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, February 10, 2012

Mk 7:31-37 Will You Listen To Me?

Mk 7:31-37 Will You Listen To Me?

(Click here for readings)

Jesus left the district of Tyre and went into the district of the Decapolis. And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears, and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephaphatha!” (that is, “Be Opened!”)

I can honestly say that I have not seen any charismatic preachers on TV who have had the courage to spit into their hand and touch a man’s tongue and say to him, “Ephaphatha!” Probably for good reason, for he may very well expect a touch of the man’s knuckles on his face!

I don’t particularly enjoy traveling. I don’t particularly enjoy speaking to strangers. But when you wear a collar and dress in a suit, then most likely you will be doing a lot of the above. I never saw this part of my vocation in the recruitment video! So be it.

I have been traveling a lot these past five days. I have met a lot of people too, and many of them have very strong personal opinions for or against me. I do to. So bring it on I typically say, for I need to say that because I must see every person that comes up to me as a person that was sent by God to me – good or bad!

A woman recently told me that she agreed with President Obama’s edict that demands Catholic institutions such as hospitals and schools provide contraceptive health care for their employees. I always thought we didn’t want the Church or the government to go into anybody’s bedroom? Anyways this thought provoking woman thought it was a brilliant idea. “Why?” I asked. “Because women need it for their health”, she replied. “After all, 15% of women use “the pill” to treat endometriosis and other conditions.”

She was so proud of her knowledge and so confident in her ability to change my mind. With that in mind, I gave this fine woman a lesson in Catholicism 101. I told her, “The Catholic Church has no problem with women using the pill in order to solve medical problems. All Catholic doctors, all Catholic Hospitals, would have no problem with prescribing the pill for endometriosis and serious medical issues. What the Church has a problem with is being forced to pay the bill for using the pill to stop or terminate a pregnancy. And for this reason alone, the Church will not support this government mandate that goes against its conscience.” She then told me, “Then the Church should no longer be in this business!” I reminded this fine woman, “That is the point! It is not a business. It is a ministry. And the Catholic Church has been in this ministry before you were here and before America was here. ‘Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.’ Get it?”

I remember one child asking me once, “Do you have to follow all Ten Commandments at once or can you do them one at a time?” The answer is the same for our Constitutional Amendments. They must all be respected and all at the same time! I have yet to hear a supporter of this mandate explain to me how this mandate does not violate the very First Amendment of our Constitution. I have heard how it is necessary, helpful, thoughtful and civil, but I have not heard how it does not violate the very First Amendment!

It shames me to think that fifty-one percent of Catholics agree with President Obama. A good Catholic woman came up to me and said, “We need to help women stay healthy.” I told her, “Then let’s get rid of the pill!” She was shocked. I was not. She must not know that we now have a growing number of Gonorrhea cases that are resistant to antibiotics. She must not know that more than 600,000 people contract it annually in the United States! She must not know that Gonorrhea is only the 2nd most common STD in America! That means, there are more than a million cases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea a year! The pill gives women a false sense of health.

The silly feminist and ultra-liberal Rep. Diana DeGette from Colorado recently commented, “I woke up this morning in the 21st century, not in the middle Ages! Family planning and birth control are an essential part of women’s health?” Well, I can tell you know that Diana must have never studied history, or medicine or logic in her life! I wake up every morning wishing I was living in the Middle Ages! Imagine what that would be like: very few women slaughtering their own children; no more hidden outbreaks of promiscuity, adultery, infidelity and divorce; no more teens cutting themselves because mom or dad act more like teenagers than adults! No more homeless teens or wandering teens.

Am I supposed to think that we have progressed because time progresses? Am I supposed to think that we are doing better because 2012 has a numerical value greater than 1512? Listen to me, “Give me a break! Open your ears, your mind, and your hearts!”

Ladies have gone to “Plan B” (or the “morning after pill”) not because “Plan A” does not work, but because it is deceptively cheaper and more available! The very name, “Plan B”, is an acknowledgment that something better is out there. “Plan B” exists in drug form. “Plan A” does not exist in drug form but rather in our very nature. “Plan B” are for those who know better but have settled for less. “Plan A” are for those who wish to live in the light, bathe in the Son, and live life respecting their life! Plan A is amazingly easy to live, it is written in our hearts, our minds, our souls and our very being. It demands nothing from the outside but only our very best: high values, morals, principles, standards and personal dignity. It does not cost a thing. No one, other than you, profits from it. It is easy to open, easy to swallow, easy to digest. It is made out of love.

Listen to me, open your ears. Live life on high! Diet plans and health care plans are no substitute for God’s plans.


  1. Terrific spiritual fire, Fr. Alfonse! Even after President Obama's "compromise" plan to have taxpayers directly - not the Catholic institutions - WE the TAXPAYERS, Catholics included, will STILL have to pay to violate our consciences. The Bill of Rights & the 1st Amendment are still under attack from the executive branch. This is the newest version of the Blaine Amendment, religious bigotry updated.

