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!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mt 11:11-15 None Greater

Mt 11:11-15 None Greater

(Click here for readings)

What does it take to be great? According to the Lord, it takes humility. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.” (Ps 145:8)

The Lord is Gracious. The Christmas story is powerful because it is gracious. The Creator of the Universe, the One who is not like us, became one of us so that He could be one with us. This Story is retold in many ways, and sometimes in bizarre ways. I think back to the recent block buster movie, “Avatar”. I have no idea if the director of the movie or the author of the screenplay ever intended to make the movie a quasi-Christian story, but he sure did take a lot of ideas from us. Think about it for a moment. An alien (in this case, man) traveled to another world. He became one of them. He fell in love with them. He was willing to die for them. He saved them from the evil ones. Not only that, but he was even betrayed by his own and nearly killed by his own. I could go on, but it’s not necessary. Avatar is just another addition to a long string of Christian fairy-tales like the Lord of the Rings or Narnia, even Star Wars.

No matter what people say, it’s hard to get around our story. After all, it has been a block-buster hit FOREVER! There is no more gracious Lord then the Lord who became one of us.

The Lord is Merciful. “It is I, the Lord, who say to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ Fear not, O worm Jacob, I maggot Israel” (Is 41:13). What does mercy mean? It means getting filthy, downright dirty, for another. It means sticking your hand into something slimy and gooey to help another. For example: a father who jumps into a septic tank to save his son (and dies doing so); a New York bus driver who stopped to rescue two families from a burning house – and went on to finish his route; a University of Arizona grad student who lost her leg in the Haiti earthquake, then returned to the country to build a school; a Connecticut mayor who donated her kidney to a Facebook friend. Yes. The Lord defined for the world what mercy truly means: to do something beautiful, unexpectedly. The Lord is merciful because he gets right into it!

The Lord is Slow to Anger. We know what this means. We have all experienced it. We are all recipients of it. We live, breath, smile and give a big sigh of relief because the Lord turned the other cheek. But there is a limit, and eventually the Lord must hurt in order to heal; punish in order to push. Thank God you are slow to anger. Otherwise, who would love us? Who would tell us the truth without fear of being rejected, rebuked or ridiculed? Only the Lord does not fear being hurt by our feelings. The Lord is slow to anger because he is rich in kindness.

The Lord is great in kindness. He gives what we need. He takes what we give. The difference between the two is immense. For this reason, the Lord is great in kindness. He gives us His Son. We give Him our dung.

Imitate the Lord today using these four great attributes that do not even come close to describing the amazing humility and love of the Lord.


  1. Hi, Father

    Will you write a little about some puzzling lines from today's Gospel? "...the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence,and the violent are taking it by force."
    The idea of violence doesn't seem to fit with graciousness,mercy, slowness to anger and kindness. What do you think Christ was saying?


  2. these verses about violence are not promoting violence...they are telling us what the violent do to us, the people of God, the kingdom of heaven....also, the people who try to "take it by force" are the Christians who, to put it very simply, try to bring about the kingdom of God by violence (ala Judas, the earliest example) they are wrong of course....this is just anonymous commentary...I'm sure others, Father can give you a better, deeper explanation of those verses...

  3. I have struggled with what humility actually is so I asked the Lord, why humility is so painful and difficult.

    This is what he said:
    Because it is the ultimate in making yourself vulnerable. Lack of humility is what brought evil into the world. Pride turned my most precious angel into my most venomous enemy.

    Pride has the power to kill love. It infects the soul and can quickly spread throughout the body. It is the most difficult vice to overcome. It kills relationships and corrupts morals and values. And when they are corrupt, evil is unleashed. There is no room for pride in any relationship because it soon spoils everything it touches. It can even take a beautiful gift from me and turn it into something ugly. It doesn’t just slam you. It seeps in through a crack at first then it slowly takes over and when you have made room for it in your heart, it starts to control you and when you hand control over to it, it will kill everything it touches. It is the constant enemy of love. Everyone has to be vigilant and squash it as soon as it rears it’s ugly head. The only way to squash it is to be humble. Humility is the antidote to pride.

    How can I tell the difference between humility and self-effacing or being a doormat? I have always had trouble discerning the difference.

    True humility makes you vulnerable, but it also invites others and draws them to you. Hiding and denying the gifts I’ve given you or being a doormat does not. When you are humble it allows people to see me in you. When you are prideful, you are showing the evil in your heart and that pushes people away. Little by little it separates you from others and ultimately it leads you to loneliness and self worship. When you are humble, you are more like me. Humility has nothing to do with allowing others to take advantage of you or denying the gifts I’ve given you. It has nothing to do with allowing yourself to be treated poorly. When you neglect standing up and speaking up for yourself you are not allowing others to recognize and correct their flaws. So you see it is more loving to speak up for yourself rather than take abuse.

    I know what you are thinking, what about me? I took all the unjust treatment there was. That was the Father’s plan for me and I was obedient. As for you, sometimes there are times when you come up against a hardened heart and no amount of humility will crack it and even hurt you further. That is where discernment comes in.

    I don’t know if this will help anyone else or if it is even close to accurate, but it has enlightened me.

    Forgive me for the length in this comment, but pride and humilty have been a 'mystery' to me and yet so monumental in my spiritual journey.

  4. Father Alfonse,
    Thank you for using the examples of Hollywood movies to show that the Christian message is still getting across and that it can be a blockbuster! If Hollywood is still willing to invest and produce Christian themed movies then it must sell which means that there is an audience who is willing to pay and watch it. To me that is a good thing. Peace, Rose


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