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Spiritual Talk
 
 

 
“Spiritual Talk” – Our actions influence others

During this past year of COVID pandemic, we experienced the interconnectedness of the human community. Our safety was influenced by others and we in turn can either protect or endanger others with our behaviors. In the spiritual sphere, we are also influenced by others and they in turn affected by us.

Rev. Patrick Gearon said, “We are ever influencing, for good or for evil, the souls of those around us, and this, too, whether we are reflecting upon actions or are totally oblivious of what is going on.”

Pope Pius XII wrote beautifully about members of the Church contributing to the salvation of souls: “Dying on the Cross He (that is, Christ) left to His Church the immense treasury of the Redemption; towards this she contributed nothing. But when these graces come to be distributed, not only does He share this task of sanctification with His Church, but He wants it in a way to be due to her action. Deep mystery this, subject of inexhaustible meditation; that the salvation of many depends on the prayers and voluntary penances which the members of the Mystical Body of Christ offer for this intention and on the assistance of pastors of souls and of the faithful, especially of fathers and mothers and families, which they must offer to our Divine Savior as though they were His associates”.

Father Patrick wrote, “Our Divine Lord is the Saviour of mankind. he is what we shall call Saviour with a capital “S”. But each and every one of us can become a saviour with what I shall call small “s”. Whether we realize it or not, we cannot be good or bad without affecting others for better or for worse.”

St. Paul wrote, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col. 1:24) The value Christ’s sufferings is infinite. There is nothing lacking in term of meriting graces for mankind. The only thing wanting is the application of graces. It is of their application that St. Paul was speaking. He was thus becoming a saviour with a small ‘s’.

We are capable of becoming either instrument of grace or instrument of sin. The “communion of saints” builds up the Church, whereas the “communion of sin” drags down the Church.

St. John Paul II explained: “One can speak of ‘a communion of sin’, whereby a soul that debases itself through sin drags down with itself the Church and, in some way, the whole world. In other words, there is not a single sin, not even the most intimate and secret one, the most strictly personal and individual one, that exclusively concerns the person committing it. With greater or lesser violence, with consequences of greater or lesser harm, every sin has repercussions on the entire ecclesial body and the whole human family.”

Father Patrick said, “It said, “It would be an eye-opener if were to find out the number of sins which were committed by people just because they had seen another doing that very same thing.” He lamented: “People who otherwise are very mortified, seem to seek compensation in talking about others.” Father Patrick listed three reasons of the abuse of the tongue: 1. the anxiety to be a source of interest, 2. secret envy, and 3. outbursts of anger.

St. Josemaria Escriva wrote, “Gossip is trash that soils and hinders the apostolate. It goes against charity, takes away strength, takes away peace, and makes one lose his union with God.” The saint gave us this simple rule in speech: “Don’t make negative criticism. If you can’t praise, say nothing.”
Publish date: 2021 - 6 - 12


 
“Spiritual Talk”

Publish date: 2021 - 6 - 5














 
“Spiritual Talk” – We belong to God

Publish date: 2021 - 4 - 17




 
“Spiritual Talk” – April 3, 2021

Publish date: 2021 - 4 - 3










 
“Spiritual Talk” – St. Joseph as father and protector

This year is the Year of St. Joseph. For many years, I have been saying the following daily consecration prayer to St. Joseph. Dearest St. Joseph, I consecrate myself to your service. I give myself to you, that you may always be my father, my protector, and my guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me a great purity of heart, a fervent love of the interior life, and the spirit of prayer. After your example may I do all my actions for the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And you, blessed St. Joseph, pray for me, that I may share in the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen.
Publish date: 2021 - 2 - 27


