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, February 23, 2012

Lk 9:22-25 An Old Sofa

Lk 9:22-25 An Old Sofa

(Click here for readings)

Jesus said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself.”

Who do I want to be? There can only really be one answer to this question: A Saint. What must I do? Follow God’s Will. And what is God’s Will? To love unconditionally. How can I do that? Only one way: Self-denial. That is, I must deny myself and take up my cross daily and follow the Lord.

Of course none of this is easy. But some of the best things in life are not easy. The Good News is that we have the perfect role model: Jesus Christ. What did he do? What must I do?

Baby steps: Before Christ traveled from town to town, he spent many years at home. Home is still the ideal place to learn the virtues and to practice self-denial. Moms and dads by now know that home is not where everything goes great but where everything can go seriously wrong. And that is ok, since the home (the family) is ideal for honest correction, detailed attention and love beyond belief (and relief). Learn to consider your home not a resort but a school. Success is not measured by how perfect you or your children are, but rather by the type of instruction they are receiving.

Concrete steps: Although written centuries ago, Sacred Scripture continues to inspire us much more than any novel written one hundred years ago; or movie viewed just a few years ago; or T.V. show watched a few seasons ago! Why? Because Scripture is sacred, it is inspired by God. It is honest communication, and highly practical, inspirational and spiritual food for the body and the soul. Scripture speaks and I enjoy. Today’s Gospel passage is the perfect message for a mom who was complaining just a few days ago about her young son. She recently sent me this very delightful e-mail.

“My friend and I have been having an ongoing laugh about the trials of being a stay at home mom. I was bemoaning the fact that I stayed home with the boys and my husband and I sacrificed for them, hoping to create a happy and loving childhood for them, but yet they had just told me they didn’t remember any of the things we did together! They didn’t remember any of it – trips to the zoo, hosting the neighborhood playgroup of TEN little boys, mornings at the playground…etc. I joked that I was going to write all these things down so they would know how hard I tried. Shortly after, I was giving away an old hand-me-down sofa. My son told me, “Oh mom! You can’t give away that sofa! It has my memories!” I immediately felt happy, thinking that he remembered all those times we spent curled up reading together on that sofa. But then he continued, “Yeah. I threw up on the arm of that sofa!”

My friend and I joked and we said that we were going to start taking photos and documenting all our efforts!”

If any mom, or dad, or husband or wife, etc. wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Isn’t it beautiful how Scripture can speak to me right at the perfect moment? Isn’t it amazing how God works his miracles in mysterious ways? Self-denial does not come easily, but it does come naturally…it comes from God. And although it does come naturally, it is universally recognized, appreciated and considered as the most difficult, and yet ultimate, way to live life!

Don’t throw the baby out with the old sofa!

Everyone loves a generous giver. Everyone loves an unconditional friend. Everyone can recognize another Christ. Be that Christ today!


  1. Delightful story, Father! So typical of us to remember a horrific event (puking from food poisoning) versus something bonding (listening to mom read a bible story while sitting in her lap). My mother to this day still reminds me of all the sacrifices she made in raising us girls!! As a divorced single mom with no child support, finances were always tight. She was forced to work and never had the luxury of staying at home. While growing up, my sister and I really took for granted all our mom provided for us. (Nobody ever thought we were poor because we always dressed nice, ate well, and even drove cars as teens.) Fortunately, we have fond memories as an all-female family! We are so grateful for our mother's loving provisions. I understand now the huge crosses mom endured for us. This makes me love and cherish her even more as I grow older.

    I hope our young people will learn to cherish the sacrifices their parents make for them. Most parents try to provide the best for their children. We should never take for granted all that parents do for us! Just like we should never take for granted Christ's love for each one of us and the sacrifice he made dying on the cross!

    Have a Blessed Lent!

    -Jennifer :)

  2. I can surely relate to that unappreciated mom.

    I was the mom who's kid did all the wrong things with all the wrong people, the mom who was constantly the least popular, that refused to relinquish her God given power and responsibility.

    It was a thankless and painful job for many years. There were countless unappreciated sacrifices. There were many times when I almost lost hope and feared it was all for nothing, but there was a little voice deep in my heart that would not let me give up. A voice that told me that one day, all the sacrifices would 'pay' off, that He heard me crying in the night, He heard my desperate pleas for His help, and he would answer my prayers.

    That day has come and gone. That child did thank me for not giving up, she told me that my sacrifice and perseverance showed her that love, unconditional love did pay off when she was able to see past the her own selfishness and that of those she surrounded herself with.

    Her appreciation was nice but what really made it worth it, was knowing that God was there, He was hearing my cries, He loved her more than I do, He wanted her back more than I do and he was faithful to His promise.

    That's been a few years and that child (20 something) has swayed from God's path in another way and again, I am crying out to the Lord. My heart breaks when I think about the damage she is doing to her soul, I pray unceasingly for her return to His grace. And I know that He hears me and he will answer.

    This child has been my cross and I will carry her across the finish line if that is what it takes.

    But I don't think it will. His little small voice tells me that I just need to be patient and wait on Him. It is all in His time, not mine. And when she comes back she will be an amazing witness to His forgiveness, compassion, mercy and love.

    And I'm counting on that while I continue to pray, fast and sacrifice for her eternal soul.


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