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!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

John 17:11-19 Keep Them One

John 17:11-19  Keep Them One
(Click here for readings)
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:  “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one…I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.”
Oneness as totality.  I just came back from breakfast with a good solid Catholic whom I have known for years.  During our conversation, he repeated to me a conversation he had with a work associate and how he finds it hard to talk to him about God.  Apparently, his co-worker does not have God in his life; that is, “God is not even on his radar”.  And although this co-worker is financially successful, he apparently is not successful in relationships.  He has been in one bad relationship after another.  This individual made the following comment, “I see the world in one way:  war.  We are constantly at war with one another; constantly battling each other to get above the other.  We don’t work together.  We don’t care about each other, etc.” 
As my friend was describing his conversation, I interrupted him and said, “Yes, this is all true, if your friend sees the world with only one eye or a black eye. 
Who could possibly live alone in this world? We need each other! We were made for one another.  Why?  Because we need a little bit of everyone in our lives.  We need a little bit of soldier in our life; a little bit of a comedian in our life; a little bit of Man vs. Wild in our life.  Others help me to be what I can be; in my oneness and in its totality.  What I don't need is sin.  But even there, I can deal with it the way that Christ dealt with it and be a greater man. 
The Lord of All invites us to see others through His eyes; through His experiences.  He invites us to see life through him.  He gave us others to put it into practice.  The Lord knew how to be humble, tough, compassionate, loving and merciful.  He also knew how to be downright mighty, powerful and witty.  He was perfectly one and total.  “One”, for there was no sin in Him.  “Total”, because He was truly God and truly man.  
We don’t see UV or Infrared radiation, but they’ve always been there.  We don’t see microwaves or radio waves, but their presence today is definitely noticed and utilized. Let's be honest, without God in our life, we are missing a very big chunk of our “totalness”; the “all that is seen and unseen” piece.  Without God I will reduce my life to my state of being.  It is no surprise whatsoever that I will see the world as “one gigantic struggle” if I am going through struggles myself.  I will see the world as “one lost planet”, if I am struggling with loss, despair and sadness.  But the world is not lost and neither am I.  It’s not unnoticed and neither am I, even if I and my planet do not occupy the center of the solar system. 
Christ went through struggle and loss and yet, he was able to say, and say it convincingly, “Be at peace.  I have conquered the world.”  I find it amazing that the Lord would pray to his Father with the following words:  “The world hated them [the Apostles], because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.”
See the irony?  Of course the Father and the Son belong to this world; but not a fallen world.  And we don’t belong to it either.  Our enemies do, and for this reason we are considered a threat, a danger to them.  Do you not know that the world fears us?  Christians have been known to smile at their death sentence; to sing right before their execution.  And this scares them.  Christians have been known to never give in or give up.  Eternity is on our side.  We live and work the totality of time:  timelessness.  We live and work in the oneness of Christ.  If we work [together] with the Lord, we will suffer [together] with the Lord, but we shall also rise [together] with the glory of the Lord.  All at once.  All for One. 
Keep them one as we are one.  This means far more than we could ever define or even imagine.  This “oneness” between the Father and the Son goes beyond comprehension.  But, let’s not forget, we were created in the image and likeness of our God, and so, there is something solid to hold on to.  Let’s see if we can figure it out together.
When we were young, we grew up with Darwin’s paradigm of the world:  “survival-of-the-fittest”.  But there is a new paradigm that is emerging in the scientific community:  support-for-one-another.”  Instead of seeing the world as simply fight and flight, others are seeing it in its totality:  synergism.  The obvious is beginning to emerge.  Isn’t it obvious that we need each other?  Isn’t it obvious that there is a synergism among creatures?  We really do need each other in order to survive and flourish. 
God doesn't need us, but He does want us.  The Father loved the world so much that he sent his only Son into the world, not to condemn the world but to save the world.  The Father loves His Son.  The Father sends the Son.  The Son loves a sinful world. The Son loves his own in the world.  The Apostles make disciples.  The disciples love the Church.  The Church loves its own and reaches out in love to the unchurched. 
We cry, we shed blood, we sweat, and for what?  Not just for ourselves, but for each other!  Yes, enemy and friend.  And by doing so, we give a powerful witness of meaning to one another.  At Miletus, Paul gave his final words to the presbyters [priests] knowing full well that he would never see them again.  They embraced him and wept bitterly.  Why?  Because He loved them in life and in death.  Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the Church of God that he acquired with his own Blood.  Remember that for three years, night and day, I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears…I have never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing…I just want you to love God and others. 
Yes, the Lord shed his blood for the Church!  And invites us to shed our blood for Him and for others!  We live for Him and for others.  We die for Him and for others.  We can be one in His Oneness.  We can be made whole.   


