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, March 26, 2013

John 13:21-33, 36-38 Holy Week: Tuesday

Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, “Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”  …Peter said to him, “Master, why can I not follow you now?  I will lay down my life for you.”  Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me?  Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.”
I read somewhere that a significant difference between a man and a woman is that a man tends to underestimate the danger and overestimate his abilities, while a woman underestimates her abilities and overestimates the danger.
Well, we are not as strong as we think.  I know I’m not. 
Simon Peter was about to experience this fact.  He had followed the Lord.  He felt secure next to the Lord.  He had found his purpose in life with the Lord.  He was a proud disciple of the Lord.  But now the tide of favorability had turned against him.  Men were seeking the Master’s life.  The motion was made:  I will lay down my life for you.  The question remained:  would he stand by him or would he fall? 
We know the shocking truth to this ending.  Nothing is withheld.  Nothing is left out.  The Apostles had the courage and the foresight to spell it out for generations to come:  Peter was not as strong as he thought he was.   We were not as strong as we thought.
That very night, Peter would end up running away from the arresting soldiers and deny three times he ever knew Jesus.
There are consequences to our actions.  Peter went away and wept bitterly.   
Some time ago, a woman came to me and told me that she had made some terrible decisions in her life and that now she was living with the consequences.  I asked her about her faith journey.  She told me that she had been away from the Church for over 10 years and that she had not been to confession since she was a teenager. 
Yes, there are consequences to our actions.  But I told her something she could not have imagined:  that her very poor decisions had led to some very good consequences.
My dear woman, you have suffered tremendously due to the poor decisions you’ve made.  And now you are living with them.  But do not forget all the consequences.  For example, you have come back to the Catholic Church.  You’re back home.  You’ve begun to pray again.  You’ve come back to Sacrament of Reconciliation and have received the Lord’s forgiveness.  You were caught in your lie and have been released, set free, by the Lord.  Yes, you are truly living the consequences of your poor decision and, as a result of it, have become a gentler and humbler woman.
 What I said reminded me of today’s passage from the prophet Isaiah:  “Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God” (Is 49:4).
Did Peter not feel worthless?  Did he not feel that all was lost because of his weakness; that everything he did was a waste of time because of his grave sins?  Yes!  But he recovered!  Thank God He recovered! He understood, through prayer, that this lesson had to be learned...for his sake.  He learned, once and for all, “I am not as strong as I think I am.  I am not as strong as the Lord!”
Resolution:  I will place more of my confidence and trust in the Lord, and less in myself.


  1. I think your generalization about men and women is right on.
    I love this story – we are inching our way to heaven through our own faults, and there really isn’t any other way to do it. We can only work with what we have. We can only give God our sins and sacrifices. He gives us our Love for Him and for one another. We are constantly falling and picking ourselves up. But He knows how we try, really try to stay in touch with Him, call (on) Him, ask Him for forgiveness and with His help and the love of one another, we will finally reach as close as we can on earth that unity that we all strive for in all our earthly and heavenly relationships. None of us are strong enough!! I have experienced that it is ONLY by God that we are even breathing, loving, desiring the greater good – He gives us the strength to do what we need to do. But you are right – we need to trust more in Him and just do what we need to do, rather than relying on our own power/courage because we have none without Him.

  2. Dear Father Alfonse,
    Even though I haven’t been away from the Church, your meditation really hit home. I too, have made some bad decisions in my life which leads me to avoid encounters with a dear friend of mine. It is obvious that it is my pride that continues to get in the way. This person has tried endless ways to help me get over myself. I love this life!! God is so amazing that He will not let me slip through to my comfort zone in not living up to what He has planned for me!! Yes, my friend has free will to help me, but I see even more of God's Love working through my friend. His Love never fails, it never gives up!!
    It’s like St Paul said: I do what I do not want to do, and I do not do what I want to do. I know God wants me to just let go of my pride! How attached I am! I am just grateful that He continues to allow me to see this fault of mine.

  3. Beautiful meditation Father, thank you, thank you so much....

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  5. "Well , we are not as strong as we think."

    Great line.


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