  2. Terrific spiritual fire, Fr. Alfonse! Even after President Obama's "compromise" plan to have taxpayers directly - not the Catholic institutions - WE the TAXPAYERS, Catholics included, will STILL have to pay to violate our consciences. The Bill of Rights & the 1st Amendment are still under attack from the executive branch. This is the newest version of the Blaine Amendment, religious bigotry updated.

  3. Fr. Alfonse,
    Thank you for your honesty and your COURAGE! It is so easy to remain silent for fear of seeming 'uneducated, and unsympathetic'; but to speak the truth (which will set us free!) requires great moral strength. God Bless you!

    P.S. You inspire me to be honest with my coworkers and friends; rather than remaining shamefully silent. Thanks. :)
    - Jessica

  4. I can see the flames shooting from your fingernails as you typed this post. Wow, have you been on fire this week!!!

    Seriously, Father, you really wish you lived in the Middles Ages??? I can see your attraction. You'd be an educated presbyter (or bishop) within the monastery, literate and financially secure. You'd be able to "secretly" take in a wife (or several), have "heirs" to church property and be able to grant indulgences for $ on the side. Sounds like a morally upright God fearing position, right? I don't think so!

    Intellectual and architectural genius flourished during the Middle Ages. But, so did The Crusades, the Black Plague, and Church controversy even more hostile than today. Most common peasants were illiterate. Infant mortality rates were very high. Women often died in child birth, so they couldn't live long enough to slaughter their own babies if they wanted to! Furthermore, promiscuity and sexually transmitted diseases were just as rampant, maybe even worse from poor hygeine and medical care. (Think of all the people going crazy from Syphilis.) People didn't live very long lives. Gosh, if I was in your shoes I'd definitely want to live in 2012! I'd continue to defend the Church teachings with zeal, fortitude, respect, and love.

    I have a dear friend who finds this post very anti-woman with a smug attitude. However, I understand your point and respect your opinion.


  5. There are other therapies besides contraceptive pills to treat women's health conditions. May I recommend going to, and under Faith > Catholic Q&A > Search Questions, entering the search term "Dardano" to view posts by Dr. Anthony N. Dardano. While there are cases where hormonal therapy may be justified, Dr. Dardano offers extensive information about what other options are available, and how use of contraceptive pills can aggravate problems.

  6. I think the Bishops do not have a leg to stand on, as long as proaborts Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and the like are still permitted to receive Holy Communion.

    Not only should our bishops excommunicate them, but they should also get a legal injunction forbidding them to represent themselves as Catholics.

  7. Sorry J. but you totally missed the point. Fr. was only referring to a time in the past when most men had respect for women. That was also a time when women cherished their virginity before marriage, thanked God for their fertility, were faithful to their husbands, and would never dream of murdering the child of their womb. In other words when the majority of the human race still had some integrity, respect, and love for God's ways.(Knowing that His ways are not our ways and perhaps the All Knowing One Who created heaven and earth is a wee bit smarter than we, yes, even we who live in 2012!)

    Birth control only cheapens women and makes them more available than ever before in the history of mankind to be used and abused by men, and if that fails then those very men push, prod, & often force women into an P.P.abortion mill in order to exercise their (the man's) choice. Both men and women who are fighting for the rights of "so called choice" are truly non-thinkers. Sad to say but true. A prime example is J's dear friend who, rather than think, read and ponder in prayer what Fr. A is telling us, she in her pride will shrug it off in HER smug attitude and label him as "anti-woman".

    The Catholic Church and it's FAITHFUL-TO-THE-MAGISTERIUM-PRIESTS are the true liberators of women and always have been. Too bad most of the world out there is suffering from our communistic news media feeds and erroneous worldly teachings to have developed the ability to prayerfully do some research to find out the real truth.

    Congrats Fr. A. for having the "Lion of Judah" type of courage it takes to stand up and speak the truth in love.

  8. Dear Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous,

    Thanks for your comments. I'm throwing out a dissenting view in order to stir up the pot. It's certainly doing the job!

    Yes, I do agree with you about how women cherished their virginity before marriage and were faithful to their husbands back in "a time in the past." The idea of murdering an unborn child would never be imagined! However, women were still used and abused by men even without birth control around. (Think of the act of stoning women which is still prevalent today.) As for the "Catholic Church and it's Faithful-to-the-Magisterum Priests" being "true liberators of women" I must disagree. I'm going to throw this out and it will upset this conservative crowd (cringe): If priests were true liberators of women they would allow women to assume roles as deacons or even priests. They would not consider a woman more prayerful, holier or devout because she has a bundle of children. Priests would certainly better minister to adult single women with no children and not discrimnate against them because they don't conform to the pro-family/pro-marriage teaching. I have been blatantly ignored and put off by priests because of my single state in life. I don't fit the pro-family, pro-life, pro-marriage mold. It's a terrible feeling. I've often thought of leaving the Catholic Church because I don't fit into the traditional mold.

    Honestly, labeling my dear friend as a non-thinker, prideful and smug isn't very Christian-like. You have absolutely no idea about her. In her prayerful opinion, she reads no love in Father's speaking of the truth. If she wanted to hear the opinion of uneducated backwards brainwashed people she would watch Fox News! (Oh I will get stoned for saying this.....)