  1. After our thought-provoking, record-breaking response-a-thon yesterday, I think this meditation is very appropriate. [ I confess my identity as the "friendly and nurturing" dissenter. But, you already know that now, Father! ;) ] Look what happens when a group comes together on a weblog to discuss and dialog, exchange ideas back and forth, and respectfully debate and reiterate. We all become “One” as followers and believers of Christ. I may see things one way. You may see things the other. People agree or agree to disagree. But the point is the “totality” of the human sphere and our relation with Jesus Christ Our Lord. We are all called to work together and worship together with Christ as the center of our World!

    As a Biology and Chemistry major in college, Darwinism and the idea of “the survival of the fittest” always ingrained the brain. I believed God to be the True Creator and that He used the theory of evolution to continue his divine plans. I think some of this “survival of the fittest” mentality is still very prevalent in society today. I see this especially in the competitiveness of people in school, work, and sports. I notice the demand to be “the fittest” in the pursuit of material wealth and consumerism. The “survival of the fittest” can be seen in religion too with one religious organization thinking they are in the right and another one in the wrong. I love the message of synergism! How this could help resolve so many of the problems encountering our wounded society.

    Come Holy Spirit! Shed on all of us a new sense of oneness and totality. Allow us to come together to help one another and grow in the love of Christ. Strengthen our resolve not to war with one another but to work with one another to build up the Body of Christ, the Church. Amen!


  2. Evangelicals respond to Catholic lawsuits: ‘We are all Catholic now’

    A common enemy unites us!

  3. Jennifer,
    I wondered where your comment for the day was yesterday.
    Talk about incongruent. You may have been able to stay anonymous because your comment was completely the opposite of it's usual content.....Interesting

    1. Hi Question Mark Anonymous.....Yes, I posted the incongruent comment on purpose to rock the boat. Thought Father's blog was getting a little stale in the comment department. I honestly love Father Alfonse and his words. I'm a fan. He's such an inspiration. I like to present him with a mind challenge every so often. It doesn't have the same meat if I post under my real name. Keeps his discipline in check, keeps his thinking cap on, and keeps him focused on the Christ and the Church's teachings.

      Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate your comments very much. :)



  4. "without God in our life, we are missing a very big chunk of our “totalness”; the “all that is seen and unseen”piece."

    I believe the unseen piece, may be the biggest piece. With my recent experience with the not so nice angels, I have become so much more aware of that whole unseen world. It has been somewhat like Alice in wonderland or some science fiction movie where they land on a distant planet with all kinds of foreign inhabitants, many that are hostile but more that are there just waiting to be asked for help, guidance and even companionship.

    All I/we have to do is ask and they are there to clear my/our path and when there is an obstacle in the path that cannot be avoided, they are there holding my/our hand until I/we get through it.

    No this is not some flowery ideal/theory/fantasy that sounds nice. IT IS AS REAL AS ANYTHING WE CAN SEE. THEY ARE THERE, JUST LIKE WE HAVE HEARD THEY ARE!!

