We seem to want a comfortable and convenient, feel-good religion
Eliminating the God of justice in the Old Testament
Who brought the Great Flood during the time of Noah,
And sent the ten plagues against hard-hearted Pharoah in the land of Egypt

Dare I say it—we prefer that God take the consequences of human sin upon Himself
That He should suffer, while we get away scot-free?
And even still, that He should give us spacious mansions in His Father’s house
Believing that we go straight to heaven without a minute of purgatory

While on earth, we pick and choose which parts of the Bible we accept or reject
No need for church, we go maybe once or twice a year, if anything
And pray to God only when there’s something we desperately need
I don’t know, does this all sound familiar or accurate to you?

My soul feels that the cry for mercy is so great in the world—
The cup of our transgressions must be overflowing
But if we don’t repent, if we don’t take up the cross,
How are we to follow in our Savior’s footsteps?

Jesus is our hope for heaven, but He needs to be engraved in our hearts
We need to know Him intimately so as to love Him truly
In a living, growing relationship—a courtship ending in marriage
This is our inheritance, so please, let us not remove ourselves from His family

How easily we lose light and sight
Forgetting that we are children of Almighty God
“Trust nobody” becomes our underlying philosophy
Because we’ve been hurt and blame it on the seeming absence of the Lord

But our Father is not a negligent parent
He’s not apathetic to our needs
Sometimes we wander off like prodigal sons
And other times, He draws us closer to imitate His Son

Jesus, our Brother,
You still suffer
If not in resurrected body,
Then surely in Your compassionate human-Divine Heart

You Will that we be creatures of heaven
It’s the letting go of our pride and worldly attachments that grieves us so
As we refuse the medicine of acceptance
And turn down the life-changing assistance, the sanctifying gifts of Your Holy Spirit

In darkness, we lie without wisdom or faith
In self-centered anguish, we cry without real hope or sacrificial love
We are anything but docile
If we reject that we need to be saved, to be changed, to be healed, taught, freed, made whole again in You

“Jesus said to them, ‘The light will be among you only a little while. Walk while you have the light, so that darkness may not overcome you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light.’ ” (John 12:35-36)

We can’t have one foot in heaven and the other in hell
Or do you think that the foul stench of the devil will permeate into paradise?
If one aims for purgatory and misses, where do you think he would go?
In an honest examination of conscience, we need to assess the state of our souls
For Scripture says that God will spit the lukewarm out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16)

I’ve been watching the world around me lose its faith
Taking Christ out of Christmas, and from the rest of the year too
Some people claiming to be filled with (or under the inspiration of) the Holy Spirit
But what’s displayed is something different, bearing little to no fruit
And my heart is grieved at the hedonism, the narcissism, the absolute relativism taking the place of true religion

“Oh, but God doesn’t mind; He loves the sinner”—so should you still live in the mud?
“Once saved, always saved” and a plethora of other fallacies
If you profess with your lips but not with your life, what use is it?
If you presume to be saved, are you setting yourself even above God,
Above the Sacred Scripture, which says that we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling? (Philippians 2:12)

Sadly, so many people are denying that Jesus even founded a universal Church
Ignoring His promise to St. Peter (Matthew 16:18), and therefore, losing the solid ground, the fertile soil on which to build and plant their faith
If Jesus is just a prophet and not God, then go to Islam, to Buddhism, to the New Age
If He cannot transubstantiate bread and wine into His own Flesh and Blood, then join the protesting rebellion
As for me, I want to be obedient, I want to serve Him Who is the Way, the Truth, and the (Bread of) Life

“Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

Because at His Name, every knee shall bend (Philippians 2:10)
Because I am not worthy even to untie His sandal strap (John 1:27)
Because He said, “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood” (Mark 14:22, 24)
Because the Alpha and Omega wants to make His dwelling with the human race (Revelation 21:3, 6)
Because I wish to give thanks to Jesus, the Great High Priest, for healing my life (Luke 17:15-16)
Because I want to beg Him to have mercy on me, a sinner (Luke 18:13)
Because this day, this moment, He promises that I will be with Him, Who is our Paradise (Luke 23:43)
Because, like Mother Mary, the new Ark of the Covenant, my soul would proclaim the greatness of the Lord and rejoice in God my Savior (Luke 1:46-47)

Just tried taking an online course about stress management
But the instructor’s presentation was only adding to my stress
So I had to stop and take a breather
Why can’t life be much simpler… why can’t I just turn to You?

