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, March 21, 2011

Luke 6:36-38 Something Beautiful

Lk 6:36-38 Something Beautiful

(Click here for readings)

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you."

Here is the Old Law revised and beautified. So much for those who claim that our ancestors or ancients were thoughtless, ruthless and uncivilized beings. What we have here is our Lord's program of life, given nearly two thousand years ago, for all the world to see. Is there anything evil, immoral, or unwise in his words? Could this not be held in esteem by all, even today? Could it not be put in stone and placed in the United Nations, the Hague, or in Geneva? Is there anything controversial in His words? Would our nation not be better off if it hung in the White House, the Capitol, and the Supreme Court? Would relationships, marriages and families not blossom if at least one of the two were to faithfully abide by it? Yes, one out of the two! Most of all, would I not blossom if I were the one to do so with my words and deeds?

The Lord does not ask us to do something bizarre but something amazing - more amazing, more beautiful than imaginable - and that is to create miracles. Yes, that the blind regain their sight; the deaf hear and the dead rise.

I've been reading the letters of Jacques Fesch, a young french man who was convicted of murder and executed by guillotine on October 1st, 1957. I’ve been fascinated by this young man for a while now. There is no doubt that he committed the crime and there is no doubt that it occasioned his conversion. He died a convict but convicted in the Lord. I first learned about him while reading a portion of one of his letters in the Magnificat. I was shocked when I read the ending, "From the letters of Jacque Fesch, convicted murderer and convert."

How did his conversion take place? With the help and love of convinced Catholics - the prison chaplain, his lawyer, and his mother-in-law. Think about it. What an amazing trio!

There has been a lot of criticism from good and honest individuals toward's this young man's beatification. Cardinal Lustinger of Paris began the process "to give a great hope to those who despise themselves, who see themselves as irredeemably lost." That's good enough reason for me.

When we heed the words of Christ, not only does it change our lives but also the lives of those around us. All it takes is one of us, or three out of the four, to stop judging, stop condemning and start working. It doesn't matter who you are, as long as you are committed to the Lord.


  1. "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." So simple to say and yet so difficult to do. I look back on last week and I cringe at the times when what came out of my mouth was judgemental and certainly "not" merciful. And not to make excuses, but it's all around us - it's the way of the world! But I know with the love of God, I can be better - we can do better. Thank-you, Father, for pointing this out in the meditation today!

  2. "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you."

    I puzzled over the mechanism of how this happens. Is God sitting there with His mercy detector? Sending more of the same to those who are merciful, zapping the judgmental with judgment?

    Our logical, sequential, reductionist modern mind wants a flow chart. Push button A and get mercy. Push button B and go straight to hell, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

    I am thinking that mercy is not what we do, but a place where we live. When we choose to live in mercy, we will only find mercy, forgiveness, and generosity, because that is all there is in the City of Mercy.

    Fr. Alfonse-

    I hope you are feeling better soon!


  3. Cardinal Lustiger of Paris began the process of beatification “to give a great hope to those who despise themselves, who see themselves as irredeemably lost”

  4. I have a friend that is a devout Catholic and is against the idea of homosexuality. While I don't support it, I am more on the neutral side. I think it's hard enough to find true love as it is, and if someone is able to find in an unconventional way, who am I to judge? Is it better to follow the Catholic teaching in this situation, or is it better to not judge at all?

  5. Great Meditation Father!

    “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you."

    Your example was eye opening. Wow, a convicted murderer. It is hard as a human to see any beauty there. But I thank God that there is hope for us all.

    The gospel really spoke to me this morning. Just as I was complaining that I was having a difficult lenten season. It kept coming up in my thoughts and I kept reflecting on it. Then I saw how you tied it in and mentioned marriage.

    Some days, I am so busy keeping mental tally marks of how much I am doing compared to my spouse(which isn't even justified and I am being purely selfish),I lose sight of mercy and and of offering up any suffering I might be experiencing at that moment.

