Thursday, December 8, 2011

A personal prayer

Lord, whatever I do, guide me; wherever I go, go before me; whatever I say, may my words give You glory… and when trials and temptations gets on the way, let me cling to you…because it is only in You and through You that I live and move and have my being... and I will praise and thank you Lord until the very end!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

CAME TO MY RESCUE Hillsong - lyrics and chords


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quote of the day

“There is not a flower that opens, not a seed that falls into the ground, and not an ear of wheat that nods on the end of its stalk in the wind that does not preach and proclaim the greatness and the mercy of God to the whole world. There is not an act of kindness or generosity, not an act of sacrifice done, or a word of peace and gentleness spoken, not a child’s prayer uttered, that does not sing hymns to God before his throne, and in the eyes of men, and before their faces.” – Thomas Merton, “The Seven Storey Mountain.”


Monday, March 21, 2011

Have you seen a love like this? (watch video)


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan earthquake epicenter near Marian apparition site

Japanese quake's epicenter located near Marian apparition site
By Catholic News Agency

The messages warned of chaos within the Church, and disasters which could afflict the world.

The epicenter of the earthquake is located near the site of an apparition in which Mary warned about a worldwide disaster that could afflict humanity. In 1973, the Virgin Mary was said to have predicted a number of future events - including natural disasters even more serious than Friday's earthquake and tsunami - during three appearances to a Japanese religious sister, Sr. Agnes Sasagawa.

NIIGATA, Japan (CNA) - The epicenter of the earthquake that caused a deadly March 11 tsunami is located near the site of an apparition in which Mary warned about a worldwide disaster that could afflict humanity.

Japanese church officials have confirmed that the Diocese of Sendai, in the north of the country, was hit hardest by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake - the worst in Japanese history - and the resulting 23-foot waves.

Hundreds of people have already been confirmed dead in the city of Sendai, located less than 90 miles away from the apparition site of Our Lady of Akita in the town of Yuzawa.

The city of Akita, which experienced fire damage and flooding along with many parts of northern Japan, is a place of veneration for Catholics.

In 1973, the Virgin Mary was said to have predicted a number of future events - including natural disasters even more serious than Friday's earthquake and tsunami - during three appearances to a Japanese religious sister, Sr. Agnes Sasagawa.

The purported appearances of the Virgin Mary in Japan were reviewed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 1988. During his time as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prior to his election as Pope Benedict XVI, he let stand the local bishop's judgment that the apparitions and the messages were acceptable for the faithful.

The messages warned of chaos within the Church, and disasters which could afflict the world.

"If men do not repent and better themselves, God the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity," Mary reportedly told Sr. Agnes. "If will be a punishment greater than the (biblical) flood, such as never seen before."

"Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful," she said. "The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church, in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops."

"Churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises, and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord."

"Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary," she told Sr. Agnes. "With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests."

Two years after the last message, the statue of the Virgin Mary in the chapel where the apparitions had occurred began to emit tears and drops of blood. The occurrence continued for more than six years.

Reports from Akita following Friday's earthquake indicate that the city received significantly less damage than other parts of northern Japan, despite its proximity to the epicenter. However, residents did report power outages, burst pipes, and fires.

Bishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi of Niigata, whose territory includes the Akita apparition site, is also the president of Caritas Japan, which will be working to assist victims of the earthquake and tsunami. The relief organization is accepting contributions to its emergency fund at www.caritas.org


About St. Patrick's day and how to celebrate the day

St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world's most popular saints.
Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.

Along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, the secular world shares our love of these saints. This is also a day when everyone's Irish.

There are many legends and stories of St. Patrick, but this is his story.

Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies.

As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.

During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote

"The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same." "I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."

Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britian, where he reunited with his family.

He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."

He began his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years.

Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message.

Patrick by now had many disciples, among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well).

Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.

He died at Saul, where he had built the first church.
Why a shamrock?

Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.
In His Footsteps:

Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission. [Catholic.org]

Click on photo to receive the Iris blessing.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE Mercy Me - lyrics


REMEMBRANCE Matt Maher, Matt Redman - lyrics and chords

Lyrics and chords:

by Matt Maher and Matt Redman
2009 EMI Christian Music Publishing

Oh, how could it be that my God
Would welcome me into this mystery.
Say take this bread take this wine,
Now the simple made divine for any to receive.

