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!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Mt 9:14-15 Mourning vs. Morning

Mt 9:14-15 Mourning vs. Morning

(Click here for readings)

To mourn is to realize a loss. What is there to mourn about if it is not that close relationship, love affair, I once had with God? Somewhere, somehow the flame of faith that once burned bright has been extinguished in my heart. I have allowed the world, with all its glitter and glamour, to consume my thoughts and actions in a way I once let the Lord do for me.

This is what material possessions and earthly thoughts have done to me. They have made me dull. Lent is a time to sharpen the sword, to not let the Word of God die in vain.

The prophets of old were essential in reigniting the faith of God’s chosen people. They opened old wounds so that they would be properly healed. They gave a God-given explanation for the woes they were enduring. The prophets of old communicated God’s words to their brothers and sisters and in turn, the prophets communicated to God the broken hearts of His people.

Why is it so hard for me? Why is it so difficult for me to communicate with the Lord? It wasn’t always this way. Yes. And it was never meant to be this way. If I reflect for a moment, I can honestly say that the Lord has never walked away from me. I did it to him and for this reason I can feel so lonely at times.

It wasn’t like this before... The walks in the cool evening that our ancestor Adam enjoyed with the Lord and his beloved wife have been lost to all. So too, the peace and unity that only God could give and only man could lose was sold so cheap. And we cannot forget our conversations, once so easy, face to face, heart to heart are known today as prayer and are a constant battle for all of us.

“Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?”

No. They cannot. They have it good, very good.

Where there was once unity, there is so much division. Where peace once reined, now only strife and confusion is within me and surrounding me. Can the guest mourn with the Lord at their side? No! There is too much love in the air, too much wonder that fill the Apostles day. There is so much peace and happiness in getting questions answered. How I would love to be in their sandals! How I wish I could walk in their midst. The world finally has a hot spot and that spot is where Christ is. How best to explain this unity, this coming together of all creatures, than to call it a wedding, a feast, a love affair! Is it not the closest unity, intimacy that can be achieved by man on earth?

The Lord allows his disciples to enjoy his company but it will all end one day and all too soon. That day is soon approaching for me too. Forget about 2012.

“I will be with you till the end of time.” Lent is the time of year to go back to where I went wrong; when I blew out the flame of faith or when I went my separate way. Now is the time to return home where the Lord prepares a room in His Father’s house. Prayer, reflection and meditation are the perfect means to enter my inner room and see the Lord face to Face, heart to Heart, spouse with Groom, love with Love. The sun is rising. Darkness is ending.

Lent, like life, is a personal invitation from the Lord to a different type of mourning; the morning of a new day.

7 comments:

  1. "The prophets of old were essential in reigniting the faith of God's chosen people. They opened old wounds so that they would be properly healed."

    I have recently had old wounds of rejection opened. It was doubly painful the second time, because I no longer self-medicated with my addictions.

    I cried and wailed out loud to the Lord in my car. That is the only place I have enough privacy to do that.

    Then, when I was quiet, the Lord spoke.

    "This is for your purification. This is from Me."

    "This is to be a time for drawing closer to Me. It is not to be an ordeal, but an adventure."

    He uprooted a sin that had continued to nibble at my sobriety.

    I then received a much needed burst of energy.

    I called my spiritual director, who confirmed all of the above.

    The Lord had used for good what the devil had intended for harm. Nothing is wasted.

    I would add that there is no issue of forgiving or not forgiving the person who dealt me the pain, as I knew from the beginning that he was a person of good will who was unwillingly, unwittingly duped into following an agenda not of his own creation.

    Jan

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  2. “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?”

    While meditating on the Gospel this morning, the passage above stood out to me. And the word JOY popped into my head. I was thinking about Lent and embracing the cross/suffering. And I remembered something I asked you about last year during lent. "How do we suffer joyfully?" Your answer was, “It is grace”. That’s it. “OK, how do we get this grace?” Your answer, “You have to ask for it?”. OK, done! Still not feeling the joy:(

    When this came up again during my meditation this morning, I asked the Lord about it. His response was, “You already have the grace”. “OK, then why is my suffering still not joyful?” His answer, "You haven’t learned how to LIVE joyfully yet.” He got me there. So as I sat there, I saw a need to add to my little ‘Lenten To Do List’. #3 Learn to live joyfully. Seems easy, right? Unless you’ve never done it.

    I have only truly felt joy once in my life. It was a pure gift from Him, so at least I know what I’m shooting for. He even lead me to the means of attaining it, meditation. So by the end of Lent, I will be able to live joyfully so that I can suffer joyfully. That probably sounds crazy to most, especially non-Catholics. But I want to be crazy for the Lord. Right?

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  3. Jan,

    Your comment helped confirm something that I’ve been struggling with over the past few weeks since I learned something about myself.

    I was diagnosed with bi-polar last summer and I thought the mania was the euphoria I felt and that I may never get it again and I haven’t. So I thought I was normal. Then about two weeks ago, I found out that I’ve been having rapid cycles of mostly mania, not euphoria, ever since last summer when the euphoria subsided. The symptoms are obsessive thinking, compulsive behavior/lack of self-control along with not sleeping, not eating and more. And that I’ve probably had this moderate form of bi-polar my entire adult life, but I didn’t know it because I operated mostly from the depressed side and when I did experience mania before, I thought it was just normal until now. I probably wouldn’t have figured it out if I hadn’t fallen back into depression. You know what goes up must come down. Thank God for drugs!!! That’s where the illumination came into full view. It answered many questions, like why I couldn’t quit obsessing and why I didn’t seem to be able to control certain behaviors no matter how much I wanted to or how hard I tried or how bad they made me look. This 9+ month episode was more intense than ever before but I just thought it was my new normal.

