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, April 16, 2013

John 6:30-35 Boston Massacre 2013

Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
The crowd said to Jesus:  “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?  What can you do?”
Violence in the name of science should be rejected.  Violence in the name of God should be anathema.
A few days ago I gave a talk to a group of teenagers over at a parish in Fort Worth.  You could see in their eyes this strong desire to know Christ and to love Him more dearly; to understand Him and to learn how His life, death and resurrection could be better lived in their lives. 
What does the Lord’s resurrection mean to you?  The kids never asked me this question, but I could tell it was the number one question on their minds.  They needed an answer and they wanted it from me.  I think I answered it well.  I said it means that everything Christ said and did was true.  Christ's resurrection is the ultimate confirmation and affirmation of His life, and a way of life for us to strive for.
In today’s first reading, we read of St. Stephen’s martyrdom.  How fitting for us to hear these words on a day of national mourning.  As we await more news on the Boston bombing - on who did this and why this happened - we must not forget to pray for the innocent victims and cowardice perpetrators of this hideous crime.
But what is even more important is for us to remember the final words of St. Stephen to his executioners:  “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” 
Is this really possible?  I mean, is this really practical?  Is it practical to pardon those who attack us, hate us and cheerfully mock our dead? 

Well, we need to defend ourselves, that’s for sure.  We will not be led to the slaughter!  We can and must defend ourselves and bring justice to those who must be brought to justice.  But we must also go on the offensive, a different kind of offensive, that is, an offensive that shows the truest face of Christianity.  We need to show the world that the Christian heart is the strongest heart, and that the Christian way of life is the loftiest way of life.  We need to show the world exactly what Christianity can bring to humanity’s broken plate:  Jesus Christ.
What sign can you give?  This is the question the crowd posed to Jesus.  They remembered how their ancestors ate manna in the desert.  Jesus responded to them, saying:  “Amen, amen, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven…I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
As for you, are you not impressed?  Are you still looking for a sign?  A thoughtful process of elimination could help reveal Christ’s holiness and wisdom.
Are you still convinced that “all religions the same?”  Hopefully the answer to this question is becoming clearer and clearer.  Not only are all religions not the same but more importantly, not all founders are the same. 
Can science alone help us to live safer lives?  Again, the answer to this question should be startling clear.  Not only are we not safer today, but we are in constant fear and danger of nuclear, chemical and biological annihilation.  We are playing God without the ability to raise the dead back to life!
Can the government or “democracy” ensure our safety and liberty?  Hardly, for when terror strikes, our freedoms take a direct hit.  Democracy depends entirely on the will, the mind and the heart of the people.  So when people are frightened, government has our permission to restrict liberty.    
Is education the solution?   Not at all.  The world’s most wanted terrorists are highly educated individuals and most of them come from privileged families.
Then what are we left with?  Isn't it clear?  The most essential, the most obvious and the most important:  Jesus Christ.  He is the solution to terrorism, war and all out evil.  He is the solution to the world’s greatest problems.
Let us pray for the people of Boston.  Let us pray for the victims of this horrific crime!  Let us also pray that those responsible for this terror are brought to justice and shown the Way; the Way from hatred to love, from killing to saving, from vengeance to forgiveness.  There’s no other way to put an end to all this madness.   
At times like this, we need to put our faith into practice and lead by example.   We can do it.  We always have.

P.S.  Picture of 8-year-old Martin Richard, victim in yesterday's bombing.


  1. Dear Father Alfonse, You are so right, the world is scary, a handful of evil people can create so much pain, pain of the heart and spirit. God renews the spirit with his love and understanding. In time a heart will heal, it may never be as hole as it once was, but it will love with a greater capacity and with more compassion because it knows the depth of pain. That deep place where only Jesus can help us. The invisible helper of all things.

    I pray that we all discover the way from hatred is love, the solution of killing is saving, and that vengeance belongs to one and only one, our job is to master forgiveness.

    Thank you again father for sharing your loving insight with us all.

