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

Sunday, December 31, 2023

***Review of 2023

         As 2023 ends, I look back to see if it's been a year better than the one before, and the answer is a resounding yes because I am now in the Lord more than ever. You might say that my satisfaction with the Lord has so far reached its highest level and is still rising. No void in my life whatsoever! Psalm 23 is now perfect for me. I wish all of you the best possible New Year in which you'll find your greatest fulfillment and receive the most blessings and joy from our God! Know that there is no limit to how much you can let the Father love you.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

***Our Big Challenge*****

        We continue to hear readings from 1 John 2. I like these verses today: Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever. Everything's pretty clear here. We must love and obey the Father alone and not love the world at all! This is something we seem to have difficulty even in taking it seriously. It just shows how much we have entrenched ourselves in the world. There is only one way to turn us around: letting the love of God overwhelm us. Again, there's no better way than seeking to attain union with God thru the Holy Eucharist.  

Friday, December 29, 2023

*****In God's Light or Not

        I like what John the Apostle wrote in 1 John 2 from today's reading 1. Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Christ is our light. Here's how to know if you are in his light or not. If there are still people you don't care whether they make heaven or not, you are not in his light yet. When you are in his light, you love everyone, including your enemies, and work hard to save all for Christ.  

Thursday, December 28, 2023

*Trust in God Sensibly

        God wants us to trust in him totally, but he also wants to to be prudent and sensible. For examplet, if you trust that he'll always shield you from evil, it doesn't follow that you would choose to go walking in a known unsafe neighborhood at right. We still need to remain alert and wise always. 

*****Living the True Life

        If we live on earth, die, and become absolutely nothing, that would make our whole existence meaningless. What would be the point of knowing how to think, reason, curious about things; wanting to help others; understanding good and evil; etc.? Literally, everything we do in life becomes pointless. Christians who know the Risen Christ know for certain that there is life eternal after death. This makes life completely worth living. As a matter of fact, that's the life I am living for now!

***Crucial Acknowledgment***

        Today is Feast of the Holy Innocents. Reading 1 comes from 1 John 1 & 2. These are the last three verses from 1: If we say, "We are without sin," we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he [Jesus Christ] is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. So to acknowledge that we are sinners is the step we must take if we we ever hope to be saved. It's totally logical and rather obvious, but I don't know how many of us truly realize this. Anyway, humility is the key to entering heaven. And God will only exalt those who humble themselves.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

***God's Unique, Powerful Joy***

        Today is the feast of Saint John, Apostle. I love this Apostle who referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. Here's the entire reading 1, 1 John 1:1-4. "Beloved: What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of lifefor the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us—what we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing this so that our joy may be complete." St. John had to write what he knew, for the joy of knowing Christ is impossible to suppress. This joy touches the soul and makes you selfless to want to share it with everyone else. You now know that you've been set free from sin and belong to the Lord.

****No God, No Success

        Any success achieved without God is ultimately a failure. When God is with you, all your failures are only parts of your ultimate success.

***"Never Look back"***

          This is Christ's command to his followers. When we are unhappy about how things are going, it's easy to look back and wonder if things would be better if we had chosen a different major in college or accepted a different job offer or married a different girl or done something else differently. But all this is a total waste of time, for what's gone is gone forever. The healthy, realistic outlook is to realize that we are finite things and we are prone to make mistakes. But mistakes are not sins and may even turn out to be blessings! No matter how bad things are, if we turn to God and follow him, he will make the best of our situation and set everything right for us. The bottom line is that we get to heaven. So say bye-bye to the past and follow the Lord onward.

***Blessed Golden Opportunity*

        Any time you feel helpless, it's the perfect time for you to abandon yourself totally to God! This is your blessed golden opportunity.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

***Secret to Being Saved***

        Today is the feast of Saint Stephen, first martyr. The Gospel reading comes from Matthew 10. Jesus commissioned the Twelve and spoke of their coming persecutions. The last verse of the reading is "You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved." This last part in boldface is what we Christians must remember no matter what we undergo. For our reward will be great! 

