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 27, 2012

Luke 9:7-9 Perplexed

Luke 9:7-9  Perplexed
Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead”; others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”; still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.”  But Herod said, “John I beheaded.  Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”
Herod looked perplexed.  He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.  Things were not as self-evident as he thought they were.  After all, he had killed The Baptist.  That should have been the end of the story.  Never did he ever imagine that it was the beginning of the story.
Not too long ago, I gave a talk at a Catholic school.  To my “Catholic” audience, I told them that if they wished to ever be a better Christian, then they must learn to think logically and live “illogically”.  Of course my young audience was a little perplexed, but I went on to explain how they must constantly be searching for the truth, in a very logical and structured way, but continue to live like Christ, who spoke and lived in a very “illogical” or “paradoxical” way. 
I then went on to explain to them the failures of atheism.  How atheism is nothing more than a backhanded slap on the face of God and more of a frontal attack on wonder and faith.  For the atheist, nothing is surprising, not even evil; nothing is beautiful, not even love; nothing is exciting, not even life.  It is all what it was supposed to be.  It is as thrilling and as amazing as dissecting a worm.    
For them, everything is self-evident…except for The Everything!  They say, “Of course the Universe exists, duh?!  What did you expect?”  Or, “Of course an apple falls from a tree.  It’s all based on the laws of physics!” …It’s as if the laws of atoms were like the laws of governments…not made but self-evident.
An atheist prides himself on believing only what he can see, and not what others have seen, which to him means everyone is sick (or blind and deformed).  It could never mean that he may be sick (or blind and deformed). 
Atheism is not only a denial of God; it is a denial of humanity, for to be a man means to be blessed in believing the unbelievable.  My dear atheist friend, you cannot be an atheist because you were conceived out of nothing!  Do you yet not understand?  Man is not only capable of believing what he cannot see but what he can dream, which allows him to eventually realize his dreams.   If he did not dream the impossible dream, then he would forever remain a prisoner in the land of what-you-see-is-what-you-have.  This man is insane, for he sees only what is there and thinks only what is humanly reasonable and observable.  If the world were truly what he could only observe, then the world would be as big as his head: small.
But no atheist ever believed himself.  No atheist will ever tell you that we have discovered everything that exists.  He knows there is still much more to discover; that there is much more that exists.  But for the sake of argument, he pretends to think we have discovered everything and that God does not exist.
Well… the reason why I mention all of this is for the fact that after I spoke, I had a student come up to me and ask me politely never speak about atheism again.  I asked the student why?  She told me that she felt insulted by what I had said.  Now, I must say I was taken aback a little by what she said since I was speaking in a school, in a Catholic school, and in the United States of America - a nation that prides itself on freedom of speech.  I was a little surprised that someone would propose censorship rather than scholarship. 
Now my response surprised the student as much as it surprised me.  I went back to Christianity.  I went back to the paradox of our faith.  I told the young student that what I had said was far less important to me than she was to me.  I told her that I would respect her wish for the time being. 
My response surprised her.  In fact, I think she was stunned, perplexed, at what I had said.  And maybe, just maybe, for the first time in her young atheist life, nothing and no one was as self-evident as her.  Maybe, just maybe, someone no longer fit in her head.


  1. "For the atheist, nothing is surprising, not even evil; nothing is beautiful, not even love; nothing is exciting, not even life."

    Believe all the nonsense you like, but please stop lying about atheists.

  2. Then explain to me what beauty is? And explain to me what good is and what evil is. You don't even know your mentors. Read one of them, Friedrich Nietzsche, and his book "Beyond Good and Evil").
    Stop lying to yourself.

  3. I love how you can tell Brian who his "mentors" are when you don't even know the guy. There is no Atheist Handbook that we all carry around and consult when we have a question; no two atheists are alike, contrary to the picture you tried to paint on this misguided blog post.

