot lot more left for us!

***Important First Realization***

        Before we can make any great spiritual progress, it is essential to realize how much all of us, the world, need God's mercy. We are at his mercy and our very existence depends totally upon his mercy. 

**Giving Our Hearts to God

        Satan is good at invading our minds, but if we dwell securely in the Lord, it'd be impossible for him to touch our hearts. Give our hearts to God is one of the first things we should do.

**Faith Makes Life Meaningful

        If you have faith in the God of Christ, everything becomes meaningful. If not, you basically live an empty life.

**Only One to Live For

        Communion time thoughts. In receiving the Lord, I realized I was facing him alone. It was beautiful because I was ready to go to him. In the end we'll all face the Lord—it'll be just he and you. This is the way we should live, as if he's the only one with us. For he is our Savior, the one who makes life worth living. As Saint Mother Teresa has said, "You see, in the final analysis, it is all between you and God."

***Eternal Commitment to God

        The Lord God is eternal and wants us to have eternal life. So let's commit ourselves to him first for all eternity. This is entirely proper if you seriously want to spend life eternally in heaven. We reap what we sow.

*Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly*

        We see the change from egg to larvae to pupa and to adult. It just confirms for me that God is real and amazing, nothing is impossible for him, and life always starts at the very beginning.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

***Loving God Back***

        The love of God for me I feel makes me yearn for him and want to love him even more. And the only way I see to accomplish that is to obey him more. I think it'd be just as accurate to say that the way is to let him love me more, implying that I become more open to him. This is really the key.

***Rejoicing in Salvation

        Salvation is great news; that it's for all eternity makes it extra sweet. Thank you, our Father in heaven!

**Don't Get Left Out

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 1, Jesus delivered a demoniac. The unclean spirit right away knew Jesus as the Holy One of God. Naturally, the angels and saints all know who Jesus is. Even Satan knows. Let's not be the last to know this important truth. 

Monday, January 9, 2023

*Making Private Vows

        When you join a religious order, you usually have to take the vows of that order. For us who belong to the laity, we can make vows on our own too. There is so much to learn in following the Lord, why not make certain vows as the Holy Spirit directs us? This is a great way to grow spiritually for the glory of God.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

***Praying to God Is Beautiful

         God wishes that we pray to him unceasingly. He loves to hear from us. Praying to him is directly talking to him, and we should take it seriously. We should take the time to speak to him from the heart and never rush through it. The more sincere and persistent we are, the more we'll hear the Lord speaking to our hearts. This is the most important communication we can make on earth, for our prayers can affect all the souls, living and deceased, and the entire future of all of us on earth. Besides, it's thru intimate prayers that we develop an intimate relationship with the Lord.
            Imagine if all your children love to come to talk to you, show their trust in you by telling you everything about themselves, and ask for your advice and help, how pleased you'd be. Now our heavenly Father loves us so much more than we love our children and is always ready to give us what's best for us, he'd be thrilled that we endear ourselves to him. 

**Get It Right in This Life

        We have only one life to live. Even if we don't think about our next life, we should try to do everything right since we do have a conscience. Then without any guidance and support, this may not be easy. If you know Jesus, everything changes. He can sharpen your conscience, give you all the guidance and support you need, and even get you into heaven. I highly recommend that you get to know him well in this life.

**Feeding the Soul

        Communion experience on the Epiphany of the Lord today. Food feeds the body and knowledge, the mind. The Holy Eucharist nurtures, heals, and readies the soul for union with God.  

**Determining Factor

        Reconciliation with the God of Christ is what separates the saved souls from the lost ones. 

Saturday, January 7, 2023

***Only Rule We Need to Follow***

        Today's re-realization. We only need to listen to and obey Jesus. Do it and we are set for eternity. 

**Letting Nothing Disturb You

        As Christians, since we follow only Christ, recognizing that he alone is our judge, (1) we don't compare ourselves with anyone anymore, and (2) we no longer care about whatever others say about us, for only what the Lord thinks about us matters. So, if anyone criticizes you or put you down, treat it as nothing, for you only desire to remain in peace in the Lord. 