    E                          F#m
By your mercy we come to your table,
By your grace you are making us faithful.

  E               F#m
Lord, we remember you.
  E                          F#m
And remembrance leads us to worship.
  E               F#m
And as we worship you,
   E                    F#m
Our worship leads to Communion.
      A                             B      E
We respond to your invitation, we remember you.

See his body his blood
Know that he has overcome every trial we will face
None too lost to be saved,
None too broken or ashamed, all are welcome in this place

    E                          F#m
By your mercy we come to your table,
By your grace you are making us faithful.

  E               F#m
Lord, we remember you.
  E                           F#m
And remembrance leads us to worship.
   E              F#m
And as we worship you,
  E                     F#m
Our worship leads to Communion.
      A                              B      E
We respond to your invitation, We remember you.

  E          A            E
Dying you destroyed our death
  E          A       B   E
Rising you restored our life
 E                   B                         A   
Lord Jesus come in glory, Lord Jesus come in glory
                     B                         A
Lord Jesus come in glory, Lord Jesus come in glory

  E                F#m
Lord, we remember you.
   E                          F#m
And remembrance leads us to worship.
   E              F#m
And as we worship you,
   E                    F#m
Our worship leads to Communion.
We respond to your invitation,
      A                            B       E
We respond to your invitation we remember you.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Some Encouragements

Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD; cry out to the rock of our salvation. Let us greet him with a song of praise, joyfully sing out our psalms. Psalms 95:1

Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless his name; announce his salvation day after day. Psalms 96:1

Sing a new song to the LORD, who has done marvelous deeds, Whose right hand and holy arm have won the victory. Psalms 98:1

"I fear the story of this animosity will be taken to be the story of the real America. It's not. America was not built on hatred, but on love. This is not the real America. When you attack one religion, you attack them all." - Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, September 7, 2010. [His remarks came after an interfaith meeting to discuss anti-Muslim sentiment in America.]

Correction does much, but encouragement does more. 
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer (1749-1832)

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. –Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844-1900)

"It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men" - The Deacon's Bench.

“Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family, we never know how much good just a simple smile can do.” - Mother Teresa

That I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh,I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me. [Galatians 2:20]

"God doesn't waste anything. If we will let him, he uses everything — even our dumb, stupid mistakes — to bring honor to him." "I continue to learn that God is the God of second, third, fourth chances," she said. "He never gives up on us."- Sandi Patty

If the pressures in life seem crushing you down, think of the crushed grapes that produces the best wine. The pressures you have in life only brings out the best in you.

Prayers are very powerful. The devil smiles when we are weak, he laughs when we are too busy or too idle, he giggles when we are afraid. But he trembles when we pray

Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

Think only of the best, work only for the best,and expect only the best.
Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

Give so much time to the improvement of yourselfthat you have no time to criticize others.

Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you!" -
Christian D. Larson


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

EVERYTHING TO ME David Cobb (with lyrics)


Monday, February 14, 2011

MAY THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH Tim Hughes - lyrics and chords


       C       Em        Am
May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart
           F          C      G
Bless Your name, bless Your name, Jesus
       C      Em      Am
And the deeds of the day and the truth in my ways
         F      C      G
Speak of You, speak of You, Jesus

           C            F
For this is what I'm glad to do
        Am                          D
It's time to live a life of love that pleases You
G          C           F
And I will give my all to You
      Am                    D
Surrender everything I have and follow You
G      F
I'll follow You

       C       Em          Am
Lord, will You be my vision, Lord, will You be my guide
       F        C      G
Be my hope, be my light and the way
         C     Em             Am
And I'll look not for riches, nor praises on earth
    F       C         G
Only You'll be the first of my heart

Am       G  C      D
I will follow, I will follow You
Am       G  C      D
I will follow, I will follow You
Am       G  C      D
I will follow, I will follow You
Am       G  C      F
I will follow, I will follow You


Sunday, February 13, 2011

LET MY WORDS BE FEW Matt Redman - lyrics and chords

by Matt Redman

G                  G+         Em/G          C
 You are God in heaven, and here am I on earth,
G         G+               Em/G  C
 So I'll let my words be few.
   Am7    G/B   C     D         G
 Jesus, I am so in love with You.

