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, May 10, 2012

John 15:12-17 Live Just Like Me

John 15:12-17  Live Just Like Me
(Click here for readings)
Jesus said to his disciples:  “This is my commandment:  love one another as I love you.”
Recently, the president of the United States quoted the Golden Rule when he endorsed gay marriage.  What he failed to quote was what Jesus said, “This is my commandment:  love one another as I love you.”  The key word in the phrase is not only “love” but “as”.  In other words, love is modeled after someone; it has been defined by someone:  God, not men.  Love “as” I love.  When God created man he created woman.  He did not create a friend; he created a spouse, which is much more than just a partner and a friend.
To be a Christian means to be like the Lord; in my thoughts, in my words and in my actions.  Not in my wildest dreams.  Of course the Lord loves everyone.  But he didn’t agree with everyone and everything.  We can do the same thing.  It’s not difficult, especially when you see what everyone and everything can look like.
Look at the Federal Government, we seem to be spending all our time (and money) fixing problems rather than avoiding them.  We know how to operate in a deficit pretty well; we’ve been doing that now for a while.  But what we don’t know how to do well is stimulate savings.  Is the same not true with regards to our spiritual life?  We are pretty good at sinning.  And unfortunately, we will end up spending tons of money to get ourselves out of sin.  But what we don’t do well is save ourselves from sinning.  And believe me when I tell you, saving is a lot cheaper than spending.  There are two ways to be saved:  either we can pull ourselves out of a hole or we can stop ourselves from falling into the hole.  If I may speak for the Lord, I think the Lord would prefer that we not harm ourselves so much.  That way, we save time, money and people from trying to do so. 
Recently, I was waiting in the waiting room at a local hospital to give someone the anointing of the sick.  There were some small children watching a TV program on Nickelodeon Junior.  The creepy characters on TV were singing a song that had the words, “It’s important to have friends.”  I shook my head and left the room.  It appears as though the brain washing sessions are commencing at an earlier age and at a more frantic pace.  I thought to myself, “Friends?  Friends are important in Elementary school?  What about family?  What about trusting in mom and dad?”  Fine.
Before I left the room I picked up the morning issue of the DaMN (Dallas Morning News).  On the front cover of their “Arts and Life” section (Section E), was a photograph of an eleven year old girl, Caitlin Rinehart, eating an orange from a paper cup.   She is being treated for anorexia nervosa.  She was diagnosed at the age of eleven.  “At eleven!?”  I screamed to myself.  “She has anorexia nervosa at the age of eleven?”  I felt so sad for this young girl.  “Where are her friends?” I thought to myself.  Now, she is surrounded by “friends” that are actually adult therapists and counselors.  On page 12 of the section there is another picture of her.  The caption below reads, Caitlin, who takes part in yoga at Children’s, says the best thing about her ongoing recovery “is getting closer with my family.”  BRAVO!  The family!  May God bless her now and forever.  Little angel, you are in my prayers.
But who will let the others know just how important family is?  When will Hollywood, commercial ads, and TV producers open their eyes and see the damage they are doing to our kids and to our families?  When will they stop creating the dramas that cause problems?  When will they stop sending mixed signals?  When will they stop insulting motherhood, parenthood?  When will they start working on prevention?  Finally, when will they shun stars and musicians that encourage immoral (destructive) behavior? 
All kids need their family.  But not all kids spend time with their family.  They've been told to love their friends. They spend way too much time chatting, texting and spending sleepovers with their friends.  They don’t spend time with their siblings or their parents because they are constantly being told to love their friends!  And parents, who were once children, don’t know exactly what to do except wait for them to turn eighteen and kick them out of the house.  But they can’t.  Because, statistically speaking, by the time they turn eighteen, far too many will have been anorexic since 11 or bulimic by 12, brokenhearted by 13, used and abused by 14, depressed by 15, emotionally a mess by 16 and a druggy or alcoholic by 17.   These are the facts.  Millions and millions of our kids are suffering all these conditions and more, much more. 
Everyone knows that eating disorders have less to do with food and more to do with self-image.  And so who is feeding our kids the idea of “self-image?”  If friends are more important than food and family, then what’s causing the problem?  If TV programs and shows are such a great influence, then why aren’t they a part of the therapy?  If music videos and teen magazines are so wonderful, then why aren’t they a part of the solution?  Everyone knows the answer to these questions.  And yet, when it comes to religion:  God forbid He has any role in our schools. 
Who wants to live their life worrying all day long about themselves?  No wonder why more and more kids at an earlier age keep saying, “Life is not worth living.”  Of course it’s not, if you are standing on your head all day long.  And instead of news outlets and experts taking preemptive strikes against Hollywood and kids programs, they say, “Let them enjoy life while they can.”  But let me ask you: What’s so enjoyable about an STD?  What’s so thrilling about broken heartedness?  Is a half-hour of laughter and thrills worth months and years of terror and fear?  Hardly.
Christians think in reverse.  Christ taught in the reverse.  And I know why:  we were all standing on our heads.  Christ began his ministry with the bad news first: original sin and repentance.  Americans, like ancient pagans, think the good news is sin! and so they pump it up all night long.  Only much later, lastly, do they admit to the reality of sin; that it is “bad news”:  “Oh, did I tell you kids already?  You might end up in therapy or rehab or under a surgeon’s knife, or in jail for the rest of your life?” 
For years we were brainwashed into thinking that sinners had more fun than saints.  But then something happened:  reality.  By the age of twenty, we felt spent, bankrupt and consumed.  Our young bodies felt annihilated, abused, shriveled, and corrupted.  By the age of twenty-five, after having spent years and years hardcore partying and experimenting, young men and women look old, very old. 
So what happens next?  Check your mail box. 
I got home from the Hospital and went to my mailbox and pulled out “Home Magazine” from North Dallas Park Cities.  On the front cover is a plastic surgeon, Dr. Huerta, who “can help”.  Three ladies stand behind him trying their best to put on a smile.  “Want to be 18 again?” the question is asked.  No guarantees are made, but by the time you figure that out you have read the propaganda.  I read the article and I thought of Madonna's song “Like a virgin."  Oh yes, to be young again, pure again, innocent again, and to be made clean and fresh again…like a virgin."  And now you can, at least on the outside, with the help of surgeons, make-up, dresses and oh, lots of money.  But what about the inside?
The reality of sin and the solutions to sin have been kept in the closet long enough.  It's time we all share the Good News.
“It is not you who chose me, but I who chose you to go and bear fruit that will remain.”  Ah yes, fruit that will remain - never spoil, never grow old, never shrivel up.  How?  Remain in my love.  Remain in me.  Love as I love.  Live as I live. 
Of course we did not choose the Lord.  Leave it to him to choose us.  Now that’s love!