**Our Tragic Downfall*

        We live in a material world, but we must realize that the "real" world that matters is the spiritual one in which God dwells and which we shall enter after we depart from this world. When we are not aware of its existence, we are easily amazed by our material accomplishments in the world, not realizing that they are all made possible by God. Instead of feeling more humble, we become more prideful. This is our big downfall. And it'll be most tragic if we do not wake up to it.

***Simple Way to Be Eternally Happy

        While recovering from COVID at home, I have plenty of time to think about God and life. I see that what matter only in life are how we let God impact us and how we impact others. If we are openly receptive to the Lord, he will fill us with joy, making the whole heaven rejoice. If we draw others to him through his love for us, our eternal happiness is assured! It all comes down to pleasing the Lord God, our Father and creator.

Monday, December 25, 2023

***What God Desires the Most from Us***

        I thought I caught a cold two days ago Saturday. I coughed a little bit and had a stuffy nose. So I chose not to go to Sunday Mass. Today Christmas Day I also stayed home, tested myself for COVID and the result was positive. That was unexpected. A year ago, when I first had COVID, I had a fever and the cough was unbearable. Maybe because of that, I am not feeling so badly this time around. So I am going to stay isolated thru the rest of this year. As I rested in bed yesterday, I turned on the clock radio on the nightstand. It was the local PBS music station broadcasting classical Christmas carols, both old and new. They were beautifully composed and performed by accomplished musicians. I don't know if such music actually draws any listener closer to Christ. Only the Lord knows. At around 6 p.m. The music switched over to popular jazz Christmas carols. They were more light-hearted and easy to listen to, but pretty much secular in most cases when Christ wasn't even hinted at. Surely, these songs are not going to convert any hearts. All this leads me the see that writing music to celebrate Christmas may be a good thing, but the best way to glorify the Lord is what he desires from us the most—it is that we obey him in all things. This is also how we earn the most merit from heaven.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

***Christ My Lifeline***

        Because of my knee problem which came up last Monday morning, I didn't attend Mass the last five days. It's Saturday today and I felt good enough to go back to church, and it's goof to receive christ again. After all, he's the one who means the most to my existence. If I have to cut all my ties, this is the one I can never sever, for he is absolutely my lifeline!

Friday, December 22, 2023

**Being Social vs. Being Friendly

       Friendly people are usually social, but the converse may not be true. People wrongly assume that if you are unsocial, then you are unfriendly. I think the criterion should be whether one is friendly to God or not. To be friendly to others is good, but to be friendly to God is critically important. To be social or not matters even less. Anyway, make the Lord your best friend and don't worry about whether you are social or not.

***Rejoicing in God's Trustworthiness

        In today's world, there are very few people you can truly trust. Various people are trustworthy to various degrees, but none comes close to God in whom you can trust all the way. He alone remains faithful to us always, and is the only one we need to rely on for all things forever. How blessed we are to have such a Lord!

Thursday, December 21, 2023

*****Great Hope for Us

         Can't believe that we are near the end of another year. I'd like to give you all this great hopeful message now. Christ, being our creator, can truly transform any of us into a new beautiful creature, depending totally upon how willing we are to let him. The more open and submissive we are, the faster and superior the result. The whole process is to let the Lord set us free. And we can go as far as we wish! Christ can make everything effortless for us—the truth.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

***God's Reality***

         Since the Lord dwells in me and I am aware of his holy presence at all times, I know that he is aware of whatever I do internally and externally. This does set up a sort of barrier between me and the world, but I don't mind at all, knowing that the Lord is absolutely real. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

***On Suffering***

        Yesterday after I got up from bed, I found it difficult to stand on my right foot alone because the knee hurt. I know that something like that can change your whole way of life. I managed to go to morning Mass, but had to walk slowly and carefully. I skipped going to the gym afterwards. Right now I'd better stay home and rest. Of course, I am going to find out what the cause is.
        My first thoughts this morning are on suffering. The Lord allows us to suffer from time to time to make us stronger and draw us closer to him. As followers we must be willing to accept whatever he sends our way. Of course, we can still pray for alleviation or total healing, but if that doesn't happen, we must not complain. To be willing to suffer doesn't mean you deliberately ask the Lord to make you suffer either; it only means that you are open to whatever he sends you. One thing you can be sure—he'll never send you anything you cannot bear.