**Learning from Our Sinfulness

        Many Christians may be steeped in some serious sin. Sexual immorality and drug addiction are examples. I met a young man on one pilgrimage who told me in private that he was living with some woman and knew that it was wrong, but felt helplessly trapped. The fact that he shared this information with me showed that he was seeking help. Being enslaved by evil is always a terrible, miserable experience; but as long as you are aware that you are in sin, it's the Lord still holding onto you. Keep praying and he will set you free in time. Know that the Lord puts you through all this to draw you ever closer to him. And you'll emerge a much better disciple. Let us learn from our pain and misery caused by sin to realize that we are never abandoned. Hang in there with the Lord always through thick and sin. 

Friday, January 6, 2023

**Don't Neglect Sins of Omission!*

         It is much easier to detect sins of commission than sins of omission. You commit a sin of omission when you neglect to do what is right. To be perfect, you must not commit either type of sins. To not commit a sin of omission requires that you be attentive so that no good works are left undone. This is the challenge. It helps to actively look for ways of doing good. 

**Don't Live for Your Possessions

        We know one day we'll leave this world. Take a good look at all your possessions. After that day, you'll lose them all, for you'll have no more control over them and it's bye-bye forever. Realizing this, I hope you'll see all you things and your attachment to them differently. Putting it mildly, it's just plain silly to live for all those material things that you'll lose forever soon. Besides, they don't care a bit about you.   

***No Double Life*

         Live only for Christ in all things at all times. Make his judgment of you a pleasure.

***Our Greatest Power

        Today Friday I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Jesus foreknew the agony and all the sufferings he'd have to undergo, yet he went thru them in total obedience to the Father with the greatest humility. How was that possible? This answer came to me: "Love makes all things possible." You see, nothing is impossible for God and he is love.

**Most Content Feeling

        Communion experience. I now have my Lord and my God—it'd be impossible for me to feel more content.

**To Be Holy, or Not to Be Holy

        The Holy Spirit makes us holy, so if you don't want to be filled with the Spirit, it's in a way telling the Lord that you don't quite want to be holy. Our intention is alway important to the Lord. It's much better that you have the best intention even if it turns out that you don't quite make it. 

**Be Filled with Holy Spirit!*

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 1, we learn from John the Baptist that while he had baptized people with water, Jesus would baptize all with the Holy Spirit. It stands to reason that if you wish to be filled with the Holy Spirit, just ask the Lord for it. This is a request he'll always grant, for what you want is exactly what he ardently wants for you.

**Living the Christian Life

        A Christian who lives for the Lord leads a two-track life. He feels and suffers for the wounds inflicted upon the Lord by the world, and at the same time rejoices in the great mercy the Lord has on his soul. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

**Common Sense and Beyond (God's Existence)*

        This thought came earlier which I forgot to blog. Not everyone believes that God exists. But common sense tells us that if God does exist, he would be at a much higher level, super intelligent and almighty. So if we, who don't even know how much longer we are going to live on this earth, think that we can know everything and don't need God, this would be sheer folly. Anyway, nothing can replace God. If you have no God, your existence is devoid of meaning. Common sense again. The great evidence showing that God exists and is even our loving Father is Christ Jesus. This is personal experience going way beyond common sense.

***Why Christ Is Indispensable***

        He is because only he can make you perfect. You need him unless you have no sin or choose to remain in sin forever. I am being frank about this.

**Our Cooperation Needed

        Jesus wants to be one with us. We only need to want to be one with him to make miracles happen. 