                    F/G    Em7   Am7  Am7/G
 And I'll stand in awe of You;
             G       F/G    Em7  C
 Yes, I'll stand in awe of You.
           Am7     Em7     C
 And I'll let my words be few.
   Am7    G/B   C     D         G     C/G        (G)
 Jesus, I am so in love with You.

 The simplest of all love songs, I want to bring to You,
 So I'll let my words be few.
 Jesus, I am so in love with You.


ALL WHO ARE THIRSTY Brenton Brown - lyrics and chords

by Brenton Brown

All who are thirsty
All who are weak
Come to the fountain
                      Am7   Am7/B C    D
Dip your heart in the stream of   life
Let the pain and the sorrow
Be washed away
In the waves of his mercy
              Am7 Am7/B C    D
As deep cries out  to   deep
(We sing)

G               C2
Come Lord Jesus come
G               C2
Come Lord Jesus come
G               C2
Come Lord Jesus come

G         C2
Holy Spirit come
G         C2
Holy Spirit come
G         C2
Holy Spirit come

              Am7 Am7/B C   
As deep cries out  to   deep
              Am7 Am7/B C   
As deep cries out  to   deep
              Am7 Am7/B C   
As deep cries out  to   deep


AMAZING GOD Brenton Brown - lyrics and chords

by Brenton Brown
G                  D/G
We can hear it growing louder
Songs from every nation
Rising to your throne
G                 D/G
Saints in every generation
Singing for your glory
Telling what you've done
         D                C
From the north and south, we are crying out
         D         C
There is hope in Jesus' name

             G                C
You're amazing God, You're amazing God
             Em        D           C
You can bear the weight of every heavy heart
                G                    C
You can heal the pain, you can clean the stain
               Em   D              C
You can turn our tears into songs of praise
You're amazing God
G                     D/G
Beauty rises from the ashes
Sorrow turns to gladness
When our God is near
G                        D/G
You speak light into our darkness
You heal the broken-hearted
You wipe away our tears

              G                           C
Songs of praise surround us, songs of praise surround us
              Em    D              C
Hear it growing louder, we are growing louder


Friday, February 11, 2011

Short Healing Prayer

Here is a short printable healing prayer. Please pray everyday.
[click on image to print]


Who Will Pray For Me When Mama's Gone By Jack Hill

Wish there are more songs about Mama.


Monday, January 31, 2011

HIS STRENGTH IS PERFECT Steven Curtis Chapman - lyrics and chords

Lyrics and chords...>

by Steven Curtis Chapman

G      Am7     D
I can do all things
                G/B            Am/C       G
Through Christ who gives me strength
           C              G/B          Am         D
But sometimes I wonder what He can do through me
       G      Am            D
No great success to show
      G/B            Em7
No glory on my own
                   C          G/B               A7    Am7
Yet in my weakness He is there to let me know


G   Am7/G   G  Am2            D/F#                G   C/G   G
His strength is perfect when our strength is gone
     Em7 Am2 Am7/G    D/F#      Dm/F
He'll carry us when we can't carry on
E7                Am2         D/F#   B/D#      Em
Raised in his power the weak become strong
C#m7              Am2  Am7/G
His strength is perfect
D/F#                C/G  G    Em7  Am2   Am7/G  F2   F   D/F#
His strength is perfect

G      Am7     D
We can only know
           G/B            Am/C       G
The power that He holds
         C              G/B          Am         D
When we truly see how deep our weakness goes
       G      Am            D
His strength in us begins
      G/B            Em7
When our comes to an end
                    C          G/B               A7   Am7
He hears our humble cry and proves a_gain





Sunday, January 30, 2011

TAKE MY LIFE (AND LET IT BE) - lyrics and chords

Lyrics and chords...>

by Chris Tomlin

D                Asus   Bm7  G  D/F#   Em    A         D
Take my life and let it be   consecr - ated, Lord, for Thee;
D               Asus   Bm7   G   D/F# Em      A         D  
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise
C2                G/B           Em              Asus   D  
Take my hands and let them move at the  impulse of Thy love,
D                Asus    Bm7  G   D/F#  Em   A        D
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee;

D                 Asus   Bm7  G  D/F#  Em   A      D
Take my voice and let me sing always, only, for my King,
D                Asus   Bm7   G   D/F#   Em    A        D
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee;
C2             G/B         Em                Asus   D  
Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold,
D             Asus    Bm7 G  D/F#  Em    A        D
Take my intellect and use every   power  as You choose

        Em  G          Asus7  A7
Here am I       all of me
         Em   G              Asus7  A7
Take my life    its all for thee

D                Asus    Bm7    G  D/F#  Em    A       D
Take my will and make it thine, it shall be no longer mine
D                Asus     Bm7  G  D/F#  Em     A      D
Take my heart it is thine own, it shall be thy royal throne
C2              G/B         Em                  A      D  
Take my love my Lord I pour at Your feet its treasure store
D               Asus   Bm7 G  D/F#  Em    A         D
Take myself and I will be ever,   only,   all for thee.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Muslim enrollment at Catholic colleges increasing - but why?

