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, October 10, 2013

Luke 11:5-13 Defying Gravity By Praying

Thursday of the Twenty-Seventh Week In Ordinary Time

(Click here for readings)

Jesus said to his disciples:  "...If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"

Ask and you shall receive.  The readings this week have been all about prayer.  The Book of Jonah is about prayer.  The Gospel passages have been all about prayer.  Yesterday we learned how Jesus taught his disciples to pray.  Did someone teach you?

A few days ago I went to see the movie Gravity.  Wow!  Talk about a thriller and a shriller.  My hats off to director Alfonso CuarĂ³n.  He did a fabulous job.  He kept faithful to his vision, even while Hollywood executives were breathing down his throat to make it more or less like Apollo 13. 

One of my favorite lines in the movie is when astronaut Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) admits to never having been taught how to pray.  Wow!  I don't want to spoil the movie for you, but I can tell you she is a quick learner!

Prayer is essential!  Enough said.  We can talk about it until we are blue in the face, but if we don't start praying, then we are wasting our time talking about it. 

Now is time for us to start praying.  Today.  Right now.  Put you cell phone or iPad down (or this meditation) and start praying. 

How do you pray?  I, myself, have encouraged countless number of people to pray: "You should pray about this."  "Make sure you say your prayers!"  "Did you pray for me?"  But to be totally honest with you, I don't think I ever asked these people if they knew how to pray.  I just assumed they did.  But after seeing Gravity and so many of our young people struggling with life and being pulled down by the negative forces of our culture, I will no longer assume anything related to God and to prayer.

I think I should also be honest and say that I only really learned how to pray when I entered the seminary.  Of course, I prayed before I became a seminarian (how else did I get there!), but I think I prayed just like a baby full of excitement speaks.  And when I asked to pray in public I never quite knew where my words were leading me.  I am sure I sounded confused, with my thoughts running wild and my words rushing out of my lips.  I knew it back then, but I didn't know what to do.  No one back then had ever taught me how to pray.

Finally someone did.  And it was so simple.  It felt like a wall had come tumbling down and the Holy Spirit walked straight into my life.  Ask and you shall receive.  Seek and you shall find.  Knock and the door shall be opened to you. 

Praying is Adoration, Thanksgiving, Repentence, Intentions and Petitions (ATRIP).  Praying is like taking a trip.  I can't remember exactly who taught me this, but I have never forgotten this.

Adoration.  Every prayer should start off by giving God his proper recognition.  We should adore Him and Him alone.

Heavenly Father, you are my all.  You are my everything.  You created me.  You redeemed me.  You are my Savior and my God.  Without you I am nothing. 

Thanksgiving.  Once I realize who God truly is, I must thank Him.

I thank you with all my heart for your countless blessings.  You have loved me when I was unlovable; forgiven me when I could not even forgive myself.  I thank you for allowing me to speak in your name and to serve you with my life.

Repentence.  After realizing all the Lord has done for me, I must acknowledge my stubborn and selfish heart.

Please forgive me for the times I have placed myself way above you, and for the many times I greeted your wishes with hesitancy and laziness.  Forgive me Lord for the times I failed to imitate you in word and action. 

Intentions.  Since the world will change only when I change, I now ask God for any special needs I may have.

I ask you for the grace of perseverance, courage and love.  Help me to love as you love me, and to be compassionate and merciful as you are towards me.

Petitions.  Finally, I need to pray for others and our world.

Dear Lord, watch over your children spread throughout the world.  Keep them safe in your arms.  Encourage our leaders to listen to your voice of reason and love before making decisions and taking action. 

We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Please share this post with your friends.  Maybe they could use some help in praying.

Now you can hibernate your computer or laptop or iPad or silence your cell phone and get to work; that is, start praying and allow your heart and mind to defy gravity (and death) by entering God's Kingdom.


  1. I really liked this about prayer, and the neat. The only thing I might add is being quiet and listening to God at times, as I learned in a Trappist Monastery. Pat

  2. Great mediation Fr.! I would always wonder whether I was praying correctly or not. After this mediation I'm please to know our lord is listening to me! Regards, Nick p/s Laura and I have discussed on coming by All Saints to visit you sometime as promised.

  3. My boy St. Pio says it best,

    “Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God's heart. You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips, but with your heart. In fact on certain occasions you should only speak to Him with your heart.”

    Katie Giangiulio

  4. Is this how God answers prayers? I sat in church this morning and begged God to teach me to pray. Sometimes I think I just vomit out words that have no meaning. I was at a loss as how to engage in meaningful prayer. My answer came only hours later in you blog post on prayer. Maybe God sends His answer to what we ask for in the ways we least expect. Today truly was an answer to my prayer.

  5. Amen.... Father Alfonse - You have written THE BEST meditations this week. A+ !!

    Have a great & prayerful weekend.



    P.S. The "ATRIP" reminds me of Saint Ignatius' "Daily Examen" which is another wonderful form of prayer and reflection.

  6. Amen, Father, Amen. .
    Thank You :-)

  7. Thank you father!!!
    Have a blessed weekend :-)

  8. Thank you, Father, for everything you have done for me and my family


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