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!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Luke 10:38-42 Lord, Do You Not Care?

Luke 10:38-42  Lord, Do You Not Care?
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to Jesus and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?  Tell her to help me.”  The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.  There is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
Lord, do you not care?  The Lord cares…that I know.  But I’m not convinced that He cares so much about what we care so much about.  While we stress over a lot of things that maybe are just not worth stressing about, we don’t stress enough what we should be stressing.
Forget for a moment that Martha is working hard in preparing and serving a meal.  Let’s, for a moment, imagine that Martha is a 21st century woman, wife and mom who doesn’t prepare or serve a meal but rather stresses over picking the right nanny to tend to her only child.  Lord, don’t you care that I pick the right nanny? Now of course I can’t speak for the Lord, but my gut instinct tells me He really doesn’t care.  Or let’s take for a moment our full-time working man who thinks he's a part-time dad and husband.  He puts in extra hours on Saturday and Sunday to get that big promotion at work.  Lord, don’t you care that I make more money than I really need?  Again, I can’t speak for the Lord, but I think it’s a sure bet that He doesn’t really care.   
There is a school for young children in Dallas that by the name of it I thought at first was a French pastry shop.  But then one morning I was surprised to see so many kids getting dropped off to get a pastry, and right before school!  I inquired and found out that my little “French pastry store” was actually an American’s ingenious business plan to start up a very expensive school for the snobbish and lonely children of the very rich and far too busy parent.
Recommendations written by school parents reinforce what I just said:
“If not my wife or I…then [this school] slightly (maybe overly) protective parents, we looked at EVERY option. Nanny’s, babysitters, daycares, half days, half weeks, full weeks…Far and away the best decision was [this school].
They stressed.  They looked at every option, except the obvious one; that is, that they downsize to allow someone to stay home and be the most important person in their child's life; that is, the first educators of love, faith and values to their own God-given and precious child. 
Another stressed-out parent writes:  “Our daughter has attended [this school] since she was 7 months and she’s now almost 4 years old.  [This school] has exceeded our expectations and prepared her so well for Pre-K.  I highly recommend [this school] This is not a daycare but the first steps into education.”
Yes, before your child can take his or her first physical steps, they need to be taking their first cognitive steps “into” education, Pre-K. 
Now, I've always understood how some poor families could not afford to have one parent stay home.  But the fact that rich families cannot afford to either is very confusing to me. By the looks of it (and commentaries), it seems as though rich parents are stressed just as much over the right educational options for their child as poor parents are stressed over the lack of options for their child.  Everyone seems to be stressed out, regardless of whether or not they are rich or poor.  So maybe poverty and wealth have nothing to do with stress but being over-ambitious and selfishness do?
This might explain why so many children are on medication for anxiety and stress.  It’s not because their parents are rich or poor, it’s because their parents stress over the wrong things.
We should all take a trip to Finland where children start their education at the age of seven and don’t seem to worry so much about keeping up with other Fin’s.
I don’t think toddlers need teachers to learn skills or a foreign language like French by the time they can pick their nose.  [Of course, there is a French way to pick one’s nose…if you did not already know.]  I think toddlers need their mom and dad to take care of their bloody nose.
Does the Lord care about this?  I don’t think so.  Actually, I know He doesn’t care at all!  But I guarantee you that the Lord does care that we are faithful to our vocation as husband/wife and father/mother.  The good news is that he will hold us accountable for the simple things in life.  The bad news is that most of these things are neglected on a daily basis. 
Did you give your time, attention and affection to your spouse and family?  Did you stress to your children the need to pray to the love of their life?  Did you teach your children how to love as they should? 
If not, then it is time to stress over them...over and over again.


  1. I don’t think toddlers need teachers to learn skills or a foreign language like French by the time they can pick their nose. [Of course, there is a French way to pick one’s nose…if you did not already know.] - LOL!

  2. Did you give your time, attention and affection to your family? Yes!

    Did you stress (every single day) to your children the need to pray to the love of their life? Yes
    Did you teach your children how to love as they should? Yes ! and they do that very well with that " They know how to show Affection. And they Appreciate what they have in their life as well.

  3. As a middle class, but not rich or poor, mother, I think you are being a little closed minded and opinionated here. I believe God DOES care about where we put our children during working hours. I believe he cares about our worries! I would have LOVED to be home full time with my kids, but I couldn't be, so I worried and stressed over finding the best provider for them I could. It was really painful and heartbreaking for me, but you do what you have to do in life.

    Many parents are in this situation and it isn't always because they value "riches" over their children--that's a rather shallow surface reading of the situation (though I'm sure it is true in some cases). That said, I agree that we need to replace our values with God's. I just don't think it necessarily applies to the childcare situation you used in your message.

    1. Oh. Believe me. A poor family would never be able to pay for this school. My question is why is a rich family opting for this when they could easily afford having their child stay with one of them? Isn't this the best for a 7 month old?

