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!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mt. 24:37-44 As It Was

Mt 24: 37-44 As It Was

(Click here for readings)

What should be my attitude during this time of Advent? How should I prepare for the Christmas Season? This Advent, I plan to have one eye looking with great anticipation towards the joy of our saving Lord; the other, looking at a world without Christ. There should be great joy in anticipation and great sorrow in the reality of life without Christ.

It is easy – too easy. Look at today’s headlines:

Young Somali Ready to Kill Thousands at Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Here is a young man that does not know Christ, and instead of a Christian reaching out to him, and inviting him to know and to love the savior of the world, someone else reached out and grabbed his heart and twisted it.

The Korean Peninsula on the Brink of War! North Korea and its reclusive leaders are responsible for so much bloodshed. The aggression began in the late 60’s and continues today. Back in November of 1987, a bomb, planted by North Korean agents, exploded on a South Korean airliner, killing all passengers and crew on board. In March of this year a South Korean vessel was torpedoed, killing 46 sailors. And now a South Korean island was attacked, by the North, with over one hundred shells, killing at least 2 marines and 2 civilians. North Korea is a nation headed by a communist, totalitarian regime that believes in no God. This is just a glimpse of a world without God.

Not too long ago I attended a dinner with a very nice family. Their eldest son was complaining that he lived in a bubble: Catholic school, catholic friends, etc… The dad explained that his boy has been itching to go to public school for a while now. I asked, “What do you mean by a bubble?” “Well Father, we know that not everyone prays, not everyone has the same beliefs that we do…I want to see what the world is really like!” I told him, “Your world is what you make of it. You choose what world you want to live in, there are hundreds out there!” I told the boy’s father to take him for a ride one of these nights around Dallas. Take a look and see what the world looks like for other 13 year old kids. Take a look and see what they are doing at midnight. Some are sleeping, others are hanging out around 7-11’s with their friends. Others may be in some dark alley shooting up. Some might be living in a shelter or something. Some kid might be at a party while another might be getting beat up or arrested! You don’t live in a bubble. You live in the world you want to live in. There are many worlds out there, no bubbles. St. Paul was much more blunt in Romans 13:11-14.

Advent is a time of deep reflection. Have I lost touch with reality, with Christ? Imagine for a moment a world without the Lord: no forgiveness, mo mercy, no compassion; no selfless love, no faith or hope; no redemptive meaning to sacrifice, pain and suffering; no trust and no high standards. No peace within you! No peace within your borders. No peace within your walls. The Lord says, “Peace be within you!” (cf. Ps. 122:6-8) Last night while I was saying my evening prayers I reflected on how darkness once covered the whole world. What did the Lord say? He said, I know the way out…follow me.

Do you remember this time? Meditate and reflect on it this week. Imagine a world filled with darkness and just a little hint of light. Remember when Christ did not fill your life. The world, my world, was a much darker place before Christ, and world events (and events in my life) help us to remember how dark it actually can get.

St. Paul tells us, “The hour has come for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom 13:11-14). We know that Christ is coming. Now, will he find a place in the Inn? That is, in my heart and in my soul; in my toughts and in my life?

Father, open our hearts and minds to your Son's Love and Truth, so that we can transform our world into His kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


  1. Yes, I agree with you that we make our world, this is why I get a little bit nervous when you go into detail about violent stories (stating numbers, locations, etc.), real stories of despair, sadness, violence, evil, all happening around us,especially when you point them out at length in your homilies. I cringe a little during mass when you tell us about them. You know what they say, "garbage in, garbage out". I realize it's important to keep informed, and I definitely don't want to pretend it's not there, to put myself in a "bubble" but that's what the news is for, and I stay away from the news. I want to be informed, but information as needed only basis. I want to stay focused on the good, on the compassion, on God and his angels that surround us and that guide us and that are there always, this is why I go to church, to be reminded and to get"fed" with good and right, not wrong. I refuse to let the evil overshadow the good...but who am I to know...just my opinion, just speaking from the 'files' of life material I have gathered during this life of mine.

  2. As I go back and think about living in the dark, I didn't know it was dark until I was in the Light. In fact I thought those 'weird' people who were living in the 'dark age' of religion and God's rules were the ones in the dark.

