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!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mt 9:35-10:1,5a, 6-8 His Heart Was Moved

Mt 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8 His Heart Was Moved

(Click here for readings)

Yesterday I was speaking to a woman who told me that Advent was all about hope, not conversion. I told her that I think the virtue of hope is best achieved through conversion. For example, when I see for myself that I can be a better man, than I experience a lot of hope. But the greatest grace of hope is given to us through the Sacrament of Confession. When I confess my sins and my sins are forgiven I not only walk away in relief but also aware that the Lord believes in me when he says, “Go and sin no more.” It means I can really do this. I don’t have to fail again. It also means He believes in me.

The Lord told his disciples, “As the Father sent me, so I send you.” What exactly does this mean? It means that everything the Lord did, he wants us to do. The Lord gave it all. He wants his Apostles to give it all too. The Lord sacrificed himself for others. The Lord wants us to sacrifice ourselves for others. The Lord forgave sins; he wants us to forgive too. He summoned the Twelve; sent them out, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons.” When I read this, I immediately think, I need to be as loving as a lamb and as tough as nails. The Lord demands from us to give what he has given to us. This flies in the face of Protestants who do not believe in the Sacraments, especially Confession. The Lord sent His Twelve, not the crowd, to do everything that he does, including the forgiveness of sins - the raising of the dead to life.

Recently an elderly woman came to my office and told me an all too familiar story. Her life savings had been swindled away from some corrupt investors. She said they would call her constantly, non-stop until she delivered the money. Everything she had worked for was gone! I felt her pain. She’s a good woman, a holy woman. When you hear these stories you want to reach out and help. “His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” A few days a later I had my chance. I received a phone call from my cell phone announcing that I had won a million dollars. It was in Spanish. The pre-recorded voice told me that if I wanted to collect my money, then I should stay on the phone. Instead of hanging up I wanted to know who would be the voice that would tell me the great news! I waited and then I heard a female’s voice. She asked me for my name. I told her, in Spanish, that I was Fr. Alfonse, a Roman Catholic priest, and that I was SO HAPPY that I had won a million dollars. I told her with as much exaggerated excitement as I could muster from a high school play, “I feel like I’m in heaven!!! I just won a million dollars and I can’t believe that this could happen to me!!!” She wasn’t impressed. She told me that I should go to Hollywood. I told her, with as much seriousness as if I were in a funeral, that she should go to Hell. She hung up. Cleanse lepers, DRIVE OUT DEMONS.”

Christians were never meant to be wimps. The Lord was not a wimp, a sissy, a goody-goody or a gaga goo-goo. The Lord is KING. And we need more laborers for his Court. His plan of salvation includes all of us to speak in his name and live by his name.

The greatest way to prepare for Christmas (Advent) is to prepare the way of the Lord: to find a place for the Lord in your heart and soul; to go on a spiritual pilgrimage that will take you to the stable; to follow the stars – the lights - that constantly point to the Lord; to accompany Mary on her journey; to interview her and to write her words down in your diary and compare notes.

These are just a few adventurous and holy ways to live your Advent. The Lord’s heart is moved for the troubled and the abandoned. His heart is lifted by the conversion of sinners. On his Father’s and Mother’s journey to Egypt, the Lord’s heart was moved and shuffled from one place to another. May he find a place to rest within our hearts.


  1. Way to go Fr. Alfonse! I can't stand those telephone rip-off artists, and they seem to be coming out of the woodwork these days. We will pray that the elderly woman finds financial relief from her distress.

  2. so when someone asks for help and they keep doing that same thing how do you help them? kinda like joke, Patient: " Doctor, it hurts when i do this" Doctor: "well then don't do that" but they keep doing it.

  3. wowsers Father, did you really tell her to go to hell?

  4. Yes. But only because I love her and I was trying to help her. :-) I should have said "you should go to Gehenna or the underworld".

  5. Diosito Lindo, ay padresito! : )

  6. When I read this meditation I thought about what “as loving as a lamb and as tough as nails”, means.

    As tough as nails stood out so I meditated on just those words and it brought to mind something I’m not proud of.

    Being as tough as nails has been my motto most of my life. I was severely abused as a child. So way back then, deep in my heart, I made a vow that when I was big, I would NEVER allow myself to be hurt. And the best way for that to happen is to never allow anyone to get close enough to my heart to hurt me.

    Being a people person, it’s not natural for me to keep people out, but I discovered I can give and give and give to others and still guard my heart. If I keep the ‘love’ pouring out, I don’t have to open my heart to anyone who might hurt me, and I’ll look like a Saint!

