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!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mt 6:24-29 No One Can Serve Two Masters

Mt 6:24-29  The Sun and The Son
Jesus said to his disciples:  “No one can serve two masters.  He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon.”
A few days ago I went walking in the Galleria here in Dallas.  I’m not about to go outside to do some exercise and I’m not about to register at L.A. Fitness or 24 Hour Fitness.  I’m too cheap for that.  The Galleria is just fine for me. 
While I was walking on the first floor, I noticed a shirt that looked just like the one someone had bought for me.  It was on display.  I must admit, out of curiosity I walked inside the store to see how much it was and I was shocked.  Wow!  I thought to myself, I should have written this family a beautiful thank you letter and hand delivered it to them.  I can honestly say the shirt is beautiful, but the price is not right!
Do not worry about your body, what you will wear.  I often tell the kids, “Boy, that shirt really looks horrible!”  Or, “I’m so glad you wear that ugly uniform!”   They don’t like it.  But I say it to teach a lesson that must be learned:  what matters most is not what you have but who you are.  Someone could be wearing the most elegant outfit, the most beautiful dress, and they could still be the ugliest person in the room.  The Grim fairy tale “Cinderella” has been warped and twisted beyond recognition.  Modern versions of this fairy tale have illustrations of two physically ugly stepsisters wearing beautiful clothing and Cinderella as physically beautiful but wearing ugly rags.  In this boring scenario, it’s just a matter of time and patience before someone notices Cinderella. 
But if it was up to me, I would have Cinderella’s stepsisters with the most perfect figures imaginable and Cinderella as a beautifully simple, yet elegant, holy, virtuous and sophisticated young lady.  This is a story that is worth telling because this is a story that is worth believing!  In fact, this is the story that truly comes true, for these are the young ladies that find a man, a prince, while the others find an animal, a barbarian.
When I worked at Kodak, I would often go out on Saturday to play golf with a young lady that worked in the office with me.  Back at work, I would often get razzed by my guy friends who would ask me, “What do you see in her?  She’s as ugly as they get!”  I told them, “She’s just a friend.  That’s all.”  But as time went by, I began to enjoy her company.  She was hilarious!  And she was beginning to grow on me.  In fact, one day, I defended her before my friends and said, “Look at her.  Do you see how she has changed?”  They looked long and hard at her .  They looked long and hard at each other .  They looked long and hard at me .  And they shook their heads and said, “No!” 

They were right.  She had not changed.  I had changed.
And that’s the point of the story.  The prince, who could have anybody he wanted, was sick and tired of the loose, flimsy, jealous, superficial and plastic young ladies surrounding his court.  He had changed and he knew he had to look elsewhere.  He did, and he found her. 
It’s time we stop looking for Cinderella or Prince Charming in the bars, at the singles-mingles hangouts, the beaches and resorts, the workout centers, the spas, the salons, the ads.  It’s time we stop worrying so much about what we wear, how we look, what we feel like.  It’s time we stop serving the lord of the body, the lord of plastic, the lord of impressions. 
In my years as a priest, I have noticed a direct correlation between knowing God and loving oneself.  Yes, the more a child knows God, the more they will love themselves.  The less a child knows God, the less they will love themselves.  Of course there are other factors, but like always, God comes first.  He is the big One!

It's time we search, first and foremost, for God.  And then the beauty that is within will radiate like the sun and Son.  This is the best way we can learn to love who we are and not be wrong.


  1. This by far is your best meditation of the week, Father Alfonse. I always enjoy your personal stories.

    I work in a job where most of the women wear stiletto heels, tons of make-up, low cut tops, short skirts, and smoke cigarettes! They think they are so cool and so fashionable. Here I am coming to work dressing very conservatively wearing very little make-up and tennis shoes. (I'm out in the warehouse a lot.). Most of the time I put on my glasses, too. I wear my Sacred Heart/Miraculous Medal every day to proudly display my Catholic Faith! I totally stick out as the odd ball. Fortunately nobody has ever criticized the way I look. I'm blessed with pleasant co-workers for the first time in over 11 years! I look clean and presentable which is all that counts.

    I do not try to find a man by "over selling" myself. If a guy doesn't like me because I don't "look" a certain way than so be it. I stopped the crazy bar scene, single mingles, and personal ads years ago! I'm much happier when I focus on the Lord and less on the material possessions that are so important to others. It's a lot less stressful when I simplify things in my life and don't try to win others through the superficial. I like to look good and feel good but not necessarily in a way that distracts from God and my journey towards holiness. Others may not see me as a beauty but I know the Lord does because he created me in His image.



