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!)
Friday, August 25, 2023
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!
Monday, August 7, 2023
Today's Communion antiphon, Wisdom 16:20: You have given us, O Lord, bread from heaven, endowed with all delights and sweetness in every taste. I must say that our Lord is most delightful and sweet, and he makes us all delightful and sweet to him.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 14, Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fish enough to feed the crowds that followed him, consisting of five thousand men, not counting women and children. After they ate, there were still twelve wicker baskets full of fragments left over. To me, this miracle is absolutely extraordinary. You see, human scientists can only convert an existing amount of matter into an equal amount of something else. Here, the Lord practically created something out of nothing.
If you go to your heavenly Father and tell him anything from your heart, focusing upon him alone, you'll get his undivided attention. He always treats you the way you treat him. This is how you can get to know your Father most intimately. With the aid of the Holy Eucharist, you can achieve full union with him. You are now home with the one who loves you the most, the one to whom you rightfully belong!
Sunday, August 6, 2023
Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. I did not see such an awesome glorious sight, but if I believe that it did happen, this to me is as good as seeing it. I'll always believe what Jesus said to Thomas, "Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed" (John 20:29).
Saturday, August 5, 2023
Friday, August 4, 2023
Jesus has died for us—you probably have heard that many times. But pause and think about that for a moment. Jesus is God. He died for us means that he sacrificed himself on the cross for our sins. So we have the Lord God sacrificing himself to save us—we are loved with the greatest possible love! When I realize this, I thank Jesus and feel great joy what he has died for me!
Thursday, August 3, 2023
Communion experience. What a privilege to receive the Lord God into me, realizing that he has chosen me! The only sorrow is that so many others are still not aware that the Lord God loves them just as much. Be open to him so that he may chose you too.
In today's Gospel reading from Gospel 13, Jesus continued to speak to the people about the kingdom of heaven in parables. At the end, whatever is good is always kept and whatever bad, always thrown away. This is how the angles will separate the wicked from the righteous at the end of the age. I see this as a final screening process. So be aware, we'll all be screened based upon how we live our lives now.
Wednesday, August 2, 2023
Communion experience. In today's reading 1 from Exodus 34, we heard read that while Moses was conversing with the LORD on Mount Sinai, the skin of his face became radiant. The LORD present at Mass today entered and dwelled within me—I was sure that every part of my body became "radiant," even though it's invisible to me.
If you feel that you are high and almighty, and don't see God, he doesn't see you either. But if you are so humble that you want to surrender yourself to him completely, he sees you right away and will reach down to lift you up to his level. You long to see the Lord and he reveals himself to you.
Prayers connect us directly to our God. Some prayers came to us from heaven. The most prominent example has to be the "Our Father" Jesus taught his disciples. The "Oh My Jesus" prayer to be said at the end of each decade of the Rosary was give to us by Our Lady of Fatima, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy by Jesus again to Sister Faustina. These prayers are all most efficacious. Of course, any prayer coming straight from our heart always reaches God's heart and is beautiful to him.
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Most of us don't know the day God will call us to leave this life. I say "most" because there have been cases in which the Lord lets the person know of the exact day of his or her death. How would you react if the Lord were to let you know of your last day on earth? I would definitely become more detached to all my material possessions, realizing that I'd have to part with them forever. Well, I might as well start becoming so now.
Communion experience. We customarily wish someone who has died that his or her spirit may rest in peace. Today after I received the Lord, I thought—why not start resting in the Lord before we die? This is sensible, possible, and desirable. There is no reason not to enjoy peace when we're still on earth. As permanent peace can only be given by the Lord, if we don't find it now, we mostly likely won't find it later either. Recommendation: Seek Christ the Lord now.
Today is the Memorial of Saint Alphonsus of Liguori. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 13, Jesus explained the parable of the weeds to his disciples. In the explanation, he mentioned what would take place at the end of the age: "The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear." Indeed we need to hear and pay most serious attention. The Lord challenges us like no one else. We must accept or reject what he tells us. Here, if we don't believe that he's speaking the truth, we risk losing our soul!