    The problem I’ve found is pouring my love out to others makes them want to reciprocate. Which is a big red flag when you can’t let anyone get close enough to hurt you, because when they get too close, they have to go.

    I’ve been throwing people out of my life to protect myself for years. Yes, I make it look like it’s their fault, but it’s not. Many of the people I throw out are people I genuinely like, love and care for, but I can’t risk being hurt. Besides there are always others standing in line to be with me.

    I’ve been able to justify the way I treat those who get too close by ‘helping them’ with themselves, pointing out their inadequacies. And when they’re hurt, it’s their problem; after all I’m helping them. How dare they be so weak and not accept my ‘help’ and deny the truth, (as I see it).

    Most of these people are wounded themselves so it’s easy to make them accept my assessment as fact, which makes me feel better because I’m ‘helping’ them become better people. It becomes a problem when they think too much and realize my evaluation isn’t accurate or they have a problem accepting it. When they question my authority or my judgment with their objections, I put a stop to it. Who are they to question my expert opinion of their problem? I could be hurt and look bad, if I am shown to be wrong. So out they go!

    I don’t know how many people I’ve treated this way through the years. As I look back, I see how much pain I’ve caused and how I justify it by calling it tough love.

    Now I find myself living a lie. I look like a Saint to many but to those I’ve hurt, those that know the truth……not so much.

    Please pray for me to heal my wounds so I can TRULY be the Saint God wants me to be.

  7. Father you were right in telling her to go to hell i am sure she did not know scripture so she probably would not know what gehenna or the underworld is it makes me so angry when i hear of people getting ripped of especially the elderly who end up loosing their life savings. Thank you Father Alfonse for being you and for these very uplifting meditations I will put you on the prayer list at my Catholic daughters meeting tomorrow because we need to pray for our priests

  8. "Yes. But only because I love her and I was trying to help her"

    I think it's funny that you told her to go to hell, but can you explain how telling her that is loving and helpful? I think I'm starting to understand you better:-)

  9. Hi Father! I can't believe you told someone to go to Hell! However, that is why we all love you. You are a real human being with real struggles. You humble yourself to be closer to Christ. Thank you for all you do! Rose :)

  10. In response to Comment #6:

    Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts. They are very helpful to me...I am sorry that you have had so much pain in your life. I pray, though, that you will allow God to bring great goodness out of it...

    I have had some betrayals in my life, and I too am a people person. I never thought about the ability we may have to 'give and give and give' to others, without ever letting people give their love to us.

    For me it is much easier to let myself be crucified for the sake of another, than to let someone be crucified for me...And this even can make it difficult to accept the immense love of Christ's own crucifixion.

    I thank you for your perspective, and honesty. The first step of change is recognizing that there need to be one...Slowly the doors of my heart are creaking open. I know also that the only way I am truly going to be healed, is to always fully embrace God's love first.

    God Bless! I will be praying for you!


  11. Rose,
    It didn't sound to me like Father felt any struggle or thought there was anyting wrong with telling the woman to go to hell and I don't see where the humility comes in, sounded to me like he felt justified and even noble because he was 'helping' her.

    I'm not saying it was a horrible thing to do. I may have said the same thing or something worse and not had any guilt about it.

  12. I think that some of you are taking Fr. Alfonse's comments out of context and are separating them from the source(the Holy Spirit). She told him he should go to Hollywood, and his response was a glimpse of where she was headed if she continued scamming people for their money. It was the TRUTH. It reminds me of something John the Baptist might have said..."you brood of vipers!" Sometimes the truth hurts, and in this world, people don't want to hear the truth. We have become a society afraid to be courageous for the Lord! And, we would rather have our souls wounded and wallowing in sin but "happy" on the outside, than our egos wounded by the ugly truth. How are we ever to come back to God if we have fooled ourselves into thinking sin is not sin?
    Her job was to take people's money from others dishonestly. That is stealing, which breaks one of the Ten Commandments. She may have not realized this, and the implications and reality of her job. Fr. Alfonse's job is to save souls. When the Holy Spirit calls, it calls in many ways, and he courageously allows the Spirit of God work through him. Life is too short, and I doubt that he would ever have had the opportunity to talk to this woman on the phone again. He seized the opportunity with conviction in the Lord, and being the shepherd of the flock that God has placed in his care here on earth. I wonder if anyone else has ever loved that woman and the old woman more in their lives?
    Thank you Father, for standing up for what's right and holy. Thank you for being a "voice in the desert," like John the Baptist. I pray for more priests like you. You love so much, that you refuse to "love" a person into Hell, so as not to hurt their "feelings."
    Thanks for leading the fight of this battle of evil here on earth! We have learned so much from you! You are in my and my family's prayers!


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