  2. Thank you for posting that picture Father. My son has a good friend who looks a lot like Martin. A very sweet kid.
    God, please comfort Martin's friends and the Richard family. Amen.

  3. Fr. said-
    Can science alone help us to live safer lives? Again, the answer to this question should be startling clear. Not only are we not safer today, but we are in constant fear and danger of nuclear, chemical and biological annihilation.

    Father, people have lived in fear of something since the beginning of time. Wild animals, invading barbarians, viking raids, conquering armies, plagues, famine, fire, flood, etc. Fear is nothing new. I don't know the actual numbers, but you are more likely to die in an auto accident then die in a terrorist attack. Could a nuclear/chemical/biological attack happen? Sure, but not likely.

    And what exactly has science done that isn't keeping us safe? Doubling our life expectancy? Greatly reducing infant mortality? Eradicating many infectious diseases? Producing food at a rate that has allowed earth's population to skyrocket? Lifesaving surgeries and medical techniques? Providing clean water? Or was it religion that did all that, I forget.

  4. I think the point I was trying to make was missed by you. Of course education is important, but an education without a moral compass is dangerous. Just like science without ethics or morals or religion is a dangerous thing. You mention all the positive things. I can easily mention all the negative things. What differentiates the two? A moral compass; an understanding of right and wrong; good and evil. This understanding was made clearer through Jesus Christ, who challenged us to love those who do not love us and to help others who are not part of our tribe.

  5. If I missed the point you were trying to make it was because you did a pretty poor job at presenting it. Nowhere do you say anything positive about science, seeming (at least to me anyway) to say we live in fear because of it.

    You can say the same thing about religion that you have about science. Have people lived in fear because of it? Yes. Has it been misused? Yes. Can it do good things? Absolutely. But to say religion (and I'm guessing just yours, not anybody else's) tells us what is right and wrong is a little questionable too. Was it right that God commanded genocide against some of the enemies of the Jews? Were all of the witch burnings right? Attrocities against the Jews by Christians in the middle ages? Crusades and Inquisitions? Modern day hate crimes against homosexuals? If you would have been on the side committing those "good" deeds, I would say you would have thought you were right. Had you been on the receiving end of those "evil" deeds, you would have thought they were wrong.

    1. No. Anonymous. You missed the point.

      MARVEL comics seems to understood better the dangers of scientists who have no moral compass or conscience than atheists do. I mentioned this before in one of my meditations.

      Here is a terrifying example of that

      Again, just an example of why scientists need a moral compass. It's interesting that this experiment happened in communist (atheist) China.

  6. You continue to evaluate a religion based on people rather than based on its founder. You would like to argue with me about the Crusades, Inquisition, etc... What you fail to mention is the historical context of each of these events, the human characters involved (political and religious) and the failure of these individuals living up to Christ's standard which you implicitly state when you yourself see them as Christian failings.

    The value of a religion should not be based on how your grandma or grandpa or neighbor lived it. It should be based on its founder and his/her expectations. That is the measure with which we should measure a religion and a follower.

    Science has no internal system for judging how technology or an invention is good or bad. A rocket can be used to send a person to the moon. It can also be used to send a message to South Korea. Ethics is required. And Christian ethics offer the best hope for humanity.

    Abortion is an abomination that has killed more people than anything the world has ever seen. Over hundreds of millions and counting!The technique has been scientifically perfected. Its use has been blessed by athiests and secularists.

    All hate crimes are an abomination in the eyes of Christ. That is clear from Christian scripture.

    Abortion stands alone. It stands alone as the most horrific crime of all time and an ominous sign of our modern and scientifically enlightened era that continues to belittle human life.

  7. (I apologize if this shows up multiple times, I am having problems posting)

    "...the failure of these individuals living up to Christ's standard which you implicitly state when you yourself see them as Christian failings"

    I said no more or less about the failings of the religious individual than you did about the failings of individuals within science.

