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, June 5, 2012

Mk 12:13-17 Why So Nice?

Mk 12:13-17  Why So Nice?
Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech. 
Those who harm you the most are often those who were the kindest to you.  They tend to inflate you before they puncture you! 
I can’t exactly remember where I read it, but I do remember reading a comment from a war historian that went something like this: “A sudden burst of kindness from an antagonist is a sure sign of imminent treachery.”  
We love to fatten the calf before we slaughter it.  It tastes better that way.  The same hold true for those who back stab you.  They savor every moment, especially the last moments, before they strike and kill.
Does any of this sound familiar?  Maybe you have heard a slightly modified version of this from your kids.
“Mom, you are an amazing cook….Do you think I could…?”
“Dad, you are the best dad ever!!!  Can I…?
When asked to give his opinion regarding D├ętente, Ronald Regan once said: “Isn’t that what a farmer has with his turkey – until Thanksgiving?” 
The Pharisees and the Herodians came up to Jesus and said to him, “We know that you are a truthful man.”  Wow!  Thank you so much!  I never thought I would hear that from you.  I really appreciate it.  “We also know that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.”  Aw shucks.  That’s so kind of you.  “You do not regard a person’s status…”  That’s true.  I don’t.  Thanks for noticing.
This sudden and unexpected burst of kindness, cordiality and flattery from these Jews leaders did not go unnoticed.  The disciples may have thought (naively) that they were coming around. But the Lord, who knows fallen human nature, knew better.  So when the Jews suddenly began to say so many kind things about him, we knew it was a well planned trap. 
If you think about it, everything they said is true!  That’s not the problem.  The problem is what they said underneath their breath. 
“We know that you are a truthful man” [because we are not].
“We know that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion” [like we are].
“We know that you do not regard a person’s status” [like we do].
   
They said all the right things while they were standing for all the wrong things!  Their words could be considered a type of Freudian slip, for they spoke honestly but never intended to be so.  If the Lord was a fraud, did they really need to be so dishonest to prove him wrong?  If the Lord was truly the Son of God, did they really think that they could trip up God? 
Talk about being confused! 
Their minds were twisted.  Their minds were perverted.  Their minds were a mess.
Give to man what belongs to man.  Give to God what belongs to God.  What belongs to God?  Man.  What belongs to man?  God. 
God doesn’t need our cleverness.  He doesn’t need our lies, our filth or our deceptions in order to convince Him of our love for Him.  If we want to defend God in our homes and in our society then all we need to do is give to God what belongs to God; that is, give Him the naked truth of ourselves and the naked truth of His Son’s love for us.  Let us give to God and man our fidelity and love.  That’s it. 
We don’t need to be sneaky, manipulative, and dishonest.  All we need to be is true and loving. 

10 comments:

  1. "We don’t need to be sneaky, manipulative, and dishonest. All we need to be is true and loving."

    I have been in the worst bout of spiritual warfare in my entire life and it is all going on in my head. I am barely holding on to reality right now. I have been trying to separate the truth from the lies. Right now the lies are like a thick layer of manure that covers the truth beneath it.

    Your words sneaky, manipulative and dishonest sparked a little light poking out through the darkness and chaos that has been going on.

    I need to look for the love in the truth. I have noticed that even when God corrects me it is wrapped in love and compassion and I never feel pain,doubt and confusion even when it's not what I want to hear.

    I rarely ask for prayers especially from strangers, but I'm asking now. Thank you

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  2. Anonymous 1:
    Psalm 23!!!

    To add to the meditation:
    We need to be true and loving, and genuinely KIND!

    No one has been stabbed in the back as Jesus was. But did he retaliate? No, he accepted it as God's will. Oh Lord, help us to be more like you in accepting these hard times in our lives and let us allow you to show us how to live as you did, with pure love in our hearts for our brothers and sisters, friend and enemy alike.

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  3. Prayers especially for you, Anonymous (1:47 PM). Sounds like your heart is open - fight to keep it that way. Sometimes in our darkest moments, we end up experiencing our Loving Father like we haven't before. For me, it was life changing & I pray it will be for you!

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  4. Thank you all for your prayers.

    I was probably in the worst spiritual battle of my life. God pretty much allowed them to stretch me to my limit.

    They were swarming around my head like bees and I had my bee keeping helmet off, so to speak.

    When I finally remembered that I have been given the power over evil in the name of Jesus Christ, I renounced them, I renounced about 15 to be sure to cover my bases. And then there was a calm. All the hateful thoughts just stopped. That in itself freaked me out. This stuff really works.

    A huge part of my problem is accepting that this, unseen world is real, so I am not only fighting this battle against the evil spirits but my own disbelief in their existence and power.

    Thank you again for your prayers and that Psalm 23 helped. First I read Psalm 22 and thought what the heck???

    A smile and peace is back in my heart!

