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, February 12, 2013

Mk 7:1-13 Sick of Lip Service

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands…So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”  Jesus responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about your hypocrites, as it is written:  ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’  You disregard God’s commandments but cling to human traditions.”
We often consider our man-made “commandments" to be more important than our God-made commandments.  For example, the “commandment” to be tolerant of someone's beliefs is considered more important than truth itself.  And our "commandment" to be tolerant of everyone stands high above God's commandment to love everyone.  Does tolerance unite people or does truth and love unite people?  My experience has shown me that tolerance is like d├ętente, and that the tolerant are like wolves in sheep’s clothing, waiting for the right moment to attack.  
The command to be tolerant stands on one leg and in sand, for it doesn’t take much time or effort for tolerance to sink into hatred and prejudice.  In fact, I can tell you that when someone claims to be very tolerant, I often get a little nervous, for those who claim to be very tolerant are typically extremely anti-Catholic. 
The first mistake I made this morning was to pick up the Dallas Morning News (the DaMN) from the ground.  I should have left it there.  The second mistake I made was to read its top story regarding the Holy Father’s resignation.  I have to admit to all of you that I was surprised at how negative the article was towards the Holy Father.  I was no longer surprised when I read who wrote it:  Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times. 
When most high-profile people suddenly step down, you would think that a newspaper reporter would be sniffing around to find out why.  Not this highly-biased writer!  What Ms. Goodstein finds newsworthy about the Pope is what is most damning to the Pope.  Now imagine for a moment if President Obama suddenly resigned from the Presidency.  What reporter wouldn’t be asking why?  Who wouldn’t be looking for sources closest to the President for answers?  So wouldn't it surprise you if the DaMN wrote an article exclusively about all the President’s “failures” (ballooning deficit, high unemployment, high gas prices, poll after poll indicating that most Americans are not at all optimistic about the future)?  Wouldn't it surprise you if they gave equal space to his critics?  Wouldn't you take offense if they personally blamed him for the death of our ambassador in Libya and for anger among Muslims due to drone attacks?  Wouldn't it shock you if they mocked him and almost “blamed” him for all the things that went terribly wrong during his tenure:  the Secret Service scandal, the GSA scandal, the Petraeus scandal, the Benghazi cover-up, etc.?  Yes.  You would never expect them to do that!  But when it came to the Pope, the DaMN, through Laurie Goodstein and the New York Times, did just that.  They blamed him for just about everything:  the death of a nun in Somalia; creating anger among Muslims by speaking the truth; and for clerics who said stupid things and did criminal things.    
The DaMN prides itself in doing serious investigative reporting.  To overcome its growth stunt, it recently came up with a new publicity stunt.  If you drive on I-35, you can see one of their billboard ads showing some bloodhounds searching for what you would think (and hope for) would be the truth.  (The bloodhounds represent their reporters.)  Well, after reading so many of their articles, it appears as though these dogs are not searching for the truth, but simply returning to their vomit (cf. Proverbs 26:11).
Aren’t you sick of false advertizing and lip service? 

14 comments:

  1. Don't worry father. Things will work out. Don't listen to these silly people. It's all junk. God Bless.

    Katie G

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    1. Thanks Katie, but I write these reflections not because I worry about things not working out, but because I want to help people have a clearer and more accurate picture of what they see and read. It's all about helping those who are lukewarm about their faith or are sick and tired of the struggle. Let's pray for them and help them to keep things in perspective. :)

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    2. Absolutely father.

      Katie G

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  2. P.S Those who remain faithful to Jesus and to Holy Mother Church will not be led astray. For He knows His sheep and His sheep knows Him. God Bless our beautiful german sheperd.

    Katie G

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  3. Father Alfonse,

    Unfortunately, we live in a society that always seems to look for the negative first. They seem to never look for the positive. I'm not surprised that she would be like that. I don't get the Dallas Morning News anymore and glad I didn't see that. If I had seen that I would have considered the source and put it behind me.