Seems like there are gurus and PhD’s for everything these days
And people falsifying their résumés in order to get ahead
The whole Bitcoin / digital currency trend exemplifies what I think
Is the emperor’s new clothes—how hype tends to trump substance

I worry too much, Lord, and that’s why I can’t ask the mountains to move
I’m also too greedy, falling into the trap of Black Friday
A distortion of Your Good Friday when You freely offered us freedom
From sin and death, from pride and hell, from the addictions I keep coming back to

The journey can be an epic adventure like in The Lord of the Rings
You’ll be my companion because without Your grace, I’d be totally defenseless,
Without a true friend in the world, without any guidance to see through the dark and wind and rain
You alone calm the storms, so teach me, Lord, that I may wholly follow You

Feels like I’ve done nothing, Lord
Never saved any babies from getting aborted
Never brought any atheists to the faith
I’ve never married nor raised children for Your Kingdom
Never given the shirt off my back to someone who needed it more

I consume and enjoy
I play and I laugh
I make friends with those with make me feel good
And say no when the going gets tough

When I die, Lord, I’m afraid I’ll be coming to You with mostly empty hands
I was too fearful to embrace the cross as You asked
How can I rightfully call You my God
When I have so often worshipped
Everything lesser than You?

Turn this life around, Lord
The time is getting shorter
Give me a faithful heart of flesh (not stone), Lord
I believe that You can bring my life to order

Sometimes this life’s like a puzzle, a maze I can’t figure out
Lord, what’s happening to my mind?
I keep thinking that it shouldn’t be this way
My faith isn’t even the size of a mustard seed

Spiritual scrupulosity makes me agonize over every step
I fear to take action, as my life becomes a heavy cross
And the judgments I’ve pronounced on others in my heart
Are really reflections of the faults I see within myself

I have to turn to You solely at this time
And remember that I’m a beloved temple of the Holy Spirit
The evil one can assail my thoughts with innumerable distractions
Yet my prayer can remain unbroken, even if I struggle to hear Your voice

I’ve been the recipient of so any graces in the past
I must count those blessings, and praise and thank You in the midst of suffering
While I mourn my losses, I acknowledge that You are an infinite Giver
Who wills that we try our best, because You are ready to meet us with Your best, the fulfillment of all desire

Heavenly Father, You desire that I should knock at Your door
And You desire that I should trust with expectant faith
But like Saint Thérèse, the Little Flower, what I love most is when You lift me in Your arms
And I can whisper in Your ear the prayer that Jesus taught…

Abba, Father, since You are the everlasting God,
I guess that makes us Your everlasting children?
I’m not going to complain that it’s unfair
That I want my inheritance now, and squander it on things it was never intended for

Rather, help me appreciate all that I’ve been given
A family, a home, a name, an identity, a community
The fulfillment of belonging is to dwell in Your house
Because You are a good Father, and I will honor You all the days of my life

You wake me so gently, Lord
My eyes open to praise You for this new day
Touched by Your awesome presence, I don’t fear what lies ahead
Instead, I’m on fire for Your Word, Your mission

I love the way You paint the sky, the leaves in every season
The way You orchestrate every wave in the ocean, every wind, every new child who is born
How You tell me You love me with plants, animals, angels, and saints
In Your astonishing glory, You still take the time to meet me, personally

I’ve neglected You so often
When You are really everywhere
How could I have ignored Your tremendous graces?
Forgive me, Lord, my ingratitude, and inspire my heart to seek You always

In many cases, our best intentions and actions are shrugged off
Unappreciated, we begin to lose heart
Perhaps we are angry or hurt, disappointed or even despairing

That time that you confessed your love in a beautiful note
Or when you donated an arm and a leg to the poor children in Africa
Or when you let your drunken friend crash at your place whenever he needed to

Were these gestures so quickly forgotten?
Did you give a part of yourself that you can never get back?
Why has the loneliness increased and you feel like a nobody?

I’m finding myself quite selfish sometimes…
They say that it’s a love tank gone empty
But I remember someone who passed away to cancer
How the littlest things meant so much to her
And how precious that time was
How I wish I could have done more

Being human can leave us so tragically broken
But Jesus became man so that we can transcend this state of original sin
Through the Heart of Jesus, we can see that everyone’s worth saving, healing, loving

Only God knows if it makes a difference in the end, and He gave us His only begotten Son
Surely, we mustn’t think it was a lost cause
Despite the sufferings of the Cross, we know the victory was, and is, His
And we firmly believe that that makes all the difference