Monday, December 31, 2007

Redemption from sin2

"O my Lord, God great and to be feared, you keep the covenant and show faithful love towards those who love you and who observed your commandments: we have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly, we have betrayed your commandments and rulings and turned away from them." (Daniel 9: 4-5)

In the Lent of 1999, I confided the reflection below to my journal on the above scripture.

"Paraphrase what God is saying to me in the above text:

I am the Lord, your God. I am great and to be feared. I keep the covenant and show faithful love to those who love me and who observe my commandments. You have sinned, you have done wrong, you have acted wickedly, you have betrayed my commandments and rulings and turned away from them.

Lesson: I started the first of March with great excitement about my forthcoming birthday on the 17th of the month. This is going to be a special birthday – a jubilee. I asked God for blessings and birthday gifts. In his word to me in Psalm 26: 11- 12, "But I walk without blame; redeem me, be gracious to me! My foot stands on level ground; in assemblies I will bless he Lord," and in Daniel 9: 4 – 10, God is saying to me that the greatest gift is redemption from sin.

God's greatest gift to us in Christ Jesus is redemption from sin. Sin deprives us of divine filiation. Freedom from sin means living in grace. This is God's greatest gift to man. When we live in grace, in divine filiation, then all things are ours. We discover and feel the truth of Christ's word in Matthew 6: 33-34:

"Seek first the Kingdom of God and his justice before everything else, and all the rest will come to you as well. So do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of its own."

Seek first redemption and then all things are yours. This has been the consistent message of this Lent. Break the cycle of sin, slavery and suffering through the abundant grace of God at this season. This is also the means of getting what you want in life.

"Praise and honor to you Lord Jesus Christ. Your words, Lord, are spirit and life; you have the message of eternal life." (John 6: 63, 68)

Christ's words become spirit and life to me when I act on them in obedience of faith.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Redemption from sin

"God our Father, teach us to find new life through penance. Keep us from sin, and help us live by your commandments of love …. " (Mass Prayer in Lent)

During Lent, we find new life through penance. We ask God to keep us from sin. Sin is the enemy of our relationship with God. If through God's mercy, we are free from sin, then we can always call God our Father. Redemption is redemption from sin so that we can live with the confidence of adopted children of God.

"Redeem me, and have mercy on me; my foot is set on the right path, I worship you in the great assembly." (Psalm 26: 11-12)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Listen to Him

"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." (Matthew 17:5)

Thank you Father for pointing Jesus to us. Open our hearts to listen to the words of your Son. Move our wills to obey him.

We listen to Jesus in the scriptures. St. Jerome says that ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ. We listen to Jesus especially as the scripture is proclaimed in the Eucharist. We also listen to Jesus in the prayers of the Church.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sorrowful Mysteries

"Beloved: Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God." (2 Timothy 8)

The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary contemplates the passion of Jesus Christ from Gethsemane to Calvary. We pray for the grace to share in these sufferings in our daily life, starting in small things. We remember that he who is faithful in little things will be faithful in bigger things. If we cannot accept pinpricks for the sake of Christ, definitely, we cannot accept martyrdom.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hope in God

"Our soul waits for the Lord,

who is our help and shield.

For in God our hearts rejoice;

in your holy name we trust.

May your kindness, Lord, be upon us;

we have put our hope in you.

(Psalm 33: 20-22)


I place my hope for the success of the Enterprise on God alone.

I started the Enterprise with the Lord; I am continuing it today with the Lord. And with God's grace, I shall conclude it with the Lord.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Leave your kinsfolk

"Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you … " (Genesis 12: 1 – 4)

The Enterprise is a going forth from the land of my kinsfolk. It is leaving behind my father's house for the land that God has shown me. The Enterprise is journey with Christ and to Christ. God promises me abundant blessings.

Father, I hear your word again today and I believe it. Let it be done to me according to your word and not according to the smallness of my faith.

I hold firmly to this word. I never waver from this vision. My faith in this has been compounding since 0296. Thank you Father. As my faith compounds, my patience is strengthened. Faith that is firm is also patient.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Father of light

"Father of light, in you is found no shadow of change but only the fullness of life and limitless truth. Open our hearts to the voice of your word and free us from the original darkness that shadows our vision. Restore our sight that we may look upon your Son who calls us to repentance and a change of heart …. " (Opening Prayer in Mass)

God is the Father of light. Satan is the father of lies. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Satan changes all the time like a chameleon to suit his agenda. In God is found fullness of life and limitless truth. In Satan is found death and empty lies.

Because we know that everything is a gift, we pray to God to open our hearts to the voice of his Son; without this grace, we cannot hear Jesus speak to us in his word. If we do not perceive clearly the light in God's word, it is because we still have darkness in us that clouds our ability to see. We ask God to free us from this darkness and restore our sight that we may see Christ in his word calling us to repentance and change of heart.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Listening to the Son

"God our Father, help us to hear your Son. Enlighten us with your word, that we may find the way to your glory … " (Mass Prayer in Lent)

God is our Father. I am never tired of repeating this because it is such a comforting truth. Jesus Christ in his ministry of the word paints the picture of a Father that is altogether loving and immensely compassionate. I need to remember that I have such a Father as I face struggles in my life. Jesus says that our Father already knows what we need and will provide fully for every need.

The Father wants us to know and accept his Son, Jesus. He gives us the grace to hear and understand his word. To understand and accept the words of Jesus Christ is to find the way to glory.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Remember your mercies

"Remember your mercies, Lord, your tenderness from ages past. Do not let our enemies triumph over us; O God, deliver Israel from all her distress." (Psalm 25: 6, 3, 22)

God's mercies and tenderness from ages past extend from age to age to those who fear him. The Bible is a record of God's faithful mercies and tenderness towards man from age to age.

We pray to God daily not to allow our enemies triumph over us because our enemies are constantly alert and prowling around seeking for whom to devour. Today is the day of favor. It is also the day of battle with the enemy. The Bible is also a record of man's struggle with the enemy of mankind. Our success or failure in life depends on our trust in God and his word.

Finally, we pray to God to deliver Israel from all her distress. The Church is the new Israel. The distress of Israel/Church is the distress caused by her own sins and the sins of the world.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Word and the Eucharist

"Lord, may the word we share be our guide in the kingdom. May the food we receive assure us of your constant love …. " (Mass Prayer in Lent)

In the Eucharist, God's word is broken open for our encouragement, light and guide. After the Mass, we go to our homes and our jobs to face issues concerning the family, job, money, health, tools and food. The word of God we hear at Mass should provide us light to deal with the various issues we face in the day.

In the Eucharist, we receive Jesus Christ as our food. This communion is a pledge of God's constant love for us. We find consolation in the truth that Jesus Christ is for us and with us because he gave himself freely to us in the Eucharist. This is the greatest gift.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The word of prophecy

"But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; so that you may be children of your Father in heaven for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike." (Matthew 5: 44-45)


Every word of God is a prophecy and a promise containing a prediction and a condition for fulfillment. In the above prophecy, Jesus is predicting that those who love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them will be free. They will also be children of God and enjoy everything that comes with that status. Now is this promise true? Ask anybody who has tried forgiving his enemies and praying for his persecutors. I raise my hand in testimony. This action of forgiving and praying for our enemies has the most cleansing and liberating effect possible in life. Why is this so? This is because every word of God contains a powerful agent to bring about that which is promised.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Keeping God’s Commands

"Happy those whose way is blameless, who walk by the teaching of the Lord.

Happy those who observe God's decrees, who seek the Lord with all their heart.

They do not wrong; they walk in God's ways.

You have given them the command to keep your precepts with care. (Psalm 119: 1-4)


In reading through the Bible, I observe that a lot of blessings is attached to keeping God's commandments. Some of the Bible heroes may not be canonized by the Church because of the life they lived. Without exception, each of them lived with the fear of the Lord. They did their best to keep God's laws and when they failed, they were quick to repent. Every one of them was immensely blessed by God. King David is my star among the Bible heroes. He was a great sinner but he loved God intensely. He lived completely in a supernatural environment in which God is the first cause of everything. David sought the Lord with all his heart.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Worship in spirit and truth

"Eternal Father, turn our hearts to you. By seeking your kingdom and loving one another, may we become a people who worship you in spirit and truth …" Mass Prayer in Lent

God is our eternal Father. Lent is a time of divine favor. One of our desires in the period of Lent is to turn to God with all our hearts, to seek his kingdom and to love one another. The disciplines of Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving when undertaken with generosity enable us to attain this objective. We thus become who we are created to be – sons and daughters who worship our eternal Father in spirit and truth.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Observe all the commandments

"Yahweh your God commands you today to observe these laws and customs; you must keep and observe them with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 26:16)

Father, if I observe all your commands and customs, you promise me:

"That he will be your God, but only if you follow his ways, keep his statutes, his commandments, his customs, and listen to his voice … he will raise you higher than every other nation he has made, and you will be a people consecrated to Yahweh, as he has promised." (Deuteronomy 26: 17-19)

Thank you Father for this promise. The Holy Spirit in me will help me to observe all God's laws and customs.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The word of God is perfect

"The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; his commandments are the wisdom of the simple." (Psalm 19:8)

The 10 commandments as a system of law is perfect. The word of God revives the soul. When the soul is depressed, burdened, give it the tonic of the WOG.

