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, August 15, 2012

Lk 1:39-56 The Assumption

Lk 1:39-56  The Assumption
(Click here for readings)
Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.” 
Often, I hear people tell me that they have a hard time relating to Mary.  I agree with them.  This morning, I was having a hard time as well.  But then I thought to myself, what exactly do I have a hard time relating to?
Just a few days ago, I went to see a couple of movies with some friends.  First, I went to see Bourne Legacy.  This movie was packed with death, murder, lies, chasing scenes, fighting scenes, personal (internal) struggles, commitment, love, betrayal, and intrigue.  The movie ended the good old fashion way:  good triumphing over evil and the hero relaxing with the woman he loves.  I liked it.
Then I went to see Total Recall.  Again, this futuristic movie was jammed pack with war, terror, death, a ton of  running, fights scenes, human (internal) tragedies, struggles, betrayal, love and intrigue.  It too concluded the good old fashion way:  with good triumphing over evil and the hero embracing the woman he loves.      

In both movies, the heroes shared something in common:  some sort of amnesia.  What is interesting is that neither hero ever forgot how to fight.  If we find it hard to relate to these types of movies, it isn’t because we don’t have struggles or difficulties in our life; rather, it’s because we’ve forgotten how to fight.
If we have a hard time relating to Mary, it’s not because she lived the perfect life; it’s not because she didn’t have any struggles or difficulties or even betrayals to overcome.  Rather, it’s because we have forgotten how to fight for someone or something that is worth dying for.  
Mary was a fighter.  She knew what it would take to overcome, overpower, and outsmart the evil plans of Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Roman Empire, the Jewish authorities.  She knew what it would take to overcome Joseph’s death, her son’s arrest, crucifixion and death.  She knows it takes her unconditional, real, sincere, hard working heart pumping prayers of love towards her Son and God to save the world.
Mary was a fighter.  Why?  Because everything mattered; everything except for prestige, titles, honors and false glories.  She was more than ready to get down on her knees before ever expecting to be lifted up.
This is our problem.  Not only have we forgotten what it takes (and therefore can’t relate) to be lifted up, but we have also forgotten what matters most:  not my glory, but God’s glory.
Not only do we get furious when we are not recognized for the little we have done, but we want it all without a struggle!       
Parents want their children to be perfect.  Teachers want the perfect children.  Blessed are the moms and dads and teachers that have the imperfect, the crazy, the totally human and defective children.  Blessed are the meek and humble of heart, for they will be exalted! 
Now, if you happen to have the “perfect” children, then I’m sure the Lord will be blessed with next door neighbors that have wild kids!  And if you happened to have the “perfect” classroom last year, then I am sure you will have the “crazy” classroom this year (or at least crazy parents to deal with)!
The struggles, the trials and difficulties you experience with your children are the best way – the perfect way - to show them how much you love them.  Tribulations are the perfect reminders that you cannot do it alone.  They are the perfect road signs that lead us to prayer and sacrifice. 
In every single apparition in which Mary appears, her message is always the same: “Come back to my son”.  Translated, this means, come back to reality; come back to what is important; come back to your senses. 
We would all like a Christ without a Cross, but let’s not forget the two go together.  Something worthy of dying for leads us all the way to glory and our final resting place.


  1. I can't help but laugh a little when you wrote about teachers wanting a "perfect" classroom. I so much wanted the perfect set of 10 year olds in Faith Formation last year. The kids ended up being a huge challenge!! This year I've been assigned to teach 7th graders. Thank the Lord I do relate to our Blessed Mother well. I'm turning to her through prayer and devotion to help set aside my fears and anxiety as the new school year starts up. Maybe teaching older kids will suit me better. I certainly enjoy teaching. It's the discipline problems I find so difficult.

    I desire to imitate Mary as a peaceful fighter and not imitate a fighter on the movie screen!

    Have a Blessed Feast of the Assumption.



  2. My family and I are out of town on vacation. Yesterday our 7 year old son said he wanted to attend Mass. (How about that for a good kid?). We found a beautiful old church about 5 minutes from where we are staying. Being on vacation and not paying attention to calendars we didn't realize it was a holy day. While seated at Mass we were asked to bring up the gifts. A true blessing to our family. Had our son not stated he wanted to attend mass we would have missed a holy day and and extra blessing by bringing up the gifts. I smile thinking about how God works in our lives by just dropping little hints here and there.


    1. Craig - What a great story! Thank-you for sharing. Maybe you have a future priest in your family. ;)

      Hope you and your family are enjoying your vacation!



  3. A very Well spoken Homily today in Mass ;)

    Your Homily sound so familiar to me..........

    God Bless you My Father :)

    1. Hey Cristina! I don't know about you but I was going through a little bit of Father Alfonse homily withdrawal when he was gone on vacation. The blog is good but I get so much more out of the live sermons!