**Joy of Knowing That Jesus Knows Me

        In today's Gospel reading from John 1, Philip found Nathanael and told him that he had found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph from Nazareth; and brought him to see Jesus. Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, "Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him." Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered, "Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree." Nathanael believed and said, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." The Lord knows everything about anyone and I feel the great joy of knowing that he knows everything about me. So I believe in him and he looks after and takes complete care of me.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

***God Can Turn Things Around

        I started watching this video a few hours ago and was greatly saddened to hear that numerous Catholics in northeastern Nigeria were hunted downed, killed, with their homes and churches burned and destroyed by the Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist sect that aimed at wiping out Western education. After I learned such atrocities, I felt such a heavy burden that I wanted to pray extra hard for these persecuted Catholic brothers and sisters. Then the electricity went out because of the current storm. I had no choice but to go to bed and prayed a Rosary in the dark. A couples of hours later, lights came back on and I got up to finish watching the video. It turned out things did turn around and the Church now is growing bigger and faster than ever, and I rejoice at that. Watch the video to hear the whole story from the bishop there. Never lose our faith in our God, for he is loving and almighty. I am thankful to the Holy Mother for saying fiat always to the Lord in serving him. 

***One and Only True God***

        Loving Jesus fulfills all one's desires. I can testify to that. I believe that as our loving creator, he has made us this way so that if we get lost, we'll want to look for him. Also, the Lord loves us and desires that we love him back. To think that he won't be able to satisfy us completely is just absurd. By all this, I know that Christ is our one and only true God.

**Quick Way to Heaven

        To skip purgatory and go straight to heaven after you die, do everything out of love for God.  

***Maximum Reward***

        Communion experience. I received what would make me incorrupt and immortal The Lord is surely good!

***To Be Perfect and Happy

        Zeal for God comes from God. In fact, all good things come from him, for he wants to maker us perfect and happy. We can never be totally happy if we are not perfect. So connect yourself to the Lord to receive all the good things from him to make you perfect and happy. The Lord has all you need. If you ask for the good things, he'll always give them to you.

**Called and Begotten

        Today is the Memorial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. In reading 1 from 1 John 3, the Apostle writes that "no one who is begotten by God commits sin." In the Gospel reading from John 1, Jesus calls his first disciples. We who now follow the Lord should know that he has called us and God has begotten us. This is an important realization. Not being aware of this can impede our spiritual progress. Converts often realize this more than cradle Catholics. Know that we are special and reborn, destined for doing great things for God's glory.

**To Be Humble Is to Be Humble

        If you acknowledge that you are nothing before the Lord, you should do the same before all others too. This may be hard to do, but if you truly want to be humble for God's sake, shouldn't you go all the way? 

***Heed Your Motivation

        Today the Lord made me see that he knows everything about us through and through so that we'd better make sure that our motivation behind every move we make is pure and selfless. It actually is a great joy when you know yourself (and the Lord) so well that you can sense the purity of your motivation quickly. Ask the Lord to sharpen your conscience if you need help. This is important because doing seemingly good deeds with the wrong motivation makes you a hypocrite.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

***Warning, Miraculous sign, Chastisement***

        Old messages need to be made aware of again.

**Discerning Spiritual Gifts

        The Lord gave Anna-Maria Taigi the criterion for judging any spiritual gift received. He said to her, "When it is the evil spirit, thou will experience anxiety; when it is Myself, thy heart will feel a great sweetness." In general, we can say that any anxiety you feel about anything cannot have been intended by the Lord. On the other hand, the peace and sweetness we feel after receiving the Holy Eucharist show that it's the Lord himself.

**Sequence of Knowing God (Most Beautiful Journey)*

         Remain humble and cast all pride aside → look into Christ → accept him as Lord & Savior → open up to him → start falling in love with him → open up completely to him → yearn to attain union with him → surrender to him completely → attain union with him thru the Holy Eucharist → experience freedom, peace, and joy → aim for total obedience → go as far as you want → meet finally your beloved Lord.

***Loving the Lord Without Limits*****

        I am continuing reading the book Wife, Mother & Mystic on Blessed Anna-Maria Taigi and am impressed by her holiness. Even though the Lord gave her many ecstasies, she begged their withdrawal and preferred to suffer for the atonement of others' sins. Christ approved of her heroic sacrifice and said to her, "There are few, very few, My daughter, even among the servants of God, who renounce spiritual delights in order to embrace suffering by love." I also recall St. Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish priest who volunteered to die in place of a man in the German death camp at Auschwitz. He once asked the Mother of God what was to become of him. She appeared to him, holding two crowns, one white and the other red. The white one symbolized purity and the red, martyrdom. She asked him if he was willing to choose one of the crowns. Fr. Kolbe chose both. 
          These two examples are just so inspiring. They show that there's no limit to how much one can love God, and this is precisely what makes living the Catholic life exciting. Even though we can remain in Christ and do not sin, we can still do better. As sinners, we always fall short of how much we should love the Lord. We are all different and some are called to be more heroic than others. Nevertheless, each of us should listen to the Lord's voice and do exactly what he tells us. Total obedience is our ideal goal and total submission the way to reach it.   

