Two Pieces of Advice During Confession

I went to confession on Saturday.  The priest who took my confession was very good.  I valued his advice and I wanted to make note of them here and maybe reflect on them more later.

I mentioned how I intellectually understood that my sins were wrong, but I couldn’t understand it in my heart.  The priest said that we do things that are good, and there is something deceptively good in sin that attracts us to commit it.  This deception is what keeps us going back to sin, even though we know the sin is wrong.  It reminded me of the deception the serpent committed to get Adam and Eve to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

I also confessed how I didn’t want to make my blog and YouTube channel public to my friends and colleagues because I did not want to be persecuted.  I wasn’t afraid of losing friends, but I was afraid of people not liking me.  The priest advised that there are great blessings in being persecuted when it is united with Christ.  At that moment, I felt that I needed to make KeenforGod public as soon as possible.  I was reminded of something Peter Kreeft once wrote about living the Christian life, “If you’re not being persecuted, then you’re not doing it right.”

My penance was to reflect on the Passion of Christ and the persecution he suffered.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Dear God, thank you.

I thank you for a beautiful, sunny day in San Gabriel, southern California.  The weather is much better for my pregnant wife than the 0°C temperature in Seoul.

I thank you for that sweet moment, today, when Maya willingly threw herself into the arms of my father and mother.  Maya is usually reticent in showing affection to my parents, and I know they yearn for her love.  Her simple hug made their day.

Thank you, Lord, for a healthy prognosis at the prenatal check-up — and for helping my wife see how I spoil her.

Thank you, Lord, for keeping us safe as we drove in today’s congested highways.  It was good to take Maya and her cousins Michael and Angelica to Corona and visit friends.

Thank you, God, for helping me see that I’m an Ambassador for Christ the King.  I’m an entry-level Agent of Light conducting overt and covert operations of charity.

San Gabriel Mission Church

I went to Mass today at the San Gabriel Mission Catholic Church.  My wife was with me, but we left Maya with my parents.  The liturgy was beautiful even though we had a tough time understanding the Father’s homily.  The old mission chapel is full of grace and tranquility.  It is also the place where I was baptized; so I could just be biased.

The readings were about giving up to God what little we have left, especially when we have no more to give.  I have an abundance of material possessions, but I always make excuses for not giving more.  I give away my surplus, but I avoid giving until it hurts.

Giving doesn’t just mean money – I know I don’t give enough of that already.

I give away my time to my family instead of pursuing my own interests.  But I get so tired that sometimes my heart isn’t in the giving, and that’s giving without love.

My giving of time and money is also limited to just immediate family.  I need to give more to the community.  I use my family as an excuse for not giving to the larger community.  I need to look for opportunities to serve in a ministry, like choir or as a Eucharistic minister.

Despite my personal shortcomings, I thank God for his mercy.  His Eucharist is a Sacrament that I take for granted.  But I felt a great longing today and a deep satisfaction after Communion.

Praise be to God.  Please help me become holy, let me graft onto you, the True Vine.  Glory be to the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning is now without end, forever and ever.  Amen.

A Father’s Prayer

From Cptryon Website:

Lord, I need your special care. Like your earthly father, Joseph, I want to do God’s will, even if I may not always understand. Make me gentle and selfless in the care of my family and children; help me guide them in the toils and troubles, the happiness and wonders of this life.

Like my Father in heaven, make me strong in love and forgiveness for those you entrust to my care.

No one can do these things rightly, Lord, without your constant help and boundless mercy. Be with me always, and may I come to you in heaven, and all my family with me. Amen.

Prayer for the Homeless

Dear God,

I volunteered at a homeless shelter, today.  Thank you, Lord, for the grace and strength – I needed them because I’m so tired from my return trip to Korea.  Thank you, Holy Spirit, for giving me additional energy afterwards to run 2.5 miles.  I believe I will sleep well, tonight.

I found this lovely prayer for homeless people on another blog:

Hear our prayer today for all women and men, boys and girls who are homeless this day.

 

For those sleeping under bridges, on park benches, in doorways or bus stations.

 

For those who can only find shelter for the night but must wander in the daytime.

 

For families broken because they could not afford to pay the rent.

 

For those who have no relatives or friends who can take them in.

 

For those who have no place to keep possessions that remind them who they are.

 

For those who are afraid and hopeless.

 

For those who have been betrayed by our social safety net.

 

For all these people, we pray that you will provide shelter, security and hope.

 

We pray for those of us with warm houses and comfortable beds that we not be lulled into complacency and forgetfulness.  Jesus, help us to see your face in the eyes of every homeless person we meet so that we may be empowered through word and deed, and through the political means we have, to bring justice and peace to those who are homeless.  Amen.

I found another beautiful prayer from this blog:

Bless the homeless, this day and everyday, keep them from physical and emotional harm, fill their hearts with hope for the future and for today, comfort the homeless as they walk their difficult paths. May I know that anyone, even me, can be homeless.

Bless the homeless with enough food to sustain them, with enough warmth to shield them from the elements, with the power to wrestle personal demons and win, with the will to go on, and build their lives again.

May hope touch each homeless heart, spirit and life, let the kindness of others bring lasting benefits, bring freedom from addiction, illness and misery, open their humanity to include & embrace themselves.

Bless the homeless with self acceptance and love, spark their imaginations with belief in the future, bringing the possibility of a better life, a safer life and a more secure life.

God, thank you for the opportunity to be charitable to others.  Bless the other volunteers who were there tonight, and bless the people who work at the homeless shelter.  Bless the 350 beds that are available these men without a home.  Bless the people who provided the money to make this possible.

I humbly pray, through Christ, Our Lord.  Amen.

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