 
“Spiritual Talk” – The First Sunday of Lent – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the First Sunday of Lent. In today's Gospel, Jesus goes into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, showing us that we have yet to enter Heaven and must therefore make sacrifices to conform ourselves to God's grace. During Lent, we traditionally pray, fast, and give alms. Prayer includes meditation, especially on the Passion, and some good prayers are the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Fasting lifts up our thoughts to heavenly subjects and strengthens us to do spiritual works and resist temptation, as well as making reparations for past sins. When we offer up our sufferings to Christ, we grow closer to Him. Some sacrifices are chosen, such as giving up eating candies. But others are not, such as humbly accepting sufferings that God has permitted to happen in our life. Finally, we can help others through almsgiving. If we cannot help through money, action, or verbal encouragement, then we can at least pray for them. This Lent, we ought to diligently pray, fast, and give alms.
Publish date: 2021 - 2 - 20




 
“Spiritual Talk” – The Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time. Today's Gospel comes from Mark 1:29-39, where we hear what Jesus does in a single day. In the morning, He taught and exorcised demons at the synagogue, in the afternoon He healed Peter's mother-in-law and others at Peter's house, and in the evening, Jesus went off to pray. From this, we can reflect on we arrange time for work and prayer in our daily lives as Jesus had. Although He was extremely busy, He still took the time to pray, showing us how important prayer is. A saint once said, "The one who preserves order will be preserved by order." We need a schedule to order our time, so that we will cherish it and not waste it. We must arrange regular times to work, rest, and pray to yield good fruit and make the glory of God and the salvation of souls the core motivation of our lives. The Virgin Mary once appeared to two children in France, telling them to pray the Lord's Prayer and the Hail Mary once every morning and evening. If they had more time, they ought to pray more. Lately, many of us are unable to receive the Eucharist, but we ought to use this opportunity to know God's Word better. There is an app called iBreviary which provides the morning and evening prayers and daily readings for Lectio Divina. This can help us increase our discipline for prayer and reading. We ought to imitate Christ and set regular times for work and prayer, so that we can improve our communication skills and increase our friendship with God.
Publish date: 2021 - 2 - 6


 
“Spiritual Talk” – The Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time. Today's Gospel comes from Mark 1:21-28, where Jesus drives out devils to save us from their jealous temptations with the help of His angels. Temptation can come from three spiritual enemies: the flesh, the world, and the devil. If the temptation arrives suddenly and intensely, it could possibly come from a devil. The saints advise three ways to combat temptation. Firstly, we ought to humbly ask God, His angels, and His saints in prayer for supernatural help, especially St. Michael and St. Joseph, of whom the devils are particularly afraid. Secondly, we ought to faithfully receive the Sacraments and use sacramentals, such as the Sign of the Cross, Holy Cards, and Holy Water. Thirdly, we ought to view devils with condescension in order to attack their pride. St. Teresa of Avila once said that devils are just like tied-up dogs. No matter how much they bark, they cannot bite us unless we are lured by fear to approach close enough. St. John Bosco once learned in a dream what devils are most afraid of: the intention of a believer after Confesion and reverence for the Virgin Mary. We ought to follow the good advice of the saints and combat the temptations of the devil.
Publish date: 2021 - 1 - 30


 
“Spiritual Talk” – The Third Sunday of Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time. Today's Gospel comes from Mark 1:14-20, where Jesus announces the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven and calls for repentance and belief in the Gospel. The Apostles quickly gave up everything to follow Jesus, like Peter and Andrew who gave up their fishing nets, James and John who left their father. Perhaps the things we leave may differ but what is important is that we abandon those obstacles on our way to follow God's will, and use them instead to serve Him. January 18 to 25 is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, while January 24 is the Feast of St. Francis de Sales. This saint's mission was simple: to bring those Catholics who had left the Church back home. He laboured in a French village for three years without producing a single convert. Nonetheless, he laboured on and, thinking that the villagers might not have heard his preaching, decided to slip in his pamphlets under their doors. He used his warmth and generosity to win souls. If the adults were unwilling to listen, he would play with their children. Once their parents saw how loving he was up close, their prejudices would disappear. After he left the village, forty thousand people converted to the Catholic faith. During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we ought to pray for non-Catholic Christians to strengthen our mutual understanding and spread Christian values across the world. If we imitate St. Francis, we must use both words and actions to open people's hearts.
Publish date: 2021 - 1 - 23


