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, March 1, 2012

Mt 7:7-12 Eucatastrophe!

Mt 7:7-12 Eucatastrophe!

(Click here for readings)

Jesus said to his disciples, “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.”

When I was a child, I used to think that the best teachers in the world were the kind, gentle, easy and fluffy ones. Who wouldn’t? I loved the teachers that didn’t take my homework seriously; didn’t grade my exams harshly; and didn’t demand so much mentally.

But then I grew up. And I realized that I didn’t experience what I should have experienced. College and the world woke me up, brutally.

A lot of kids today wake up brutally. I recently went to a local rec. league soccer game for five year old kids. I was amazed at how things have changed. Not only could I not pronounce half of the children’s names, but I couldn’t find a score board. I then realized the problem wasn’t that the league couldn’t afford it; it was that the league didn’t want it. You see, they didn’t want the kids to win or lose; they just wanted them to have a good time playing. Out of their foolishness, the only thing this silly league accomplished was to help the kids learn mental math. I interviewed one player who appeared to be on the moon half of the time and asked him what the final score was. He said without any hesitation, “8-4! We won! And I was the best player!” That’s my boy.

Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Sounds like a cake walk, right? Wrong!

To ask, seek and knock can only mean one thing: Get moving!

"To ask” does not mean to tell God what you want but to ask Him what He wants. “To seek” can only mean it won't be placed in front of you. “To knock” means the door is closed! So, GET MOVING!

On Monday, I was asked by a teacher to give a class on “Finding God in The Hobbit.” The talk would be on Thursday. I can’t believe I said “Yes! Sure! No problem.” First of all, it has been a very long time since I read The Hobbit, and, as I was cramming information into my little brain, I was asking myself, “Why do I do this to myself! Thursday was going to be my day off! Second, kids are no dummies. If I don’t give a good lesson, then the kids will know immediately that I don’t know what I am talking about!

So, last night I started reading and reading and reading. I began re-reading parts of this wonderful classic tale by J.R.R. Tolkien and trying to find some hidden meanings with regards to God. And then I realized the obvious…

What is the obvious connection between fairy tales and real life? Isn’t it the story and drama of our own life? What gets Bilbo Baggins into trouble? Answer: His asking, seeking and knocking! What makes Bilbo Baggins life so beautiful, amazing, wonderful, and inspiring? Answer: His asking, seeking and knocking! It is what professor Tolkien would call: “Eucatastrophe!”

I may have encountered this word while reading an essay Tolkien wrote (“On Fairy-Stories”), but I have experienced this word all my life, even today! Eucatastrophe refers to the sudden turn of events at the end of a story which ensure that the protagonist does not meet some terrible, impending, and very plausible doom. The word is formed by the Greek prefix eu, meaning good, to catastrophe, meaning unraveling. Tolkien calls the Incarnation the eucatastrophe of “human history” and the Resurrection the eucatastrophe of the Incarnation.

The beginning of The Hobbit starts like this, “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” Yep! That’s my life a few years ago…nice and comfortable, never ever imagining that there could be more to life than my very nice hole. The rest of the story is about how much a reluctant hero can achieve when forced out of his hole.

Who invites us (and maybe even pushes us) to get out of our hole? Christ. Who is the source of all our problems? Christ. Who is the solution to all our problems? Christ. Who makes life amazing, wonderful, thrilling, terrifying, exhilarating, and inebriating - even to the point of vomiting, causing dizziness, swelling, palpitations, exhaustion, frustration, death? Christ. Who makes death a gain? Christ.

Ask. Seek. Knock. Live.


  1. Well said, Father, well said!

  2. Excellent reflection Padre!

    Today, and the past week, have been very stressful, to say the least! And today I realized I'm creating most of my stress because I'm not trusting in God (typical!) We (I) tend to focus on my 'problems' and the problems of those closest to me, and ask "why?", "why is this or that happening?!" and "how", "how I am I ever going to get through it?"

    It's very helpful to be reminded that God is actively trying to get us out of our 'hole'! He wants us to come into the light of day. He wants us to come to HIM!

    Have a blessed day Fr. Alfonse! :)

    - Jessica

  3. Wonderful meditation as usual, Father Alfonse! How did "The Hobbit" talk go with the class on Thursday? I'm sure the kids were very impressed and now view "The Hobbit" from a different Godly perspective.

    I love the word eucatastrophe. This is the first time I've heard of it. Absolutely brilliant! I definitely need to read more of Tolkien's works.

    How easy for us to crawl into our holes deep under the ground and never want to come out. Hiding from our problems and insecurities isn't at all what Christ designed us for. He wants us to get out - evangelizing and catechizing the faith to others with respect, humility, and integrity.

    I know when I've committed a mortal sin or even habitual venials sins I retreat into my hole in the ground shameful for offending God yet again. In my mind, I try to lesson the inner catastrophy in my soul by justifying why I did this and that. I make terrible excuses over and over. I feel cranky and irritable, so I dig my rabbit hole even deeper. Then I begin to feel a poking from the Holy Spirit to get myself out of the ground for a breath of fresh air; that is, make a trip to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Although nerve racking, I feel so much more at peace. The forgiveness and grace our Lord pours out wipes away the shame and gives me the strength to out into the world with a positive new outlook.




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