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, November 1, 2012

Mt 5:1-12a All Saints

Mt 5:1-12a  All Saints

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.  He began to teach them saying:  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted…”

These words have become so common that they have nearly lost their significance.  But they are the nine steps to holiness.

Why am I here?  To be a saint.  Everything else - all other goals - is a waste of time.  Really!  What else could possibly be worth living (and dying) for?  What does it mean to be a saint?  It means to love God above all other things and to love your neighbor as yourself.   It means to say what Christ said, do what Christ did, and live like Christ lived.  A saint is another Christ. 

The saints were normal people that did something about it.  Yes, they were regular people, but they never settled for that. And although they came in different shapes and sizes and from just about every imaginable background, they all shared one thing in common:  they were all sinners.  And here lies the difference between us and them:  they did something about that.  They worked hard not to be more like us, but to be more like Christ.  They desired not to melt in but to stand up. 

St. Paul was a sinner, and arguably the worst of sinners.  St. Angela Merici was a sinner.  So was St. Dominic Savio.  Even Maria Goretti was a sinner.  But they all did something about it.  They really tried to love God above all things and to love their neighbors in an uncommon way.

Someone once told me that if St. Angela were alive today, she would have been a great business woman.  I told them that if St. Angela were alive today, she would have been a holy nun and a great business woman.  Let’s not fool ourselves.  Her vocation, her life mission, her goal in life, her dreams and her drive all came from a love for God.  Yes, she did amazing work for young girls, but she loved God above all other things, even the girls she educated.  Thank God!  Because she loved God, she saw a problem and made it smaller, not bigger.  You see, it’s not enough just to love your neighbor.  It’s not enough to see a problem and want to solve it.   Without God, you may actually end up harming your neighbor and making a problem much worse.  Some of our best intentions have made our lives more dangerous and our problems much worse.  Some of our best intentions have killed our children!

The best ways to solve the worst problems start by loving God above all things; seeing things from His perspective, and solving the problem with His help.

Life is hard.  Life is incredibly hard.  As I wrote yesterday, “we are not as strong as we think we are.”  Everyone faces tough choices in life.  Everyone faces hardships and difficulties.  Most marriages are hard to keep.  Most children are hard to rise.  Most promises are easy to break.  The difference between the saints and the sinners is not the hardships they faced but how they responded to them.

“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?  …My Lord, you are the one who knows.”  He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress…”  (Rev. 7:13-14).

A few days ago I spoke to a family I know who live in New York City.  They told me they had prayed to God that He protect them from the storm.  Their home and their lives were spared.  I asked them if they had prayed that God protect the others as well.  They were silent.  Imagine for a moment if their house was the only house standing?  I wonder how they would feel about that?

Blessed are the poor in spirit (humble).  Blessed are they who mourn (those who do not take anything or anyone for granted).  Blessed are the meek.  Blessed are the merciful.  Blessed are the clean of heart.  Blessed are the peacemakers.  Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness.  Blessed are they who are insulted because of the Lord.

Nine steps to holiness.  Nine bridges that lead to God.  Take one each day.

Yesterday, I spoke to a couple that went around the world in 30 days.  It was a very expensive trip.  They were part of a group of nearly fifty people.  They went all over the world.  You would think they would have mentioned the sites they saw.  Instead, the first thing they mentioned to me was an elderly woman who was drunk every day and night.  They told me she made them late, she made them sick, she embarrassed them, she harassed them, she delayed them and she made the trip unbearable.  At a certain moment, the organizers of the trip warned her that if she were late again, then they would leave her behind.

I asked the couple if anyone helped her.  They were confused.  So, I asked again:  “Did anyone try to help her?  Did anyone talk to her or ask her if she was going through some tough times?”  No. 

Yes.  It’s easy to be a bystander.  It's tough be an "upstander"; to stand up.   It’s easy to judge.  It's easy to condemn.  It's a different story to love:  it's called a love story.  That’s the difference between the saints and the sinners.  They wanted to be part of a love story. 

They didn’t know everything.  But they did know when to help.  They didn't go blind when someone was going through hell. 

The Saints understood that God’s great and amazing plans (for them) always include lost souls, even when they're on vacation.

Oh Lord, may we never be content with just being who we are, but strive to be more like who you are.  We ask this in your Holy name.  Amen.

1 comment:

  1. “They didn’t know everything. But they did know when to help. They didn't go blind when someone was going through hell.”
    To me, discerning God’s will is the hardest thing to do! Actually doing something about a problem is much easier. How do I know that they really want ‘my’ help? So many times I think my friend would rather me slip out of their life rather than help them. I would love to help them if I knew I was wanted; I would slip away if that is the will of God as hard as that would be for me to do. How do you discern the will of God? I know I should know by now, but I don’t.


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