    I'm not sure how I got out of it, other than God's grace. I just wonder why did, or how did I come into the light through His Grace? And if all baptized persons have His Grace, what keeps them in the dark? I realize free will has something to do with it, but I still don't get it.

    I hear people saying that God doesn't call everyone into the Catholic Church, or that it's not their 'time'. Or that whatever happens is his will.

    I have a hard time with this reasoning because it seems to contradict what we're taught by the Church.

    Does He want everyone to be in His Light, to be One Body, to be in His Grace right now or not?

    This is something I've wondered about for a long time and it seemed to fit with today's meditation.

    Any answers on how to respond when this comes up?

  3. Dear Fr. Alfonse,
    I think a better idea than for the father to drive his son around Dallas at night would be for the family to get involved in some community service. Have the family go to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen so his son can serve a meal to other 13 year olds who would go hungry otherwise. Deliver meals to shut-ins or visit the elderly in nursing homes. Give him the opportunity to look into the eyes of those in real need.

    People may not live in bubbles but I do think many stick their head in the sand because they don't want to see all the pain and suffering in their own community.

  4. I cannot begin to thank you enough, Father Alfonse, for your daily meditations. I look forward to reading them daily. They help me to understand the gospel with so much more clarity. Thank you so much.

  5. Fr. Alfonse, I wish to share with you that my motto for life is, "It's the kingdom of conscience or nothing." I was once in darkness, but now I strive everyday to live in the light of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for the meditations Father. They make a difference in my life.

  6. Anonymous #1
    I can appreciate you wanting only to hear the 'good' stuff and not the 'bad' things going on in the world. I wish that's all there was. But I believe the Catholic Church is about the fullness of TRUTH.

    We have had 40+ years of watered down; it's all good religion in our parishes.

    The Whole Truth is a welcomed ray of LIGHT. I think we NEED to KNOW the Truth whatever that is.

    Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Light and I appreciate honesty and full disclosure, even when it's not what I want to hear. It's what I need to hear. (And sometimes it stings like crazy)

    Jesus wasn’t just about the good, happy stuff; he told it like it was.

    I go to church to learn how to get to heaven not to hear happy stories.

    I hope that doesn't offend anyone, but I thank God every day for priests like Fr. Alfonse who are willing to take heat for telling us the truth!

  7. to Bad:
    I am anonymous #1 and I didn't say I only want happy stories. I just don't want to hear details and the long version of it during mass,that's just me, doesn't mean it's going to happen. I love Father Alfonse's homilies, and I understand not all priests communicate the same way, of course.I just said that details about bad news is what the news is for and almost everyone has access to the news whether it be in print, televised, over the radio or from the neighbor, relative, or friend. I just want to focus on the good, on how to make things right, how to go to heaven, as you say. The prayer during mass where we all in unison say "Lord hear our prayer": one item included every Sunday is victims of violence and war.I wholeheartedly pray for all the requests during mass.I am with you, the truth is the only way.I live my life in truth.I guess I am just not that good at expressing what I really want to say here, and no you are not offensive, you're just commenting just like I am,just commenting, not giving heat,as you put it. :)

  8. Anonymous #1

    I appreciate you clarifying yourself.

    The funny thing is I do not watch TV, read the paper, get news off the internet, over the radio or from others. I'm pretty much in a bubble or have my head in the sand there.

    I OD'd on the news during this last presidential election. It made me a mad woman so I gave it all up.

    So I actually get my news from Father's homilies/blogs. The only 'news' item that he has brought up that I knew anything about was the Pope and I didn't really know the facts until I looked it up after he mentioned it.

    I actually discuss his blog with others who are just as much in the dark as I am about the news. Maybe it's not something to brag about but it is what it is and I love how he is able to bring real life into our spiritual journey. (And by sharing the details, I don't have to go look it up, maybe that's a little lazy, but whatever)

    So maybe the homily is not the place to get the news, but it works for me:)

    And I wasn't referring to 'you' personally as putting heat on him. I was speaking generally. I know he gets plenty of serious 'heat' from 'you know where'. And really that's a good thing; it means he's doing his job!

    I believe having the right enemies is as important as having the right friends.

    So God Bless you for sharing your point of view. I'm sure mine won't be popular with everyone.


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