Monday, December 18, 2023

***Keeping the Faith!***

         These are dark days. Pope Francis just approved same-sex blessings. The Church is pretty much in shambles. I read comments online that say it's clear now the Catholic Church is not the true Church. They don't realize that Satan is attacking the Church most viciously because she's the true Church. Our country is also in shambles with so much corruption going on at all levels of the government, from the White House down. So what are we to do? It's easy to run away and not deal with all such things, but the right thing to do is just the opposite. We must never give up our faith in the Lord and always obey him in our hearts. Everything we face should make us hope and trust in him even more. Our home is not in this world. We the faithful already belong to Christ. It's only a matter of time he will set everything straight. Endure all and fight for the sake of God and our days will turn brighter than ever!  

***A Christian's Goal***

        Jesus has taught us to love our enemies and never judge others. We are to love others only. So Christians should never wish ill of anyone, including their persecutors, nor rejoice when their enemies are down. Their only goal is to obey and please the Lord alone. Hard to achieve on our own, but easy when we rely on him.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

*******POIGNANT REALITY (Unity or Separation)********

        True unity exists in Christ alone. If we are one with him, we are one with each other and we have true unity. If we are divided because of him, we become separated forever and we have true separation. Christ is our pivot, for he is our true Lord and God.

***Great Consolation

         We all have the need to be understood. And it's frustrating that when you share some view honestly with someone and you can be easily misunderstood or even blamed. Even if you find someone who will listen to you objectively, that person still does not know all your inner thoughts. So when I realize that the Lord God knows everything about me and loves me, it becomes a great consolation to me. Suffice it to say that his understands alone is good enough for me. 

***Overwhelmed by Love

        Communion experience. I realized that he had redeemed me with his most precious blood—I was priceless to him! I was overwhelmed by his love. 

**Manifestation of a Weak Faith

        The lack of reverence for Christ the Lord signals the absence of a strong faith in him.

***Another Natural Law

        The more you believe in the God of Christ, the more wonderfully you feel about your own life (existence).

***Rejoicing in God Effortlessly***

        Today's psalm response, Isaiah 61:10b: My soil rejoices in my Lord. It's clear that here Isaiah rejoiced in God naturally without any reluctance. We Christians are to rejoice in the Lord always, but sometimes we may not feel like doing that. Well, this can be cured if you get to know the Lord well. Again, seek to attain union with him first. Once you are in union, you don't even have to remind yourself. For now, being fully aware of his intimate presence within you at all times, your soul "automatically" rejoice in the him unceasingly!

***God Is Our Joy!***

        I love what I heard from today's first reading from Isaiah 61: I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul... As a matter of fact, God is my joy! My favorite hymn For You Are My God by John Foley, SJ, says it all for me. Here's the refrain: For you are my God; you alone are my joy. Defend me, O Lord. The accompanying melody is also memorably beautiful. I have posted about his song before. Here's a different rendition well done, in case you haven't heard it yet.

**"Have Mercy on Us"

        When we pray "Lord, have mercy," we're really praying for ourselves because the Lord is merciful to us always, ready to forgive us anytime we cooperate with him. So begging mercy from him is admitting that we need his mercy and are ready to receive it from him. 

Saturday, December 16, 2023

***Communion Experience

        Having the Lord enter me is like being dropped into an ocean of love. 

**Simple Knowledge

        If we don't belong to God, then we belong to the world, for there are only God and the world. When we belong to God, we are set free. When we choose the world, we become enslaved to sin. This is what I understand as a kindergartener. 

*****Formula for Peace

        We only need one will, God's will. 

***Why We Feel Restless (Another Simple Truth)***

        The moment we stop rebelling against God, peace is born. A simple truth again. Now you know why you feel restless when you feel restless. Again, the Lord has made us so.

***Necessity of Finding Solitude***

        The Lord speaks to us unceasingly, but his voice is gentle. If you are always busy with things of the world, you are not likely to hear him. Hence we need to find solitude from time to time, setting time aside whenever we can. I am blessed because, being a retiree, I have the time to attend Mass daily. I remain in church after Mass and there I get my solitude. Having just received the Lord, it's the perfect time for me to commune with him. Once you attain union with the Lord, solitude matters much less, for you are now aware of his holy presence at all times. I pretty much receive all the thoughts for blogging during Mass, and I scribble them down on the cards I carry in my shirt pocket. Once in a while, I have trouble deciphering my own writing, but that's rare. Praise God!

