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, September 12, 2013

Luke 6:27-38 Saving Face By Saving Grace

Thursday of the Twenty-Third Week In Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

Jesus said to his disciples:  "To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you...If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you?  Even sinners lend to sinners..."

I love America.  I really do.  But I find myself in a tough situation this morning.  I'm actually agreeing with the Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, a former communist and KGB agent, who wrote an op-ed in the New York Times (NYT).

He wrote:  "My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

I have to agree with him.  I cannot believe it, but I find myself agreeing with him!  Oh my goodness! 

And even though many politicians may slam Putin for writing this in the New York Times, they can't seem to slam what he is saying.  Some pundits even go as far as to say that his only interest is to protect his country and her allies.  Of course he is!  I agree with that.  But aren't we as well?  Aren't we interested in protecting America and her allies?   

Exceptionalism.  For us to think that we are better than others because we are more powerful than others and more sophisticated than others is quite absurd.  To think that we are better than others because we are better educated, more efficient and harder working than others would mean to ignore the historical (positive and negative), geographical and geological realities that helped us to be wealthier, better educated and more efficient than others.  It would also mean to ignore the millions of people that migrated (voluntarily and involuntarily) to America.  

The reality is:  we are no better than others in what really matters most:  love of God, our neighbors and our enemies.

Have you noticed how politicians from the left and right have been hitting President Obama?  They're calling him weak, indecisive and amateurish.  

Have you noticed how hard the media is pushing the so-called "Red-Line?"  It almost sounds like they want a war!  They are comparing Syria to Nazi Germany.  They are saying that America has lost its dominance and influence around the world.  They insist that America is no longer a world leader.  

I don't know about you, but what has become crystal clear to me is that saving face is far more important than saving grace.

To you who hear I say, love of enemies.  Is this not the perfect reading for today?  Is it not the perfect reading for every day? 

The Holy Father recently reached out to Vladimir Putin.  He wrote him a personal letter.  In fact, in Putin's op-ed to the NYT, the Prime Minister mentions the pope!  I wonder if the Holy Father's letter inspired Putin to write his letter?  

I think we can safely say that at least one world class leader, in the political and religious spheres, is working actively in seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria:  the Pope.  

And not only that.  It turns out that the Pope just penned an editorial in the secular Italian newspaper, La Repubblica.   

The Daily News reports:  "The 2,500-word open letter was splashed on four pages of the liberal daily La Repubblica on Wednesday, under the simple byline “Francesco.” It was a response to editorials by the paper’s atheist founder Eugenio Scalfari, who asked the pontiff about God’s attitude toward non-believers.

Scalfari told the Telegraph that he had no idea that the 76-year-old pope would actually respond. He was even more surprised that Francis had replied "so extensively and so affectionately, with such fraternal spirit."

Just goes to show how far the Vicar of Christ will go in his love of God, of neighbor and to those who so often insult and ridicule religious believers.

I have no doubt that God's saving grace will save lives, save nations and even help people to do an about face. 

It's about time we stop complaining when God (occasionally) intercedes on our behalf.


  1. His letter did not impress the Italian Union of Atheists and Agnostics, the Telegraph reported.

    "Why should a non-believer seek legitimization from the Pope?" the association said. "What interests non-believers is certainly not 'forgiveness' from an entity whose existence we do not trust."

    How stupid! The Pope wasn't giving them his "forgiveness." Instead, he was simply extending an invitation to dialogue.

    What a response! It just seems like they can't say anything positive at all.

  2. Fr, Alfonse, there haven't been any downloads of your homilies on the All Saints website for about three weeks. Did the batteries die in the tape recorder? :) Give us an update, please.

  3. I believe in his words but I'm not quite sure I believe in his sincerity.


Updated: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. Comments must be concise and to the point.Comments are no longer accepted for posts older than 7 days.