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!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Jn 12:24-26 Equality and Christianity

Jn 12:24-26  Equality and Christianity
Jesus said to his disciples:  “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.  Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.”
Is God asking a man or woman to lose their humanity by accepting Christianity?  Is a man or woman supposed to hate who they are?  Does a man lose his masculinity by becoming a lamb?  Does a woman lose all that she has worked so hard to gain by becoming a handmaid of the Lord? 
Scripture tells us, though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to but emptied himself, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (cf. Phil 2:6-8).  “He became poor so that we could be rich” (2Cor 8:9).
Christ gave up everything, EVERYTHING…except His love.  And by keeping His love, he kept his identity. 
 Equality now!  Equality forever!  Here is the battle hymn of our new republic.  But what exactly does it mean?   Does equality mean losing one’s identity, or masculinity, or femininity?
I have always loved watching our school kids play sports, any sport:  basketball, soccer, football, softball, volleyball, etc… They know I am their biggest fan.  If I can make it to a girls or boys game, then I will be there.  If I need to adjust my schedule to be there, then I will adjust it.  I love watching our kids compete and I have been very proud of the way they conduct themselves on and off the field. 
So don't be shocked for what I am about to write. 
This year, the Olympics coincided with part of my vacation and I had the pleasure of watching some incredible matches on TV.  The latest thriller was the woman’s soccer game for gold.  I thoroughly enjoyed their victory even though I was somewhat disgusted by their performance.  Why?  Let me explain.
There has been a lot of talk about women athletes during these competitions; specifically, how they have achieved equality with men.  But was the goal of women athletes to act more like men or to have the same opportunity as men?  If it was to be more like men, then I am afraid they succeeded.  If it was to have the same opportunity as men, then they capitulated and settled for more equality and less quality.  If I were to provide an analogy, it would be similar to that of Adam giving the apple to Eve and Eve saying, “Now we are equal”.   It may be a victory in equality, but it is definitely a tragedy in quality.
Women have always been fierce competitors:  they never give up; they never give in.  They fight till the end.  They fight till they win.  They didn’t have to learn that from any man! They had it in them since the fall of man.
So while I was watching the woman’s soccer game, I wasn’t surprised or disappointed at all in the fierce competition.  I loved it!  But what surprised me and disappointed me was how certain players imitated certain male idiosyncrasies.  Let me be specific.  While I was watching the game, I saw some players spit on the field, just like men; lift their shirts up, to wipe their brow, just like men (thank God they wore a bra unlike men); and “act” injured just like men.  Then, it dawned on me how their shorts and jerseys were designed just like for men. 

I have seen girls play soccer for years.  But I was shocked to see how many female soccer players behaved just like male soccer players on the field.  In my humble opinion, they missed a great opportunity to teach men a few new tricks…like manners, sportsmanship, performance and athleticism.  During the gold medal game, I even say a few athletes shoot snot out of their nose, just like the men do.
Why do woman consider it an honor to be compared to men? Doesn't that fall right into their hands?  When will she ever be free to be herself?  Why will she consider you a friend if you tell her she played like a man, and be insulted if you told her she played like a woman?  How funny!  And we consider this to be equality?  That’s not equality; that’s surrendering!  It’s a loss of identity!  It’s a loss of uniqueness! 
Maybe the problem began when certain feminists insisted on measuring themselves against men; in what they do; in what they have; in how they live their lives.  Success for them has always been dependent on the male figure.  Because of this (and in an ironic twist), men continue to hold the key to their success. 
Women’s soccer in the Olympics is not old; it became an official Olympic sport just a few years ago.  Again, in my opinion, women athletes missed an incredible opportunity to get out from under the shadow of men.  They could have designed their own uniforms, created their own code of conduct, and recreated an incredible sport that would inspire even more young girls to join and not be concerned about losing their feminine identity and genius.  I know the same would be true for male sports and athletes.
The beauty of Christianity, unlike anything in the world, does not insist on the extermination of the individual, male or female; nor does it elevate one above the other.  What it does is purify and combine one with the other to create an image and likeness of God's heart and love. 
To be a Christian does not mean to live in paradise, it means to live in paradox.  It means making yourself great by making yourself small.  It means the rich man needs the example of the poor woman (with the two small coins), in order to make it into heaven.  It means God needed to serve man so that man could serve God and neighbor.  The Son of God came into the world not to be served but to serve:  male and female he served.  By His life and sacrifice He tipped the scale and brought balance (equality) into the world, not in pay, nor in titles, but in what matters most:  dignity and salvation. 
By making us all one (equal) in Him, the Lord does not strip us of ourselves (of our individuality, personality or even gender) but from our sins, and kept us true to our identity.