*****Great Beauty of God's Love***

        We enjoy looking at beautiful things. Some travel to find them. As you know, I am a photographer, and anywhere I go, I try to capture whatever beauty I see with my cell phone camera. Likewise, we enjoy listening to beautiful music. But there is beauty on an entirely different level we can experience directly from the Lord. Once you taste his sweet love, you'll feel that it's so beautiful that you just can't live without it. This is the beauty that captures the heart and intoxicates the soul, making you want to be in union with the Lord forever.

*****Treasuring the Luminous Mysteries

        I love the Luminous Mysteries of the Holy Rosary instituted by Pope John Paul II in 2002. I pray them on Saturdays, for to me they are closest to the Glorious Mysteries. (1) The Baptism in the Jordan. The Lord didn't need that, but he chose to go thru it like any one of us. This moves me very much. (2) The Wedding at Cana. Again, he was like any one of us, attending a wedding to join in the celebration. There he changed water into the best wine, performing his first known miracle. (3) The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God. Jesus called the Twelve, started to proclaim the Kingdom of God, and called all to conversion. This work continues on today. (4) The Transfiguration. Jesus was transfigured before Peter. James, and John. His face shone like the sun and his clothes became dazzling white. Both Moses and Elijah appeared to converse with him. The Father's voice came from the cloud announcing, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." What an awesome scene! This definitely is also a glorious mystery. (5) The Institution of the Eucharist. At the Last Supper, Jesus gave himself to us in this sacrament. This is one greatest miracle because he performed with the greatest humility. It's also a glorious mystery. 

***Union w/God Extraordinary Enuf*

        Some saints and mystics in union with God receive favors such as ecstasies, visions, locutions, even experiencing levitation or bilocation. But one can be in union of God without receiving anything extraordinary. The goal of seeking union with God is to know and experience his love to the max, and achieving that goal is extraordinary enough. Any other beautiful experiences received are simply there to help you magnify God's glory to the world.

Friday, December 15, 2023

***A Good Feeling

        I love to hear Jesus teaching us, counseling us, and guiding us, for he speaks the truth always. For example, in Matthew 16 he said, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." Such words cut us to the heart. I feel as if the Lord is operating on me, straightening out and curing my soul. We feel good because we are sinners.

***Moving Up to the Highest Position

        In Luke 14, Jesus told this parable.When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.This much I know. If we humble ourselves every chance we get, we'll be exalted to enter heaven for sure.

*****Greatest Possible Blessing*****

        Communion experience. I get to consume the Lord, having him dwell within meThis is even better than seeing or touching him. To me, receiving the Eucharist and becoming one with the Lord is the greatest blessing I can possibly receive in this life. It means that he has chosen me and granted me eternal life—there is nothing more to want.

**Spinning the Truth

        in today's Gospel reading from Matthew 11, Jesus said to the crowds: "To what shall I compare this generation? . . . For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, 'He is possessed by a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, 'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'" Guess of whom does Jesus' description of his generation remind me? Ans. Today's leftist politicians and the fake new media—they are "experts" at spinning the truth.

***On Consecience

        God has given each of us a conscience. As a result, we all know what's good or righteous and what's bad or evil. When a person sins, it's only because his conscience has gotten dull or muddy from excluding God to a certain degree; deep down he still knows and loses his peace. So it's critical important to develop a super sharp conscience for us to remain holy. In reality, conscience and holiness are intertwined. When you seek union with God through the Holy Eucharist, these two improve hand in hand.    

***Understanding God***

        God is our Father in heaven who loves us and wants us to have peace now and joy for all eternity later—a simple truth. If you are still an unbeliever, cast your pride aside temporarily and look into it. Should you find that Christ and his teachings are all baloney, you can always go on your own and do whatever you want with yourself. But be honest with yourself always.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

***Super Food***

       Communion experience. This is the only food capable of melting my heart and my soul to merge my spirit with the Lord's.