    Overtime, when one partner feels like they are constantly giving and not getting in return they become very tired...they get burnt out. They lose the desire to fight for their marriage. I have spoken with many woman and this seems to be a common problem theme in marriage. I am sure it happens with men too. I am sure it can cycle back and forth between partners. But I know that is where and when the commitment I made to God comes in. I am having to constantly remind myself that it is not a earthly gifts that I need to be fulfilled. I need to keep my eye's fixed on the big prize, Heaven.

    Thank you. I think I will work on this for the rest of lent.

    God Bless,


  6. Just a couple of thoughts here. First, it is nothing short of miraculous for a young man to convert, let alone a criminal. Second, that his conversion was profound and deep. I can only say this because after reading some of his letters, I realize I have not achieved the depth or knowledge of the Lord as he did. Third, I am truly amazed at the trio that reached out to him. If we only had such friends!

    To anonymous #2: I think it is always important to teach and preach the truth with mercy and compassion. I am not convinced that unfailing love can occur outside of an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman. But I am convinced that love covers a multitude of sins. As a priest I know a few who are homosexual. They come to me not looking to be justified but for mercy and compassion. For The Lord always said, "your sins are forgiven. Go in peace and sin no more."

  7. Fr. Alfonse,

    Your meditation was very inspiring for me. Thank you! God can forgive ALL! (I must continue to seek this level of forgiveness in my own life.) That this man choose to accept God's forgiveness is also amazing. I think I will try to find his letters...maybe someday I will pass them on to my father.(Someday…)

    God Bless you!

    - Jessica

  8. Father Alfonse,
    thank you for addressing the issue of homosexuality. Until a person deals with it on a personal level like with a loved one or family member it is really hard to be compassionate. I found out recently that my niece, my God-daughter is gay. we all suspected for a while but we now know it to be true. This has caused much pain and turmoil for my very devout catholic sibling and her family. after much prayer and discernment she received the same message I did which was to love her and pray hard for her. so that is what we are all doing. I let my niece know that I love her unconditionally...and I will never stop praying for her to change.
    This brings me to your message today regarding the converted murderer. How easy it is to love someone who leads a Godly life...but to love even after they have done something sinful or terrible as murder (we are all sinners but I am talking mortal sins, the ones that destroy). That is true love. But this is it...that is the Father's love...He will go after every last sheep until they are all saved! How beautiful is that!

    Praying for you daily!

  9. to anonymous at 6:01 pm

    What did your niece say or what was her reaction to your comment that you would never stop praying for her to change? I happen to believe that a true homosexual CANNOT change. I happen to believe that they are born homosexual. just wondering how she felt when you told her what you did.

  10. Terri,

    We have to be true to our faith...her faith. We have to speak truth. She knows how we feel and what we believe but also knows that we love her no matter what. This is how our family is, our mother taught us unconditional love. This is my nieces cross, she might always have a same-sex attraction but she can choose to live Holy and chase life. I also believe I am not free of sin and need to be shown mercy and compassion. So, I will do the same for all. I love her with all my heart. We do see movement on her part and we know nothing is impossible with God. We put all of our trust in Him.

    And I personally disagree that a person is born that way. There has been no scientific evidence that it is genetic in anyway. If it was genetic it would eventually be bred out since homosexuals cannot reproduce(at least in high numbers). And actually, for gay females a high percentage have been sexually abused.

    We now know She was influenced by a female predator. You know how predator's work, they find their way into a family and start showing interest in one person. My sister let a girl who was about 7 years older than my niece into her home because she was from a broken home and had no where to go. She told my sister that she wanted to become a nun. However, overtime she alienated my niece from the whole family, she acted like her mom and sister. She drove a wedge between my niece and her family relationships. My older niece just recently saw this girl at the mall holding hands with another girl my nieces age...obviously likes the younger age...easier to control. My youngest sister always had a bad feeling about this girl, but my oldest sister was so trusting. She and my brother-in-law recently took a course to renew their safe environment training and took the one on predators...the light finally went off and they understood what happened to their daughter.

    But again, I am not the judge. However, I need to speak truth with love. And I pray that others would do the same for me, a sinner...pray hard and never give up on me.

    And please don't ever forget "nothing is impossible with God."! We shouldn't limit Him.



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