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!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Luke 7:36-50 Hold Fast!

Luke 7:36-50  Hold Fast!
A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him.  Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.  Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. 
Something wrong is going on when someone sins.  Something worse is going on when someone sins and calls it a blessing.  But the worst is when someone who does not sin turns away the sinner.
This woman's face was her scarlet letter.  Everyone knew her.  Everyone knew who she was.  Even she knew who she was.  She admitted it.  And she knew what she was doing was wrong.  Ah, if only there were more humble women like this woman...But come to think of it, there probably would be if there were more humble men like the Lord. 
By the looks of it, no sinner ever approached a Pharisee.  I wouldn’t.  Would you?  Would you stretch out your hand at someone who would be repulsed by it?  Would you call out for help at someone who saw you and turned the other way?  Didn’t they know?  Didn’t they just turn away?
No wonder the Lord was harsher with the “sinless” than he was with the sinner.  They were making it so hard for others to enter Heaven. 
The Lord did not come into the world to tell people that everything was okay.  He did not forgive our sins by telling us there was nothing to forgive.  Why do I keep telling people who do me wrong:  “Oh, that’s okay.  Don’t worry about it.  We can all be like that.  No big deal.” 
Sin is a big deal.  And it needs to be dealt with in a small and humble way.  That's the only way to deal with sin! 
As I was coming back to the faith of my fathers, I realized that I needed to go to Confession.  To know Scripture and the sacraments was not good enough.  I had to experience God through the sacraments.  I knew I had to go to Confession.  And it was time to go to Confession.  I had put it off way too long.  Over ten years had passed since my last confession and I had plenty to confess.  Teenage years are tough years.  And the last time I had gone to confession was when I was fifteen years old.  Oh boy!
So I decided to go to a parish that was very, very far away from my home.  None of the priests knew me (of course).  None of the parishioners knew me.  I waited in line like all the other poor sinners and waited patiently for the priest to arrive.  He eventually did and I was shocked!
He was a very old Franciscan monk.  I couldn’t believe it.  He could barely walk.  I thought to myself, “If this man hears my Confession he will die!!!”    But then a different thought began to stir in my mind.  I actually smiled.  I was convinced he wouldn’t be able to hear a thing I said.
Well, I told him everything.  He listened.  I cried.  He gave me the best advice I had ever heard.  He ended by saying, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.”  I answered, “For his mercy endures forever.”
Little did I know that this Confession would be the cornerstone of how I would hear all my Confessions.  [Or at least try to hear all my confessions.]
Little did I know that this Confession would bring be back – heart, mind, body and soul – into the arms of Jesus Christ and to an entirely new way of living my life.
Hold fast!!!  This is the ride of your life!

P.S.  We tend to associate the Lord with a few grandiose miracles.  But what we often think little of is what Christ did the most:  he touched the sick and spoke lovingly to the brokenhearted.  He did what the Pharisees should have done.  He did what we should all be doing.

4 comments:

  1. There is such beauty in this meditation. It's what you've written before: who is truly true with themselves is a truly free person. You can actually see how the truth will set you free!

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  2. I can attest that the way the monk heard your confession, is indeed how you now hear confessions.
    I, too, had not gone to confession for the longest time. Satan had a hold of me, and kept telling me it was no big deal to go to confession-- that it didn't matter any way. Oh how the father of lies, the master deceiver, will get in your head and convince you of what seems like the smallest thing-- but that's how he keeps you from our Lord.
    I was blessed to come to you for my first confession in about 10 years while I was at my CRHP retreat a couple of years ago. One of the other ladies at the retreat had encouraged me to go to you as she said it would be one of the best experiences. Best experiences? Confession? All right-- the Holy Spirit touched my heart-- and I'm so glad I listened to her and was able to come to you.
    I tell this story often (especially to lapsed Catholics or even active Catholics who don't recognize the beauty of a frequent confession)-- but after I spoke, you looked at me and said over and over "Beautiful." "Beautiful?" I asked "Did you just hear what I said, Father Alfonse?" "Yes" you said "but remember, that's what Jesus would say when you would talk to him-- that you would trust him enough to tell your sins-- and that is beautiful. And remember, I just sit in for Jesus during the confession."
    I now look at confession in a whole new light-- and understanding the power of a good (and frequent) confession.
    You, Father Alfonse, allowed me to see myself as God sees me "Beautiful." When I go to confession now-- I still hear that.

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  3. what a GORGEOUS and very sentimental Meditation Father Alfonse ;)

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  4. Sadly, I see a lot of myself in Simon. I've studied this same passage recently and preached on it this past Sunday.

    From all outward appearances, Simon is one you might today call a "good Christian." As a Pharisee, I'm sure he prayed, studied scripture, and went to the synagogue each week. Of course, he also abstained from sin.

    But that is only half of true discipleship. We must leave sin behind, but we must also follow Christ.

    I just pray that I always look upon those like this sinful woman with the same compassion as Christ.

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