***Wondrous Life*****

        When you are amazed by the Lord's wondrousness, you are excited about him. This is the way it should be. Pay attention to all the things around you and you can see marvels everywhere, not just when you look at the majestic mountains or the night sky filled with infinite stars. Most of all, there's the wondrous Lord dwelling within you when you are in union with him! A Christian shouldn't have a single dull moment in life. 

***Attitude of a Servant***

        In Luke 17, Jesus taught the apostles about this. He said to them, “Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’? Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’? Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” We are to serve the Lord single-mindedly and not expect to be rewarded. This is an excellent way to practice being humble and selfless. (Psst! Our reward will be great in heaven!)

**On Giving to Charities

        This is not so simple nowadays. Giving smaller amounts to individuals who need help is not much of a problem. But giving larger amounts to an organization is altogether different. First of all, you want to make sure that the charity is an honest one. Secondly, you want to know the percentage of your contribution that will reach those you want to help. 15%? 90%? It could make a big difference. Then there are charities which actually promote causes that go against the teachings of the Church in some way—this is not always obvious. Last, is the charity truly short of funds at this time? To learn about all these things takes time and effort. How to give is another consideration. Depending upon your financial status, doing it the wrong way could result in paying a lot more taxes to the government. Of course, giving is a duty of each Christian, as we know that all we have comes from the Lord and we are to help others. So we need to pray and seek much guidance and discernment in fulfilling this duty.

**Repaying the Lord*

        Today is the Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, one of my favorite Carmelite saints. Christ got himself crucified so that we might become anew, free from sin. It is entirely proper and logical that we get our old selves crucified so that we do become anew and sinless.   

*****Most Fulfilling Personal Experience

        I have always loved receiving the Holy Eucharist. But in the early years, it's more like fulfilling your duty as a Catholic. Fast forward to the present. Now it's a true encounter daily with my Lord, my God, and my most beloved.  

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

***Sign of Hope

        Do you know that there has been public worship held on the streets in various European cities this year? This is a beautiful thing. Here's a recent one from Amsterdam. Praise Jesus, for he is our Savior and hope!

**Greatest Fulfillment and Achievement

        Communion experience. Receiving the Lord is being fulfilled to the max. It can also be considered our greatest life achievement by the grace of God.

**Becoming Strong when You're Weak

      As we age, we increasingly sense our physical weakness. Why not take advantage of that? Anytime we feel weak physically, mentally, or in any other aspect, see it as an opportunity for us to rely on the Lord even more so as to become strong spiritually. What could be better than growing holier and older at the same time?

*****A Serious Warning!*****

        The Church is the body of Christ. Breaking up the Church is a most grave sin, and that's happening right now. The Magisterium has so far caused much confusion and sown discord among the faithful. Satan has infiltrated the Church for some time and is now working harder than ever to destroy her. But the Lord is not going to let that happen. Still, things could worsen before that get better. We are in some sort of end times for sure. We need to pray harder than ever with so many souls at stake. It's commitment time!

***No Limit to What We Can Accomplish!*

         The Lord God is infinitely powerful and we have instant access to him. So do not limit him nor ourselves. There is so much we can accomplish in glorifying him in this life! Start out by letting him make you holy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

***Happy with Myself

         Communion experience. I was happy that the Lord could perfect me. This made me happy with myself. 

***Call to Conscience***

        Do you realize that God has already done his utmost for us? He has sacrificed his only divine Son so that we may have eternal life, revealing that he loves us as much as he loves his own Son. This news is so incredibly good as to be shocking! The ball is now in our court—are we just going to play dead and not reciprocate at all? 

***How God Converts Us

        God respects our free will. He wants to converts us, but he never strong-arms us in any way. When Paul was persecuting Christians, the Lord simply called him to ask him why in a quite gentle way, and Paul was converted. So he does convert us by creating circumstances or events to make us willingly consent to what he asks of us. Just don't harden your hearts.

Monday, December 11, 2023

***The Reality Not All See*

        Looking at both the good and horribly bad things that are happening in our homes, schools, churches, cities, companies, industries, our government . . . and around the world, it is clear that what we witness results from the spiritual warfare between God and the Evil One. Not everyone sees this, just as not everyone believes in Christ. Blessed are those who see the reality, for they've been chosen by God to inherit his kingdom.

***Worst and Best for Us

        Communion time thoughts. The worst thing that could happen to your soul is that you are possessed by an evil spirit. By the same token, the best thing that could happen to your soul is that you totally belong to the Holy God.  