How are the simple and uneducated to attain wisdom? Through the word of God. God's word is the school of wisdom for everyone but especially for the simple.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Spirit of the Magis

"For I tell you, if your uprightness does not surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 5: 20)

In Ignatian spirituality, the spirit of the magis is the intense desire to do more and not less for Christ. If we live this spirit, in everything we do, we do more than is strictly required and never less. Magis means going to the extra mile for the love of Christ Jesus. This is the spirit that impelled St. Francis Xavier, one of the first Jesuits to desire to conquer all the Far East for Jesus Christ in the 16th Century.

Christ says in Matthew 5: 20 that the mediocre spirituality of the scribes and Pharisees will not be enough in the new dispensation. O Holy Spirit, teach me the principle of the magis.

Friday, December 14, 2007


"I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in his word. My soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn." (Psalm 130: 5-6)

Isaiah says that faith that is firm is also patient.

To find out what it means to be patient, I checked the dictionary and found the following:

1 : bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
2 : manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
3 : not hasty or impetuous
4 : steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity

Faith that is firm can endure trials and pain while waiting for an answer. It is not hasty or impetuous in seeking a resolution. It is steadfast in the goal that is expected despite opposition, difficulty or adversity. Won't it be nice to have such a faith?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Abandoning Uprightness

"But if the upright abandons uprightness and does wrong by copying all the loathsome practices of the wicked, is he to live? All his upright actions will be forgotten from then on; for the infidelity of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, he will most certainly die." (Ezekiel 18: 24)

Persevere in doing good to the very last.

Your endurance to the last will save your life.


When I broke with God in the years of my rebellion and wilderness, all my upright actions were forgotten. I died to the life of grace. We are truly alive because of the supernatural life of God in us. This life is supplied by the indwelling Holy Spirit. When we live in sin and refuse reconciliation with God, this life dies.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Observance of Lent

"Lord, may our observance of Lent help to renew us and prepare us to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ ….. " (Opening Prayer in a Lenten Mass)

I wrote the following comment in my journal on the above in 1999:

How we observe Lent:

  • Fasting and abstinence
  • Prayer and almsgiving

We are renewed through the observance of the above exercises and others. This observance becomes a mysterious vehicle of grace.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Promise and Fulfillment

"Ask, and it will be given to you; search and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you ….. " (Matthew 7: 7 – 12)

This is big promise from Jesus. Do I believe this? Yes, I do. Do I believe that this applies to me all the time? I do not know. We read in the Book of Joshua these beautiful words about God's faithfulness to his promises:

"And so the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to their fathers he would give them. Once they have conquered and occupied it, the Lord gave them peace on every side, just as he had promised their fathers. Not one of their enemies could withstand them; the Lord brought all their enemies under their power. Not a single promise that the Lord made to the house of Israel was broken; every one was fulfilled." (Joshua 21: 43 – 45)

We see in Scripture again and again that God is a Promise Keeper. My relationship with the Holy Spirit has grown from my experience that I can ask for help and receive it in a timely fashion.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I cried, you answered

"O Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me. I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth." (Psalm 138: 3, 1,4)

I learned from the experience of Israel that no matter how deeply they had offended God and no matter how long they stayed in rebellion, once they cry out to Yahweh, he answers them and saves them. This reminds me of the Divine Mercy. The mercy and compassion of God is unfathomable.

The ABC of Mercy states:

  • Ask for mercy
  • Be merciful
  • Completely trust Jesus for mercy.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Remember God’s works

"Then calling to mind all the wonderful works of the Lord, he (Mordecai) offered this prayer …" (Esther 4: 17a)

I have found again and again from personal experience that calling to mind the wonderful works of God in my life produces immediate impact on faith, hope and love. In time of dire need and crisis, this therapy never fails. I also know that it works for others. I have used it successfully to alleviate mild depression in others.

Why is remembering God's wonderful works in our life so powerful in lifting us up from despondency? We know that what happened before can happen again. The fire of hope is lighted. And we feel gratitude and love for the one who relieved us in the past at the moment of dire need. We are emboldened to ask for help in the present crisis. God's standing promise can be claimed: "Call upon me at the time of need and I will answer you."

Satan being the father of lies and deception will give anything to cause us to forget God marvelous deeds in our life. I try to build up purposely a list of these wonderful works in my life. I printed the list and put it in a wall in my workstation and bedroom. As long as I am in my home, the devil has little chance of winning in this game. Whenever I am attacked by doubts, I don't have to think hard to remember. I glance at the wall and see the list. And then I give thanks and the discouragement vanishes. Thank you Jesus.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Courage to act

"Father, without you we can do nothing. By your Spirit help us to know what is right and to be eager in doing your will." Mass Prayer in Lent

The Holy Spirit helps us on two levels:

  • Light to know what is right
  • Courage to do it

Jesus promised that the Father grants our prayers on our needs and even more so when we ask for the Holy Spirit.

Friday, December 07, 2007

My groaning

"Let my words reach your ears, Lord; listen to my groaning, and hear the cry of my prayer, O my king, my God." (Psalm 5: 2-3)

What is my prayer? What is my groaning and cry to God this Advent?

Greater docility to the Holy Spirit

I have come to recognize that the success of my spiritual journey, the Enterprise is in direct proportion to my openness to the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Bread of life 2

"Father, you never fail to give us the bread of life. May this Eucharist renew our strength and bring us to salvation." Mass Prayer in Lent

Father has blessed me very frequently with the Eucharist since 1996. The Eucharist renews our strength and moves us closer to full redemption. Our life is a journey; a journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. Our destination, that is, salvation cannot be reached in one day or without struggle. The Eucharist is the food that sustains us in this journey. Every thought, word or deed moves us closer to our homeland or away from it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Sign

"This is an evil generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of man be a sign to this generation." (Luke 11: 29 – 30)

The Church is an authentic sign of the existence and presence of God in the world today. During the consistory of November 24, 2007, Pope Benedict said that the gathering of Bishops and people from every part of the world is a sign of the unity and universality of the Catholic Church. It is also a sign that God is with the Church. Such a gathering is not possible by human means.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A broken, humbled heart

"A broken, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn." (Psalm 51: 19)

God's word convicts us of our sins. God will respond with mercy to our brokenness and humility before his word.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I believe

"God saw their effort to renounce their evil ways. And God relented about the disaster which he had threatened to bring on them, and did not bring it." (Jonah 3: 10)

When God saw their response to his word, he became merciful and tender.

Preparation is the key to success:

  • I believe in prayer.
  • I believe in the word of God.
  • I believe in miracle.
  • I leave the rest to God.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Second Chance

"The word of Yahweh was addressed to Jonah a second time. 'Up' he said, 'Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to it as I shall tell you.' Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to Yahweh." (Jonah 3: 1-3)

The word of Yahweh is addressed to the prophet a second time. To which 'city' is the Lord sending me? What message does he want me to preach?

Father, I will go wherever you send me. I will say exactly what you want me to say. Jonah obeyed the Lord and delivered the message of the Lord. The result was a rich harvest.

"And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sack cloth, from the greatest to the least." (Jonah 3: 5)

I observe here a principle of apostolic productivity: Cast the net where Jesus asks you to do so.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Faith comes from hearing

"Lord, look upon us and hear our prayer. By the good works you inspire, help us to discipline our bodies and to be renewed in spirit…" (Eucharistic Prayer in Lent)

Lent is a time of grace; a favorable time to ask and receive God's favors. When we listen attentively to God's word during Lent, we may be inspired on the good works to undertake during Lent. Just as faith comes through hearing (Romans 10: 17) so too does God's inspiration. When we act on our faith, we are blessed. We pray during Lent that God will help us to act on the inspirations he gives us.

During the Lent of 1988, I got the inspiration to abstain from tobacco for Ash Wednesday. I did and then I got the inspiration to abstain from tobacco for the period of Lent. I acted on this inspiration and was completely freed from the curse of tobacco. In the Lent of 1999, I was inspired to discipline my body through self-control with regard to food.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Desert Journey

"Remember your mercies, Lord; your tenderness from ages past. Do not let our enemies triumph over us." (Psalm 25: 6, 3, 22)

Early in 1999, I confided to my journal the reflection below on the scripture above.