    1. Hey I am past a certain age and single too but I would never leave the one true Church established by Christ himself I have never been married and at this point in my life I may never be married and I am okay with that because that is most likely what God intends for me. But at the same time I am not going to go on a rant saying that the Church is anti woman because it is not Women will never be priests and rightfully so because priests are married in sort of a way to the church which is considered the Bride of Christ and the priest represents Christ.So if the magisterium allowed women to be priests it would be like a woman marrying a woman in other words it would represent a homosexual marriage which is totally against the teachings and the magisterium of the church. Archbishop Fulton Sheen explained this very well. You can find aot of his talks on you tube Just type in Bishop fultonjsheen/youtube into the search bar and the first teo links will take you there By the way Father Alfonse you are neither backwards nor uneducated and I don't feel neglected by the priests here at St Joseph or any where else for that matter because of my single state in life In fact I had a very dear priest friend tell me that there was nothing wrong with my single celibate state that it was a vocation in itself and yes you can be single and prolife I know I am.

  9. Thank-you for your comments, Brenda. I appreciate your thoughts. It's good to hear from another woman who is also single. Archbishop Fulton Sheen is amazing and a wonderful inspiration...

    I want to make it clear that I do not personally think Father Alfonse is "anti-woman" or "backwards and uneducated." He's definitely more educated than me especially in light of my foolish comments. (As others shake their heads in agreement...) I was sharing the viewpoint of my friend of the Orthodox faith who found Father's tone to be rough-around-the-edges and sarcastic. I'm sure if she heard him speak instead of read this blog the tone would be much gentler and kind.

    I apologize for ranting or offending anyone! I really have a kind heart and love the true Church. (I'm a convert & I'm pro-life, too.) It pains me deeply to think about leaving the Catholic Church because it's been a source of comfort with its sacraments and devotions. In particular, St. Joseph parishioners are among the best I've ever encountered. However, most of the ones I know are the married senior citizens with grown children or younger married couples with kids. I feel very out of place as a single never-married 30 something woman. I often wonder: Why did God chose me to be alone? Why can't I be like the others? I could relate so much easier! Sometimes when I sit on one side of the pew all by myself people leave a large space between me and them. What an awkward feeling. (This happens at the lesser populated Masses...)

    In terms of our priests, yes, they are amazing. My problems in the past have been in scheduling appointments. Emails or calls aren't returned. Staff have on more than one occasion questioned me in a suspicious tone of voice, "Well, how do YOU know Father?" Furthermore, I've been either "accidentally" removed off the schedule or double booked with another event without any notification. Trying to get a priest to speak to my faith formation class is nearly impossible. I always wondered if I was a married woman with several kids if I'd have better luck with a response!! Who knows. I'd love to be able to know a dear priest friend like yourself, and he could make the time to talk to me.

    After I wrote my original post, I thought about Blessed John Paul II's kind thoughts on feminity and the role model the Blessed Virgin Mary plays in the lives of women. This is a much more positive message than what the liberal feminist and secular media presents.



    1. Sorry it took me so long to reply to this but nit offense was taken we all need to rant sometimes the dear priest friend that i was referring to is the one who took me through my instruction I did not go through rcia I had private instruction with the priest He was the parochial vicar here in 93 to 96 He is 90 years old now and it does sound like you are involved I find that it does help me to be involved not in everything but a couple of things I am involved in womens guild and the library that is in one of the rooms of the forum Hey maybe we could get together for lunch or something sometime I would love to meet another single female such as myself even though I am past 40 hang in there and don't let the people who questioned you in a suspicious tone get you down they have talked that way to me also.

  10. Whenever we are feeling rejected or put aside or longing for special or even extra attention, sometimes things happen to allow us to reflect on why we feel the way we feel. This test allows us to grow and depend on only Jesus Christ.

    Priest have a lot on their plate and they can not always do all things. Instead of feeling ignored, we must pray that whoever needed the priest at that moment that God take care of them. Sometimes we do not know what the situation is or if there is a greater need than ours at that particular moment.

    As far as the feeling out of place, I am sorry to hear that. St Joseph has a wonderful ACTS Ministry where there is a wide range of ages, status, single, married, widowed, divorced etc. We will always get out of anything as much as we are willing to put into it. If you have not gotten a chance to go on an ACTS retreat please make it an effort to sign up on the next one and you will find out that you will find a lot of more women in common with you. There are a lot of wonderful ministries that you can be part of and perfect for. Personally, as a married woman and a mother it is harder to give as much time as I would like or have the freedom to do more for the community as you would be able to have as a single woman.

    When we reflect on the real reason we are offended, that is when we are able to target the issue God is trying to show us that we need to work on.

    BTW Fox does a great job representing both sides of the story and not sugar coating all the non-sense that is happening. As far as your comment - "uneducated backwards brainwashed people she would watch Fox News! (Oh I will get stoned for saying this.....)" If they are brained washed, and a lot of their beliefs are WAY closer to our Catholic belief, then are Catholics just brain washed also for being conservative???


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