    What were the individual failings of the Jews when God commanded people to happily dash babies heads against stones?

    "You continue to evaluate a religion based on people rather than based on its founder"


    "The value of a religion should not be based on how your grandma or grandpa or neighbor lived it. It should be based on its founder and his/her expectations."

    And how do we know what that is? Nobody today can agree exactly what the teachings of Jesus really were. There are several different versions of them out there and everyone has a different interpretation of the bible. We don't even have anything Jesus wrote, all we have is some second or third hand accounts written at least 30-40 years after he died. So when you say these individuals didn't live up to Christ's standards, how do you know? Maybe their interpretation happened to be right and yours was wrong.

    Whatever His teachings were, what most people can agree on is "Love thy neighbor," Do unto others...," etc. There are many examples of Christians not following these as well as examples of non Christians following them. So we have followers of God not loving others and people who don't follow God who do love others. Do we need God to tell us to love others? If we have a loving non Christian and a Christian who is not loving, is the non Christian more "Christ-like" than the Christian? If so, what does it matter that they don't actually follow or believe in Christ? If not, does that mean the non loving Christian is a "better" person than the loving non Christian? (and by "better" I mean more worthy of God's love, being "saved", going to Heaven, etc).

    Now what if we have an equally loving Christian and non Christian? Is the Christian "better" simply because he is a Christian?

    Why do we need a God to tell us how to act? Could we just live by something like the wiccan "An it harm none, do what ye will" or Google's "Do no evil?"

    1. BANANA SLUG SAID: How do we know what that is? That is, how do we know what Jesus said?

      ANSWER: I just finished listening to the mother of one of the terrorists. She said that the bombing was a hoax. She said that the blood was paint. And that her sons were being set up.

      Thank God we have video. But still, that won't convince her of anything. For she can say, that it was all staged, the people injured were not injured at that event, etc...

      You remind me of her.

      How do we know???, you ask? Well,given that 2,000 years have passed, you would have thought that the Jews would have asked that question? You would have thought that the Romans would have asked it as well. It should have been asked back then. And funny enough... it wasn't, and not even by the first disciples who were witnesses of the events that took place.

      This is a typical atheist who loves to use stale arguments that have been refuted over and over and over again. But since you don't study early manuscripts, early letters, early art that depicts certain Christian (Catholic) teachings, and deny the obvious faact that a Church existed from the time of Christ's death... well, then, nothing will change your mind I suppose.

      As Scott writes, for the first 1000 years, there was pretty much only one doctrine, one faith, one Church. Then, as Scott pointed out, people began to think they knew it all (and broke away) and others began to think they could know nothing at all (like you) and stopped believing.

      The FBI will have a hard time convincing this mom that her son is a terrorist. Conspiracy theories will begin to emerge. Muslim leaders will begin to call this an attack on all muslims, etc... just like 9-11, just like the Holocaust. Denial is a very easy thing to do. Refuting it is very hard to do.

      And so we get to you, our atheist, who believes that the Scriptures are a fake, that Christ never existed, that Christ never died or rose, that we can't be sure of what he said, what he did, where he lived, where he went, etc...

      That's easy to do, with the passage of time.

      I don't want to get off the subject too much. Suffice it to say, Scott did a pretty good job demolishing your argument. It appears as though you didn't read it at all when you responded. Maybe that makes it easier to convince yourself of what you write.

      But there is a bright light at the end of your tunnel vision!!!!!!!! You write: "Why do we need a God to tell us how to act? Could we just live by something like the wiccan "An it harm none, do what ye will" or Google's "Do no evil?"

      Excellent question! Now tell me what evil means?

      Would you include abortion in that??? You see...not so easy when you don't have a standard that isn't human!!!!

      Now is evil defined by the number of votes?

      Don't be afraid. Relax. The question you pose and the answer you seek may actually be the beginning of something amazing for you!!!! :)

      Don't worry. I asked that question a long time ago. And I found through the answer.

  8. Here is a great article for all to read!!! Enjoy it!


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