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!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Luke 21:1-4 Giving Two Small Coins

Luke 21: 1-4 Giving Two Small Coins

(Click here for readings)

Lord, I am amazed how you noticed this poor widow putting two small coins into the treasury. And yet, nothing escapes you, nothing. Neither good nor bad escapes you, but you prefer to take notice of the smallest gifts we bring to you. Regardless of our age, intellect, or talents, we are all your children. Even the poorest of the poor are your children worthy of all your love and affection, and worthy of being held in esteem. We are all loved by you. You smiled and caressed us as we brought our first finger painting of you to you. You love to bathe your children after having played outside and gotten a little messy. You feed us with delight. You tuck us in every night and fill our incredible nursery room with shooting stars and floating animals. You go beyond our human limits and give to us a love that only the best of moms and dads could ever do. You truly never rest. Your work is never really finished.

The widow put in two small coins and the Lord noticed her. Is there anything that is too small for the Lord? Yes, there is: the gift offering of the others. They put in from their surplus. They place large bills in the collection but they do not give what they should. They give to look good rather than to be good. “Where much is given, much is expected.”

What does the Lord want from us? Everything. All our heart, soul, mind and will.

I remember traveling all over Italy as a fundraiser. I was in charge of going across the country seeking donations for our large seminary in Rome. The work was exhausting but the benefits were everlasting. We met hundreds of families. We traveled to the most northern parts of Italy and met good, holy, Catholic families. We traveled to the south and were greeted with the same thing. We soon learned the ropes and, based on our experiences, we were able to judge how much money we could expect. As soon as we arrived to a beautiful home, with beautiful gardens and comforts galore, we immediately knew we would receive very little – some wine and pastries and a lengthy explanation of why they could not afford giving anything at this time. But as soon as we arrived to a home that was old and looking as if it were about to collapse, we knew that we would be greeted with a miracle offering.

I remember this one occasion, driving up a mountain, wondering if we were lost or on the right road, looking for this one particular home and asking ourselves what good this visit would bring to us. We found the home (or should I say cave). Inside there was an elderly woman praying her rosary and sitting in a chair as if she was expecting some guests. She had no clue that we were coming – no telephone number was listed. There was no door to knock, only an opening with some handmaid beads running down the length of it. We asked if we could come in. She greeted us and did not appear to be surprised to see us. She had as a faucet a pipe sticking out of the wall. The water came from the mountain and ran continuously. I whispered to the seminarian that was with me that we should not ask for anything. But he ignored me and after some small conversation he asked her if she could offer a gift. Immediately, she got up. I expected her to go for a broom or something. Instead, she went to her bedroom and came out with her social security check. She handed it to us and asked us to pray for her, and that she would pray for more seminarians. I could not take it. My partner did.

As we left, I told him that I did not think it was right to do this. He reminded me of the poor widow who had given all she had. He also reminded me to have a little more faith.


  1. I love tithing/giving stories! It demonstrates the super natural power of God, being alive and well. You also reminded me that in completing the cycle, it takes a gracious reciever as well. Like a quarterback throwing a pass, a receiver is required to catch it and...touchdown! ...I use the football analogy in that the Cowboys won last night, albeit against Detroit :)

    We Catholics are notoriously bad at tithing. Come on Church, get your tithing groove on! Zizzz

  2. We need more people like that eldely lady in the cave I know that I do not pray enough and your reflection also reminds us that no matter how small our talents if we each give what talents that God has given us to the Church then all will be okay because everything will automatically come together.Hope you are feeling better Father Alfonse because the parish and all who attend mass there need to hear your homilies that do not try to win a popularity contest but tell us the truth of the Catholic faith and what we need to hear to help us in our daily lives both spiritual and secular.
    Brenda Bolding

  3. I still think he shouldn't have taken it.

  4. Not taking it, deprives the giver the opportunity for giving sacrificially.

  5. This is what I would have done, me, simple, tiny unimportant dot in the entire universe: After taking note of this woman's home and her circumstances, I would have asked her not for a donation, but I would have asked her if I could do something for her. When she offered her only source of income, her ss check, I would have said to her that yes we would take a donation from her because I knew that she wanted to give but first I would take her to get it cashed, take her to get food or whatever else she needed with what that was intended for, then, only then, I would take an offering from her.This woman lived in a cave,a cave with a pipe for water,a cave with no real door, so I tend to think she did not have transportation, and I also think she might not been able to walk long distances, so perhaps that is why she had her check not cashed, and she could not bring herself to ask for help to burden anyone, but it just appears that she needed help, therefore, I would at least offer to help her, no I would help her somehow. If it's one thing I have learned from life, my heart, and God is that life is full of surprises and 2 priests coming around someone's home thinking they were going to get help - money - instead find themselves with an opportunity to help someone, but declined that opportunity. I tend to think this woman was not a woman at all but an angel in disguise testing 2 young priests.It bothers me almost every day when I view this scenario you write about in my head. It bothers me that a priest would take this from a poor old woman.Hurts my heart.I hope there is more to the story that justifies things.

  6. I am Anonymous 3 and 5 and this story keeps playing in my head and it bothers me quite a bit. I am so sad that a priest, a Catholic priest, of all people, would take from this old, poor woman.OMG I keep thinking about the scenario and can't find justification.I know that we are supposed to give sacrificially and have faith wholeheartedly, and that is exactly what this old woman did...but was it necessary for the 2 priests to take it? Her faith was already proven without you taking it. I think this woman is good with God.She sacrificed quite a lot by the sounds of your story, and she knew she was going to need God's help to survive since she gave away her means for nourishment, her means for possibly medicine, possibly warmth, sounds like she had water at least.Maybe that is why she asked the priests to pray for her. She didn't need you to pray for her though,because I believe that God was going to take care of her regardless. He was probably right there witnessing the entire thing. I am not worried about this old woman because I do have faith. I am worried about the 2 priests, one who took it and the other who let it happen.I am so certain in my heart that if it was Jesus posing as a priest coming around her house asking for a much needed and deserved donation,(this is not my issue, the asking for monitary help) He would not have taken it and my heart tells me He would have helped HER instead. I wonder who the priest is that took her money.I wonder what he looks like, how he acts, what his homilies are. Hopefully there is a twist to the story, an insight that me as a lay person would not see, something that makes it right.I know we are not supposed to understand everything and we should have faith even though we don't "get it". This is one of those things for me.For right now, stories like this bother me a great deal,but I have faith that it happened for a very good reason,and I am praying about it.


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