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, May 23, 2013

Mk 9:41-50 Fluff vs. Stuff

Thursday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”
Today I wished our graduating class all the best.  What an honor it was for me to know so many beautiful souls.  I'm truly blessed to be a part of their lives! 

At Mass, I gave them a brief reflection.  Today’s readings could not have been better for this occasion.
Rely not on yourself.  “Trust in yourself.”  That is what we are told to do.  But only someone who does not know ‘thyself’ would really believe this to be true.  Only someone who does not know human nature would even consider this to be a “virtue.”
“Rely not on your wealth; say not:  ‘I have the power.’  Rely not on your strength…  Say not:  ‘Who can prevail against me?’  Say not:  ‘I have sinned, yet what has befallen me?’  Of forgiveness be not overconfident, adding sin upon sin.  Say not:  ‘Great is his mercy; my many sins he will forgive’” (Sir 5:1-8).
What virtue do I consider to be paramount to success?  Humility.  Those who are humble succeed.  They succeed in everything:  in friendships, in marriage, at work, in life.  Humble people avoid the many pitfalls of life:  depression, anxiety and stress.  They know how to distinguish between fluff and stuff.  They know the difference reality and fiction. 
Know the difference between reality and fiction.  God is real. Look at reality! People are not.  Don’t get fooled by fiction!  Know the difference between reality and fiction.  It’s important!  Unfortunately, many young people today don’t know the difference between reality and fiction, and so they get sucked into a world that isn’t real.  Don’t be fooled!  Even reality shows (and stars) are fictitious shows (and stars)!
Know if we cannot distinguish between the two, we will end up getting crushed by both of them.  For when fiction falls apart, reality begins to settle in.  This can be awful!  But it doesn’t have to be.  It doesn’t have to be depressing either.  It can actually be quite liberating!
When do teens get easily crushed?  When they choose to live in fiction: that is, when they give a boyfriend (or girlfriend) more than they should; when they rely on their friends more than they should; when they rely on themselves (and not on the people who love them the most) more than they should.   
When do teens fall back into reality?  Unfortunately, after the facts!  After they realize they never really had a “boyfriend” (or girlfriend) that “loved” them; after they find out that their “best” friend just stabbed them in the back; after they realize that all their fans or followers or friends have suddenly disappeared from their sight or website.
It doesn’t have to be this way!  Live life in reality.  God is real.  Stop living in fiction.
Distinguish between fluff and stuff.  So many teens think that life is full of funny faces, silly faces, funny sayings and silly things [Just look at their pictures on Facebook and Twitter if you don’t believe me].  They all look the same! I’m just waiting for the day when this is all “so five minutes ago!”
It’s all fluff.  Where’s the real stuff?  Fluff is empty.  Real stuff is chewy, meaty and filling! 
Where’s the sadness?  Where’s the bad news?  Where’s the reality of life?  Where is the death of a family member?  Where is the hard lesson learned?  Where is “my mistake?”  Where is my vulnerability?  All hidden away:  behind silly faces and stupid sayings; behind anonymous writers and fictitious names. 
We are breeding a generation of fluffy people; people who cannot look evil squarely in the eye or take ownership for something they write or say; people who cannot take what is  “negative” and see them as opportunities for learning and growth.
Personal tragedies can be made happy if a lesson is learned, for tragedies help us to grow up.  Deaths are timely (and sudden) reminders as to how amazing life is, and that we should never take anyone or anything for granted. 
Fluffy people are like chaffy people, “which the wind drives away.”  Real people are well rounded people.  They are not driven away by a little wind.  “They are like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade.  Whatever he does, prospers” (cf. Ps 1:3-4).   
Fluffy people live for the day (carpe diem). 
Well rounded people life forever.


  1. Well rounded people life forever- so true !

    I love your Meditation -it is amazing :)

    God Bless you my dear Father Alfonse

  2. Excellent Father Alfonse! This meditation inspired me to text my daughter to tell her how much I love her and how proud I am of her for being the "real stuff" and not a "fluff". Especially because I know how hard it is for her to stay home while her friends are partying or with their boyfriends. Amazing to hear her tell me that friends tell her boys don't ask her out because they respect her too much. I just remind her to stay focused in school and that things will work out.

    I asked her to read your blog and to share it with her friend that is going through a "fluff" phase. Btw she found this verbage funny.

    I agree todays readings were awesome for our kiddo's. My daughter and I had an awesome conversation about friendship and the important things in life/reality. My joy came when she acknowledged that she and I had a great relationship and was glad we could have these types of conversations and that she could talk to me about anything...she is a teenager so I will enjoy it for the moment.

  3. Amen."Personal tragedies can be made happy if a lesson is learned, for tragedies help us to grow up..." This reminds me of this verse I read few days ago- "Being rubbed in the dirt can teach us a lesson; we can also learn from insults and hard knocks." Lamentations 3:29-30 :D


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