"Remembering God's mercies and tenderness from ages past is a bulwark against the inevitable struggles in our desert journey. Today, when I install my Epson 440 Printer, the first file I will print is Voyage So Far. This is a document celebrating God's mercies and tenderness to me dating from SJC63.

The enemies continue to wage pitiless war against us on all fronts. Father, may your mercies and tenderness protect me from every assault of the evil one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Purpose, Personality and Position

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not in your own perception. In everything you do acknowledge him and he will direct your path." (Proverbs 3:5)

God knows the best. He has seen the whole pattern of the weaving with regard to my life's purpose. He is making a strategic match between my:

  • Purpose
  • Personality
  • Position (environment)

I trust God to arrange the best.

My purpose and personality are constant. My position is constantly changing. What I need above all is to have a firm faith in God's plan for my life. I like the way Isaiah talked about faith in Isaiah 7:9:

"If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all." (NRSV)

"Have firm faith or you shall fail to stand firm." (Revised English Bible)

"Unless your faith is firm you shall not be firm!" (New American Bible)

"If you will not take your stand on me, you will not stand firm." (New Jerusalem Bible)

"You do not believe me? If you want me to protect you, learn to believe what I say." (New Living Translation)


Four of the above translations talk about the quality of faith in terms of firmness. I looked up "firm' in Merriam Webster Dictionary and found the following:

1 a
: securely or solidly fixed in place  b
: not weak or uncertain : vigorous  c
: having a solid or compact structure that resists stress or pressure
2 a(1) : not subject to change or revision (2) : not subject to price weakness : steady  b
: not easily moved or disturbed : steadfast  c
: well-founded

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Restraining our earthly desires

"Lord, may we who receive this sacrament restrain our earthly desires and grow in love for the things of heaven…." Opening Prayer in Mass in Lent.

The Eucharist helps us to restrain our earthly desires:

  • Food
  • Drink
  • Human affections

As we decrease in materiality, we increase in spirituality.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Our Doubts

"My God of justice, you answer my cry; you come to my help when I am in trouble. Take pity on me, Lord, and hear my prayer." (Psalm 4:2)

This is our faith: God is our Father. He is an utterly just God. He is the guardian of my rights. He comes to my help when I am in trouble. Mother M. Angelica says: "Doubts increase our Faith when we act according to our beliefs rather than our reasoning."

I will act as if God is with me in every step and every moment of this day.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christ the King

"The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, 'He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God.' Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, 'If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.' Above him there was an inscription that read, 'This is the King of the Jews.' Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, 'Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." (Luke 23: 35 – 39)

The above scripture is taken from the Gospel on the Solemnity of Christ the King, November 25, 2007. I watched the Mass of the Rings in St. Peter's Square in Rome carried by the EWTN. At this Mass, Pope Benedict gave rings to the new cardinals created in the Consistory of yesterday, November 24. Commenting on the above scripture he said that the enemies of Christ challenged him to come down from the cross in order to prove that he is the Messiah. But instead, Christ showed his regal power by choosing to remain on the cross.

The saints show the power of God by accepting suffering and death. Pope John Paul II showed the power of God through his patience during his long illness. Mother Theresa showed the power of God through her life of poverty and complete dedication to the service of the poor and the sick.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Do not babble

"In your prayers do not babble as the gentiles do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him." (Matthew 6: 6-7)

Why do the pagans babble when they pray? They pray according to their knowledge and belief about their gods. Their gods are local, not omnipotent or omniscient. Their gods are not omnipresent or all-loving. The pagan prays to convince his god to act for him.

But our God is a Father who knows what we need even before we ask him. He has a loving and provident plan for our life. Jesus wants us to know God as a loving Father. He wants us to come to him not just begging for what we need, which will be provided anyway but to come to him in praise and thanksgiving. Animals have the instinct to care for their young ones. The human being who is created in the image of God has an elevated instinct when it comes to protecting and providing for his young ones. Now consider who God is. Jesus describes God as a Good Shepherd who provides all that we need.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fruitfulness of God’s word

"For, as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return before having watered the earth, fertilizing it and making it germinate to provide seed for the sower and food to eat, so it is with the word that goes forth from my mouth: it will not return to me unfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do." (Isaiah 55: 10-11)

I pray that God's word will be fruitful in my life. How can I prepare my heart and mind to be good soil to receive the seed of the sower? I will use the tools of prayer and study. I believe that God will complete what his word has started in my life.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Discipline of Lent2

"Father, look on us, your children. Through the discipline of Lent help us to grow in our desire for you ….. " (Opening prayer in Mass in the season of Lent)

God is our Father. He gave us the holy season of Lent as a time of favor to grow to know him more, to love him more and to serve him more. We grow through decreasing our dependence on the following:

  • Food
  • Drink
  • Snacks
  • Money
  • Television
  • Sightseeing
  • Etc

As we decrease in our materiality, we grow in our spirituality.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Indestructible Rock

"Peter said, 'You are the Christ, the son of the living God.' Jesus answered: 'You are Peter, the rock on which I will build my Church." (Matthew 16: 16, 18)

It is Christ's will that the papacy be the rock on which the indestructible foundation of the Church is built. Matthew 16: 16, 18 is the foundation scripture. Word and experience, theory and practice have confirmed this in 2000 years of Church history. The enemies of the Church had never been able to destroy the papacy. There had been many serious attempts in the past. There will continue to be attempts to do so till the end of time. But we know from the word of God that they will not succeed. Jesus Christ keeps his pledge come what may.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dark Valley

"Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage." (Psalm 23: 4)

Christ was at my side when I walked the dark valley of:

  • AJS84
  • UEF86
  • PAE91
  • AJS94
  • Desert95

What lessons have I learned from the above?

Dark valleys will be regular occurrences in the journey of life.

As Christ was faithful in the first dark valley, so will he be till the last.

As Christ was with me in the dark valley protecting and encouraging me, so will I be with my flock when they walk the dark valleys of the lives.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Chief Shepherd

"When the chief shepherd appears, you will be given the unfading crown of glory." (1 Peter 5: 4)

Jesus Christ is the Chief Shepherd. What are the qualities of Christ, the Shepherd?

"The Lord is my shepherd; I have no want.

In verdant pastures he gives me repose;

Besides restful waters he leads me;

He refreshes my soul." (Psalm 23)


Christ the Shepherd provides all that we need for life and protects us from all dangers.

I am also a shepherd of the flock that the Lord has entrusted to me. In Psalm 23, Jesus proposes himself as a model. I am to shepherd my flock as Jesus Christ himself shepherds me. I will take the needs of my flock to the Chief Shepherd who has the resources to satisfy all living things.


"In due season, he gives food to all living things. When he opens his hand all are satisfied."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Flock

"Give a shepherd's care to the flock of God entrusted to you: watch over it, not simply as a duty but gladly as God wants; not for sordid money, but because you are eager to do it." (1 Peter 5:2)

Strengthen the faith of your flock as Christ has strengthened your faith.

Pray for your flock as Christ has prayed for you.

We may not be bishops but each of us is entrusted with a flock. Who is my flock? Who is my neighbor?

  • Family
  • Prayer partners
  • Friends and benefactors
  • All those whom God sends to me every day.

I prayed for compound faith in order to exercise my ministry. Today, I ask Jesus to grant me a compound knowledge of his word so that I can be effective in serving the flock that he has entrusted to me. Through daily reading and reflection on Sacred Scripture, I hope to gain the faith and knowledge I need to serve Christ in the ministry that he is calling me.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Robust Faith

"The Lord said to Simon Peter: I have prayed that your faith may not fail; and you in your turn must strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22: 32)

On the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, February 22, 1999, I confided the following reflection to my journal.

Jesus said to Emmanuel: I have prayed that your faith may not fail; and you in your turn must strengthen your brothers.

Jesus prayed that my faith will remain strong. Lord, since you prayed that my faith may not fail, I have the boldness and confidence to ask you to grant me a compound faith. Strengthen my faith and grant me the ministry of encouragement. Anoint me for this, dear Jesus. Lord, I dare to believe NOW that I have what I have asked for. Thank you Jesus. May you be completely glorified through this gift. Amen!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Lessons from the Desert

"If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.' He said in reply, 'It is written:

One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4: 3-4)


The Temptation of Jesus was the proximate preparation for his ministry. Jesus was led into the desert by the devil to be tried. Jesus was tested on the following points:

  • Food
  • Use of power
  • Possessions /prosperity

The three temptations of Jesus are types and shadows of our struggle. If the enemy were to tempt me today, what will he say to me? What have I learned from the Temptation of Jesus?

  • Man does not live on bread alone.
  • Man does not live on money alone.
  • Man does not live on salary alone.
  • Man does not live on job alone.