***Never Look Back***

        When we follow Christ, we must not book back. Don't waste time dwelling on the past regretting you should or shouldn't have done something or lamenting that you missed some big opportunity. Let bygones be bygones. If you have sinned, confess your sins and get them absolved, and move on—they no longer follow you. And let nothing hold you back in following the Lord. Look forward only to the very best that's to come. A reluctant Christian risks losing the Lord altogether in the end.

*****How to Have Faith***

        In my last post, you see how faith works wonders. But how do we acquiure faith? "Surrender" is the key. When we surrender to God, faith is born. As we experience wonders, we willingly surrender to him more and our faith grows. This is the exciting part of following Christ. When we realize that there's no limit to how far we can progress this way, it becomes even more exciting!

***LORD Eager to Forgive (Our Only God)***

        In today's Gospel reading from Luke 5, Jesus healed a paralytic. Some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed, trying to see Jesus. Not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "As for you, your sins are forgiven." We see that the moment you have faith, the Lord is ready to forgive you! This is how eager he is to forgive us. Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, "Who but God alone can forgive sins?" Jesus knew their thoughts and said in reply, "What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"– he said to the paralytic, "I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home." He stood up immediately, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. The Lord spoke as God here. Come to think of it, there's no one else who can forgive our sins, for there's only one true God, the God of Christ.

**Christian = Fearless*

        One thing we may not notice but need to know—it is that Christ Jesus can banish all our fears. You become fearless when you know that the almighty God is with you always. You are now truly free, aware that nothing can bind your spirit anymore! 

Sunday, December 10, 2023

***Most Necessary for Us to Know

        Nothing is impossible with God and that includes removing our sins so that we can get into heaven. This is super important for us to know and believe in.

***Connecting Properly with the Lord

        How well are you connected with God? Loosely or most intimately? We must be more than lukewarm to receive any benefit. Anyway, with the Lord God, the only proper way to connect with him is to go all out and all the way; for he is most holy, most loving, and most trustworthy, and our calling is to become like him. Again, I advocate seeking to attain union with him. The Holy Eucharist is our greatest aid in  helping us complete that process.  

Saturday, December 9, 2023

**We Are on Our Own*

        Each of us is responsible for our own actions. At judgment time, we'll be alone with the Lord. Every thought we entertain, every word we utter, and every deed we perform will help to shape our case. So in the limited time we have, it is most important that we use our time wisely and not squander any of it away. If you can be happy for all eternity, whether the world recognizes or appreciates you is just about irrelevant.

*****Most Directed Words (Power of the Eucharist)***

        At the Last Supper on the day before Jesus was to suffer, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take this, all of you, and eat of it: for this is my body which will be given up for you." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.These words of the Lord are like arrows aimed directly at our hearts. Let them penetrate our hearts so that we may belong to him forever!

***Our sole Concern

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew10, Jesus sent out the Twelve, instructing them thus, "Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give." That last statement I italicized gave me the following thoughts. We don't need to ask God for anything for ourselves. labor for him and we'll surely receive the best from him. We don't need to expect being rewarded either, for rewards shall surely come. Our sole concern is then serving the Lord without cost.

Friday, December 8, 2023

***Humbled and Exalted

        Communion experience. The Lord made me see that I was nothing before him, yet he treated me as the apple of his eye. He humbled and exalted me at the same time.

****Will, Heart, and Soul*

      Giving your soul to God and giving your heart to God are both proper and good, but giving your will to him takes care of everything.

*****Our Most Beautiful Dwelling*****

        It's the Lord himself! The deeper you enter, the sweeter his love you taste. In him, you enjoy intimate union with him and experience absolute security of your soul. Peace, freedom, and joy abound. The Lord of Christ is all we need to fulfill all we desire for eternity! 

**Being Enlightened by God

        Today's reading 2 came from Ephesians 1 in which Paul writes: God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ . . . After reading this, how can we Christians not feel elated, knowing that God has blessed us so much? Any Christian who feels unhappy has to be an unenlightened Christian.