Monday, January 2, 2023

***The BIG Question***

        If we surrender to the God of Christ, we gain eternal life. So the big question for us is "To surrender to Christ or not?" If you cannot answer yes, that tells me that you need to surrender. Anyway, do not waste your whole lifetime on making up your mind, for that's all the time you have.

***Superior to Making New Year's Resolution*

        To progress spiritually, never struggle hard on your own. The secret of success is to go completely passive to let the Lord do all the work for you. At this time, many people make their New Year's resolution(s). I would forgo that because it never works. What will work is asking the Lord to give you all the blessings you need to make you perfect and beautiful to him. He knows exactly what to give you, and you can ask to your heart's content and he can handle it. This is holy greed the Lord doesn't mind at all. 

**God's Transforming Power*

        Communion experience. I just know that the Lord can transform me or anyone else into a most holy person. His will is accomplished the moment we surrender our will to his.

***Awesome Lord We Need

        In the Gospel reading from John 1, John the Baptist testified that he's not the Christ; and Christ, the one coming, he is not even worthy to untie his sandals. The Lord is so awesome that we must never assume for a second that we are good enough for him. Only he can makes us good enough for him. Hence we need him more that anything else.

**Remaining in the Son and the Father

        In today's first reading from 1 John 2, the Apostle makes it clear that God promised us eternal life if we remain in the Son and in the Father. To me, to remain in the Lord is to be obedient to him in all things. My greatest aid comes from receiving him in the Holy Eucharist daily. The Lord left this greatest gift with us, assuring us that he'd be with us always.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

**Difficulty in Facing the Lord

        I believe that many people evade rather than reject Christ because it's the easier thing to do. You see, the Lord makes us see what's in our hearts and that can make us feel uncomfortable. We are challenged to submit ourselves to him totally. Evading him doesn't mean that we are not interested in him; it simply provides us with a temporary escape from facing the truth. We still remain restless in an uncomfortable state.

***Being Holy*

        Being holy is private business. You do it for God alone and not for yourself or anyone else. It is living a secret life in God. That's why it feels so good.

**Like Jesus' Heart

        A pure heart alone is not good enough, Like Jesus, we must have a pure and just heart. In fact, it's the just heart that makes it pure.

***Joy of Receiving the Lord

        Communion experience. Mary, pregnant with Jesus, visited and greeted her cousin Elizabeth who was already pregnant with John the Baptist. Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy." (Luke 1:39-45) I was also filled with joy before receiving the Lord in the Eucharist, asking "How does this happen to me, that the Lord himself should come to me?"

**Way to Serve God

        Doing what's good for others first before doing anything that's good for yourself is being Christlike.   

***Christ Gives the Assurance

        We are all sitting or standing on the brink of a precipice. For those who already know Christ and follow him, they do not ever have to worry about falling off that precipice. But for those who don't, there is no such assurance. This is an accurate description.

***Keeping the Conscience Free***

        We must never block our conscience. On the contrary, we should be totally in tune with it so that the instant we sense that a thought or motivation is wrong, we dismiss it outright. This is the way to stop committing any sin. To develop such a sharp, sensitive conscience, all the more you should seek to attain union with God first. 

***Understanding God's Blessings

        There are those who preach or believe that the stronger your faith is in the Lord, the more he'll bless you by making you successful and prosperous in this life. If that doesn't happen, they conclude that their faith must not be strong enough. The gospel never taught such a message. In fact, Christs wants us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow his example. His blessing is not to reduce or take away sufferings from us; he only prayed that his disciples would be strong enough to withstand all imminent tribulations coming their way (Luke 21:36).