"Man lives on every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)

It is through faith that we appropriate God's promise of provision.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Accused and Acquitted

"One single offence brought condemnation, but now, after many offences, have come that free gift and so acquittal!" (Romans 5: 16)

In February, 1999, I confided the reflection below on the above text to my journal.

"Once upon a time, a certain big man was tried for many offences and was acquitted by the senate.

Jesus Christ is the Senate who through his passion and death and resurrection acquitted us of so many offences. This acquittal is a free gift. I experienced a joy in the acquittal of the man tried by the senate. Do I realize the significance of this incident to my own acquittal?

The devil, the accuser of man goes before the Senate, Jesus Christ and presents a list of all my sins with proofs. After he had carefully presented his case, my Advocate swings into action. He overcomes his argument one by one. Then comes my acquittal.

Thank you Jesus. Now that I am acquitted, I will no longer submit to the yoke of slavery."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Prayer for healing

"Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me …. " (Psalm 51: 1-2)

How many times in my life have I used this Psalm of David to find healing and peace at a moment of brokenness? Thank you Holy Spirit for guiding me to this effective prayer at the moment of great need. Yes, God is merciful and good. His compassion is great. He is always disposed to deploy his great compassion and love to meet our needs. The Church uses Psalm 51 a great deal in the holy season of Lent. Lent is a time of favor. When we show signs through our Lenten observances that we want God to act for us, he responds magnanimously.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Forbidden fruits

"We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die." (Genesis 3: 2-3)

  • What are the fruits in my life that I am forbidden to eat under pain of death?
  • What are the fruits that are tempting me today?

The word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword. It reveals the secrets of the heart. Reading and reflecting on the word of God constantly leads us to self-knowledge.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Walking by faith

I heard a great question from the Christian Radio during my lunch.

"What area of my life do I need to walk in faith today?"


I surveyed the 6 war zones:

  1. Family
  2. Job
  3. Money
  4. Health
  5. Tools
  6. Food


Then I rephrased the question: "What is the most challenging area of my life today?"

At first, I thought the clear answer was job. Then I considered the answer closely. I am self-employed in 3 areas I consider myself competent and enjoy. These 3 areas of my endeavor are:

  • JSP
  • CLI
  • SFJ


If I say that I am challenged in these businesses, does that not imply incompetency? After considering the question more deeply, I settled for the 2 interrelated areas of job and money. How do I walk in faith in these 2 areas?

Think of the October 07 gift: "God is the source of all inspiration and power." He is the source of all inspiration for job as well as money. All the good things I have done in my life has come from God's inspiration and power. I have recognized and articulated this truth as early as 1982. I therefore resolved to trust God today to inspire me. I remember too that God is a good communicator. He not only inspires but provides the power to act on his inspiration.

Friday, November 09, 2007

He answered me

"When he calls on me, I will answer; I will rescue him and give him honor. Long life and contentment will be his." (Psalm 90: 15-16)

God is the guardian of my rights. In 1994 when I called on him to defend my rights, he answered in a storm cloud. Although it appeared that my rights were trampled upon, I knew he was with me by the peace I enjoyed. He rescued me from NCAU and ZAN and through the Enterprise gave me honor.

Yes, long life and contentment will be mine.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Desert Feast

"Lord, receive our sacrifice of praise and reconciliation. Let it free us from sin and enable us to give you loving service…." Opening Prayer of the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is the bloodless sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God.

God said to Pharaoh, "Let my people go, that they may celebrate a feast to me in the desert." (Exodus 5: 1) Whatever prevents us from the Eucharist is the Pharaoh in our life. The desert feast, worship or service foreshadows the Eucharist. The Eucharist frees us from sin enables us to offer to God loving service. The Eucharist is the anointing that breaks the yoke of Pharaoh.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

“Follow Me”

"Follow me.' And leaving everything, Levi got up and followed him." (Luke 5: 27-28)

The Enterprise is a response to follow Jesus. Have I left everything to follow Jesus? Consider the things to leave behind?

  • Family
  • Job
  • Money
  • Health
  • Tools
  • Food

When I leave all these things behind and follow Jesus, I enjoy true peace, happiness and freedom.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

True Happiness

"Then you will find true happiness in Yahweh, and I shall lead you in triumph over the heights of the land. I shall feed you on the heritage of your father Jacob, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken." (Isaiah 58: 14)

The Promises:

Our true happiness can only be found in God. The New Testament describes this as a state of being in Christ. "In you, O Lord, I have found my peace," is the response this morning to Psalm 131 in the Eucharistic Liturgy. God is the source of happiness and peace. Peace, Shalom represents the state of complete contentment. When we are in this state, we are docile to the Spirit who guides us triumphantly over the "heights of the land," over the valleys and hills in our pilgrimage to the City of God. When we are fed in Christ with Christ, we are fed with the best of "the heritage of Jacob."

Monday, November 05, 2007

Continuous Guidance

"Yahweh will always guide you, will satisfy your needs in the scorched land; he will give strength to your bones and you will be like a watered garden, like a flowing spring whose waters never run dry. Your ancient ruins will be rebuilt; you will build on age-old foundations. You will be called 'Breach-mender', 'Restorer of streets to be lived in." (Isaiah 58: 11-12)

The Promises:

  • Continuous guidance
  • Your needs will be met even in severe depression
  • You will enjoy good health
  • Your work will prosper
  • God will rebuild your life; put you back on track with regard to your purpose
  • You will be productive for God
  • God will use you mightily

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The spirit is willing

"Father, look upon our weakness and reach out to help us with your loving power … " Opening Prayer in Mass in the time of Lent.

"Our weakness" – The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. In our struggle against evil, we need God's help. We draw down this help through prayer. There is a favorable time for prayer and conversion. This period is Lent.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Power of the Eucharist

"Lord, may our sharing in this mystery free us from our sins and make us worthy of your healing …" (Prayer after Holy Communion)

The Eucharist is a mysterion/sacramentum. It has the power to free us from our sins and prepare us to receive God's healing.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Covenant

"Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he will say, 'I am here." (Isaiah 58: 9)

The covenant: If I share my food with the hungry, if I shelter the homeless, if I clothe the naked, if I support my own kin, then when I cry out to God in distress, he will hear my cry for help.

Lord, this is a very attractive covenant. I agree to the terms. Help me by giving me the inspiration and the power to fulfill them. And glory will be your name.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Share your food with the hungry

"Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me: to break unjust fetters, to undo the thongs of the yoke. To let the oppressed go free, and to break all yokes? Is it not sharing your food with the hungry, and sheltering the homeless poor; if you see someone lacking clothes, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own kin?" (Isaiah 58: 6-7)

What does God want?

  • Share your food with the hungry.
  • Clothe the naked.
  • Shelter the homeless poor.
  • Support your kin.

God is our source of power and inspiration. God is almighty, all-wise and all-loving. He can intervene directly in the life of man. Nevertheless, God wants man to share in his benevolent work of creation and redemption.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

He came to my help

"The Lord heard me and took pity on me. He came to my help." (Psalm 30: 11)

Lent is the season of spiritual abundance. It is the springtime of God's favor. We are assured of God's attentive ear during the season of Lent.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Cry out to Jesus

"Master! Master! We are lost!' Then he woke up and rebuked the wind and the rough water; and they subsided and it was calm again." (Luke 9: 24)

In any type of danger, cry out to Jesus.

"When I cry to the Lord, he hears my voice and saves me from the foes who threaten me." (Psalm 55: 17)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I choose life

"I am offering you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live, in the love of Yahweh your God, obeying his voice, holding fast to him; for in this your life consists, and on this depends the length of time that you stay in the country which Yahweh swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that he would give them." (Deuteronomy 30: 19-20)

Father, I choose life. I love you my Father. I will obey your voice and hold fast to you.

Father, bless me and prosper the work of my hands. Amen.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lead me and Guide me

"Lord, may everything we do begin with your inspiration, continue with your help, and reach perfection under your guidance …. " Another great Opening Prayer in the season of Lent.

The Enterprise:

  • Began with God
  • Continue with God
  • Will end with God


Friday, October 26, 2007

Unload your burden unto the Lord

"When I cry to the Lord, he hears my voice and saves me from the foes who threaten me. Unload your burden onto the Lord, and he will support you." (Psalm 55: 17, 19, 20, 23)

Ten years ago, I confided the reflection below to my journal on the above Psalm.

"The Lord hears me when I cry out to him.

God saves me from the foes who threaten me. Who are these foes? This is Satan appearing under one guise or the other.

Unload your burden onto the Lord and he will support you.

What are my burdens today?

  • Project Casa
  • Project Kinder
  • Project Canisius"

Ten years later, these burdens have become lighter and completely manageable as they come under the authority of faith. Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Appointed Time

"The man who meditates day and night on the law of the Lord will yield fruit in due season." (Psalm 1: 2,3)

Thank you Jesus for this precious promise. Let it be done to me as your word has said.

