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!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lk 17:5-10 How To Increase Your Faith

Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

The Apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith."

What must I do to increase my faith?

1.  Take a leap of faith.  That's right.  If you want to increase your faith, then you gotta take a leap of faith!  Experiment with the words our Savior gave us:  love your enemies; do good to those who harm you; forgive seven times seventy times. 

Not too long ago, I watched a documentary on the life of Gary Ridgeway, and American serial killer who confessed to the killing of over eighty women.  At his sentencing, family members were given an opportunity to speak to him.  And boy did they.  As one family member after another hurled insult after insult at him, I couldn't help but cheer them on:  Rot in prison Gary Ridgeway!  I hope you suffer a slow and painful death!  Go to hell Ridgeway! 

Through it all, Ridgeway showed little to no emotion.  He remained stone faced, even a bit defiant.

But that all changed when one elderly man addressed him and said something no one expected to hear.  I can't remember word for word what the man said, but it went something like this: I grew up a Christian and I believe in everything that Jesus Christ said and did.  You have tested my faith, Gary.  This is not an easy thing for me to say, but I can honestly say that I forgive you.  I truly forgive you.

As he spoke, the stone faced serial murderer began to shake all over.  He broke down and began to cry.  The old man's words had touched the small amount of humanity left inside the cold blooded murderers heart. 

There is only one way to increase one's faith:  by taking a leap of faith. 

Experience his mercy.  Experience his forgiveness.  Take a leap of faith.  Go to confession.

2.  Experience what He experienced.  Live like the Lord and see what happens next.  Do you think you will experience what He experienced?  Yep!  I guarantee it!   You will be loved and hated; respected and ridiculed; adored and scorned.  You will experience what I call righteous suffering; that is, a suffering that is painful yet meaningful, which feels as good as it is painful.  You will experience the good, the bad and the ugly that comes from standing up for what is right, good and holy. 

You will know what it feels like to suffer for God's sake!

Live like He did and experience what He experienced: a lack of empathy and ingratitude. 

Believe it or not, the Lord was surrounded by loneliness:  by sinners, doubters, distractors, betrayers and deniers.  And yet, every time He came in contact with them and converted them, it was like a breath of fresh air.  It charged Him.  It gave life to Him.  It strengthened Him.  So experience the power that radiates through Him and to Him by means of humility, obedience, poverty, simplicity.  Experience the power that comes to Him from His Father's goal and mission in life:  to reach out to the unwanted and to love the unloveable. 

Live like that and you will increase your faith in Him. 

Faith in God allows us to get the most out of life and to get through the toughest parts of life.  "I pray that in darkness I do not light my own light or fill this emptiness with myself." - Mother Teresa of Calcutta.


  1. I've realized taking a "leap of faith" requires inner strength and peace. A positive attitude, a sense of humor and a touch of calmness helps, too. I can forgive others, love the unloveable, and confess my sins. I can do all of these ways of mimicking Christ but if I don't have that inner strength and peace my faith can become lukewarm or indifferent.

    Last weekend my huge 20 year old pear tree decided to split in half. In a steady rain my neighbor and his two sons helped me chop down the large limbs blocking a portion of the street. I looked at the mess and thought, "Ok, Lord, you've surprised me yet again with something very unexpected! Please give me that inner strength to get through this annoyance patiently and calmly. Increase my faith in YOU so I can think clearly on how to get through this obstacle. I'm so thankful that the tree didn't hit my house or hit the neighbor's car that was parked underneath it only 2 hours earlier!"

    God presented me with the people and tools to help me.....The next day a dear friend volunteered to cut down the split portion of the tree. (Again, this tree was mega gigantous!) I hand cut up all of the broken limbs and bagged them up for the city to take away. I spent 3 days just cleaning up as much of the mess as I could. (My house looked like a lumber yard!) Not only did I work on a late summer tan but I got plenty of exercise cutting down those limbs. Yes, I admit I cursed a little under my breathe but then laughed about it. That tree had been more of a curse than a blessing since I moved into the house. So, I decided to hire a tree company to officially cut down the tree. (It was obviously near the end of it's lifespan.) No more fear that the other half of the pear tree would crash into my house. By Friday, my once big tree was grinded down into mulch. I placed the mulch in my flower beds as a forever reminder of that once beautiful tree......

    Increasing our faith in Jesus Christ is not at all easy, especially when the eruptions of life strike. However, in the end of it all faith is so important in our existence. If I didn't have faith in God, I don't think I could've weathered the tree storm as well.



  2. Dear Fr. Alfonse,

    Thank you for another enlightening and inspiring blog post, it is always a joy reading your words of reflection.
    I can only imagine that Ridgeway did not react to the emotional words of the victims' family members, but looking at the photo you posted of him, I can say that his face speaks volumes.
    Unlike other mass shooters from Newtown, CT, Aurora, CO, or Tucson, AZ, where the killers almost show almost no feelings about taking the lives of so many innocent people, Ridgeway's face is filled with emotion. His forehead is contracted and eyebrows lowered toward the center - a sign of anger, the eyelids are lowered as well, like a hunter who focuses on his prey, so at the moment this photo was taken, if he had an opportunity to harm again - he would have! His nose/mouth area reveal the most, it is like reading his thoughts: the lip corners are turned downwards partially causing the jaw to jut forward, however the lips form an asymmetrical image, where his right lip is slightly turned up - a clear sign of contempt. Examining further, the entire area between his nose and his mouth is shortened, pulling the facial muscles upwards, and that reveals a feeling of disgust, we all show disgust that from time to time, for example when looking at something unpleasant, or smelling something that is rotting. In the moment when this photo was taken, there is no need to feel disgust at an material external source, so it only reveals his true emotion. His nostrils are flared (especially the right one), which is another sign of anger, just like a bull that is snorting the moment before he attacks. Looking lower yet, his jaw is moved slightly forward (not as a natural part of his anatomy, but by unconscious movement, as it accompanies the other facial muscles to create the entire expression), and that too shows anger and rage, similar for example to a mediocre MMA fighter that knows he's loosing the game, so has to compile all the rage he has inside of him and direct it against his opponent, it is no longer about sportsmanship for him, now it's personal. Combining all of the above: anger, disgust, contempt, rage, we can see that although he might not have verbalized much, his face reveals his true feelings and intentions beyond any spoken word.

    Thank you, Fr. Alfonse, and I'm looking forward to your next blog post! GBU!


  3. "Experience his mercy. Experience his forgiveness. Take a leap of faith. Go to confession."


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