  4. Well then Bryan, that is a problem that you all atheists have. You can't seem to agree on anything...except for the fact that anyone who believes is a gullible person. But then again, maybe some don't think that way, while others do. I have plenty of proof of the latter.
    But I would appreciate it if you could answer the questions I stated regarding good and evil and beauty. I would like to give you a chance to respond. Also, I guess Brian was asking me to stop lying about "some" atheists, right? If, you all don't believe in the same "atheism".

  5. Brian and Bryan,
    I assume you're both Athiests? Forgive me if I'm wrong and read no further. But as non believers, what will your choice be when you die and are face to face with our Creator? As of now you say He doesn't exist right? But "if" (I say "if" only for your benefit) He does exist, will you choose Him or choose hell to spite Him since you've denied Him for however long? I guess that is whether He gives you a choice, which I believe He will because He is forever merciful, forgiving and loving. (I imagine you don't believe in hell either? But humor me please.) I find it hard to believe anyone could not believe in God by just the sheer fact that we roam the face of this earth. The fact that we can see out of our complicated eyes is miraculous. Every detail down to our cells and how they function in our bodies is miraculous. The fact that trees drop their leaves in the Fall and grow anew in Springtime is miraculous. Who told them to do so? Someone had to create life. No way could all this matter on earth have evolved into what we see and breathe. No way. Our universe couldn't have been created out of nothing if nothing existed to begin with. That Something has a name.

  6. Father Alfonse - I can see how Brian and Bryan may take offense. Your words come across as very sarcastic and judgmental. There's the assumption all atheists are one big glob of despair and nothingness. Just like Christianity, can't atheism have different "beliefs" and nuisances? Are all atheists necessarily bad people because they don't believe in God? Your approach on this post is not necessarily an invitation to Christ but more contempt. Maybe not all the atheists read the heavy philosophical babble of the pioneers of the atheist movement. Could it be possible self-proclaimed atheists are confused in their identity and have experienced circumstances that don't validate a God? To say atheists believe "nothing is exciting, not even life" is quite harsh! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder regardless if an atheist or a believer.

    I certainly hope your talk was addressed to an age-appropriate Catholic school audience of high schools. I've always wanted to ask: Why all of this fascination on atheism? It's a very common theme on your blog.

    (Please don't take offense to my comments. You know I'm a believer and generally agree with you.)

    Blessings & Peace,


  7. I appreciate your thoughts and comments. However, just reading the newspaper today, I noticed yet again an atheist group that threatened to sue a city in Colorado over a day of prayer. How disgusting. How utterly disgusting. "Bryan" and "Brian" wish to hide behind the cloak that not all atheists are the same. Prove it. I am not convinced.
    Atheists have brought absolutely nothing to good to this world. In fact, they wish to take away the greatest good from this world: GOD. And I refuse to let them do it, especially on my own blog. :)
    Atheists have become militant. And when they become militant, they deny everyone their constitutional rights to the free exercise of religion, even in the public square.
    It's important that we say things clearly: A bad Christian, wherever he goes, is a disappointment to the world. A good Christian, wherever he goes, is a gift to the world. A bad atheist, wherever he goes, is not so confident in himself. A good atheist, wherever he goes, is so confident in himself that he brings fear and trembling... as he goosesteps across the world.

  8. “An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.”
    Fulton J. Sheen quote

  9. Father Alfonse,

    I will have to agree with Jennifer that you have mentioned the Atheist several times. I believe you mentioned them in one of your homilies and a couple times in your blog. Drop the attitude you convey when you speak of them and focus on the beauty of being Catholic. We all have a right to our own beliefs.

    God Bless You

  10. Dear Anonymous, I respectfully decline your invitation and for the same reason that you so beautifully state: "We all have a right to our own beliefs."

  11. I'm tired of people who want to bury their heads in the sand and think if we ignore the atheists they will just go away. They are vigorously attacking our beliefs and our faith and we need to fight back. We need to stop letting them roll over us. Stand up for what you believe in and fight back or they will continue to take away our rights!



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