The Church affirms positively and strongly God's promise in Psalm 1: 2-3.

But when is the "due season"? It is:

  • God's appointed time
  • God's fixed time
  • The Kairos

The "due season" is God's secret. God's word asks us to prepare for it. It can come upon us like a thief in the night. Now is the acceptable time to prepare for it through prayer and study.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Resisting Temptation

"Lord, help us to resist temptation by our Lenten works of charity and penance. By this sacrifice may we be prepared to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ our Savior and be cleansed from sin and renewed in spirit." Prayer in the season of Lent

The above prayer teaches that the Lenten works of alms-giving, prayer and fasting when done in the right spirit in the season of grace help us to resist temptation. Every sacrifice of the Mass cleanses us of venial sins and renews our spirit.

Is there a danger that after many years of Lenten observance one may have no new works to perform? One may have no new initiatives to add to fasting, prayer or alms-giving. But one still has many temptations to resist. One has many imperfections to work on. Every season of Lent should have a new agenda. Since this is an appointed time for grace and favor and one should be resolved to make the most of the period.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Performing Religious Acts in Secret

"Be on guard against performing religious acts for people to see." (Matthew 6: 1)

  • Give alms in secret.
  • Pray in secret.
  • Fast in secret.

Jesus intention in giving the above counsel is not to make a fetish of secrecy in the observance of spiritual works. The idea is rather to point to the purity of intention in which we should approach God in everything. Man's native attitude is self-centeredness. Unaided by grace, our concupiscence comes into play in everything. Jesus is saying, "When you approach your heavenly Father in prayer and spiritual works, forget yourself and focus on God and he wants". This seems almost impossible except for the grace we receive in Baptism to deal with our concupiscence.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Acceptable Time2

"In an acceptable time I have heard you; on a day of salvation I have helped you. Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Lent is the acceptable time to gain God's favor. God has ordained this period as a time of grace. I have found that another acceptable time to gain God's favor for me is the month of October. This is the traditional month when Catholics all over the world honor Mary, the Mother of the Son, Jesus. Among the graces I have received in the month of October are the following:

  • Holy Rosary
  • Eucharist
  • Project Canisius
  • 1414
  • Peace

Thank you Lord for your acceptable time of favor.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ambassadors for Christ

"We are ambassadors for Christ, God as it were appealing through us … " (2 Corinthians 5: 20)

In 1999, I confided to my journal this reflection on the above scripture:

"I am ambassador for Christ. If my core message is reconciliation to God, then I must beg for the grace of reconciliation myself, completely aware that "nemo dat quod non habet."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Renew me with a steadfast spirit

"A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast sprit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me." (Psalm 51: 12 – 13)

I confided this one liner to my diary in the Lent of 1999.

"My desire is that God will thoroughly renew me this Lent."

This is 2007. Have I been thoroughly renewed? Not as I had believed in February 1999. But I have become much wiser. The renewing and pruning process is ongoing. How does God do this for me? Through the 7-Way Plan which he gave me at the beginning of the Enterprise. The 7-Way Plan consists of the following elements:

  • Prayer
  • Word of God
  • Eucharist
  • Reconciliation
  • Examen
  • Spiritual Reading/Direction
  • Ministry

These are the pruning tools.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Rend your hearts

"Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God." (Joel 2: 12)

I cannot remember my precise situation when I confided the following reflection to my journal early in 1999.

"Return to God with your whole heart. I have resolved to return to God with my whole heart this Lent by mounting a vigorous struggle against two temptations: food and selfishness.

Rend your hearts and not your garments: fasting, prayer and thanksgiving are external signs of the interior attitude of rending the heart."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Gift of Lent

“Father in heaven, the light of your truth bestows sight to the darkness of sinful eyes. May this season of repentance bring us the blessing of your forgiveness and the gift of your light …. “ Opening Prayer, Ash Wednesday, 1999

I confided to my journal the reflection below:
“Light of truth” = Word of God
Our sins darken our spiritual vision. Submission to the word of God restores this vision step by step.

Lent is the season for repentance and penance. We are all sinners.
Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near. Our genuine repentance brings us God’s forgiveness and the gift of his light.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Discipline of Lent

“Lord, protect us in our struggle against evil. As we begin the Discipline of Lent, make this season holy by our self-denial …..”

I recorded the above prayer for the Mass of Ash Wednesday 1999 at the beginning of Lent. I confided to my journal the reflection below:

“Lent is the season to intensify the struggle against evil in our lives with the hope of victory. It is a very acceptable time for spiritual warfare. I recall Lent 88. It was the time I won freedom from tobacco. Lent 99 will be marked by freedom from selfishness.

Self-denial helps us to win victory over ourselves.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Increase my faith

“Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not understand, still not realize? Are your minds closed? Have you eyes and do not see, ears and do not hear? Or do you not remember?” (Mark 8: 17-18)

Why do you always worry about what to eat and drink, what to wear, where to live? Why do you worry about money or health?

Have you forgotten all that I have done for you? Look at your list at the inception of the Enterprise. How many items do you have on the list? Does the list contain everything I have done for you? Why not trust me more completely?

Lord, I trust you. Increase my faith.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Noah's Ark

“Yahweh said to Noah, ‘Go aboard the ark, you and all your household, for you alone of all your contemporaries do I see before me as an upright man.” (Genesis 7:1)

Noah – type of the redeemed
The Ark – type of the Church

God reveals his future plans for mankind through typologies in the Old Testament. The story of Noah and the Ark is a good example. God saves mankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. The fruit of this redemptive act comes to us through the waters of Baptism. We become upright through the waters of Baptism. Baptism makes us the adopted children of God and members of his family, the Church. To be outside the ark is to be a stranger in the household of God.

The ark of the Church is big enough for the whole human family. All are welcome.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Sabbath Rest

“So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.” (Genesis 2: 3)

In a recent small group Bible Study, my group discussed Genesis 1-3. We learned among other things that God blessed the 7th day and made it holy. On the seventh day, he rested from his labors in creating the world. On the sixth day of creation, he created man and woman in his image and likeness and gave them dominion over the earth. Man was commanded to keep the seventh day holy. Two days after the discussion, I got a great insight on the Sabbath rest and shared my insight with our study group in an email. Part of it is reproduced below:

“I thank you for your contribution to our group discussion last Thursday on the theme of the Sabbath Rest. You said something very profound. This is a paraphrase: The Sabbath Rest (Sunday) is a rehearsal for the Eternal Rest. During the 9 am Mass this morning at St. Thomas More, the Prayer of the Faithful went something like this:
“Let us pray for the dead that they have eternal rest after their labors.”
Immediately I heard that, your contribution jumped to my mind like a hot flying baseball. And I became greatly consoled by this truth.”

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sign Language

“Why does this generation demand a sign? In truth I tell you, no sign shall be given to this generation.” (Mark 8: 12)

10 years ago, reflecting on the above scripture, I confided to my journal the reflection below.

“God’s sign to me in the Enterprise is the 7-Way Plan especially the Eucharist and the word.
Project Casa is God’s word and sign to me. Campaign-2000 is another sign to me.

God filled my pantry this weekend:
• Money
• Coffee, eggs, bread, cheese, cornflakes, milk, moi-moi.

Thank you Father for all the beautiful signs from you. God is faithful.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life

I am the way, the truth, and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father, except through me.” (John 14: 61)

Christ is the way, the way to the Father. The 7-Way Plan leads to Christ.
Christ is the truth; the truth I seek to proclaim, the object of my study.
Christ is the life; the life in me. He is the life I receive every morning in the Eucharist.
Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Acceptable Offering

“Yahweh looked with favor upon Abel and his offering. But he did not look with favor on Cain and his offering, and Cain was angry and downcast.” (Genesis 4: 4-5)

Themes: Offering, acceptable sacrifice, first fruits, pleasing sacrifice.

Two types of people who make offerings: Type Abel and Type Cain

Abel offered his first fruits and his offering was acceptable and pleasing to Yahweh. The widow in the Gospel offered everything she had and it pleased God.
Cain offered “some produce of the soil” to Yahweh. It wasn’t his best. His offering did not please God.

The type of Cain: First, he sinned by offering an imperfect or second-class gift to God. When God showed preference for Abel’s gift, Cain became jealous. He did not repent and correct his offering. Jealousy in the heart moved him to murder. God’s reproach of his behavior was a second opportunity for repentance but he missed it.

