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!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Jn 10:31-42 God Speed

Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent
(Click here for readings)

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.  Jesus answered them, "...If I do not perform my Father's works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."  They tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power.  ...[But] many began to believe in him.

The three root sins.  Violent acts have been committed because of them.  Family members and friends have not spoken to one another because of them.  Good people have been overlooked because of them.  Foolish and deadly deeds have been performed because of them.  Life for many has become unbearable because of them.  What are they?  The three root sins:  pride, vanity and sensuality.

This is the last week before Holy Week.  It's that time of year when we need to do a Program of Life. 

Since the goal of every baptized Christian is to be "transformed into Christ," then it's important we get to know ourselves as quickly as possible, accept the brutal facts about ourselves and get to work to improve ourselves.   A Program of Life aims to do just that.

Pride, vanity and sensuality - like poor eating habits, a lack of sleep and not enough exercise - are sucking the very life out of us.  They may not be shortening our life span, but they are definitely not allowing us to live life to the full.

Get to know yourself.    We all suffer from pride, vanity and sensuality, but one of these three sticks out its ugly head a bit more than the others.  Which one is it?

PRIDE:  My security and self-esteem depend on me.
  • Am I highly critical of others?
  • Do I get annoyed with those who disagree with me?
  • Am I judgmental?
  • Do I put others down?
  • Do I love to gossip about others?
  • Do I have a hard time admitting my mistakes?
  • Do I hide my faults?
  • Do I "feel" like I don't need to pray?
  • Am I calculating in my prayers (for example:  If you do this, Lord, then I will do this...).
  • Am I constantly making excuses for myself?
  • Do I get enraged when others do not thank me?
  • Do I hold on to grudges?
  • Do I put myself first?
  • Do I think I am the only one who can do it right?
VANITY:  My security and self-esteem depend on others.
  • Am I constantly seeking admiration?
  • Do I often talk about myself to others?
  • Do I stretch the truth?
  • Do I find it difficult to saying "No"?
  • Do I sacrifice my principles in order to fit in?
  • Am I afraid to stand up for what I believe?
  • Am I easily discouraged by failure?
  • Am I always asking others for their opinion?  "How did I do?" or "How do I look?"
  • Do I get easily crushed by a negative comment?
SENSUALITY:  My security and self-esteem depend on what I have.
  • Do I seek the most comfortable state of being?
  • Do I seek the path of least resistance?
  • Do I run and hide from difficulties?
  • Do I complain about the slightest amount of pain or discomfort?
  • Do I find it difficult to make a sacrifice?
  • Am I doing shoddy job at work and complain about it as well?
  • Do I wait for others to serve me?
  • Do my feelings rule me?
  • Do I do and/or eat only what I like?
  • Am I constantly seeking pleasure?  Is it like a drug?
  • Do I only work with those I like?
Accept the brutal facts.  Don't worry, I know what you are thinking.  If you think you have all three, then join the club!  We all have all three!  But now is not the time to get down on yourself and shed a tear.  It's time to accept the brutal facts and move on. 

So which of these three stand out above the crowd?  Is it your pride, your vanity or your sensuality?  Pick a root sin, any root sin.

Get to work.  1st step.  The first thing you need to do is pick a motto.  Yep.  You will need a heavy duty motivational quote.  Below are some suggestions: [Remember to only pick one root sin.]

PRIDE:  Jesus meek and humble of heart.
VANITY:  It is no longer I who live in me but Christ.
SENSUALITY:  Thy Will be done!

2nd step.  How does this root sin manifest itself in your life?  How does it make its appearance in your life?  List only four or five examples.  Name names when appropriate and be specific in your examples.  Don't hold back on anything.  This list is for your eyes only. 

3rd step.  Now write down some very specific things you can do to address and correct these problems.  List four or five concrete things you can do on a daily or weekly basis.  Be specific.  This is your medication.  Don't hold back.  Again, this list is for your eyes only. 

This is your Program of Life.   Take a look at it in the morning.  Examine your conscience in the afternoon.  Ask yourself how you did at the end of the day.

May God be with you.


  1. Father Alfonse,
    Where did you get this Program? I printed it out and plan to answer and use it. I'm actually starting to GET what sin does to us. It's sad how the world accepts and even encourages sin.
    I love this blog. It is attracting good followers whose comments can really add to its impact on others.
    God bless.

    1. From my days in the seminary. :)

    2. “It’s sad how the world accepts sin and even encourages sin.”

      Your comment did help me to exam my own comments from the day before.

      Because no one on this blog really knows me – and my intentions, your comments are right on. I would probably have judged the same way.

      I didn’t convey my point well. Judgementalism: how we judge others who party. I did this when I was younger and it was not a bad thing! I did not bring other people closer to hell, and they me. I am still friends with these people, and they are great people! Yes, how one dances and how one drinks means the difference between right and wrong. However, if I want to grow closer to God, I must look at myself and my sins, just as Father pointed out in this meditation. Not others. “Where do my thoughts go – on myself and my reactions to circumstances or on how others ‘should’ act.

      I didn’t mean to scandalize Father’s faithful followers. Thanks for your comment. It helped me to examine my comment!

      Have a meaningful Holy Week. :)

  2. One of the best examination of conscience I have ever read! You have a great gift Father.

  3. Agreed. I liked this list. Most examinations of conscience focus on the Decalogue, listing some of the more obvious sins, but if a person starts making regular trips to Confession, these examinations don't help as much. Thinking of the deadly sins ( Pride, Avarice, Lust, etc.) helps pinpoint some sinful tendencies, and approaches the root of sin, the root Jesus speaks of when he states that sins take place in the mind before they even being acted upon: "he who commits adultery in his heart..." Your list goes even further in helping locate these attitudes that bud into sinful thoughts and feelings.

    Thanks for the program. You've given me a lot to think about and pray over.

  4. Fr. Alfonse,
    Thank you for providing us with another inspiring meditation and information that will help us in our journey to be more like Christ.
    -Rosa E.

  5. I love your meditation . You explain very clearly and with a great examination of conscience the three root sins. It helps to better understand them. I also printed it out to read and practice it often. Thank you Fr. Alfonse.


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