Higher Ed. Morning reports:

Catholic schools are seeing a spike in Muslim students – but why?

Enrollment of Muslim students in Catholic colleges has seen a steady increase in recent years, according to the Higher Education Research Institute. Last year, Catholic schools even had a higher percentage of Muslim students than the average four-year institution in the United States.

Muslim students – most often from Saudi Arabia – say they enroll at Catholic colleges for the usual reasons: strong academic programs, engaging professors and attractive campuses. But the schools’ spiritual culture has proved to be a major draw as well.

Catholic school rules line up with multiple Muslim cultural values, including daily prayer, periodic fasting and separate dorms for men and women.

By making religious worship a priority, there is some overlap between Catholic schools and Muslim faith – Muslim students can feel they fit in better in an overtly religious setting, even if it’s not their religion.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Today's Reflection: Out of love and compassion, Jesus heals us

Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean."
 Today's gospel scene brings to our hearts the depth of Christ's love for all of us. It revealed to everyone that we have a God in Christ Who is truly authentic in His desire to care for all of us. He showed everyone how unconventional loving and caring should be among His people. That our love for our neighbor should never be fixed within the confines of a designed framework or program but one that extends to what is difficult to do, one that needs our total commitment, one that is almost impossible to pursue.

By what Jesus witnessed to us, He exhorts every believer to love one's neighbor with the kind of love that is not only true and deep but one that will be enough to move one into action, one that flows into mercy and compassion. He wants us to love our neighbor as He did, without any reservation and totally selfless, a love that totally considers the present need and predicament of our neighbor.

Jesus healed a leper by touching him, a very meaningful act of love and compassion on a man who by law was barred from ever touching anyone again. To be near a leper was beyond peoples' minds then, and even today. Lepers have practically been banished from society that no one would even dare come close to them, not even within reasonable distance. With their sores, dirty and contaminated bodies, lepers are the last persons man would want to touch.

To touch a leper is quite unthinkable up to this present time, yet the first thing Jesus did was to touch him. Jesus touched him, healed him and made him whole. Even before Jesus could respond to the plea of the leper, Jesus Who was moved with pity, stretched out his hand, touched the leper and said: "I do will it. Be cured." That is the kind of love Jesus has for us, one that flows into mercy and compassion, one that is authentic enough to make Him accept death on the Cross-for the salvific benefit of sinners and not the righteous.

Today, let us follow the great example of Jesus by showing love and compassion to someone we find hard to relate to, not only because of their physical deficiencies but also due to what we have perceived as their sinfulness and brokenness.

What do we do when we see that a man encounter adverse situations… when his words and actions do not seem to fit a Christian? Do we show him our love and minister to him? Do we walk with him in Christ and try our very best to restore him and bring him closer to our Lord? Or do we make his life even worst by back biting on him and destroying his image within God’s flock? Or do we remain indifferent to him and rationalize our actions by saying I have better things to do for my family and community, than involve myself with such person?

In relationships within community, family and office is there a "leper" God wants us to touch with our loving care, understanding and compassion? Have we taken a ten-foot pole to shield ourselves …to ensure that we are at a safe distance from the person? What about the pastoral care we have always talked about?

‘“Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion in the day of testing in the desert… Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God. Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,” so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin. We have become partners of Christ if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end.”’

Lord have mercy on me if I have not been faithful to your word whenever I encounter a leper in my daily interactions at work and in community… if I have been cold and indifferent to them. Forgive me for taking another road whenever a leper comes my day. Give me the grace, the strength and the courage to touch with your love those I have seen and considered as the “lepers” in my life. Open my heart and make me your vessel in bringing your love to them.

Our love and compassion for our neighbor should go beyond our words and be evidenced in our actions.