Father, grant me the grace to offer you the best in everything and at all times. This is the acceptable sacrifice. What can I offer to God here and now? I can make a qualitative and quantitative offering of my time, talent and treasure. To make this kind of offering, I need strong faith that everything comes from God and belongs to him. I am only a steward. Father grant me this type of faith.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

To Obey and to Teach

“But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5: 19)

Who can teach these commandments? In principle anybody. But the above promise is for those who practice what they teach. The Church encourages everybody to:

• Believe what you read in the word of God
• Teach what you believe
• Practice what you teach

When this is done, one is assured a great status in the kingdom of God.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Little Children

“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.” (Matthew 11: 25)

God’s kingdom is hidden and mysterious. God chooses to reveal his mysteries to little ones. For those who are sophisticated and learned, those who pick and choose what to believe, God’s mysteries remain hidden. While the little ones enjoy the benefits of the fullness of faith, the learned pick and choose. Unless you become like little children …..

Martha was anxious and worried about many things but Mary has chosen the better part. Little children choose and keep the better part.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Wisdom from God versus Worldly Wisdom

“We speak a wisdom to those who are mature, not a wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away. Rather, we speak of God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predestined before the ages for our glory, and which none of the rulers of this age knew; for, if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Corinthians 2: 6 – 8)

There are two types of wisdom:
• Wisdom from God
• Worldly wisdom

Wisdom from God is given to those who know God and fear him. Worldly wisdom inculcates the know-how of getting along in this world. This is the type of wisdom described as “wisdom of this age” and already sentenced to pass away.
God’s wisdom is mysterious and hidden. It has to be discovered with the help of the Holy Spirit. The highest wisdom of God revealed to us is Jesus Christ crucified. This wisdom will not pass away.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Fire and Water

“If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God you too shall live; he has set before you fire and water to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses, shall be given him.” (Sirach 15: 15 – 17)

Scripture stresses again and again that it is good to keep God’s commandments. In the above scripture, keeping the commandment is described as both life and water. Water sustains life and no life can exist without water.
Father, train my heart to always keep your commandments.

God has set before me:
• Fire and water
• Life and death

Father, I choose water; I choose life. May your mercy be upon me to help me in the choice I have made. Open my eyes to the hope your call has for me. Keep me steady in your path. Amen.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

My Rock of safety

“Lord, be my rock of safety, the stronghold that saves me! For the honor of your name, lead me and guide me.” (Psalm 31: 3-4)

Be my rock of safety.
Be my rock of security.
The Lord himself makes me feel secure.
I feel secure in the Enterprise. Thanks to the Lord.
I feel secure because I know that the Lord is leading and guiding me.
He is protecting me every moment and every step.
The Lord saves me from all dangers.

Daddy, for the sake of your name, lead me, guide me and use me.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The man and his wife

“The man and his wife heard the sound of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from Yahweh God among the trees of the garden.” (Genesis 3: 8)

The consequence of sin is flight. We flee from the offended party. We hide ourselves. We cover up. We lose our confidence. The snake does not tell us of the consequences of sin.

We should ask before the action: If I take this action you propose, are there any negative consequences?

Our first parents, tempted by Satan, brought evil into the world. Their sin was one of self-love, pride, and lack of trust in God. We inherit their fallen nature, and can only hope in God’s mercy to redeem us.

The sinner knows his sin, expects God’s justice, and acknowledges original sin (Psalm 51: 3-5)
Original sin, its consequences, a sinful world; God does not abandon us (Catechism of the Catholic Church 396 – 412)
Original sin ruptured the initial harmony between men and women (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1607)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Master Salesman

“Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the Lord God had made. The serpent asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” (Genesis 3: 1)

The devil is a master salesman. Watch his steps:

• He makes a suggestion
• We listen to him
• Then he states the promise
• We are enticed by the promise
• He urges action
• We act

These steps are not different from the model of advertising called AIDA. This stands for:

• A: attention
• I: Interest
• D: Desire
• A: Action

According to this model, to sell anything, you need to take the prospect from attention to action. You start by capturing the attention of the prospect and quickly develop her interest in the product. Then get the prospect to desire ownership of the product and at this point, urge action.
This also is the model for temptation. If we do not want to buy a product, we stop the sales pitch at the level of attention-grabbing. If we allow the salesman or the snake to grab our attention, we expose ourselves to the next level of the sales effort.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Faith and Persistence

“For saying this you may go home happy; the devil has gone out of your daughter.” (Mark 7: 29)
All things are possible for him who believes.
Your faith will bring you healing.
The Syro-Phoenician woman had faith and she was also persistent.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Receive God's Word with joy

“Receive and submit to the word planted in you; it can save your souls.” (James 1: 21)

When was the first time God’s word was planted in me? The very first time was at my Baptism when I was only a few weeks old. But then, I was not conscious of God’s word till I became much older. But the very first time I knew the power of God’s word was in a crisis. It happened many years ago. I was in deep trouble with regard to my job. I faced imminent termination and consequent financial crisis. I opened the Bible I found beside the night table in my hotel room and it fell to Exodus 14: 13 – 14. This is the word of God that I heard that night:

“Do not be afraid! Stand firm, and you will see what Yahweh will do to rescue you today; the Egyptians you see today you will never see again. Yahweh will do the fighting for you; all you need to do is to keep calm.”

As I write these words again today, I feel the power once more. I have some issues at the moment that border me. God’s word above assures me again that all that I need to do is to believe and to keep calm. All will be well because God himself will fight for me. Thank you Jesus.

I receive God’s word with joy and I will do whatever he tells me.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Fear the Lord

“Happy are you who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways! For you shall eat of the fruit of your handiwork; happy shall you be, and favored.” (Psalm 128: 1-2)

Most Holy Spirit, fill my soul with the fear of God. I want to enjoy the blessings promised in the above Psalm.

What is the fear of the Lord? Reverence God, respect God; fear to offend him.
To walk in the ways of God is to walk with Christ who is the way.

What are the works of my hands?
• My ministries
• Seekfirstweb

God promises fruitfulness and blessings to those who fear him and walk with Jesus. I accept God’s word as true on the fruitfulness and prosperity of my work.
Faith that is firm is patient: I wait for the fruitfulness and prosperity with patience. I do not try to rush things or bring about the blessings by purely human effort. Faith that is firm is also obedient. I follow the lead and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mission for Two

“Yahweh God said, ‘It is not right that the man should be alone. I shall make him a helper.” (Genesis 2: 18)

God gave man a helper in woman. Christ sent out his disciples in twos. The Book of Proverbs talks of the wisdom of being two in any mission.
“Wherever two or three of you gather in my name, I am there in your midst.”
“Wherever two of you agree on anything in prayer, it shall be done to you.”

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mary's Intercession

On the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the 11th of February, the Church prays:

“God of mercy, we celebrate the feast of Mary, the sinless Mother of God. May her prayers help us to rise above our human weakness ….”

Mary s is a powerful intercessor for us before the throne of God. Some people may object and say, but isn’t Christ the sole mediator for us before God? And we may answer: What if Jesus Christ decided to delegate some mediation to other people? Can anybody prevent him from doing so? Is there any passage in Sacred Scripture that says that he cannot do this? As a matter of fact, one of the primary tasks of the priest both in the Old and the New Testament is to offer sacrifice for the people. Sacrifice is both intercession and mediation. In the common priesthood of the faithful which all Christians enjoy by the virtue of Baptism, we are called to be intercessors for the whole Church and for the whole world. The Catholic Church teaches that in the work of intercession in the Communion of Saints, Mary is primus inter pares, first among equals. This is a special gift and honor bestowed to the Mother of the Son. And God is free to distribute his gifts the way he wants. Who can question him?

In the fifth Glorious Mystery of the holy Rosary, we meditate on the coronation of Mary as Queen. The fruit of this mystery is to ask God to increase our confidence in the power of Mary’s intercession.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Fruits of the Eucharist

Fruits of the Eucharist

On the feast of St. Scholastica, February 10, the Church prays in the Mass:

“God of mercy, we rejoice that on this feast of St. Scholastica you give us the bread of heaven. May it bring us pardon for our sins, health of body, your grace in this life and glory in heaven….”

If you want to know what the Church believes, listen to its prayers. This axiom is stated in the Latin as “Lex orandi, lex credenda.” It translates as the rule of prayer is the rule of faith. From the above prayer, we see what the Church believes are the fruits of the Eucharist. They are:

• Pardon of sins
• Health of body
• God’s favors
• Life eternal

Awesome! If this is true, why doesn’t everybody run to the Eucharist? In Isaiah 55: 1 – 3, God pleads with his people:

“All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
Come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread;
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.”

Why would people hear such a call and not run to the feast? Mystery!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Better Part

“Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:42)

The above scripture reminds me of another:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroys, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroy, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Matthew 7: 19-21)

The message to me is similar: Do not waste time with the transient. Go for that which is enduring and permanent. This is the “better part.”