***In Union with Heaven*

        Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Of course, Mother Mary is most close to our Lord Jesus. Then I see that when we receive the Holy Eucharist, we are mystically united with the Lord, the Holy Mother, and all the saints most intimately, bringing us close to the whole heaven!  

***First Things First

        We shouldn't ask God to have mercy on us when we are not ready to surrender ourselves fully to him yet. If we do, it would be like asking the Lord to forgive us our sins when we haven't resolved not to sin against him again. We need to get our priorities right.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

**Diffeence Christ Makes*

        Another picture of our situation. We are all holding onto the edge of a cliff. Without Christ, we simply hang on by our own strength. Eventually, we get tired, weaken, and fall off. If you have Christ, he already has a rope tied around you. Even if you let yours hands go, you are still safe. This is the big difference Christ makes.

**Reason for Loving God

        I love the Lord because he loves me even while I am a sinner. 

*****The One Easiest to Know!

        I've known a lot of people. Often someone who appears to be most trustworthy turns out to be the very opposite. So you can never know someone thoroughly. The Lord God is the exception, for he always speaks the truth and is someone you can count on every time. The makes him the easiest person for us to know! It follows that he'll also make our ideal soulmate.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

***Perfection Cured

         I used to be a perfectionist since I liked to do everything as perfectly as possible. And a perfectionist is never happy as things never remain perfect for long. After knowing the Lord, I have changed. I realize that only he is perfect and only he can make me perfect. I see that wanting to be perfect is an imperfection in itself, stemming from self-centeredness. Only the humble can become perfect, for God exalts them. Now to me, perfection is being able to accept the imperfect, and I am happier than ever!

***Great Way to Glorify God*

        Pay attention and you can learn something from every single experience of your life to help you get closer to God. Tjhios is a way to turn your life into a giant learning experience for the glory of God.  

***Ideal Way to Die

        It's best that before we die, we are in a state of grace, free of any unforgiven sins. I would also prefer to have received the Lord at Mass that day. Don't be caught dying while you are committing a sin. That would be very "embarrassing" for a Christian to say the least. Come to think of it, any time we sin, we should feel embarrassed.

**Another Union Fruit*

        How union with God brings you inner peace: In union with him, your thoughts no longer run uncontrolled; they now automatically align with his. When the thoughts are still, peace ensue. 

*****No Chasing After the Lord!*****

        In Jesus' days, great crowds sought him out, followed him, and wanted to see him, touch him, listen to him, watch him perform miracles, and be healed by him. Since the Lord transcends both space and time, we can be right with him from wherever we are and at any time! God can be as close to us as we wish. Be in union with him, and you and he dwell in each other at all times. No traveling, running after him, climbing a tree to see him . . . needed. Basically, surrender yourself to God and he is all yours!

***Faith Essential for Salvation

        Jesus has already come and revealed himself and the whole truth to us. Some of us believe in him and others not. That he'll come again to judge us is certain. At that time you'll know that he is truly our Lord ad God, but it'll be too late for the unbelievers. The same thing happens if you do not believe and die before his second coming. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

*****Tug of War with God***

        Here's a picture portraying realistically how we deal with the God. Each of us is engaged in a tug of war with him, with us standing on the edge of a precipice. He doesn't let the rope go so that we may not fall off the cliff. Meanwhile, we pull on our end as we resist moving toward him. Should we choose to go to him, he would gladly pull us toward him as far as we'll let him. But if we choose to hold our ground and not budge, then when our time is up, he would have no choice but to let us go. It's up to us now, but later it'll be all up to him.

***Recognizing Another Reality***

        Nothing belongs to us and we don't belong to any other human being. All of us belong to God alone. Deal with this reality and let it change the way you live.

**Going Home

        Communion experience. The Lord has totally accepted me. I am getting ready to go home.

**Second Coming Certain*

          It is amazing that after two thousand years we still await the Second Coming of the LORD. Is it really going to happen? You bet! The world continues rebelling against God, so his work is not finished yet. Common sense alone tells me that he will get all things squared away one day and we'll have final order and peace. God shall be triumphant!

**Best to Come*

        I have Christ now, but the best is yet to come. And that is, I'll be knowing him in full

***Dying and Reliving in Christ

        To die in Christ is to let your old self pass away. Then you can start living in him to let him make you anew. Now you become a delight for the Lord to behold (not to mention yourself experiencing freedom, peace, and joy). 