  4. I was asked by my brother to come over last week to watch his 1 1/2 year old son so he could do something business oriented (he plays Mr. Mom most days while his wife climbs the career ladder). I jumped at the children are much older so spending time with a sweet baby is fun for me. While waiting for my nephew to wake up the housekeeper walked up to me and asked if she thought it was ok for her to go in my brothers bedroom now. Why not? I was confused. Apparently my sister in law was home, but on the phone. I can't tell you how uncomfortable this made me feel. Once he woke up I changed him, fed him, played outside with him and enjoyed him. And his Mom was on the phone missing this sweet time. Time I know you can never get back. I chose to be a stay at home Mom. It was a still is a struggle, but I cherish that I was there when they woke up. I was the one teaching them their alphabet and manners. I was the one playing with them...even though sometimes it did get monotonous and I sometimes craved time to myself. I read that Pope Benedict said on Saturday that there is “a clear link between the crisis in faith and the crisis in marriage.” I wish more men and women valued their spouses and children, as they do their careers and stuff. Thank you Father.

  5. I was looking forward to seeing the little girl picking her nose, French-style. I guess I’ll have to wait to learn about that. Is it difficult?
    You bring up too many points to tackle….as always. :)
    We have home-schooled, private-schooled and public-schooled our kids. I have tried to understand the moms (parents) in all of these “categories”, including myself. The ‘helicopter’ parents who hover over their kids to make sure that they don’t get hurt or make mistakes (exaggerated) or the parents who really are not engaged in their kids at all (survival). But there are so many parents in between – rich and poor, intelligent or uneducated, materialistic or someone who just doesn’t care what they /their home looks like, and all the mixes in between. As you say. A different way of thinking about it: it depends on where you are in that time of your life. I think God wants us to dig so deep into ourselves that we hurt, that we struggle and pray about all our decisions and in the end, you’re right it didn’t matter that much, but you didn’t know that at the time. THAT is the journey! You won’t get it if you don’t go through it. You experience God only through the cross, through life’s pain. And God sees you! He sees your sincerity – that is how you become like Him. He is compassion incarnate! I guess there’s another way…. I just don’t know it. Isn’t that what a saint is? someone struggling through life in the signs of the times?
    I can’t see how you find God in obeying a bunch of rules all your life and 'not sinning'. You’ve finally got to get to the point (only through grace) where you do the right thing because you see the truth right in front of you and you do not ‘obey’ the rules any longer. You just desire to live your life in this absolutely more beautiful way, which is God's way, but it takes on a whole different meaning. You are in love with Jesus Crucified and forsaken. There are no more ‘shoulds’. There is only Him. Only me and Him. There is the experience that the Christian mystics call the union of Mary and Martha. Contemplation and Acts of Love which is the consequence of union with God. I'm definitely not there yet, but if I persevere in prayer and acts of love, I think God will finally get tired of me and just help me out a little.
    Today I read that Mother Teresa told a priest (who she was very close to) that one thing she never had to confess was that she ever judged anyone!!!! She said, “If you judge someone, there’s no room left for loving them.” Another mystic in our Church said, “We are either loving someone or judging them….. and they know the difference.”
    Thanks for all your meditations. They are truly beautiful.

  6. Four months ago, my husband lost his high powered job, and for the first time in his entire life, found himself joining the ranks of the unemployed. A very bitter pill to swallow for a guy with a golden resume who has only enjoyed a constant trajectory of success throughout his career. Undoubtedly, it's a significant jolt to our household on many levels. In turning to my faith and clinging to Christ, I chose to view this bump in the road as one of "life's interuptions" that might actually bear some good fruit for both my husband and our family -- more quality time spent with the wife and children, coaching the kids' sports teams which he always wished he had the time to do, working on projects at home, volunteering at school, visiting family, but especially, growing in our faith during a crisis. To my surprise, the job search has completely consumed him to where he's now working even longer hours including weekends! But what is really troubling is his insistance that
    I need to "step up" and head back to the workforce even though it was my career that I walked away from so as to dedicate myself to my vocation as a mother and a wife.
    This was my gift to him when we started our family. The growing pressure has had me doubting my original conviction and certainly, the additional paycheck would give a little relief, but my job would demand all of my time and energy at the expense of my kids. The Holy Spirit was working through you, Father Alfonse, because I had been praying about this for awhile and wondering if I was being too stubborn in defending my wish to remain as a full time mother. Your meditation affirmed for me what I needed to hear, once again, and that is the vital importance of my guiding presence in the lives of my children.

    Btw, the "pastry shop" (for the longest time I thought it was an ice cream parlor) that you describe was the same
    day care/school where someone very dear to me use to drop off her children so she could enjoy working "part time." Tragically, one morning she didn't wake up. She left behind four young children along with her husband. The sad irony is how often she would advise me to not sacrafice a family for my whirlwind career...I thank God for granting me the Grace to see and know what's most important in life and to cherish them always.


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