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!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

John 16:5-11 Holy Spirit and Eye Sight

John 16:5-11  Holy Spirit and Eye Sight
Jesus said to his disciples:  “Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’”
Today’s Gospel reminds me of John Denver’s classic, “Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong...”  So where exactly do I belong?  West Virginia?  No, I think that’s far too short-sighted. Then where in the world do all roads lead to?  Home?  Yes.  And where on earth is home?  Rome. 
What would you think of a Muslim who tried to have Mass celebrated in a Mosque?  Or of a Jew that tried to hang a cross in a Synagogue?  What would you say to these individuals if they defended their actions by stating that they felt it was the right thing to do? I know what I would say, I would say, “If you want to see a Cross, go to a Christian Church.  If you want to participate in a Mass, then go to a Catholic Church.”  I would not defend them at all.  I would not encourage them and say, “Well, it just goes to show you how insensitive some people can be!” 
Yesterday, I read how a pair of lesbians from a Catholic High School crashed their school’s prom by showing up as a couple.  School officials asked them to leave. I believe they did the right thing.  The school simply followed what it believes.  But it appears as though the couple was offended.  What I don’t understand is why the couple did not apologize to the school?  After all, whose school is it?  Is it a public school?  No.  Is it a charter school?  No.  It’s a Catholic School that belongs to the Catholic Church.  Does the Church not have the right to be what it wants to be?  Does the Church not have a right to teach what it wants to teach?  So, why on earth, did this couple feel as though they had a right to crash a Catholic School’s prom?  Is it their prom?  Yes.  Is it their school?  Yes.  Is it their rules?  No. 
But the media doesn’t seem to get it.  They seem to think that this couple had the right to show up however they wanted to.
But once again, let me ask some simple questions:  Would the media be offended if Muslim officials asked a Muslim to leave his Mosque if he was trying to hammer a Crucifix in the wall?  No.  Would they be offended if a Jew was asked to leave his Synagogue because he was trying to read aloud the “Our Father”?  No.  So why in the world would the Media (along with this couple) take offense at school officials when they defended who they were?  And let me remind all of you who are reading this and saying, “Well, we are supposed to love everyone.”  Yes.  That’s true.  But to love everyone does not mean you have to agree with everyone and/or accept everything.
Why do we have such a hard time understanding this?  Answer:  Because we have been groomed by our earthly masters to be accepting of everything, including sin. And we are...except in defending religious beliefs.  As children we were given glasses to wear to make us see clearer.  And we do…in very secular ways.  But when it comes to religious things, these glasses make us blind.  We have been given role models to follow.  And we do….but only the secular types we are allowed to know in school.  Hence, our world, like our life, is not like the Sun but rather like the Moon, with half of it left in the dark. 
Come Holy Spirit!  Fill the darkness with your light!
We think we can have it all; that we do a good job defending the one and all.  But far too often we crush the one to raise the other.  We know that because we have experienced it for ourselves.  We know how the Media can pump up gay marriage as being the best thing ever, whereas being Married with Children the worst thing ever!  We know how Spielberg can make every child a hero and every parent a clown or a villain. Another similiar tactic is this:   ignore the negatives and feed only the positives of the group being promoting.

For example:  I am still waiting to see, on cable TV, a gay couple argue in front of their children.  Currently, you would think that never happens.  Also, I am waiting for the day when Oprah, or someone like her, interviews children of  gay couples that wished they had a mom and a dad.  Are we to believe that they don't exist?
We have all been told to imagine the negative impact the Ten Commandments could have on the sensibilities of one student, but we don't need to imagine, because we already know, the positive impact the Ten Commandments could have on the life of one student.    
How clumsy the world is.  I can’t even believe what I have recently seen:  An anti-bully activist acting like a bully and receiving applause for being a bully at an anti-bully rally!!!
Where are you going, Lord?  To your death?  To your grave?  Into the ground? 
No, the Lord responds, don’t you wish.  Rather, “I am going to the one who sent me.” 
The Lord is going to the one who sent him.  And in return, the Lord is sending His Spirit to remind us that life is not half empty or half full, but complete, full, in abundance.  He is the glass.  And without the glass, life is a mess. 
Holy Spirit, my Advocate and guide, enlighten my thoughts, words and actions so that I can see as you see, speak as you speak and live as you live.  I ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.


  1. I think so many people wear sunglasses, eye patches, and other blinders when it comes to religious beliefs, especially anything to do with the Catholic Church, because of The Church's past scandals. I hate to bring this up but the entire sex abuse scandal has damaged the Catholic Church's credibility. The Media will do whatever it takes in any method manageable to taint Church teachings and to uprise people against Catholicism. The Media has never recognized or forgiven a formal "Act of Contrition" by the Catholic Church.