Lord, teach me always to recognize the better part and to go for it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Questioning Jesus

“When he had gone into the house, away from the crowd, his disciples questioned him about the parable.” (Mark 7: 17)

The disciples frequently ask Jesus to explain parables to them. The disciple is expected to know more than the crowd. In private prayer and study, he should ask Jesus to explain his teachings to him.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Consecrate me in the truth

“Your word, O Lord is truth; make us holy in the truth.” (John 17: 17)

Thank you Father for your word. Consecrate me in the truth.

Monday, September 24, 2007

God's Supply System

“Oh, bless the Lord, my soul!
All creatures look to you
to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
When you open your hand, they are filled with good things.” (Psalm 104: 1, 27, 28)

Early in 1999, I confided to my journal the following reflection on the above Psalm.
“In casa, I look to God to provide me food in due time. My coffee is finished and my tea will go by tomorrow. I have only $3. But I am not worried. In due time, my Father will come with fresh supplies. I will do nothing rash. When God gives to me, I gather it. When he opens his hands, I am filled with good things.

I noticed this pattern of God’s supply system chez MI. Sometimes the store was very low. Then prayer. In due time, God supplied and filled the house with good things: quaker oat, cornflakes, butter, milk, fruits, etc. I believe I should expect the same system of supply in casa. Christ said: Do not worry about what to eat or drink. Your Father already knows what you need and will supply in due season. If you miss an item or two for some time, remember that man does not live on bread alone. There is life for him in the word of God, in obedience and in patience.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Wages of Sin

“You are free to eat of all the trees in the garden. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you are not to eat; for, the day you eat of that, you are doomed to die.” (Genesis 2: 16-17)

From the very beginning, the consequence of disobedience to God was established as death. Spiritual death, death of a relationship with God is the result of a mortal sin. There is nothing that man dreads as much as death. By making death the consequence of grave disobedience, God shows the gravity of sin.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Human traditions

“You put aside the commandment of God to observe human traditions.” (Mark 7: 8)

When does the commandment of God compete with human traditions in my life? When am I under pressure to follow human traditions than to obey God’s commandment?

Teach me your laws, O Holy Spirit. Direct my heart to obey you in everything. Grant me the courage to share your words with others.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Teach me your law

“Turn my heart to do your will: teach me your law, O God.” (Psalm 119: 36, 29)

The Bible teaches us in so many places the excellence of the will of God. Jesus teaches us to pray:
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Those who live by God’s will attest that in God’s will is all the peace, happiness and prosperity that we desire.

How does God teach us to do his will? He teaches us through his word. His word contains his revealed will. He also teaches us through the Church. Christ said to the apostles: ”Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Luke 10: 16)
We can learn all the word of God that we want. Only the active presence of the Holy Spirit in us enables us to do God’s will.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Be Fruitful

“God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1: 27 – 28)

Be fruitful and multiply.

It is your Father’s will that you bear fruit, fruit that will last. It is God’s will that every human being be employed and productive. I banish the thought from my mind of fear of unemployment. In so far as I seek the will of God in everything, I am employed and productive. I am producing outcome that will last.

My purpose in life is to learn and to teach. Using the 7-Way plan, I learn and teach. What am I producing?

I produce the following outcome:
• Peace and tranquility
• Knowledge
• Joy and consolation

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Those who touched him were healed

“And wherever he went, to village or town or farm, they laid down the sick in open spaces, begging him to let them touch even the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched him were healed. (Mark 6: 56)

Where can we touch Jesus today? We can touch Jesus everyday in the Eucharist.

Lord Jesus, increase my faith in your presence in the Eucharist. When I touch you in the Eucharist, heal me of all that need healing in my life. Amen!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Times and Season

“God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of heaven to divide day from night, and let them indicate festivals, days and years.” (Genesis 1: 14)

The story of creation: God created the world progressively step by step.

Times and seasons were created to regulate creation.

• A time for sowing and a time for reaping
• A time for learning and a time for teaching
• A time for waiting and a time for acting

There is time for everything.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Lampstand 2

“You are the light of the world. A city set on the mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5: 13 – 16)

Amen! I accept your word dear Jesus. I am the light of the world. It is your intention that I be placed on a lampstand. Praise, honor and glory be to you. You want me to shine. I will. May the Father be fully glorified in me and in my work.

Matthew 5: 13-16 makes Christ’s intention for his disciples abundantly clear. He wants us to reflect his light to the world. He wants us to shine using the gifts he has given us.

There is a time to learn and a time to teach. There is a time to be under the bushel basket and a time to be set on a lampstand. Today I am under a bushel basket. I am learning. Tomorrow, I will be placed on the lampstand, shining. When the teacher is ready, the student appears.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Christ is the Light of the Word

“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (John 8: 12)

Christ’s word is light for me. In 1 Corinthians 2: 1-5, Jesus gives me light on the principles of effective ministry:

• Simplicity
• Concentration on Christ Crucified
• Allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide

“Whoever follows me will have the light of life.” To follow Jesus, means to follow his word as in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. It means to dwell in his word and make it the basis of one’s thought, word and deed.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Go for the opposite

“When I came to you, brothers and sisters, proclaiming the mystery of God, I do not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of Spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2: 1 – 5)

If I can imbibe the spirit of 1 Corinthians 2: 1 – 5, then my ministry will be successful. Here I see the concept of “agree contra” at work: Move to the opposite direction to the spirit of the world. Don’t just conform but do the opposite.
The world loves sublimity of words and wisdom. Go for simplicity and intelligibility.
The world wants Jesus Christ the prosperous, the miracle wonder, the multiplier of loaves. Preach Jesus Christ crucified.
The world admires power, strength and show of confidence. Go in weakness, fear and trembling. Both St. Vincent de Paul and Cardinal Manzarin were often at the table of the king of France. But each had different spirit. One became a saint and the other a small dot in history.
The world goes for persuasive words of wisdom. Go for a demonstration of Spirit and power.

Everything the man of God does is to show that the glory should go to God and not to us.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The harvest is plenty

“So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.” (Mark 6: 34)

The world is full today with many sheep without shepherd. The harvest is plenty but where are the laborers?

O Lord, send many laborers into your vineyard. Here I am, Lord. Lead me; guide me; send me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lead me and guide me

“He guides me in the right path for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23: 3)

One prayer that I make every day and in fact several times a day is: “Lead me and guide me.” I believe that without the constant guidance of God I am lost. I am self-employed and I have come to depend on light and guidance for my survival. For me today, no detail is too small to seek for guidance.

It is perhaps less than four years ago that I began to understand the mysterious nature of God’s guidance. Before this time, if things went according to plan and expectations during the day, I considered myself led and guided. If not, then God did not lead and guide me during that day. The change came after I attended ACTS Retreat. I found out that God’s guidance is constant and it is part of his powerful and loving Providence. Today, I pray for light to see how God guides me every day and the faith to believe it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My Good Shepherd 2

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Besides restful waters he leads me;
He refreshes my soul.”
(Psalm 23: 1-2)

Where are my green pastures? Since 1992, while still employed by Unilever, I had yearned to do my own thing. The answer to that yearning took many years in coming. Today, I know that my Good Shepherd has answered the prayer. My means of livelihood constitute my green pastures. I use my training and talents in marketing, advertising and information technology. These are areas I received training and experience in paid employment. It may not be all rosy financially but I enjoy using my talents in these areas. Self-employment opens the door for me study Scripture and theology. This is an area I have great interest at the moment. One green pasture leads to another. Self-employment makes it possible for me to be present at the Eucharist more than once a week. This pasture is greener than all the green pastures because the Eucharist is both a banquet and a school for life. Thank you Jesus. The Eucharist is also the “restful waters” where the Lord refreshes my soul time and time again. Thank you Jesus.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Jesus Christ Our Great Shepherd

“I pray that the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood that sealed an eternal covenant, may prepare you to do his will in every kind of good action; effecting in us all whatever is acceptable to himself through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” (Hebrews 13: 20 21)

Jesus Christ is our great Shepherd. By his blood, he redeemed us and sealed an eternal covenant.

God is using the 7-Way plan and his grace working in my soul to prepare me to do his will in every kind of good action.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Vine and the branches

“I am the vine and you are the branches, says the Lord; he who lives in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit.” (John 15: 5)

Jesus Christ is still the Vine today.
His principle of productivity” “Live in me.”

