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!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Luke 17:1-6 Power In Forgiveness

Luke 17:1-6  Power In Forgiveness

Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur…Be on your guard!  If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to your seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.”

There are certain human tendencies we all share in common.  They come to us naturally.  And while most are very good, some are not so good.  For example: we protect our own; we protect our “skin”; we run from dangerous situations; we blame others; we avoid conflict; we use people for personal gain, etc.

“Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face” (Psalm 24:6).  Really?  Is this true? 

If I long to see God’s face, then I must increase my faith.  

It’s never an easy thing to forgive.  It’s not even easy to forgive someone once.  It’s unimaginable to forgive someone seven times!  There’s really only one explanation for this:  we don’t go to confession enough.  If we did, we would be more understanding…and more forgiving.

If your brother wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, “I am sorry,” you should forgive him.

Not too long ago, an individual stopped me in the mall and ask me if I would hear his confession.  I said, “Of course!” 

He was taken aback. 

I think he was expecting me to say “No!” or something like, “I can’t do it right now”, or “Why don’t you stop by the Church later on today.”  By the look on his face, I think he had wished I had said no, for after I agreed to hear his confession, he began to give me every possible excuse why he shouldn’t go to confession.  His excuses were interesting, very interesting, but definitely not uncommon.

I’m not sure if I should be here.  Well, you are here.  You made it.  Actually, maybe you were driven to it.  But no matter how you got here, you are now standing in front of me.   If there is one place in the world that you should never feel guilty of going to, it is Confession.  You can’t go wrong.  Even if you have no sins to confess, you can’t make a mistake by going to confession.   

I don’t feel sorry for my sins.  What to do?  Confess your lack of remorse.  Even that can be forgiven. 

But maybe I’m using God!  You are!  Of course you are!  We all are!  Who do you think you are?  We are all selfish.  We all use God.  And He knows it!  We all take advantage of his love, his generosity, his wealth, his power, his mercy and compassion.  We all pray for victory.  We all pray for God’s strength.  What we don’t pray for is to do His Will.  We don’t!  And God knows that.  And it doesn’t change a thing. 

God knows He is the biggest sucker in the world!  He knows we will go right back to sinning and come right back to ask for forgiveness.  But what we do doesn’t change who He is.   

Do I honestly think that God is going to change because of me, because of what I do, because of the sins I commit?  He’s not going to stop being the King of Love because I take advantage of His love.  He won’t allow me to define Him.  He’s God, which means, He is Who He Is, regardless of who I am. 

How different God is to all my friends.  When my friends hurt me they end up changing me.  When I hurt a friend, I end up changing them.  I wipe the smile off their face.  I ruin their day.  I change them for good; that is, for worse. 

I make their heart more like mine.  I make them become more like me.  They begin to strike back at others.  They pick fights.  They say and do what I say and do.    How easy it is to change someone! 

It’s not uncommon for children to turn dark, negative and rebellious when their parent’s divorce.  It’s not uncommon for them to no longer believe in love or in anything that is good. 

How easy it is for people to influence and change who we are.  What is the remedy?  How can we avoid this?  Love as I love you.  Forgive as I forgive you.

We must love as the Lord loves and forgive as the Lord forgives, for every time we forgive, we refuse to be mastered by the sinner and changed by the sin.  We refuse to be like the one we forgive.

But every time we forgive someone, we make them more like us; actually, more like Him.

People will fail us.  So let’s not give them so much influence in our lives.  Only the Lord has earned the right to be loved above all things, for He is the only One who has the power to change us to who we were always meant to be.


  1. Wow! This last paragraph would have been so comforting to read last Tuesday/Wednesday morning after the election results were made known.