Heavenly Father, give me the grace to find ways to express love and compassion on those who are hurting and are in need of your healing touch. In Jesus, I pray. Amen.
[source: email]


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today's Reflection: Live in the world the Lord's way

As a distinct part of God's family deeply submerged in work for Him, what do you think our Lord truly wants from us within the next twelve months?

Meditating on our God and His works has led me to believe that God is not really asking from us for a charter of accountabilities at this point of time. He is not requiring us to present to Him a plan of what we intend to do in His Name. All He wants from us is to look deep into our hearts and try to assess our own discipleship in Christ, how well we have pursued our covenant with Him and how much we have contributed to his cause and purpose.

In a wonderful message written by George Carlin (as sourced from our Church bulletin), he stated the paradox of our time in history. He spoke the truth behind our present world which only revealed how we have lived out our lives, how we have been drawn to the world than to our Lord.

He shared, "that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways but narrower viewpoints. We spend more but have less. We buy more but enjoy less. We have bigger homes and smaller families, more conveniences but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine but less healing"

"We drink too much, smoke too much, spend recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, love too seldom and hate too often. We have learned to make a living but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years."

"We've been all the way to the moon and back but have trouble crossing the street to meet our new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We have done larger things but not better things. We have cleaned the air but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom but not our prejudice. We write more but learn less. We plan more but accomplish less. We've learned to rush but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less."

"These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses but broken homes. These are the days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies and pills that do everything from cheer, quiet and kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom."

That was quite a mouthful but nothing could be more true than what was shared. It is a regret that man's focus on the world rather than on God has caused us to be more of the world and less of God. Instead of being new creations in Christ, bowed down low before God with hearts and minds full of love for Him and genuine humility before His grace and mercy, we have been snared by worldliness. We are so full of pride and arrogance that we have not left space for our Lord and His works. When we become a friend of the world we become God's enemy. We become infidels as we break our covenant with our Lord. We fail to love Him with all our hearts, souls and strength.

Let us be reminded that we have a God Who puts to death anything that does not add up to our being His children and gives life. He casts down to the nether world and He raises up again. Jesus did not come to destroy us. The Lord makes poor and makes rich, He humbles, He also exalts. He raises the needy from the dust, from the ash heap he lifts up the poor, to seat them with nobles and make a glorious throne their heritage.

Can't we give God space in our hearts so that He can work in us?


Let us examine how faithful we have been to our covenant with God and re-commit and dedicate our lives to Him.


Heavenly Father, I pray that you will bless me with the grace to deepen my relationship with You through Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Amen.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Today's Reflection: Are you willing to abandon everything for God? What does it really mean?

What caught my heart in today's gospel reading were the words. “they left” meaning "they abandoned." Simon and Andrew left their nets to follow Jesus. James and John did not only abandon their nets but left their father Zebedee with his hired men as they responded to the invitation of Jesus.

Sometime ago, we heard God's call to follow Him. Some of us may have instantaneously left (abandoned) our old lives and embraced our new lives in Christ. Others may have taken time in responding to God's call. Whatever the case may be, each one of us left (abandoned) something behind. We had to forsake whatever we had in exchange for what we believed will achieve the reason why we are in this world. We all realized that to reach our final destination we had to give up a lot. We learned that we had to die to our selves and open our hearts to what is Christ-like and allow the Spirit to take full control.

Responding to God and His call means we have to make a complete turnaround and discard our old ways. It means we should never re-consider going back to our old lives or even look back at them but continuously and incessantly work at what will bring us close to our God. It means seriously pursuing our ministry and being fruitful in the Lord's vineyard.

Unfortunately any activity, even the most religious and spiritual in nature, when marred by tension and major differences can numb souls and may cause one to seek spiritual refreshment. One may in time find a need for a fresh anointing from the Lord Who is always at work in creating a masterpiece out of us.

Amid any difficulty and pain, the temptation to abandon our relationship with God and His Church may be knocking in our hearts. The temptation to give up our work in community is so strong because we feel pain in our relationships. We may have placed our ministry/apostolate dependent on whether we will get what we want from a situation..

Are we going to give in to the enemy and allow our servanthood to be jeopardized by our self centeredness?