  1. Very nice pro-woman meditation today. Thank-you, Father! Nice way to start the weekend. :)

    I missed watching the Women's Soccer Finals but I did watch the Women's Beach Volleyball Finals. Wow...Feminity and athleticism is what set apart these fine USA teams & made them rival their male counterparts. Nice not to see any "male" idiosyncrastic behavior. Just good old clean competition. Of course, Misty & Kerri are more seasoned athletes. I assume the US Womens soccer team is much younger (and more immature). I really found annoying the whiney, cry baby, poor sportmanship from some of our women athletes. Shocking to be all ticked off for winning a silver medal instead of a gold medal. A medal is a medal. I think it's an honor just to make it to the Olympics!

    Why women consider it to be an honor to be compared to men? The **obvious** reason is because women have been considered inferior to men for way too long. It's about time we shine every now and then. Be considered better than a man! (No offense guys...) I'm fiercely competitive by nature in all aspect of my life. However, I'm still ok with being my quirky self. I make it a point not to behave like a digusting boy! ( offense.) Be myself. Yeah, I may not make as much money as a man, have the power of a man, or the status of the man. But, overall I know God still considers me an equal counterpart! I know Our Lord still loves me unconditionally and values my individuality. I wish women would realize they don't have to act like a man to be a success in this world. Just be the best they can be and let God take care of the rest.

    Have a great weekend! Safe travels home...


    1. the rest.- Yes! I totally agree,I just recently became a single mother of 4.Even it was my choose and decision in my life.I have enjoyed every minute of it.I have LEARNED in these couple of months doing manly jobs and feel really good about it and noticed of myself that I can do this"BETTER then man " lol

      of course it's about time we shine every now and then, in my case toward my children lol

    2. Good thinking !Mrs Jennifer ,u are a very unique and smart women. you remind me of my daughter that is going into 8th grade in couple weeks.

  2. Father Alfonse,

    Hope you had a wonderful time on your vacation. Hope you have a safe trip home and we miss you at St. Monica.

  3. Are you referring to our gymnast who won the silver? If so don't be too quick to judge. That pic of her was unfortunate because they caught her at a time when she was personally disappointed in her performance, not in receiving a silver medal. You know we are our worst critic and that mistake, landing on her bottom, shocked everyone - she's never done that in competition. In an interview she said no one who lands a routine as horribly as she did deserves a gold medal. I'm sure people are going to run with the pic to knock her down.

    1. Yes, I'm referring to the gymnast who won the silver. And...**no** I'm not being "too quick to judge." (I don't appreciate the implication.) Most likely this poor girl will not receive the advertisement endorsements like the other athletes did because of her poor sportsmanship. This is really a pity because she's a very talented young lady.


    2. I would cry too!! There is alot of stress on those athletes, and after training for years for that moment and falling....yep, I would be upset. It gives a whole knew swist to sportsmanship, it is alot easier to have sportsmanship during a Candy Land game then in the Olympics:)

  4. The conduct of the soccer players sounds disgusting and unfortunately it reflects the growing trend that being a "lady" either means to be like a man or the other side of the pendulum be an object of men's pleasure. There is no acceptable in between or better yet no alternative. I love volleyball but was very saddened by the skimpy outfits that they wore. So many times I wanted to scream "At least pull the uniform back down over your bottom when you get up." What would Our Queen Mary say to women today? I highly doubt she would use the words "impressive." Moms who dress like their daughters (both looking like prostitutes) or women whose demeanor is so masculine it brings back flashbacks of the old Saturday Night Live skits in which no one could tell if "Pat" was a man or woman. I think Our Queen would ask us where is the grace? Where is the mystery in our calm and loving demeanor? Where is the extended charity and warmth yet strength and poise? Where is the softness and comfort in our eyes?

    Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. I fear women are being steered to focus on loving this life and themselves more than even giving thought to the afterlife. If your a woman and doubt what I'm saying just ask yourself how much money did you spend on that purse? How much did you spend on your nails last year? I'm not perfect and I have my indulgences too. I just things are getting out of hand and the real sad part is our daughters are watching and learning what being a woman is unfortunately ....from us....

    1. Personally, I don't spend a whole lot of $$ on a purse and I barely get my nails done. I use my money simply and as wisely as possible. But, of course, I'm not your average female. But, to even throw out those materialistic questions bothers me.....Maybe the opposite should be asked of a man: How much money does he spend on a fancy sports car or beer for Sunday night football? Maybe men should also give "thought to the afterlife" instead of "loving this life" by using women as sexual objects, abandoning their wives/families, beating up their significant others, placing Sports & work ahead of family obligations, etc. Selfishness is a characteristic affecting both men and women. I blame men for so much of what's wrong with the young women today. (For example, loss of a strong father role model in the home.) These young women learn that being sexy and assertive is a way to attract attention. Being "more like a man" gives them a sense of power and entitlement. They see our secular society isn't too fond of the religious, traditional, and modest woman. It's quite sad because more traditional gals, including myself, get overshadowed by the macho masculine female types. It's an endless competition of modesty versus indecency.

      Our dear Blessed Mother would be disappointed, ashamed, and deeply sadden by the state of women today. Secularism doesn't seem to help the situation. It's important for parents to instill proper morals and decency standards in their children at a young age. (I figure the women dressing up like their daughters must be going through a midlife crisis...)


    2. "It's quite sad because more traditional gals, including myself, get overshadowed by the macho masculine female types. It's an endless competition of modesty versus indecency."

      Overshadowed, competition. Who are you competing for? Actually it is more like what are you competing for? Why would you feel overshadowed by masculine female types? They receive the attention they want with their behavior, would you want the same attention they get, by the same people who give it to them? Don't feel like you get overshadowed by them! I am sure that they don't feel overshadowed by you when you attract the attention of a more mature person who prefers a lady in a skirt! And if you think about it...modest people grab the attention of a person who has values and morals, and if you are a modest person you should only be looking for these types of people. Same for a person who is indecent they are looking for a person that will be indecent with them, a truly moral person would not hang with this type of crowd. Suddenly, BOOM, there is no longer any competition, neither person modest or indecent wants what the other person has. Act like who you want to attract, then no one will feel overshadowed or in a competition with someone they really have nothing in comman with.

      I don't understand why woman feel like they need to be equal to men or be able to do everthing just like men. It is like saying, wow, that person is better than me, I want to be like them. The sincerest form of flattery is immatation. It is kinda like women, grow a back bone, live your own life, don't go chasing down someone elses. If you flatter someone to much they might end up thinking they are better than you.

  5. Thank you, thank you Father. I cannot wait to show my young athletic daughter this meditation and I'm going to savor just how much she "throws like a girl!" You remain in my prayers.

  6. Hope you have a safe trip home. Miss you at St. Monica.

    God Bless You

  7. WOW! Father Alfonse, I'M very impress and superised regarding your mediation about the women soccer team. I see u have an eye for detail. That is good

    oh my father so happy and excited u are back home.

  8. Father Alfonse,

    Welcome home. Missed you.

    God Bless You

  9. I think that the feminist movement is still moving. It will be an interesting turn of events when we see that women are not going to be ignoring the past. We collectively will learn from our mistakes and do whatever it takes to get back to our true identity. The pendulum might be swinging way to one side now, but I do have hope that we (individually) will begin to make the right connections to change the feminist movement collectively. Why? Because Mary is our Mother! God humbly made Mary the most beautiful creature! A female! Our Mother is continuing to love us in this time of confusion, but she is not going to give upon her daughters. Just watch, she is full of surprises!
    I don’t know how you do it Father, but sometimes you say just the right words that I can relate to!


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