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 31, 2012

Luke 13:22-30 Strive

Luke 13:22-30  Strive


Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.  Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?”

How would you answer this question?  What would you say?  I still remember what a nun said one day in Faith Formation (CCD).  She said, “Everyone goes to heaven.”  Now that I look back at it, I think that was the moment I stopped believing in God.  Although I was a child, I could still think for myself.  And I kept thinking to myself, “If everyone goes to heaven, then why be good?”

Now, if you were taught (other than on Halloween night) about “fire and brimstone”, and that only a few souls go to heaven, then at least you were taught by someone who was a bit more knowledgeable of Scripture. 

Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching.  I do not teach or preach fire and brimstone (at least I don’t think I do).  What I try to teach or preach is what Christ taught and preached:  “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.”

I have met a lot of people throughout my life.  Most of them are still my friends.  They come from different parts of the world; they speak in various languages; they are poor; they are rich; they are married; they are single; they are men; they are women.  Some are dead, most are alive.  But what unites us all together is what we share in common:  suffering.

Life is difficult.  It is really difficult!  It is difficult for me and for you.  Why try to fool yourself?  Actually, why are we trying to fool our children?  Why do we hide from them our failures, faults, weaknesses, difficulties, trials and tribulations?  Why are we stunting their maturity, their growth?

Yesterday, a young mother passed away, leaving her young kids behind.  A week ago, a child was playing a game outside and hit her head against the cement sidewalk.  Today, she still struggles with walking.  A few days ago, a man lost his job and his wife was diagnosed with a rare disease.  They have two grown children in college.  All these things have brought very strong men to their knees.  I know.  I have seen it for myself.

Many will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.  We are not as strong as we think we are.  We really aren’t.  We are not as secure as we think we are, and 9/11 should be a constant reminder for all of us.  We are not as powerful as we think we are, and Sandy is just one of many kinds of storms we will run away from or die from in our lives. 

The problem isn’t that we are not strong or secure or powerful enough.  The problem is…we think we are.

So, instead of living more modestly and relying more on family, we think we can live in debt and that our friends or government will always come to our rescue.  Instead of acknowledging the strength and power that comes from religion, we think we can ignore it and solve every single international conflict with high-tech weapons and consumer goods.  We will not.  Our enemies have proven their courage to fight, and their willingness to die.   

We can be much stronger.  We really can, but only if we begin to strengthen our foundations, our “unions”; that is, our marriages, children, families and faith.  If we do, then we will rebuild The Union.

Out of all the lies people have created, and actually believed in, the biggest and longest on-going lie has been this one: Security through possession. 

This security through possession is known by various names:  career, infrastructures, friends, money, savings, investments, eating-right, etc… These are the supposed “lifelines” or means to success, happiness, love and fulfillment. 

Now I know that those who believe it will deny it.  But they actually live by it.  They even say it:  My career is my life.  My friends are my real family.  My dogs are my children.  My money is my guarantee.  My soap opera is my religion.  My savings are my insurance.  Eating healthy and right will keep me healthy and alive.

I think the good news is that if someone can believe in all these lies, then it won’t be difficult for them to believe in the truth; that is, in God.  Reality is on our side.  Reality slaps us back to the truth. 

Strive through the narrow gate.  How about we try something different, something that works, something new but actually old?  Something that costs very little yet produces great results. 

It is not unheard of that a little lock opened the door to a great mansion.  It’s not uncommon to find cheap solutions to complex problems.  Not everything in life has to be expensive.  Instead of our schools investing in therapists and counselors, police officers and in metal detectors, why not create a little bit of time for prayer?  It doesn’t cost a thing!  It’s natural.

If we outlawed prayer in a school just because of one student, wouldn’t it be worth it if it helped just one student?

Faith is not a crutch.  It is a lifesaver!  It does not help us to fall asleep at night; it helps us to get through the day when our days are dark. 

Life is not easy…for anyone. 

Strive.  What?  Strive.  Do something?  Yes, the Lord invites us to strive to pass through the narrow gate.  We are supposed to work for it.  We are supposed to do something.  Strive sounds a lot like try, and the words may actually be related. 

How can we do it if we are not strong enough?  Through Him, with Him and in Him.

What is the narrow gate?  It is a person.  Jesus Christ.   Strive to live your life through Him, with Him and in Him.  And you will find yourself…on His side.

8 comments:

  1. “just want to make sure " Cristina not going crazy, (Me) '' LOL ""

    If everyone goes to heaven, they why be good?”- do u mean they why be good vs then why be good

    ;)

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    1. thank you. Just made the correction. :)

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  2. So Damm! True and Beautiful ! everything you stated in your Meditation today. But people in today's society will never admit to it and that is extremely sad :(

    (please for give me Father for vulgar word.... ugh..)

    God Bless u Father and please have a Safe Wednesday :)

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  3. " I still remember what a nun said one day in Faith Formation (CCD). She said, “Everyone goes to heaven.” Now that I look back at it, I think that was the moment I stopped believing in God. Although I was a child, I could still think for myself. And I kept thinking to myself, “If everyone goes to heaven, they why be good?”

    Hmmm...what a silly thing for a nun to say! But I am thinking, wouldn't you want to be good because you WANT to be good? Because you love Jesus? Regardless if you are "garanteed" heaven or not? That to me, is unconditional love. I would have told that nun, if she had said that to me...Many good people go to hell!

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    1. Would I want to be good because I want to be good? Yes. Absolutely. But the problem has always been understanding what exactly is good.

      The Aztecs had their definition of what is good. The Iroquis had their idea of what is good. Christ had the most challenging definition of what is good. And I like it.

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    2. Exactly! Thats why I said,that even good people can go to hell. But the goodness I am talking about is a virtuous goodness, a fruit of the Holy Spirit,a Chirtian catholic goodness, a goodness that seeks perfection and holiness in everything we think, say or do. And the goodness that comes from goodness itself, GOD. Thats my definition of goodness. Being good (holy) because its in our nature to be with Him one day and that we naturally cling to goodness. we simply should want to be "good" holy Christians. Who show aztecs and Iroquis WHERE their goodness comes from. why is goodness so hard to understand? Why does it all have to be so complicated? Goodness to me is laying down your life for your friend, or giving your coat to the man that has nothing on his back. Burying the dead, praying for both the living and the dead, having a true love and appreciation for God and then going out and making faishers of men. Seems pretty simple to me.

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    3. P.S I like HIs definition the best, because he IS the very definition of it! When it comes down to that? goodness aint so hard to understand what exactly is good.

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