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!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lk 1:55-66,80 What A Life Could Be

Lk 1:55-66,80  What A Life Could Be
Zechariah asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name.”…  All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” …The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.
I praise you Lord, for I am wonderfully made.  You have created me in your image and likeness.  You call me son/daughter.  I have been given life for eternal life. 
Today, we celebrate the Baptist’s birth because his introduction into the world introduced to the world what is, and will always be, our mission and goal in life:  conversion to Christ.
 A few days ago I had breakfast with a wonderful family.  They have two daughters and one son.  I hadn’t seen them in a very long time and I was shocked when I saw the boy.  His hair had grown long.  He was wearing all black.  He looked tough and secure.  I was shocked to find out that he was neither.  In fact, he was very shy and very insecure.  I could barely hear him when he spoke.  And when he did, he hardly ever looked at me or anyone for that matter. 
Not too long ago, most people dressed in a way that expressed their personality.  Today, most people dress to make up for what is lacking in their personality.  Of course there are exceptions, but the rule rules.    
John grew mighty in spirit.  So much of who we are depends on how faithful our parents are.  So much depends on the obvious.  This child, like all children, is wonderfully made (cf. Ps 139).  Depending on his parents, he will grow either strong in body and soul or weak in spirit and pitiful in character.  The Lord has done his part.  Now, we must do our part, or face the consequences. 
On Saturday, a Kansas City mother was arrested after her 10-year-old daughter, who weighed only 32 pounds, was found locked in a closet.  The girl told detectives that her mother puts her in the closet “a lot”, that she doesn’t get to eat every day and that she “does not want to go back home anymore.” 
This little girl could have had a joyful childhood, loving parents, a place to call home, and friends from the neighborhood.  She could have had it all:  faith, hope and love.  Instead, her mother decided to give her hell on earth.  And both will pay a dear price for it.    
Hear me, O distant peoples.  Listen.  The Lord called me from birth; from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.  He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.  He made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me. (Is 46:1-3)
I suspect this little girl’s heart has been physically as well as spiritually damaged.  What she could have been is exactly what John grew up to be:  a man with a heart to go after the Lord’s heart.  I wouldn’t be surprised if John grew up in poverty or under not-so-great living conditions.  But he did grow up with all that is needed; what every child, wanted or unwanted, deserves:  A fighting chance.  And he got it. 
John grew up in love with the Lord.  His family encouraged him to go after the Lord’s heart and he did.  He searched for it and he found it.  He found Christ. 
Mission accomplished.
What, then, will this child be?   John grew in his family's shadow and under their wing.  And because he grew, he was able to blossom.  And blossom he did.  He became his own man with his own personality.  His name and personality were unique.  He lived off of wild honey and locusts.  He made the desert his home.  His clothes were made from camel hair.  He was who he was, and he dressed the part; he dressed what he wished to express. 
John’s clothing added volume to his voice.  The desert added depth to his message.  His simple way of life added much needed honesty and authority to his mission.  Everything about him (and everything around him) made him easy to understand, especially by those who could not understand.  When John spoke, he spoke in stereo, in 4-D, with heart, mind, body and soul.  For what he said required his life, our full attention, and all the help we could get. 
His message was a learned lesson.  It was not a very warm and/or fuzzy message.  It was an essential message.  His message was filled with honest-to-God words:  Repent! Commit!  Simplify!  Sacrifice! 
These are the requirements for our conversion and that of our children as well.  Good Luck on your mission.


  1. I've never understood why mothers (and fathers) abuse their children, starving them to death and leaving them to rot in a hidden closet. I read about this more and more often. So tragic! So cruel! Some people treat their animals better than their children. (All of them, man and beast, should be treated humanely..) When I think of these precious children abused and neglected, I think of all the wonderful couples who are infertile. Under the care of infertile couples, these exact same children would grow up strong, healthy, and very much loved!

    The story of the 32 lb malnourished child makes me think of a cruel and tragic version of Cinderella where the two sisters are well-fed and attended to while the one soil-ridden sickly child is hidden away from sight. Who knows if this poor child will ever find her "Prince Charming". (Maybe she will now that she is away from her abusive mother.) I'm sure it will take years for this child to recover from the emotional trauma. Hopefully she will gain weight and become healthy again. Thank the Lord she has a fighting chance now. So many other abused children are not so lucky.