    Father, I don't want to sound rude or cause of stir, but why voice louder and louder against persecution in the Church without providing concrete examples of how things can change? Why meditate over and over on the negativity of the Media and not reflect on positive messages exemplified through Our Holy Father, the Saints, modern day theologians, etc? It wears me down reading these endless ruminations. I understand you are meditating, reflecting, and presenting important "real life" situations/examples to readers. I'd really like to read about pro-active and positive ways to change the way people think about Catholics. Also, provide ways to become better Catholics. Discussing controversies isn't always the most fruitful response to Christ's message.

    1. Why meditate on negativity? It's not negativity. It's reality. We live in a fallen world. And also because it challenges me to think. And that brings me comfort to know that I am not on the mindless side of things. It's not endless rumination. Why do I bring these things up? Because it is constantly being brought up schools, in the media, in our youth, in our President. What answers do you give? General? Generic? Theoretical? You see, I am asked almost on a daily basis, "Father, what do you say to this or that issue?" In my meditations, I give the concrete answer: that is, "Don't buy into this." What is my answer today: Short-sightedness. That's what it is.
      I'm not going to write about high theology. This is my style. Sometimes its contemplative. Sometimes its not. But it is almost always on current affairs because these are the days we are living.
      Has the abuse scandals damaged the credibility of the Church? What do you mean? Hasn't the Church always spoken of sin, of grace, of repentance and of forgiveness? Isn't this our message? Don't we always talk about conversion away from sin and towards God?
      So how has it damaged the Church? I believe that it has made it harder for our message to get across the world. But at the same time, it has purified the Church of a lot of evil that was lurking inside of it.

  2. So why in the world would the Media (along with this couple) take offense at school officials when they defended who they were?
    Many people in THIS world will try to push their beliefs on others. It seems that this is what this couple is trying to do. They knew good and well what this school believed!! They were pushing the envelope! They were protesting! They were expressing their beliefs and hoping that they could get away with it. It is contagious! Many people are trying to take shortcuts, live an easy life, win at all costs, and step on others to get what they want. It is easier to live like this! Run over everyone so that I can push my agenda. ( I am still in awe of the lady who spilt hot coffee (from McDonalds) on her lap and won millions.) It is THIS world’s instant gratification mentality that is spurring this on. Time is exponentially moving faster…literally.

    But as Catholics, what is our way of converting? God is Love. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for his friends. Please, stay w /me…

    And let me remind all of you who are reading this and saying, “Well, we are supposed to love everyone.” Yes. That’s true. But to love everyone does not mean you have to agree with everyone and/or accept everything.
    I do not think any practicing Catholic would argue with you!! How can they? Even if Savage calls himself a cultural Catholic, he is not. He can say whatever he wants; it doesn’t mean that it is true. If a practicing Catholic argues with you concerning the teachings of the Church, it is just that they do not understand; they do not have the eyes to see or the ears to hear. Are they malicious? Are they pure evil? In my experience (arguing for the faith), they are not. They are just ignorant – as the lady w/ the IVF story. She sounds like she is just ignorant of the facts of the entire procedure! That is why the abortion industry is fighting so hard to not allow the sonograms to be viewed prior to an abortion. If they can keep the public from knowing the truth, that the “clump of cells” has a heartbeat and is sucking his thumb after a few weeks, they will have a much easier time to convince their victims to have an abortion.
    We do indeed have to speak up for our religious freedom!!! In today’s first reading, Paul was in jail for speaking the Truth. But what did he do? After the earthquake, he stayed in jail so that the jailer wouldn’t kill himself! He didn’t run out and start proclaiming the Gospel again. I am not afraid to speak up and to be persecuted for Christ. I actually love to argue our Catholic faith! It is much easier for me to argue our faith than to die to myself!!

    I have to put each situation into context. Do I argue in this situation or do I offer it up? I can clearly see your point of view. We have to vote, sign petitions, talk about it with others, and try to keep the Christian principles that America was founded on.
    • If you google, **St Francis of Assisi perfect joy** you will see where I am coming from. I have been trying to live this for many years. I am just now starting to take off my blinders.

    Also, don't hold your breath when it comes to the media..... we're still in THIS world!

  3. Once again, I love your meditation Father Apfonse. While reading, I realized (remembered) that the media's bias against Christianity was one of the first (of many) things that actually pushed me toward The Church. I would have called myself somewhat anti-Christian in my teens. But a few too many biased news stories, movies, and TV shows made me realize how the media wants tolerance for anything and everything but Christianity (and it's values). It made me realize I was being the same way.
    Let's pray that over the long haul the media's agenda will work against them.


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