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

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Letting In God's Peace

        God's peace comes to us when we clean out all impure and selfish thoughts.

First Vocation Call

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 12, while Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. Stretching out his hand toward his disciples to make the point, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother." The Lord made it clear that the vocation for a disciple is to do his will, preceding any other vocation calls.     

Monday, July 20, 2015

On Becoming Pefect

        God wants us to be perfect, but because we are finite, we can never be as perfect as he who is infinite. But we can approach perfection the way a curve approaches an asymptote in mathematics as time passes. Our lifetime goal is to surrender, trust, and abandon ourselves to God to the best of our ability and leave the drawing to God. In theory and practice, perfect cooperation brings perfection.

How Not to Judge Others

        Jesus teaches us not to judge others. He is right. Before God who alone is holy, we are all sinners, so we are no better or worse than others. The way of not judging others is to never compare others with ourselves. This should also rule out gossiping. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Taking Death Seriously

        Death is a reality, but a lot of people do not want to think about it. They act as if they are going to live forever. We absolutely need to be ready for death as it could happen at any time. I am not talking about getting life insurance to take care of your family or picking out a cemetery plot ~ I want to make sure that I am going to heaven and not hell, unless you believe that there is no life after death or that everybody goes to heaven anyway. For the Catholic, it's important to go to confession as often as necessary to remain in the state of grace. It's a great feeling to know that your soul is safe. Only a fool would gamble when eternal life at stake.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Best Gift for God

        The best gift you can give to God is your heart. Giving it to him is to give all of yourself, showing that you truly love him. And he will shape, mold, purify, and condition it as he pleases and you'll receive exactly what you need to become whole and holy. After receiving the Holy Eucharist is the perfect time to make this offering.

Love's Demand

        To love someone, you must want to know the person. To love God, just going to Mass faithfully is not enough . . . you must want to know him as much as possible ~ his thoughts, his feelings, his ways ~ and to be like him. That's why seeking union with God is the way to go. A married couple can coexist peacefully, but to truly love each other, they must strive to become soulmates. To help someone in need is showing your love; but again, to truly love the person, you need to show that you are interested in knowing him or her more in detail as a person.

Biggest Common Sin

          Whether you are a saint or a big sinner, no one loves the Lord enough.

Ultimate Freedom

       If God is judging you right this moment, would you still try to hold onto the things you are attached to in the world? The right thing to do is to get detached to everything now (to avoid embarrassment later, to say the least). I believe I had mentioned that I was very much attached to piano music in the past. I subscribed to four or more magazines, eagerly awaiting the arrival of each issue to tell me about various composers, their works, featured pianists, the latest piano competitions, reviews of new CDs, etc. I would try finish reading the issue before eating my lunch or dinner. I would visit music stores to find the new CDs I wanted to add to my collection (no online shopping those days). I ended up knowing more about the piano than my piano teacher and we would talk about rather than playing it. 
        Finally, I realized that it's time to get detached. The first things I did was to terminate those magazine subscriptions, but I still kept one because I had that magazine from issue one. Later I realized that the Lord wanted me to make a clean cut and I unsubscribed that one as well. In fact, the last issue that arrived four years ago is still in its sealed condition. Listening to music is no longer my priority; prayer life is. (And I feel so much more free now.) To be detached from the world also means forgetting about all your past achievements and past experiences, whether they were pleasant or bitter. It means letting go of all your memorabilia as well. The past is gone; you now live anew in the Lord. You still fully enjoy what's good for you in this world, but are no longer enslaved by any of it anymore. As Jesus said in John 8.32: "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Friday, July 17, 2015

Falling in Love with Love

        I saw part of an EWTN program on Iraq, a country rich in Christian history, where the Church now is being persecuted. I caught the faces of those, young and old, attending church. They looked beautiful and my heart went out to them. I realized how lovely we must all look to God, despite our sins, for God loves the sinner and hates only the sin. If you truly understand this, you can't help but fall in love with this lovely, merciful God of ours. 

Our First Priority

        To pray the Our Father and say "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven," we must start with doing God's will ourselves. How can we call God Our Father if we are still rebellious? Therefore, our first priority as God's children is to obey him.

How Can We Not?

        When you have Christ, one who is totally trustworthy, all-powerful, and all-loving, to believe in, how can you possibly not feel good? Isn't this what we all wish for? I see myself as one whom God has already adopted and will officially take into his home on the day I leave this earth ~ how can I possibly not feel even elated?! 

Bonding Through Suffering

        A strong bond is usually formed between two people who go through some hardship together. Christ loves us so much that he suffers whenever we suffer. Therefore, every time you offer up your sufferings to Christ, he draws you ever closer to him ~ an opportunity you shouldn't want to miss.

Jesus Is God

        "For You Are My God" written by Fr. John Foley, S.J., is the song I love to hear sung. My favorite version is the 1973 recording by The Word of God Music Ministry. The Word of God is an ecumenical, charismatic, Christian community in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Yesterday I search for it on YouTube, but did not find it, so I chose the recording done by the St. Louis Jesuits of whom Fr. John Foley was a member. All I can say is that when I listened to it, the Lord just let me know without a doubt that Jesus and the Father are one. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Assurance From God

        Communion experience. Before giving out Holy Communion, as usual the priest raised the consecrated host and cup and proclaimed, "This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper." At that moment, I thought how anyone could possibly dismiss the Holy Eucharist, for to do so would be to refuse life. After receiving the sacrament, I was completely satisfied, for I knew that Jesus now knows that I love him. 

Learning Not to Judge

        Seeing how so many people in the world have not fared well, whether it's due to sheer bad luck or because they've done things plain wrong, makes me realize that any one of us could have been born any one of them. Were that the case, would I have done better? Since I'm not sure, I must not judge others.     

Don't Misunderstand God

        When Jesus calls you, you may think that he is going to force you to obey him in everything. No! When you hear him calling, he wants to give you the gift of eternal life!

No Small Act

        If you know that you have sinned, the best therapy for your soul is to repent, confess to God, and ask to be forgiven. Then the Father will take away your sins and make you clean again. Know that repentance is a significant act of submitting yourself to God, definitely qualifying as a milestone in anyone's spiritual life. For that alone, God will exalt you.