But how do I live in Christ?
The 7-Way Plan:

• Prayer
• Word of God
• Eucharist
• Penance
• Examen
• Ministry
• Spiritual reading/ spiritual direction

The above means expose one to Christ’s action and grace. The result: Great harvest.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Prophet and the Word

“It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife.” (Mark 6: 18)
This is the prophetic utterance that cost St. John the Baptist his life. Today, more than ever, there is a great need to bear witness to God’s word through fearless proclamation. The Herods of today would react like the old fox. Their intention will be the same: silence permanently the prophet and the critic.
Am I prepared to be the John the Baptist of today?
Lord, lead me, guide me and use.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Harvest through Perseverance

“Happy are they who have kept the word with a generous heart, and yield harvest through perseverance.” (Luke 8: 15)

What does it need to keep the word with a generous heart? The Parable of the Sower answers, “But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” (Matthew 13: 23)

Jesus teaches in many places in the Gospel that we need perseverance in order to reach the harvest. There is a season for sowing and a sure time for reaping.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Lord is my light and my salvation

“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?” (Psalm 27: 1)

Jesus Christ is for me the same: yesterday, today and forever.
Whom should I fear? Nobody.
What shall I fear? Nothing.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Jesus Christ is faithful Witness

“Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and he will be forever.” (Hebrews 13: 8)
Jesus is still the great Lover in the Songs of Songs.
He is the faithful Witness in Revelation.
Jesus is the great Missionary in Jonas.
He is still the Lamb of God in St. John.
Jesus is still the great Healer in St. Luke.
He is still my light and salvation in Psalm 27.
“Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and he will be forever.” (Hebrews 13: 8)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Out with avarice

“Put avarice out of your lives and be content with whatever you have; God himself has said: ‘I shall not fail you or desert you,’ and so we can say with confidence: ‘With the Lord on my side, I fear nothing: what can human beings do to me?” (Hebrews 13: 5 – 6)
In 1999 when I reflected again on this key scripture, I confided the following to my journal:
“Put avarice out of your life. What avarice exists in my life today? What are the areas of insecurity in my life today? Is there a correlation between insecurity and avarice?

“Be content with whatever you have:

• Be content with the money you have.
• Be content with the food you have.
• Be content with the clothes you have.
• Be content with the tools you have.

Advertising could create dissonance and discord in us and we become discontent about what we have. It makes us to continually seek more and better things:

• More money
• More and better food
• More and better clothes
• More and better tools

Marketing and advertising could create avarice in us. So be on the alert.

God is renewing the promise he made to me over three years ago:

“I shall not fail you or desert you:

• I shall not fail you with the money you need.
• I shall not fail you with the food you need.
• I shall not fail you with the clothes and the food you need.

What is my response to this promise? Scripture has given me a prompt: Total confidence. “The Lord is on my side. Therefore I fear nothing. Human beings can do nothing to me.” Thank you Jesus.

Monday, September 03, 2007

St. Agatha 2

“Lord, let your forgiveness be won for us by the pleading of St. Agatha, who found favor with you by her chastity and by her courage in suffering death for the gospel …” (Mass of St. Agatha, February 5)
St. Agatha distinguished herself through her courage and chastity.
In the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we praise Mary’s chastity with the following words:

• Virgin of virgins
• Virgin most pure
• Virgin most chaste
• Mother inviolate

God love purity and chastity.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

St. Agatha

“Here is a true martyr who shed her blood for Christ; her judges could not shake her by their menaces, and so she won through to the kingdom of heaven.” - Mass for Martyrs
St. Agatha is one of “the clouds of witnesses” who cheer us in our struggle against evil. She resisted temptation to the point of shedding blood. Can we resist temptation to the point of losing:

• Family
• Job
• Money
• Health
• Tools
• Food

O Holy Spirit, help us. Give us courage.
Temptations are trials of faith. They say to us: demonstrate your faith. How much can you give up for your faith, for Jesus?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Project Canisius

“Then he summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs, giving them authority over unclean spirits. And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses.” (Mark 6: 7 -9)
In 1998, I started a website as a journal of my reflections on Sacred Scripture. That was some years before Blog. I called the adventure Project Canisius. I confided this reflection to my journal on the above scripture:
“Jesus sent out the Twelve on practicum. Project Canisius is practicum. As part of practicum, the Apostles were to learn apostolic simplicity and trust in God to provide all their needs. They were to stay in the same house until they leave the district.
Project Canisius is practicum.
Lord, teach me apostolic simplicity. Teach me to depend on you to provide all my needs. Remove from me unnecessary worries. Amen

Friday, August 31, 2007

Mount Zion

“What you have come to is Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem where the millions of angels have gathered for the festival, with the whole church of the first born sons, enrolled as citizens of heaven.” (Hebrews 12: 22-23)

Through our Baptism, we are enrolled as citizens of Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem. We already enjoy full sacramental privileges as citizens of heaven. We can participate fully in the Eucharistic festival, the Supper of the Lamb. The new covenant is spiritual and more effective. We appropriate its fruits through faith. Jesus Christ is the High Priest and mediator of this covenant.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


“With the coming of the Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, ‘where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him?” (Mark 6:2)

Why were the people astonished at the teaching and miracles of Jesus? They knew Jesus as one of them. They knew his parents and knew the fact that he did not go to any big school. While Jesus lived among them, his manner of living was ordinary. There was nothing in the background of Jesus that prepared them for what they were seeing.

God took the poor things of this world to make them strong in order to show where the power was coming from. God can use any of us to do great things for himself. No need to worry about lack of qualifications or prestigious background.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


“Perseverance is part of your training; God is treating you as his sons. Has there ever been any son whose Father did not train him?” (Hebrews 12:7)
During my desert experience, God worked to change my attitude to the following:
• Family
• Job
• Money
• Health
• Tools
• Food
To achieve his purpose, he used these resources:
• Eucharist
• Penance
• Word of God
• Prayer
• Examen
• Ministry
• Spiritual Reading/Spiritual Direction
Later, he made me aware that there were other things in his training program:
• Perseverance
• Simplicity
• Chastity
Thank you Father.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

God's School

“My son, do not spurn correction from the Lord, do not resent his training, for the Lord trains those he loves, and chastises every son he accepts.” (Hebrews 12: 5 – 6)
My desert experience was both correction and training from the Father. The Father revealed this to me through the above scripture. When I saw the light, I decided to behave in the Father’s classroom.
During the desert experience which lasted for about four years, my attitude changed profoundly vis-à-vis the following:
• Family
• Job
• Money
• Health
• Tools
• Food
When I emerged from the desert, these weapons of warfare had been firmly placed in my armory:
• Eucharist
• Reconciliation
• Word of God
• Prayer
• Examen
• Spiritual Reading/Direction
Father, I thank you very much for the Desert Experience. You knocked me down but you raised me up again. I submit myself completely to whatever program you have for me. Correct me. Teach me. Use me. Amen!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fight against sin

“In the fight against sin, you have not yet had to keep fighting to the point of bloodshed.” (Hebrews 12: 41)
The martyrs are those who fought to the point of bloodshed. Peter and Paul, Athanasius, Maximillian Kolbe, Justin the Martyr, Cecilia and clouds of other witnesses fought to the point of bloodshed to witness to Christ. They did not compromise their faith. How far am I prepared to fight against sin?
Some cost of witnessing to Jesus Christ today:
• Job
• Money
• Suffering
• Illness
• Inconvenience
• Imprisonment
• Family
When we contemplate the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, we ask for the gift to overcome all fears of suffering in order to witness to Jesus Christ when challenged. The martyrs looked forward to this challenge and when it came, they embraced it with the grace they had stored for it.
Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to overcome the fears of suffering so that I can witness to you when challenged.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Power of God's Word

"The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces.”

(Psalm 119: 72).

How do we know for certain that God's word is more precious than silver and gold? God's word transforms ordinary humans into extraordinary beings. There are abundant proofs from the lives of many people. Their heroic lives had been recognized and many of them canonized as saints. The proof also come from the lives of dedicated Christians living among us. These individuals have the courage to test the life-changing principles in the Bible and confirm that they work. Their highly successful lives and achievements bear testimony to the power of God's word. God’s word contains many promises each of which is may be worth more than silver and gold, depending on our needs.

To discover the gold and silver in the word of God, read it as a personal letter. Read the word in order to act on its principles and so obtain what it promises.

How Apply the Word of God to your Problem:

· Define the problem.

· . State two or more key words that are contained in your problem.

· Get a Bible Concordance and list all the references to your keywords.

· Take your Bible and write out all the references that bear directly on the problem.

· Focus on a number of texts that apply directly to you.

· Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to apply the scripture.

The last step is critical: Understand what the scripture is saying to your actual situation. If you are not satisfied with the answer that you are getting, keep working on it until you are enlightened.

Believe the Bible text that God has revealed as answer to your problem. Belief may not come automatically. Like Peter, you can say again and again: "Lord I believe; increase my faith."

When you get a clear idea on concrete steps to take to solve your problem, act without hesitation. If you are not sure, wait until you get this clear signal. This is the most important step. "Faith that is firm is also patient." (Isaiah 28:16)