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  5. Anon 1,
    I think we meet again? : ) I recently read a beautiful meditation written by Mother Teresa called "I Thirst." It's so beautiful. I think I must have emailed it to at least 50 people! Please consider googling it. I tried to copy and paste with no luck, but it's easy to find online. Here is a link just in case you have trouble finding it: www.mcpriests.com/03_I_thirst_PrayerEN.htm
    Blessings,
    Anon 2 aka Suzie

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  6. Thank you Suzie.

    Yes we do meet again.
    I will look up that meditation.

    I saw my SD today and relayed the last two days to her. I told her I had a hard time accepting this 'unseen' world but after what happened yesterday, I do BELIEVE. I told her rebuking those spirits worked like magic and she reminded me the proper word was mystical.

    I am a completely different person today. Yesterday I spent my entire hour in adoration and throughout mass balling doubled over with my head over my knees. Evil thoughts never ceased. A daily mass communicant that I sometimes speak to was worried about me yesterday and today, he was amazed at the difference! I am too:)

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  7. Praise God Anon 1!!!! (I devoted my rosary to you this morning.) I don't believe I've experienced such an intense spiritual battle as you describe, but from what I've learned, you'll come away from this experience even more on fire for the Lord and will have the most intimate conversations with Him, probably more beautiful than most people you know!

    The following scripture came to me as I read your last post:

    Be calm and vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat. Stand up to him, srong in faith. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

    And then I remembered that I had posted above Psalm 23 which is beautiful to meditate on:

    Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

    and lastly......

    For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8-35, 37-39)

    I hope you found the "I Thirst" meditation. I heard it on Catholic Radio last week, and I'm pretty sure they said Mother Teresa was the author. Her name is posted after the meditaion, as are a few other names. Nonetheless, it really speaks to our hearts.

    Praise God, and I will continue to remember you in my prayers as Anonymous 1! Our Father knows who you are. ;)
    Anon 2/Suzie

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  8. Suzie

    I am so touched and appreciative for your prayers and your rosary this morning. I know the prayers are what have gotten me through this.

    God started preparing me for this battle about two years ago. He's taken me in increments through one spiritual 'ordeal' after another and every time I think...ok.....now I can rest....He has other plans.

    I naively thought I was going to go into the priest's office Monday, he'd spritz me with more holy water, sprinkle more salt, use blessed oil, say more prayers in Latin and I'd be good to go. Apparently these little dudes didn't read the books I've read and are not following the rules. Last time it was worse during the prayer and this time it was worse after the prayer.

    One thing that has been difficult with this is that priests are not taught how to battle the enemy. Every sports team spends hours and hours studying their enemy or competition and yet the number one enemy of the Church, every single person on earth and every priest is neglected.

    Jesus' marching orders were to heal the sick, cast out demons and spread the gospel. What happened?

    OK, I'm stepping off my soapbox.

    I read "I Thirst" and it was amazing. I am going to print it out and frame it.

    These scriptures are great. Actually my SD told me I needed to 'do battle' with scriptures that counter the lies, much like Jesus did when the devil tempted him in the desert with his twisted manipulation of the scriptures.

    Thank you for your prayers. I will pray for you too.

    And maybe one day when I'm comfortable, I'll come out of the closet. There are many people I know who read this blog. And sharing that you have demons isn't the best way to get invited to dinner parties, you know. Some people think they are contagious.

    Anon #1, I think.

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  9. You know, Anon 1, you're quite funny! You're going through this terrible trial and yet you are able to find humor within yourself. It's refreshing! I laughed out loud when I read your words about getting invited to dinner parties. And your faith seriously astounds me!

    Posting anonymously is a beautiful option, and though I don't frequently post here, I'm thankful for that option too! We are called to pray for one another and our Heavenly Father is the only one who needs to know the details. ;) I personally love that about Father's meditations, especially because we CAN'T judge one another, and gossiping is out of the question - we can just let the Holy Spirit work through one another in his "mystical" way.

    Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly. (1 Peter 4:12-13)

    I wish for you much peace and love. Thank you for your prayers too and know that I'll continue to pray for you. :)

    Suzie

    (Thank you again Father for allowing us these conversations - the Holy Spirit really does work through your meditations in mystical ways! May God bless you!)

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  10. Suzie

    I was in a dark pit for a long time. Now I know why.

    Even when I was in that pit, I had to have a sense of humor. Even though, I'm sure it was a mask, masking the reality. I believe that I may have died in that pit if I wasn't able to laugh at myself and the situation, as grim as it was. And that humor probably kept me from seeing the reality until I was ready.

    So my message. Laughing at yourself may save your life!

    My faith waivers daily. Two days ago when I was in the midst of the 'swarm', sitting there in front of the tabernacle, the thought came to me, "OMG, I've spent hours and hours sitting here talking to the walls!" But there was another 'voice', a softer, more gentle one saying, "I will never abandon you. I knew you before you were born...I am real and you know it. Stay strong." And after a little kicking and screaming my faith returned.

    I do love the scripture above. Just put the words "freaked out" in the place of surprised and it has my name all over it!!

    God Bless

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