    I have to say, finding demons has made me more aware of the good angles, the Holy Spirit and the reality of ‘that other world’. It is amazing how God uses everything to bring us closer to Him?

    I lived in the darkness of this world for a very long time. I understand the loss of hope that people experience. I understand living in a world of self imposed isolation. I understand the arrogance that is a cover for self hatred.

    Whenever I run across someone who thinks God doesn’t exist, I tell them to ask God to show himself to them. I have no doubt that He will. NONE! The problem is they don’t want to see God. They know their misery and are comfortable in it. Or they don’t want to be accountable to anyone but themselves. God would completely change things, EVERYTHING and they would not have control, as if they do.

    For years and years I’ve heard that being an example is the best way to influence people, or lead them to Christ. I have to admit that wasn’t fast enough for me.

    I finally tried it and they are right. The biggest benefit is not what it’s done to convince others of the reality of their need for God. It has been what I have received. God never fails to bless us for our efforts and our obedience. It almost seems selfish.

    And I’ve discovered EVERYTHING is a blessing, even demons. Discovering them has been the best thing that’s happened to me as far as my personal, emotional, mental and spiritual health goes.

    God is SO AMAZING!! I wish everyone would accept that and quit looking around Him for something better. There is nothing better!!!

  5. Jennifer

    "Keeps his discipline in check, keeps his thinking cap on, and keeps him focused on the Christ and the Church's teachings."

    I don't see how you achieved any of those things. I am disappointed that all of that was for your own personal entertainment.

    Yes you perked his ears up, but your motivation seems a little skewed.

    Oh well, I see how the Holy Spirit can use it all. It was interesting but I did mean all I said. I love Fr. Alfonse, but he's no saint....yet.

    We all have to be alert and not put our praise and adoration, our hope and worship in anyone but God. God is the only one that won't fall off that pedestal.

    1. Oh, Anonymous, honestly I didn't mean this as an exercise in "personal entertainment". I sincerely wanted to get him (and others) thinking differently. I'm sorry it came across that way. I was not expecting Father Alfonse to respond like he did. Not anything I said was a boldfaced lie...There are times I think the ego and anger fits into his meditations. But don't all of us do that every now and then? I apologise for offending anybody or causing too much unnecessary drama.

      We do need to keep in mind that Father Alfonse or any of our clergy should not be worshiped as a "God" or thought of as "perfect" in everything. I tend to cringe at the kissy, touchy feely, always right, "he's a saint" type of discussion. He's human like all of us and isn't any better than us. He may be more educated but does that make him superior? I think this takes the focus away from Our Lord Jesus Christ.

      Thank-you for your honest feedback.



      P.S. Father Alfonse, I'm sorry for causing such a fury! :(

  6. Jennifer,

    "I sincerely wanted to get him (and others) thinking differently." If only you could use your writing skills to have the liberal media thinking differently not us who are reading Fathers blog to read about the TRUTH.

  7. Ouch! That stung. But I see your point, Anonymous. Thank-you for your honesty. I will use my writing ability to change the minds of the liberal media. Not upset people on Father's blog.


  8. Hey Guys, can we get back to talking about God and not each other’s faults? I’m just saying…..we’ve all got them. It’s just who is courageous enough, vulnerable enough to put one’s own faults down in writing, make it obvious for all who read, who I see is the one trying to be humble. We can hide everything in our comfort zone, but who is willing to hurt enough (die to ourselves) to really change. God wants us to change, not us trying to change others. Think about the saints... did they really try to change others?

    “But there is a new paradigm that is emerging in the scientific community: “support-for-one-another.” Instead of seeing the world as simply fight and flight, others are seeing it in its totality: synergism.”

    It seems to me that the scientific community is just a little late in discovering this: Jesus told us 2,012 years ago, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in your midst.” Jesus Himself is with two of us, in that present moment, who are truly trying to live, to Love like He did. Talk about synergy!!

    No surprise there. He has always been ahead of His time!


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