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, October 10, 2012

Luke 11:1-4 Is God A Reality?

Luke 11:1-4  Is God A Reality?
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”  He said to them, “When you pray, say:  Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.  Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”
A few weeks ago, I went to a volleyball game at Bishop Lynch.  I was invited by a student at John Paul II High School that used to attend my old school and parish, St. Joseph.  While I was watching this awesome kid play against Bishop Lynch, a former student of mine, from St. Monica and who now attends Bishop Lynch, sat next to me and we began to talk.  [I hope you are not confused…as you can see, I’ve been around!]
At a certain point in our conversation I mentioned to my companion that John Paul II had a very good volleyball team.  This student looked over at me and said, “Now Father, is that school named after a Pope?” 
Now, I am not about to blame St. Monica for failing to teach this child the faith.  Nor am I about to blame any teacher for not having taught this child.  What I will say is the following:  no parent can expect a school to teach their child everything.  Parents must be the first educators of their children in what to believe, in how to live and in how to pray.  In fact, the Church proudly calls the family the domestic Church, the place where a child experiences the love and affection of God as Father, Mary as our Mother and Jesus as our brother.
Is this happening?  The data has been rolling in for years now and the results don’t look good at all.
Bishop Farrell, in a gathering of priests, mentioned that only 1% of college students attend Church.  The stats are no better for kids who attended Catholic High Schools.  That’s not good, and there is no excuse for such poor results.  The question is:  Why?
Recently, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, told a group of more than 260 cardinals, bishops and priests that “being tepid is the greatest danger of Christians.”  How fitting. 
Just yesterday, someone wrote a comment to me that I should give the benefit of the doubt to a young man that did not look me in the eyes or greet me as I walked by him.  [He was waiting for his school bus to take him to his Catholic school.]  So, instead of just walking by him, I decided to stop next to him (actually, I stood in front of him and pretended to “pray to him” - as if I were praying in front of a statue of a saint).  I thought that was a funny way to break the ice, and it kind of - sort of - did.
One commentator wrote, “Well, Father, maybe he is shy.  I was terribly shy when I was a child…Maybe he is scared of priests.  Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.”  Now, this writer made me think, and think hard about what I was writing. I thought, “Maybe he is shy.  Maybe he is afraid of priests.”  But then I asked myself, "Wait a second, would this have changed anything I did?"  No!  Not at all.  And that is the point of the Holy Father’s speech to cardinals, bishops and priests:  We cannot be tepid or timid in proclaiming the Good News to anyone.
We are so concerned about being wrong that we end up doing little-to-nothing that is holy or right or good.
Let's never give anyone the “benefit of the doubt” when it comes to knowing Jesus Christ.  Why?  Because I prefer to be wrong about someone’s shyness than to be shy about Jesus Christ. 
We cannot ignore the data that is coming in.  We cannot ignore the fact that High School students are a scarcity in our Masses. Why should I think that everyone belongs to the 1% when chances are they belong to the 99%? 
What is there to lose when we reach out?  Let’s say I was wrong and this child was very spiritual and loved Jesus and the Church but was shy.  What would have happened?  Nothing.  If he had lost his faith then he had no faith.  Most likely, he would have laughed and said, “Funny Father”.  But what would have happened if I was being ignored because he had little or no faith?  A lot!  And just maybe I would have wiped a tear, healed a bruise, and chipped away a piece of ice that was surrounding his faith.
“Being tepid is the greatest danger of Christians.” 
Often, I hear parents say, “Well, a lot of teenagers lose their faith in High School and College but most of them come back to it when they are older.”  Now that’s as reassuring as a doctor giving me the prognosis that only 9 out of 10 die from the disease I have. 

The fact that 99% of Catholic High School and College students do not attend Mass, or that most will come back to Church later in life is not at all reassuring to me.  It should not be to any Christian parent either.  As for me, I will not leave it to chance or give the benefit of the doubt to anyone.  I will go out and do whatever it takes to win souls for Jesus Christ.  And by the way, humor is a great way of breaking the ice.
Why are people so afraid to share the Good News with others?  Well Father, they aren’t ready to hear it.  No one is ever ready to hear it.  But we all need it.  The Holy Father asked his audience a question:  “Is God a reality or not?  Why is he silent?”
The answer he gave is the point of today’s meditation:  Because we have done everything possible to keep Him out!  We have made every possible excuse to be silent about Him.    


  1. I think people are afraid to share the Good News with others because they fear judgement. "Oh, boy. You're one of those crazy yah-whoo's." Well, bring it. I'm proud to be a so-called crazy yah-whoo when it comes to Him. That's my Father you're talking about.

    When I reflect on this fear, it makes me realize how adolescent we are. Just as when we were young and asked our parents to drop us off around the corner from school –- we don't want our "friends" to see that our parents drive us places! In the adolescent mind, we want to pretend they don't exist, because showing our love for them represents some lack of independence; we want to be rebels!

    I was always so impressed by the kids who were comfortable being seen with their parents. They had confidence in knowing that their parents were "cool". Maybe we (as Christians) need to spiritually grow-up and recognize that Jesus was a rebel! A rebel with the most important cause. How's that for cool? I'm good being seem with Him.

  2. "We are so concerned about being wrong that we end up doing little-to-nothing that is holy or right or good." For a vast majority of us, I think you hit the nail on the head. What happened to most Catholic youth growing up in the late 60s,70s? It wasn't learning catechism... and I went to a parachial school with nuns teaching us! We didn't learn the faith as well as we should have. Most people my age would say the same. But because my parents were incredible Catholics, I learned how to love like Christ at home. (I know that's one of your points.) With that being said, what am I to evangelize: love or catechism? How many parents still do not know their faith very well? So to argue / debate with someone over dogmas, doctrines, interpretations of words can be very difficult unless you know your doctrines,dogmas and why they are what they are. To speak about the God of Love which I live through experiences, I get. I don't know if you can understand what I am trying to convey. But there is a big difference. I would love to hear specifics what you think about the difference in these two 'new evangelizations'.
    I love how you handled the boy/statue! What more portrays that priests are funny, honest, and wanting to build relationships!!! My kids would have loved it, but again, they are use to dry humor :)

  3. by the way, humor is a great way of breaking the ice - So VERY true!

  4. I'd like to see the statistics showing the number of parents of high school children that attend Mass on a regular basis. I'm betting there is a correlation.

    I never thought of skipping Mass when I was a kid, I didn't know it was an option! If I was unable to attend Mass with my Mother, I would attend Mass by myself. I had a job in high school that required me to be at work at 3AM Saturday and 3AM on Sunday. I told my supervisor I had to leave at 7:30AM on Sunday to be at 8AM Mass. Luckily, he was a devote Catholic and it wasn't a problem. If it was, I would have found another job.

    I hope I'm raising my kids to believe they don't have an option either. I'm also hoping to raise them to think mowing the lawn is a privilege! If I can't have both, I'll settle for the first.



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