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  4. The media, whether newspaper of television is most definitely the last place I go for news. I am so sick and tired of all their lies and one sided reporting. There is a news organization called Lifesitenews.com and lifenews.com. These sites give us the whole story. May the Lord have mercy on the souls of these folks who write these negative stories against the Church, or any false story for that matter. Some of the Tweets back to our Pope have been shockingly rude. What's wrong with people now days who want to curse any and all believers. Where is the tolerance? Why do non-believers feel the need to use such hatred and violent words and actions against us? Why do they even care what we believe? I have no way of knowing how intolerant, to the point of violence, people will be judged, and I wish no hell on anyone, but my heart fears especially for those who are living this way and those in the place of teacher, reporter, or anyone living a public life who goes out speaking and writing blasphemy. What are they gaining by this? Do they have a conscience? Do they later look back at how harsh they are and have regrets? Do they do it for money or notoriety? Both? Do they even realize they are walking a dangerous road that will perhaps lead them to hell? Atheists may not believe in God but why do they care if we do? Will any of you out there reading this please explain why? Who are Christians hurting? We do our best to follow God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and God NEVER changes nor does His Word!

    Fr. A is correct - if it were Obama resigning we wouldn't get this kind of report. I will surely miss Pope Benedict, but in my heart of hearts, I believe he is being very courageous and humble by stepping back fully knowing he is just physically incapable of serving any longer. Why can't people just respect that and drop all this conspiracy crap?! He's nearly 86!

    James 3:5-10 The tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions. The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers.







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  5. “The command to be tolerant stands on one leg and in sand, for it doesn’t take much time or effort for tolerance to sink into hatred and prejudice.”
    What on earth are you talking about? Please give a concrete example of this if you are going to stand by this statement. Bottom line it for me please. What is your definition of tolerance? Your answer will answer much about this entire issue of tolerance that you continually bring up. But please do not give me examples of these reporters who 'say' they are tolerant. I would really appreciate YOUR definition of tolerance. Words, lack of (agreed upon &) consolidated definitions, connotations, & subjectivity cause most of our communication problems in this world. Say what you mean and mean what you say….. as you once told me. Also, why be afraid of someone who is anti-Catholic? Doesn’t your life, your actions show the Love of the Catholic Christ? Isn’t this THE very reason we should be dialoguing with other denominations and religions?

    Also, I have often 'wondered' concerning today's & yesterday's first readings: if God created everything, why didn't He say He created the waters?.....one not so small detail that was left out of His incredible plan. I do not believe in coincidences, so I do think it is intentional that 'God' did not allow this very fact to be known to man... only those seeking.

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  6. Tolerance = serious and honest dialogue that has truth as its finality. Therefore, tolerance does not conflict with truth but leads to it.

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    1. Based on your definition of tolerance, how can you say ‘the man-made “commandment” to be tolerant of someone's beliefs is considered more important than (God’s) truth itself’ using it as a facetious statement that insinuates one above the other? Truth & tolerance do not contradict one another. It’s not an “either/or” commandment or putting one above the other. Truth is Truth. Tolerance is a pathway to dialogue to the Truth, but it’s our pride that digs our heels in the ‘sand’ and says I have the Truth and you don’t. Just because I respect others’ beliefs does not mean I think it’s the Truth. Does God want me to spread the Truth in loving or does He want me to spread the Truth in pride?
      I heard today that Pope Benedict said that we can evangelize more through beauty than through reason or argument. I like this statement.

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    2. Simple. When tolerance is an end in it of itself, not a means to the end (the truth).

      I like what benedict wrote as well. But remember, he wrote a book entitled: "Truth and Tolerance." Can you imagine that!

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    3. Where do you think I got my info?

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    4. A woman can use her beauty to get a man closer to God, or can use her beauty to manipulate men into going to hell. The devil hates us women because he is jealous of our beauty. Because we can lead others to heaven with this "beauty".

      Katie

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    5. Katie,
      wow never heard that before !

      very well put

      God Bless you Katie !

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    6. Peace and blessigs Cristina! I got it from a fabulous woman: Jackie Francois, who goes around the world teaching young girls the beauty and call of womanhood and how we can use this magnificent vocation to draw others to holiness and hopefully saints, which is what we should live for and Gpd willing, die for. If not, why is life worth living?

      Katie G

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