God is asking us to abandon all that we are and all that have caused us to experience coldness in our hearts. He is calling us to make a return to Him for all the good He has done for us. He is asking us to give our all to Him so that He may work on us and purify us and cleanse us of our sins, so that we be made heirs of all things and the refulgence of His glory and the very imprint of his being, so that at journey’s end we may take our place in the greatest banquet that awaits all of us at the right hand of our Lord!

With humble and contrite hearts and in the presence of all His people, let us take the cup of salvation and call upon the Name of the Lord.

Let us pay our vows to the Lord.

Let us abandon the evil one and offer our Lord a sacrifice of thanksgiving!

Let us offer Him a sacrifice of praise!

Let us abandon everything that is not of Christ as "This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the good news!"

Let us abandon our old lives, seek God and His will. Change for the better.

Heavenly Father, I offer You a sacrifice of praise as You give me the grace to abandon my old life and follow Jesus. Give the grace of transformation, so that I may be strong enough to abide by Him, in Whom I live and move and have my being. Amen.
[source: email]


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Today's Reflection: "Love God and everyone that God loves!"

"Love God and everyone that God loves!"


"My love is fixed on God." This is a statement I often hear from Christians. A number of times in the past, I find it difficult to understand such claim as the way people react and relate with one another are quite different from what is being professed. If God were truly fixed in their hearts, things would have been different. What I see in my midst are quite far from the model Jesus gave all of us.

Jesus did not only keep His love for God's family in the secrecy of His heart but openly gave it to everyone. He was able to make everyone feel loved and accepted despite everyone's sinfulness and brokenness. One cannot trace any rigidity in His actions and motivations but only mercy and compassion. He served and taught the people at all cost and even decided to accept death on the Cross to save humanity.

When a brother is in need of help, hungry and with nothing to sustain himself, what do we do to alleviate the person's suffering? Do we just share God's Word with Him, console him and ask him to rejoice for we have a God Who provides and Who will never forsake him? Or do we go out of our way to stretch our hand, make him feel loved, feed him and try to find a way to resolve what has burdened him? Have we followed God's Word in meeting the need of a brother in need? Or have we been quite limited to pure talk and no action? Saying to a brother in need, "go in peace" is not good enough when we say that our love is fixed on God. Having this thought in our minds and hearts is not enough.

Indifference towards the plight of another and complacency from doing good and loving a neighbor are even worst than hating a brother. Indifference kills. Thus a believer who is not moved to love his brother and do good and godly acts cannot say that his love is fixed on God as God is love. Scripture is right in referring to him as a liar. He has not loved God if he has not loved his brother. If he has not loved God and his brother then the only one he could have loved was himself and no one else. Beware as too much love of self will in time empty our hearts of love of God.

In Luke 16:19-31, the rich man upon his death was condemned to suffer and was in torment because of his utter disregard for the poor, not because of his wealth. The kind of heart and disposition that he carried with him showed that he never believed in God and His ways. Since God was not in his heart, there was no way love could reside within him. If he had faith in our Lord, he would have some built-in mercy and compassion for the poor that begged for his leftovers. If He had love of God deep within him, he would not have lived in great luxury, comfort and ease while a poor beggar in Lazarus kept watch outside his house hoping that he will be blessed with some crumbs to fill his empty stomach.

The rich man was condemned for he has become so complacent with all his riches and such is a man who has become so self-centered and does not care for his neighbor. Such is the man who did not pass the test of faithfulness in stewardship, whose wealth was not able to bring him endless joy but total destruction. This is the tragic ending of anyone who believes on the great promise of wealth, power and influence which the world offers rather than the promise of eternal life and salvation in God's Word.

Let us always remember the commandment we have from Him: ”Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

In today's gospel Jesus said: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord." We too have been anointed to do the same. Have we properly responded to such anointing?


Find a way not only to share God's Word with everyone but to share His love as well. One way we can do this is by helping the earthquake and tsunami victims of South Asia.


Oh God of Wonder, even though I often feel like I am stumbling in the dark, I know you are there to guide me with the perfect light of your love.

I know you can heal me and I believe that you want to do just that.
I beg you now to look at me with your loving eyes and 'make me clean.'
Let my life reflect the balance of my faith in you and a love of those in my life. Help me to love more freely. Help me to love as you do. Heavenly Father, give me the grace to be compassionate and loving to those who come to me in need. In Jesus, I pray. Amen.
[via email]


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Amazing video of a cute baby at church - watch it!


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