  2. In my years as a female, I have noticed that it is not a direct correlation between knowing God and loving oneself. It is knowing that GOD LOVES YOU (only then do you see yourself as lovable) and loving yourself! This is the first step to knowing God, don’t you think? We are made in His image….
    There is no such thing as self affirmation. Many try to use it to feel better about themselves but the psychology of the mind does not allow it. The mind cannot trick itself. Our subconscious is stronger than our conscious mind. It took a while for me to understand “because He Loved us first…” I use to think: big deal, so what? But I now understand that those few words mean everything as far as accepting/loving oneself. This is one of the concrete reasons that I think that God asks us to love our neighbors. We just don’t know when our neighbor is in need – even when we know they are conceited, in-control, manipulative, etc. I am not exactly elated to be with these types of people, but I realize that they have to use some type of tactic to save face. If I can love them (even put up with them!) enough so that they realize they can be real with me, safe with me, then maybe they would find the courage to open up to dealing with their real problem. I will be the first to say that it doesn’t always work, but I will continue to try b/c “I have been changed for the better.” Then there are the precious, sweet, insecure people who are opposite in their behavior, but need the exact same love from me as well. For better or worse, we will always need each other to grow to know more of God…and ourselves!

  3. Yes. In order to become loveable, you must be loved. But that's another lesson to be learned from another fairy tale called "Beauty and the Beast."
    Of course it is all put together in the words of Scripture, our love story.

    1. Bummer. I guess I missed the entire moral of the story :)

  4. Anonymous,

    In my years as a female, I have noticed that it is not a direct correlation between knowing God and loving oneself. It is knowing that GOD LOVES YOU (only then do you see yourself as lovable) and loving yourself!

    I agree with you 100%.

    I was actually in confession yesterday and that subject came up. Father said I needed to love myself more and accept God's mercy. He said the only way to do that was with the love of God. I asked him if he meant my love for God because if that's what he meant, I was objecting because I've been having a love affair with God, or did he mean accepting God's love for me. He meant the latter....."Oh, Okay"

    I told him, "I thought I was over that. I have been working real hard on that for some time". He told me that it is not something you just 'do'. It can be very difficult when you've experienced past rejection and it's a lifelong journey. As you accept His love more deeply yours for yourself will grow more deeply as well.

    That was re-assuring because I was told by a priest that I didn't love myself and that I "would never get it". That left me crushed and devastated and took a long time to overcome. But it did not destroy me. It put me on a quest to prove him wrong and I have because even though I am not "there", I am making progress. I am "getting it".

    When I 'run into' that priest again, I will not tell him how deeply he hurt me with his words and how long it took me to overcome the pain I endured. I will thank him for throwing me down so God could pick me up and dust me off so I could grow stronger in my love for God and myself.

    I also believe that getting to know God and loving Him go hand in hand.

    That same priest told me to get to know Jesus. That too, led me on a quest to know Jesus. I don't think you cannot fall more deeply in love with Him as you get to know Him. Or at least that has been my experience.

    Thank you Father (out there somewhere)

  5. Your meditation is interesting.

    It reminds me of a mass I went to at a local parish this past school year. One which half the students are from a parish in Coppell.

    Friday morning is their day for the kids to go to mass. I try to miss that one and go elsewhere on that day, not because I don't like kids, but because that mass is always like a theatrical event. The parents come with their cameras and there is quite often a little 'skit' with the kids, in lieu of the homily. The regular 'older' crowd, you know most of the daily communicants are 'the older crowd', don't know any better and enjoy it like it was their grandchildren's Christmas play,

    Anyway my point is that earlier this past year, there was a beauty pageant instead of the homily.

    Each class had their own pageant and chose 'the beauty' of their class and the finalists were up front while the 'audience' applauded for their choice of the most beautiful girl. I looked around and it didn't seem to bother anyone but me. I couldn't believe it.

    And when the girl was chosen and Father asked her how she felt, all she said was she felt pretty. He didn't ask the other girls (the losers)how they felt. Actually every other girl in there were 'losers'. I felt sorry for them and honestly disgusted with him for putting it on.

    As the girls walked back to their seats, he did mention seemingly in passing that what was on the inside was important. But they weren't voting on the inside beauty.

    Father, you may disagree with my take on it because you celebrate the children's school mass, but I don't believe mass is the time for theatrics and most definitely hosting a beauty pageant is absolutely the wrong message.

    I know that some people, mostly moms of the students, don't see anything wrong with it and think that I am being judgmental, uncharitable, intolerant and making a big deal out of their fun, after all Father is getting down to their level. Right... hence the word DOWN.

  6. Yes, the more a child knows God, the more they will love themselves. The less a child knows God, the less they will love themselves- "this makes total since"
    Now a single mother. I can say, when I was living with my husband of 6 years I did not LOVE myself.


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