  1. I hate to say this, but this is a great meditation! ;)

  2. Don't you feel mental anguish from reading and listening to so much media propaganda? Don't you get depressed, anxious, and angry filling your mind with so much anti-Christian stuff? I read your post this evening and feel completely overwhelmed! The negativity is horrific yet it is so true. How can our Lord allow all of this filth, wretchedness and misery all around us? The solution seems so simple: Imitate Christ. Follow the Ten Commandments. Love one another. Yet, it seems so much more complicated. Will prayer help? Will conversion help? Will becoming less of a sinner help? Of course, all these actions can help. However, what is the long term solution? My first instinct is to stay away from the trash. Immerse myself in prayer, scripture, the Catechism, the rosary, and the Holy Eucharist! Isolate myself from all of the negative secular culture. I feel like hiding from it all! I think about how we should pick up and read the bible more than an article from DaMN! I ponder turning off the cable and not watching the evening news. I decide if it's best stay off the Internet and not read the political buzz. It's really an unending amount of devil-induced negativity. It's rotting society. I'm frightened what things will be like in 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now! Will God become completely banned? Will the Mass Media take its place?

    In terms of our children, I think there should be a balance between family and friends with Christ at the center of everything! Our youth need strong family and friend mentors. We need to turn to good Christian people instead of the negative Media usurpers.

    God Bless,


    1. This made me think of my extended 'Christian' family's attitudes toward our 20 something children living with their boyfriends/girlfriends.

      My Baptist mother in law just accepts that it is the way it is these days. She has never said one thing against it to anyone. All of my sister in-law's kids live with or did live with their girlfriend/boyfriend before they got married. They all bought houses before they got married and 'played house'. They all act like it is normal, that living together is the step before getting married, or instead of getting married. There is no shame or guilt in any of them.

