Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jn 3:13-17 Lift High The Cross and Fall In Love

John 3:13-17 Lift High The Cross And Fall In Love

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal 6:14). What remarkable words. What a remarkable feat! St. Paul does not boast except in one thing: that he has become dead to the world and the world to him. No wonder why it took centuries for Christianity to spread throughout the world. To become dead to the world is like becoming dead to home. But the world became too small for St. Paul as it did for his Master, where there was no room for him in the world. How did St. Paul arrive to shaking the sand of the world off his feet?

“Imitate me for I Imitate the Lord” (1Cor 11:1)

St. Paul traveled because the Lord traveled. The Apostle met people in the half-way of their lives because the Lord met them half way, between confession and conversion, sinner and saint, fullness of the faith and cafeteria-style Christians. The Lord plans to introduce himself and the cross to each and every one of us, either with a bouquet of flowers or a crown of thorns. Be prepared for you do not know the hour when the Lord will come to greet you! Do not cast away the Lord! “Do not forget the works of the Lord!” (Ps 78:7b) The wrath of God is Hell! But his mercy will bend the most stubborn of knees and cleanse the filthiest of tongues. The Lord’s mercy endures forever! St. Paul’s Gospel is the Gospel of hope. He brought hope to the children of a lesser god. His message was well received because he lived the message. To die to the world does not mean to not love the world; it means to place the world at your feet. Christ did not hate the world, he loved it. He loved his own. He loved his enemies. He loved. Sin is a reduction, a filtering of pure love. It becomes visible in the sign of the Cross. Just today we read in the newspapers how a baby was found aboard an airplane and left in the bathroom trash can. Baby and trash can; Christ and Cross. Can anything be more contradictory than that? St. Paul did not boast in his own crosses or in his own works. He boasted in the cross of our Lord, and the Cross that Christ carried is the loss of innocence in the world: To take what is good and turn it into evil.

Obedience to the Lord unto death

Christ became obedient to death, even death on a cross. To die to oneself means to avoid sinning, this means to love unconditionally. Recently, I heard from a couple I had counseled a few years back about the use of NFP. This is the message they sent me. I think it is fitting for today’s feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

We're writing you this morning to say hello after several years, but also to send along our prayers. In the Fall of 2005…you gave us a few pre-marital talks as we prepared for our wedding. We have always looked back fondly on the help you gave us that Fall, and on your great preaching in the school chapel. We especially like to remember your advice about how to think through the prudential considerations that go along with NFP and openness to children: I asked you once, "Father, what do we need to take into account with NFP? How do we know when it's right to avoid pregnancy?" My wife had been feeling some anxiety about this, looking ahead to our married life. You answered, "You know, I think you should just pray, have a baby, and see what happens. God will take care of it. I mean, people have been having babies for centuries, in caves, in famines--and this is America! You'll be fine." Looking back on this, we realize we had a different kind of marriage prep than most couples get these days! And here we are, five years later, with 3 sons to show for it. Deo gratias.

They sent me a beautiful picture of their 3 sons. Deo Gratias!

Today we exalt in the Holy Cross of Christ! That love can never be reduced because of personal needs or fears. Thank you Lord for giving us a deeper understanding of the heights, depths and widths of love – unfiltered love in the sign of the Cross.


  1. The love of the cross NEVER fails! It will get me through everything I face in life. Death of loved ones, a marriage that is good but not great, a great love I know can never be. The love of the cross and the ONE who was crucified CAN & WILL get me through it all! HE is my Beloved!

  2. “To die to oneself means to avoid sinning, this means to love unconditionally.”

    Just the other day I was thinking that I haven’t had any interesting sins in quite a while. In fact I was really thinking hard, trying to pull some different sins out. Actually I was thinking my confessor probably thinks I am lying because I don’t have any BIG sins. But in reality I do. I realized most all my sins are against charity. The most important commandment from God! When I looked closely at specific sins, they are all due to a lack of love. And when I look at my personal defects, they all lead to a lack of love as well.

    Reading this one line made me realize that in order to avoid sinning, I have to love unconditionally. Sad to say I have never loved anyone unconditionally except my children. So why can I love them unconditionally but not my husband, my extended family, my friends…? It’s not because they don’t hurt me, in fact they have probably put me through the most severe pain, never acknowledged it and expected everything from me.

    This love for them is the only unselfish love I have. It can go one way, not be returned and the flow to them doesn’t cease.

    So why is it I can forgive them and love them unconditionally, but I do not do the same for those who have actually hurt me less, treated me better and asked less of me?

    I can see where pride, vanity and who knows what other sins have slipped into the mix that’s lead to selfishness.

    If dying to self is required to imitate Christ, and to die to self requires avoiding sins, which requires loving unconditionally and loving unconditionally requires extracting pride and vanity, which lead to selfishness which prohibits unconditional love, then why don’t I just eliminate pride and vanity and the love will flow freely, right?

    And when I conquer this lack of love thing, I won’t have anything to confess?


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