**Meritorious Suffering

        When you willingly accept whatever suffering coming your way for Christ's sake, you strengthen your union with the Lord. This also stores up more treasure in heaven.

Monday, December 4, 2023

**Deciding Factor for Our Eternity

        In the final analysis, it comes down to whether we have Christ or not. 

**Sinners Made Clean**

        Communion experience. The Lord heals and purifies my soul. Feeling clean is a priceless feeling that can only be given by the Lord. This proves to me that we are indeed sinners!

**God's Peace

         The peace of God dwells deep in those who know him, serving as a ballast or anchor. Whereas their hearts can still get ruffled on the surface, that peace deep down keeps them unshaken. 

Sunday, December 3, 2023

***Perfect Matching Up

        Communion experience. Here's Almighty God coming to unite with me, a lowly, poor sinner. Such is his great love and mercy.

***Excellent Way of Praying*****

        Certainly we need to pray hard. How do we go about doing it? For the Catholic, the basic prayers are Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Apostles' Creed, Holy Rosary, Chaplet of Divine of Mercy, etc., of which many were given directly to us by the Lord. And there are other beautiful prayers written by various saints and pious souls available for our use. What I really want to say is that we must not neglect making up our own prayers. These will come straight from your heart, aiming for the Lord to hear. I dare say that such prayers will please the Lord as much as the best written ones prayed earnestly, if not more. When you pray thus, you don't even need to be concerned about how accurately or well you express yourself. Sometimes, words or complete sentences are not even necessary. They are beautiful to the Lord because they originate spontaneously from your heart. Furthermore, this should greatly enhance your intimacy with him. 

***"Watch" Is the Word

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 13, Jesus said to his disciples: "Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come." The Lord had repeatedly warned them of his coming this way. Should he come suddenly and find us asleep, we're no better off than those who rejected him. 

***What We Truly Need to Know***

        Today's response to Psalm 80: Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved. With God, it's all about our salvation. We need the Lord, for without him we'd be lost forever in sin. This is basic knowledge, critically important for us to have! Heaven awaits and we choose not to show up? 

***Maximum Trust*

        Today's entrance antiphon contains the following words from Psalm 25: To you, I lift up my soul, O my God. In you I have trusted; let me not be put to shame. If you can entrust your soul to God, you can entrust everything else to him. 

Saturday, December 2, 2023

**Union on a Grand Scale

        When we are in union with God, we are in union with all those who are in union with him. Thus we are also in union with all the saints and angels in heaven and all those who are holy in the Lord on earth. This is more grand, powerful, and glorious than we normally realize. We are definitely not aloneTake full advantage of that.       

***God's Calming Effect

         Once you know Jesus well, especially when you've attained union with him, nothing basically alarms you anymore, for you now belong to the Lord alone. This can give people the false impression that you're a cold person. Then pleasing God is not to please the world.

**How to Become Vigilant

        In today's Gospel from Luke 21, Jesus said to his disciples: "Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day will catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man." To be vigilant at all times is to be aware of God's presence at all time. We forget about God most of the time and that is not right. Again, I advocate that you seek to attain union with the Lord through the Holy Eucharist so that you may already be with him at all times by then. (By the way, could that day be the day of Illumination of Conscience that has been prophesied since the 16th century and again in the last century?)

Friday, December 1, 2023

***God on My Side

        Communion experience. Christ is all for me! Psalm 27:1 echoes my feeling: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?

***Know What's Coming Always*

        Be alert, vigilant, and prepared for your coming meeting with the Lord. If you do, your judgment will bring you good news. If not, it'll shock you to the core. 

**Understanding God's Ways*

        The LORD is super powerful, but he only uses his power to teach us, guide me, and draw us to him, all out of love. He never flaunts his power to berate or subdue us, for he totally respects our free will and wishes only to inspire us to have faith in him. Once faith is born, he is able save us.

**Just Passing Thru*

        Today's realization. I am just passing thru, stopping over on this planet for a short while. Nothing I have now belongs to me. When I depart, it'll be just myself, the way I came. Then I'll be appearing before the LORD, all naked, as it were. Hopefully, I'll be welcomed to stay with him forever, for anywhere else would be unbearable.