I am thinking what I would be doing now had I not found Christ. I'd definitely try to make more money, pursue my hobbies or looking for other ways to keep myself happy. I would probably travel more, buy more expensive stuff... all part of enjoying the world as much as I can while I am alive. In sum, I would be concentrating on things of this world while my health is still holding out. I may look for some religion to believe in, but I don't believe that I would find anything so satisfactory and fulfilling as Christianity, now that I know what it's all about. Would I be truly happy then? Definitely not, now that I've tasted the sweetness of Christ. There is no "good old days" for me.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
I am not a sentimental nor nostalgic person, but I do want to use the word "sweet" to describe the journey of following Christ. If it weren't true, there probably wouldn't be any saints, martyrs, monasteries, convents, pilgrims, and much of a Church today.
I mentioned before that I used to love staying up late at night and getting up late the next morning. Even though I never felt very good in the morning, no matter how many hours I slept the night before because of this habit, I was not able to change it until I started attending daily Mass. Nowadays, I get up not long after 5 a.m. and go to bed around 10 p.m. and feel great all day.
Looking back, I see that the reason I had trouble going to bed early before was because I was not able to let things go. Whatever I was doing late at night, I wanted to get it done or continue as much as I could, not willing to stop or give it up ~ this was definitely attachment to things of the world. There is no such thing as finishing doing all the things of this life. I was not putting doing God's will at the head of the list. In fact, doing God's will should be the only thing on the list. I am glad that hindsight is 20/20.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
If you do not accept Jesus as God and Savior yet for whatever reason, may I suggest that you read about him, talk to him (yes, talk because you probably don't want to pray to him yet), ask other good believers about their experiences, or read blogs like this one. Once you find out how lovely and beautiful Jesus really is, you will fall in love with him if you're one of the lucky ones, and all fears and reservations will vanish and wonder why you hadn't done it sooner. I am speaking the truth here.
Today is the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul. As I received the Holy Eucharist, I realized that this was what both saints received and has the power to transform all of us into saints. After Communion, I was so grateful that out of love, the Lord had revealed himself to me. When you receive something so beautiful, you no longer question, you no longer want to understand; you simply rejoice and be grateful. God sure knows how to make people happy.
Julian further revealed how the Lord loves us. In another vision, Christ said to her, "It is a joy and a bliss and an endless delight to me that ever I suffered my Passion for you, for it I could suffer more, I would." She added that Jesus has great joy in all the deeds which he has done for salvation, and that we are his bliss, his reward, his honour, and his crown. We'll never be able to fathom the love he has for us! You'll have to be made of stone or absolutely dead to not be moved by the Lord's great love for us.
I have started reading Julian of Norwich ~ Showings. Julian was an anchoress living in England in the late 14th century. She received 16 revelations of God's love in a series of experienced visions. I posted "Sweet Sorrows" yesterday. Let me share something I just read from one of Julian's revelations. She said: "When Christ was in pain we were in pain, and all creatures able to suffer pain suffered with him. And for those who do not know him, their pain was that all creation, sun and moon, ceased to serve men, and so they were all abandoned in sorrow at that time. So those who loved him suffered pain for their love, and those who did not love him suffered pain because the comfort of all creation failed them."
All this really made sense to me because we who love Christ share the same sorrows with him and get consoled by him, whereas those who do not know or love the Lord feel sorrow when things don't turn out to serve them ~ it's a big difference. Sorrow is sweet or bitter, depending upon whether you love Christ or not.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
When I receive Christ in the Holy Eucharist, I am making a pact with him to let him enter my life, occupying my whole being, so that we dwell in each other. Physically, the bread and wine are totally absorbed by my body and they run through all my veins. Yes, the Lord becomes part of me, literally making my body the temple of the Holy Spirit.
There are many things going on in the world and among people I personally know or love that make me sorrowful. Then I go to the Lord and share all my feelings and he turns all my sorrows sweet. It happens because now we are feeling the exact, same sorrows. When Jesus went through his passion, he knew he was doing the Father's will. Even though his sufferings were horrific, the sorrows were sweet because he did all out of love. Anyway, the Christian life is a sweet life.
Monday, June 27, 2011
I have talked about living the Christian life, that is, following Jesus, as an exciting ongoing journey. Now I sense even more excitement as I see that up ahead along the way, I'll be discovering or finding more and more of God's beauty, magnificence, mercy, riches, and wonders ~ there's just no limit to the breadth, height, and depth of the Lord! How I wish that all would turn away from their fascination of the things and affairs of this passing, mundane (and ultimately boring) world and look up to God for a moment to realize the exciting journey they could take that will lead them to eternal happiness!
St. Paul made it clear that whatever we do, without love, means nothing. And the Lord said that not everyone who calls to him, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of God. Likewise, one can go to Mass, participate in church activities... but has no personal relationship with Christ, then he is only nominally Christian, one who has not built his house on rock.
Yesterday was the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Anyone who does receive the Holy Eucharist must realize that in receiving it, the Lord becomes even closer than one's own flesh and Blood. Here is the opportunity to establish this intimate relationship. Receiving the Lord in vain is worse than not receiving him at all.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
There is excitement and joy when you recognize that it's the Lord. I am thinking about the time when the disciples recognized that the "ghost" walking upon water toward them was really the Lord. Later they realized that the one standing on the shore directing them to cast their net to catch fish was the resurrected Lord. And then the eyes of the two disciples on the way to Emmaus were opened at the breaking of the bread.
I also feel that any time you recognize that a thought, a word, a desire, an urge, or a voice is coming from or prompted by the Holy Spirit, get excited and be joyful that it is the Lord within you.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 8, the centurion asked Jesus to heal his paralyzed servant. When the Lord was ready to go, the centurion declared that he's not worthy to receive him and only asked him to say the word and the servant would be healed. The Lord was impressed by his faith and the request was granted.
My thoughts are that if we have faith, we shouldn't ever wonder or worry if the Lord is going to answer our prayer or not. To persist and ask again is fine, but to lose peace afterwards, no. Faith without trust is empty.
I came into this world with nothing that's mine and shall leave it the same way I came. Except that while here on earth, the Lord our God called and I responded. Now, he is mine forever! Soon I shall be going to him, the Father who awaits us all in paradise. Will you be one to disappoint him? I pray not.