      My 20 something daughter who knows the faith inside and out, moved in with her boyfriend and I cried for months and months. I was devastated and ashamed.

      When we were with our family and I shared how I felt, they all looked at me like I had three heads.

      My mother in law was giving all the grandkids $100 each for Christmas and I suggested she give my daughter's boyfriend $50 and tell him that when they get married he'll get $100. I was sorta kidding but I was trying to get my point across. And you would think that I wanted to take him out and shoot him by the reaction I got from them.

      There justification is that she is 'happy' and that's all that matters.

      Give me a freaking break. This family grew up Catholic by the way. My family and my husband's dad are the only ones that go to church any more. But they know what's right and what's wrong and they reinforce and support wrong behavior.

      It is hard to be the one who is talked about and criticized and judged. But I will not give in and I will not be quiet about what is right and wrong, so that makes me the weird 'out-law' in the family.

      And yes I do pray for every single one of them every single day! I have to admit that sometimes I resent it, but I do it any way.

      Sometimes it is hard being a Christian, but I have to remember that this is the persecution that we take for Jesus. And it's not like getting stoned, or torn apart by wild animals or being cooked or ripped apart in any other way.

      I can be very hard speaking up and standing up for righteous behavior especially from those we love.

      I am not tooting my own horn. It is VERY hard for me to speak up and I didn't for years. I guess the Holy Spirit has gotten ahold of me and HE can make ME feel guilty when I don't do what I know I should.

      We can't just sit around our Catholic/Christian friends and family and talk about what's wrong with the world and wait for others to step up.

      Tomorrow is voting day, how many people reading this is going to vote? Yes it's not the 'big' race but these guys are the ones that grow up and end up in the White House.

      Let's do all we can. Hey I didn't vote for 40 years so I'm not judging anyone.

  3. I can appreciate some of your examples given of men and women turning away from God and into a miserable life of sin, but I sometimes wonder if we can safely make the assumption that people always feel this way. While I cherish my faith and have a hard time imagining a life without God and His church, I seem to see so many people who live their lives completely devoid of God. They have successful careers, happy relationships, and act nicely, even loving, towards others. No misery or emptiness to be found. Sometimes I'll entertain the idea that they may be hiding something and suffer some kind evil brought about by sin, but I feel that such speculation is a petty form of envy. From everything I can see, they seem fine and good, and I'm the weirdo that needs the sacraments, the literature, and the prayers. Like David who finds himself besieged and humiliated by godless enemies, I stubbornly cling to God, my rock and refuge; they live breezily, needing nothing to cling to at all.

    Will the consequences of a godless life occur at some point in the future? Is there anything I can do besides try to encourage them to go to church and explain why it's important to worship God and be loving to others? Pray for them?

  4. Dear Anonymous, are you describing a hypothetical person? I ask because you describe the "perfect" person: kind and loving and devoid of misery and emptiness. Are there any moments when they are not? I ask, because not only do you know their outer most attitudes, you also know their inner most feelings(devoid of misery or emptiness). I personally don't know anyone like that or that well in my life. And I know a lot of people in my life. We all worry a little. We all bite our tongue occasionally. We all worry about tomorrow, our health, our family, our children, our future. I can't imagine not living a life like that or anyone above it all.
    The point made is what is the safest and surest way to live your life in peace: with Jesus Christ. What is the best way to survive a tornado? Be vigilant and be prepared. I think the best way is The Way who marked out a course of action and path for us.

  5. I agree. I should've added that those who live these secular lives tend to be higher maintenance about the contentment. They "need" to travel, eat out, go out with others, acquire products, high salaries, friendly work environments... things that can all go away in an instance. Pleasures that dissolve after a time. Day after day, they keep it going though, and I watch on sometimes, wondering if they can keep it up till death. And after death? I'm not sure what becomes of them. The prospect is frightful, but they don't want to think about it. I suppose that what it means to have a lighter burden with Christ. A life of pursuing material goods and passing ideologies seems rather stressful and absurd at a point.

  6. This is kind of unrelated but I'd like to mention it. I'm 15 and not too long ago I felt sort of bummed about a lot of things in my life. Reading these meditations and Mass before school a few times really helped (along with awesome family of course!!). So thank you for sharing your thoughts. You can turn people's days around! :)


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