    I think abuse of children is the one social issue that bothers me the most. My heart rips every time I hear of a child being neglected, abused, or bullied. There's no rhyme or reason for it. We have children die in the womb by abortion every day. How many children die silently in an abusive home life? Their dignity, their self-respect, and their beauty are so tragically taken away in the dark shadows of abuse.

    In light of abusive situations "Repent! Commit! Simplify! Sacrifice!" is poignant:

    Repent - Become aware and truly sorry for having hurt another person being a child or an adult under abusive situations. Be willing to undergo a change of heart letting go the source of abusive tendencies. Seek the treatment necessary to change. Turn to the Lord in the Sacrament of Penance to be forgiven of past abuse.

    Commit - Make a pledge to end abuse and to report abuse. Do not be silent! Do not be afraid to report abuse and neglect. Make a commitment to pray incessantly for an end to abuse.

    Simplify - Find ways to simplify the adoption process so more worthy couples can adopt children who are abused and neglected. Make it easier for children to be given a new outlook on life with a loving family. Ask God for a simplicity of heart - a heart showered with love, humility, and respect for our precious children.

    Sacrifice - Each family is called to sacrifice for their children with love, care, and compassion just like Jesus sacrificed for us on the cross. Make sacrifices to nourish and help our children to grow in holiness.

    John the Baptist probably looked a little odd living out in the desert eating locust and honey wearing camel hair. His family could very well have ostracized him for being a little "scary" or decided to abuse him because he wasn't like the other Jewish boys. But Zechariah and Elizabeth understood better and knew John was destined to become one if the most important prophets of biblical times. An important figure in salvation history.

  2. It is so sad but unless God miraculously intervenes this child will suffer consequences from this the rest of her life.

    Yes, she can overcome much and live a somewhat 'normal' life and even use her abuse to help others but it will never go away.

    The evil that was done to her was satan using her mother who consented to his presence in some way and it is a guarantee that the mother was abused as well.

    There is a huge percentage out there, probably more than 80% or more who have deep emotional wounds that they will never address and they will hand down the effect of their wounds to the next generation. Everyone of us, if we have two parents will take with us the dysfunction from both sides of the family and each generation takes on more and more 'crap' that will only continue until someone decides that it ends with them.

    The way to end child abuse is for everyone of us to look into ourselves and work on healing our own woundedness so it can stop with our generation.

    Just because you weren't beaten or verbally, sexually, emotionally or spiritually abused, that you are aware of, you have wounds that need to be addressed. There are wounds that parents did not mean to inflict or didn't even know they inflicted. The pain that we carry could even be from our own perception of events and situations that cause us pain that we may have repressed that will eventually come to the surface and effect us and/or others in some way.

    That includes 80% of the people reading this blog. The best thing we can do to save the next generation is work on healing ourselves so we don't pass whatever we've been handed to our children or children that we have influence over.

    And it goes without saying that we have to pray and help those we know get help too.

    People don't just decide to abuse children. Even though it is the devil's influence, we are culpable for cooperating with him and our woundedness makes us less able to resist.

    I'm not saying our woundedness causes child abuse, but we all know there are ways that we have wounded our children that they will carry around and pass on unless they address it. And some of them will become abusers, of themselves or others. And children are an easy target.

    Bottom line, if you were abused in any way, you need to get help so your actions and words or lack of some vital element of parenting does not hurt anyone else. This is something that you cannot do alone.

    Most of those 80% will never admit they have anything that needs attention and many who do know they have issues, will not get the help they need to overcome and heal.

    If you know children who are being abused in any way, it is your duty to get them help. You cannot step aside and say it's not your business or worry about someone getting angry at you, if you know and do nothing to help a child in a situation like that, you are responsible for the abuse continuing and will face God one day and have to account for it. Remember..... things that we have done and things that we have failed to do....

    Sorry I'm rambling, but this is too close to my own reality that I have to speak up.

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  4. The family whose son's appearance (and demeanor?) had changed may want to consider whether a professional evaluation could be useful. Sometimes teens experience depression, or other serious problems begin to be manifested in the teen years, but if the family does not consider mental health conditions, such a condition can go untreated. Unfortunately, there's still a stigma associated with mental health issues in our society. Also, sometimes sudden changes in appearance can also indicate drug use (God forbid!), which family members may not be aware of. Definitely sounds like it's something worth investigating further.


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