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!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mk 9:14-29 Faith and Prayer

Monday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

Someone from the crowd answered Jesus, "Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit. Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid.  I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so."  He said to them in reply, "O faithless generation, how long will I be with you?"

I asked your disciples, but they were unable to help.   Leave it to the Lord to help.  In fact, as soon as He saw the poor fellow, He showed pity on him and immediately healed him.  The scene must have been awesome. The disciples must have been a little dumbstruck.  But just like the disciples, I too am curious why they were unable to help.  Weren't they Christ's closest followers?  Didn't they have his blessing?  I think the Lord's answer must have surprised them.  It is what I least expected.  I thought He would have said:  "Well, you're not God.  I am." or "This was just too big for you."  or "You aren't holy enough.  Keep working on it."  No.  Instead, the Lord said to his disciples:  "This kind can only come out through prayer."

Only through prayer.   There are those who claim that "Nothing fails like prayer."  The Lord had a different opinion: This kind [of unclean spirit] can only come out through prayer.  Obviously, not all prayers and prayer-ers are alike.  If so, then it would have been foolish of the Lord to attribute any type of power to prayer, especially physical healing!  Not only that, but it would have been foolhardy of Him to say "Ask and you shall receive.  Seek and you shall find.  Knock and the door shall be opened," especially if prayer led to a dead end.  As for me, I have no doubts what-so-ever:  prayer works.  I just need to have faith in it.  

Faith and prayer.   There is a tight relationship between faith and prayer.  The more faith I have, the more likely I will pray.  The less faith I have, the less likely I will pray.  This is a sort of Catch-22.  I need faith to pray and I need to pray to have faith.

Contrary to secular notions, prayer is not magic:  Hey, just say the words and voilĂ !  No!  Not at all!  "Prayer is an aspiration of the heart.  It is a simple glance directed to Heaven.  It is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy.  Finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus" (St. Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul).

Words do not make a prayer, even the words of the Our Father taught to us by our Lord himself.  What constitutes a prayer is the presence of God

Prayer is essential.  No man became a saint without praying.  We all need to pray; that is, to grow in our relationship with the Lord.  "He must increase; I must decrease" must be the model and center of all our prayers.  Did the Lord hear John the Baptist's prayers?  You bet!  Even when he was thrown in jail?  You bet.  Even when he was about to be beheaded? You bet.  Did the Father hear the prayers of His Son?  Yes.  Even when he was about to be betrayed?  Yes.  Even when he was arrested, tortured and crucified?  Yes.

St. Teresa of Avila:  Let noting disturb you.  Let nothing frighten you.  All things are passing away:  God never changes.  Patience obtains all things.  Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.


  1. "As for me, I have no doubts what-so-ever: prayer works. I just need to have faith in it."

    And it works very well.

    I'm sure the only problem was they just didn't have enough faith.

    1. "I'm sure the only problem was they just didn't have enough faith."

      Now what would an atheist know about faith? Goes to show you how an atheist speaks about something they do not have or know or understand.

      Your faith is as good as your history. How was it? "Nelson Mendela was a member of the South American Communist Party." HAHAHAHA!!!

      Anyways. Back in the fourth century, St. Augustine wrote: "Work as if everything depended on you. Pray as if everything depended on God." This saying is indicative of the mentality of the earliest Christians. This is why the early Christians built hospitals. They understood what Christ taught, unlike this unfortunate couple.

      Now I am sure you would agree this couple took their Christian "faith" and twisted it just like Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Kim Jung-um took their atheism and twisted it into an sickle and hammer. The only difference is that the couple's faith is a rarity among Christians. Whereas, the above infamous names recruited millions of atheists to their cause.

    2. Well said, Jonathan!

      Faith does not mean God does everything and we do nothing. It means what Jesus said: "If you see someone thirsty then give them a drink." He didn't say, "If you see someone thirsty then let them wait for me."

      Thank you Jonathan! I'm gonna share this one with my Bible study group.

    3. Dearest Anonymous#1: please stop using the name "anonymous". You're giving us a bad rap. You're making it synonymous with "Ignorant but with computer".

  2. Thank you, Father, for these wonderful meditations. Tremendous quotes from both St. Therese and St. Teresa.

  3. I remember when I was a kid, I read the bible verse: "They will pick up serpents with their hands..." (Mk 16:18).

    And then I read: "If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell."

    Interesting, right?

    But then I asked myself: Where did the mass amputations happen? When were the "Blinding Ceremonies" scheduled? What's that? They never happened? So these early Christians didn't do what Jesus told them to do?

    Reading Scripture does not make anyone a Biblical scholar. It simply makes them a well trained parrot. And like parrots, they do not know what they say.

    Did you hear about the pastor who died from a snake bite? Poor fellow. He had two problems: He was an untrained pastor and, apparently, an untrained snake handler.

    But that's a lot better than the well-educated medical doctors who used to experiment on human beings or who operate filthy abortion clinics in Philadelphia. These individuals were highly educated and well trained. No excuses there.

    Like Mr. Jonathan Robert mentioned earlier, there will always be these small sects of Christians who distort the Christian faith. Unfortunately, most modern atheists, of the most virulent strain, have had great success in attracting new and more virulent members.

    1. I normally do not respond to atheist posts. Simply put: They are a waste of time and energy to read. However, I'm just in the right "mood" to say a few words.

      Do you not understand the meaning of metaphors and symbolism? Did you not learn that the bible isn't supposed to be taken literally?? Of course nobody is going to go whack off an arm or a leg on purpose. However, they'd be willing to become a martyr for the faith if the situation called for it. Believers would be willing to lose and arm or a leg to save the life of someone else. I don't see an atheist willing to chop off a finger to help someone else. They'd be too busy using their fingers to post stupid arguments on religious blogs under the "protection" of anonymity. That middle finger is too precious of a "marketing" tool to cut off....

      "Reading Scripture does not make anyone a Biblical scholar. It simply makes them a well trained parrot. And like parrots, they do not know what they say." - I laughed out loud when I read this comment. Seriously?? Of course nobody is an instant biblical scholar when they read scripture. However, they are much wiser and a heck of a lot more aware of the needs of the world around them.

      Yes, atheism is definitely a virulent strain of a virus. I don't know the stats but I'm sure Christianity is continuous to grow faster and larger than atheism. God won't allow atheism to take over His Kingdom and his creation!



  4. Like Christians, atheists have a hard time reigning in other atheists. But they found an ingenious way to solve their problem: never blame atheism for anything!



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