  2. "People will fail us. So let’s not give them so much influence in our lives. Only the Lord has earned the right to be loved above all things, for He is the only One who has the power to change us to who we were always meant to be."
    I don’t know Father. I have thought about your words, but find them hard to put into my life – because the only way I encounter God is through my neighbor. Yes prayer, but I can’t live my vocation in a monastery. It must be both. I may fail my friend, even in sin, as we humans tend to do. They too will grow. My kids fail me, but I am mature enough to know that that is the only way they will grow spiritually, emotionally, mentally. I actually want them to fail (not in sin, but in mistakes). It means they are taking appropriate risks, learning life lessons and not always trying to be safe / victims.
    I was guilt-ridden over something I did several weeks ago. I was embarrassed and ashamed as I continued my rapport with my God. During this time, unbeknownst to him, a friend wrote something to me that Thomas Aquinas wrote in the Summa Theologica so I looked it up. (A little light reading!) I couldn’t believe what my Lord put in front of my eyes: “Pride is the greatest of capital sins….. God often uses as a remedy for pride, sins of the flesh which are evidently more shameful but in fact less serious to cure the person of pride.” In other words, God is constantly reaching out to me, pointing out my weaknesses so blatantly that I cannot deny them, loving me in all different encounters with others ONLY to help me reach sanctity! He does everything!!! All I have to do is to be more aware of His presence through every circumstance, every coincidence, and every person that He puts in front of me throughout the day. Once I am aware of these, accountable to another person ‘out loud’ (confession), I can do something about them.
    We are living in such incredible times!! Yes, God is to be loved above all others. It’s just that He wants us to love Him through our neighbor, trusting one another if we are ever going to reach union with Him!

  3. Dear Anonymous Nov 12, 2012 10:32 Pm
    Everything you said made sense and was obviously heart felt. We all have things we are ashamed of, things that we will regret for the rest of our lives. I have been guilt ridden for something I did 26 years ago. I have asked for forgiveness from God many times, I pray it is not going to keep me from heaven to be with our Lord and be apart of his heavenly kingdom forever. But I live in fear that this particular sin is of the worst kind. I had an abortion, at the time others advised me it was the best thing to do. I remember as I got up on the table I asked to speak to the doctor, the nurse said it wasn't possible. They put you to sleep first so you never see the doctor's face who will do it. I guess it is to protect the doctor from the people who sometimes hurt or kill abortion doctors. I said I can not go through with it if I don't speak to him for a moment. Reluctantly he entered the room, he wore a mask so I couldn't see his face. I said I must ask you a question, will the baby feel this, will there be any pain, because if it will I can not proceed. He said no it will not, you are only 4 to 6 weeks along, it is a cluster of cells, now nervous system yet. I said OK, and they put me to sleep. I could not have in a million years ever realized the guilt I would have, right down to the depth of my soul. I will always carry this guilt. I still wonder 26 years later, what would this child have been like, what kind of life did I deprive him or her of. I accept all responsibility for my actions. I don't blame any one else but me. I remember begging God to forgive me, then one night, in the middle of the night as I laid in my bed crying I stretched out my arms and asked the baby to forgive me, forgive me for being such a coward, non of my reasons for doing this seemed viable anymore. All I could see is I killed my own child. I was a murderer, I couldn't undo what I had done, nothing could. And so from time to time I still ask for forgiveness. I do want to do something worth while with my life to help prevent others from making this decision, by telling them that the after effects will eat you alive with guilt between you, your unborn baby and God. That there are other choices, such as adoption or meet the struggle like a real adult and not let the devil whispering in your ear " do this and the problem will go away". So I guess the bottom line is yes you are right, confess, confess it over and over again, as many times as you need to until you finally feel the forgiveness from God for what you did. What helped me is that Jesus forgave the murderer on the cross when he said "I say unto you this day, you will see heaven". But still a little voice says in my head, yea, but he didn't murder his own innocent child. So I go on praying for divine understanding and compassion and mercy.

    If anyone reading this ever has the opportunity of talking to someone who is contemplating an abortion, please try to persuade them not to do it. Thank you for your open hearted honesty, I pray you find your forgiveness....


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