 
“Spiritual Talk” – The Second Sunday of Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time. Today's Gospel comes from John 1:35-42, where Jesus calls the first disciples. Originally, John and Andrew were disciples of John the Baptist but they followed Jesus after the Baptist told them to. On approaching Jesus, He asked them, "What are you looking for?" Some approach Jesus out of habit, curiosity, or family tradition, but the proper reason is this: only He can give us true love and eternal life. St. Augustine lived a life of debauchery in his youth but later realized that our hearts are made for God, and unless they rest in Him, they cannot find rest. The disciples asked Jesus where He lived, only to be told to follow Him. Perhaps they had other plans that day but they decided to stay with Jesus until sunset. If we want to truly follow Jesus, we mustn't force Him into our schedules but must break them to give Him control over our time and lives. Before we follow Jesus, our lives are like sitting in the driver's seat but once we follow Him, we must switch places and let Him decide where to go. Although Andrew had yet to learn that Jesus was the Son of God, he still shared what had happened with his brother Peter. When we share the Gospel, we do not need a theology degree. Oftentimes, people are converted not by theological arguments, but by the good example and words of their friends and family. We ought to ask ourselves whether we are following Jesus for the right reasons and taking the time to grow closer to God in prayer every day.
Publish date: 2021 - 1 - 16


 
“Spiritual Talk” – The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which is commemorated as the first of the Luminous Mysteries added to the Rosary by Pope John Paul II in 2002. Jesus was baptized with sinners in the River Jordan, representing how He would take on the consequences of our sins. Just as Christmas commemorates the birth of Christ, the Feast of His Baptism which ends the Christmas season commemorates our spiritual birth. When Christ was baptized, three things happened, which give our own baptisms much spiritual significance. First, the sky was opened, which calls to mind Moses' parting of the Red Sea to enter the Promised Land--we likewise have a path to enter the Kingdom of God through baptism. Second, the Holy Spirit descended over the waters to above Christ's head in the form of a dove, which calls to mind the dove that Noah sent over the waters, representing new creation--we likewise become new Temples of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Third, the Father called Jesus "my beloved Son". When we are baptized, the grace of God makes us His sons and daughters, and forgives all our sins. From this, we can see how important baptism is and even during this time of pandemic, we ought to continue baptizing with fewer people in attendance. As Christians, we should be zealous for evangelizing, so that others might experience the grace of baptism and join the big family that is the Church.
Publish date: 2021 - 1 - 9


 
“Spiritual Talk” – The Feast of Epiphany – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Feast of Epiphany to commemorate Jesus revealing Himself to three groups of people: firstly, to the Gentiles when He accepted the gifts of the Three Magi from the East; secondly, to the Jews when He was baptized by John the Baptist; and thirdly, to His Apostles when He turned water into wine in the wedding at Cana. The first reading from the Book of Isaiah speaks of the glory of God while the second reading from the Letter to the Ephesians teaches that the Gentiles have also been called. The gifts of the three Magi have significance: gold represents Christ's kingship, frankincense represents His divinity, while myrrh represents His humanity. We can also offer up our meritorious works as spiritual gold, our prayers as frankincense, and our mortifications as myrrh. The Church has a tradition of inviting the laity to offer up the bread and wine at the Offertory. The bread can represent all we have in our lives, while the wine can represent the needs of others. The perfect sacrifice of the Mass not only benefits Catholics, but also blesses the entire world, for the fruits of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross are distributed to all lands and times through the Mass. During this pandemic, the faithful will certainly receive the graces of the Mass if they sincerely thirst to receive the Eucharist and unite themselves spiritually to the Mass.
Publish date: 2021 - 1 - 2