      Thank you, Father, for continuing to deliver quality and insightful homilies! Last nights was one of your best. I still chuckle over insomnia versus amnesia word stumble. LOL!!! Are you listening to any Miley Citrus? Heheheh.....You don't have that annoying alarm on your new iPhone do you? Lol....You have made me laugh so much these past two years. God Bless your humor! Brilliance!


      p.s. I hope I'm not incredibly annoying with all the comments. :( I probably need to hold back. The thing is you inspire so much thought! :)

  4. You hit the nail on the head you are getting incredibly annoying. Think you need to hold back.

    1. And you are a very rude person. Lets keep the personal attacks out of this blog.

  5. You are right. It would be perfect if you would hold back. We are getting to the point of it being annoying.

  6. "Tribulations are the perfect reminders that you cannot do it alone."

    In addition to this, I think without suffering we would not be able to appreciate the good moments. What is goodness if not the lack of evil? Likewise, I think that only through these evils can we fully understand and appreciate God's grace. After all, there is no cure if not for an ailment, no charity but for poverty, no heaven if not in contrast to hell. If not for these daily contrasts in our choices and our environments, would we still choose God? I think not; already once we had that chance and yet chose the forbidden fruit.

    That moment is often called the "fall of man", but I find it interesting that without the sufferings of natural disasters and the consequences of mankind's sins, mankind still spurned God..but now that each day is a choice to eat forbidden fruit such as lying, abortion, and theft, I think we are more likely to open ourselves to God's will. For now we can sin, and through repentance and acknowledgment of our faults fully appreciate both our mistakes - and more importantly - the God without them.

  7. The fall has always intrigued me: we find the duality of life - good & bad, recognition of male and female, suffering and joy, all the paradoxes come into being because now there is a heaven and a hell on earth. I find that it is only in suffering with Jesus on the cross in His forsakenness from the Father, His utter aloneness that I find Perfect Love, Perfect Joy. That is the moment that he 'felt' abandoned by His Father, so He had to call Him 'God' not 'Father': my God, my God, why have You forsaken me? In the moment that Jesus (divinity) felt totally human, not even believing He was God is the exact moment He gave humanity His share in divinity. Go tell my brothers…. In heaven there will be no duality, only distintion in unity, just as in the Trinity. It is a great reminder that we are not doing it alone.

    1. Thank you for this beautiful reflection Anonymous. Bless you

  8. In response to the insult to Jennifer B. : I usually don't read comments after Father Alfonse's blogs because I sometimes find a viciousness and meanness in messages aimed directly at him. It upsets me to see him take these "hits" because many of them are sniper attacks that really no words will ever bring back the conversation honorably to God. Father Alfonse is in our family prayers so that he can pursue on despite this sad evil that lurks around this blog. "Blessed are they who are persecuted for holiness sake." Well, blessed is Father Alfonse AND all those who turn to this blog for guidance and inspiration (especially those who have the guts to post something). Blessed are all of us that we can contribute in our own way (even if it is not popular). So "Anonymous" look upon this blog as a possible gift to help you on a spiritual journey AND also realize you are not the only one in line to receive the grace this blog can do for you. Jennifer is entitled to the same journey as you. Learn to walk with her to Christ not step on her. She is your sister. Go to confession for the harms you have done (and you have done many harms here) and learn to accept people around you for the way they are and who they are - God's creation!! not yours to manipulate and mold to your liking. *PS. Please, ALWAYS skip over her future postings (since you do not possess the grace to respect her journey) and simply keep your opinionated typing fingers "shut" in the future. Your viciousness is not appropriate on this blog.
    - Sandra

  9. Craig & Sandra - Thank-you for your replies. God Bless You!

    I've needed to wait a few days to "calm down" after the insulting statements made against me. To me it's shocking to read on a faith-based blog. Nobody has to read any of my posts if they find them annoying or offensive. However, I have a right like everyone else to express my point of view . (We can learn so much from one another through respectful discussion.) An important goal for the comments should be to share our reflections and opinions in a loving, respectful, and Christ-like manner. It would be a shame if comments become disabled again because people cannot play nice.

    A gentle reminder to you, Father Alfonse. As a Shepherd of the flock, I think it's important for you to moderate the comments a little more strictly, helping to keep personal attacks towards you and other blog readers to a minimum. (I understand this is difficult with your busy schedule.) I must admit I was very disappointed that you approved such a rude comment(s) in the first place. Rejecting them could've prevented a lot of frustration and upset.

    Blessings & Peace,


    1. I dont believe that Father actually reads ALL the comments. Many times I've seen people ask a simple question, requiring maybe just a short simple answer but they get ignored. I think he is often too busy to really read them and posts anyway. Maybe I'm wrong, and I hope I am, but that's the only thing that makes sense to me. No offense Father, if you're reading this. ;)


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