    My point? Oh yeah, I get side tracked, but I have a good excuse. At least I finished my sentences,(another symptom).

    When I was feeling the shame of the realization of the past year, I asked the Lord, what the heck that was all about. The answer I got as clear as anything was that He had a task for me that I would never have done if I had not been experiencing mania with the lack of self control. (Something like being crazy for God….... no seriously:) Now the shame is gone and I understand how God can use everything for His good purpose. One of my biggest fears has been, being out of control, so He threw that lesson in there as well. Time to get over it!

    Sorry to go on and on, but your comment sparked this whole thing in my head when I read it. I hope the object of my obsession can understand and forgive me. It’s interesting how the mania subsided soon after the task ended.

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  4. Jan aka TexasThyroidMarch 11, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    To Anonymous #2-

    Bipolar disorder has a lot in common with various thyroid disorders, hypo and hyper, and can, in fact, co-exist with them.

    I would suggest that you have your thyroid status thoroughly evaluated.

    Being hyperthyroid can include sexual craziness. Note the "run-away bride" and the astronaut who drove halfway across the country in asronaut diapers to assault her lover's wife.

    Likewise, depression is often associated with hypothyroidism. Graves disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis can have hyper, hypo and euthyroid phases, not unlike bipolar disorder.

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  5. Dear Anonymous that commented to Jan,

    I was surprised when I read your comment. I too was diagnosed with bi-polar type II. I don’t know if that is what you have but it sounds like it. I didn’t get diagnosed until I was in my 30’s but it seems that I did have it when I was in my teens. Everyone just thought I was obnoxious at times. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t control my words and sometimes actions. Unfortunately the euphoria is rare. At least it has been for me. And the way you described the mania was similar to me, but it is also a gift from God, at least I believe it is because it has given me the ability to think creatively, outside the box and it gives me energy to make things happen and sometimes the obsessing can be funneled into a useful way to create things you never would have thought of before, figure out things you could never figure out before. I am an artist and I consider it a total gift. Yes there is the down side but like you said there is medication and it helps a lot.

    There will always be people who don’t understand. But you can’t let them get you down. They usually have their own issues. And yes! There are definitely things that God has used me for that I never would have done if I weren’t manic. Like speaking up for injustice, abortion and other things, things my friends wanted to say, but were afraid to. Do I have regrets, yes and I used to have shame after a mania episode when the dust settled, but now I know that I do the best I can and that’s all I can do. If I need to apologize to someone I do, and I mean it too, because I have done some pretty embarrassing things.

    But know that you are not alone and that God uses everything good and bad. And he’s always happy when we cooperate, manic or not! And don’t forget he made you that way for a reason!

    God Bless you. I hope you have a good doctor and can learn to funnel it into good things. I will pray for you.

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  6. "This is for your purification. This is from Me."
    "This is to be a time for drawing closer to Me. It is not to be an ordeal, but an adventure."

    ”When I was feeling the shame of the realization of the past year, I asked the Lord, what the heck that was all about. The answer I got as clear as anything was that He had a task for me that I would never have done if I had not been experiencing mania with the lack of self control.”

    I love to see how God speaks so clearly to people in a way they can understand, like a conversation with a friend. I am always intrigued to see how he is able to bring good out of our failures, illnesses, brokenness, and even sin.

    “Now the shame is gone and I understand how God can use everything for His good purpose. One of my biggest fears has been, being out of control, so He threw that lesson in there as well.”

    And I love to see how he gives us specific ‘tasks’ to accomplish, like messengers or special agents from God and is able to sneak lessons in while he’s using the ‘bad’ to make good. He never ceases to amaze me!

    I am glad that you both are able to see the good that comes out of your pain while you are still in the middle of it. I usually don’t see it until it’s way behind me and I look back.

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  7. I appreciate the responses. It's always soooo helpful to know you are not alone, especially in difficult circumstances.

    SJ, Yes there are definitely blessings in the mix. Yes creativity does soar at times especially during the euphoria. And the ability to get things done no matter what is definitely a super bonus, except when it drives your family crazy and they drive you crazy because you think they are so lazy. (lol)It does change some aspects of my personality like I used to be super shy and conformative, it makes me outgoing and rebellious. At least when the mania kicks in, then I kinda go back. Duh that's why it's bi-polar!

    Other anonymous, yes it is nice to be able to often know what God wants, but it makes it difficult to say no. And I can tell you when I say no, He is like that woman in the Bible that is so persistent!

    Jan, Thank you for your advice. I've had everything checked. Don't have that sex problem, actually, I don't know what sexual craziness is, but I don't think I have it. (lol).

    Before I was diagnosed I was actually hoping it was demons instead of something physical or mental because I figured they might be the easiest to get rid of. You know a few deliverance prayers and poof they're gone!

    I am glad it's not bi-polar Type I. No delusions, no hospital, no straight jacket!

    Ok, I'm going back up today.

    God Bless you all and thank you for your support.

    Off to the ordination! I'm so excited!

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