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!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jn 8:21-30 Mickey Mouse Or Jesus Christ?

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

Jesus said to the Pharisees:  "What I told you from the beginning.  I have much to say about you in condemnation.  But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world.  When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM." 

Pruning and Uprooting.  Lent is that time of year to do some heavy duty cleaning inside our spiritual home.  It's that time of year to fertilize our pride and vanity with some simplicity and humility, and to prune our hearts and minds from earthly (or dirt-y) attachments. 

My life can grow wild, just like so many things surrounding it.  And with so much craziness going on around me, inside of me, and below me, I can easily feel like my life is out of control and out of my hands.   

Over the years, Lent has taken on a new meaning in my life.  It has become a significant part of my maturing process.  And whatever helps me to grow will always be a blessing to me.

Which brings me to my final point.  The ultimate purpose of Lent is not to make me a better man but to remind me of who I belong to; to who owns me.  I do not belong to Mother Nature or to humanity.  I belong to Jesus Christ.  I owe my life to Him and no one else.

Where do you belong?  The Lord had a very frank conversation with his critics:  "You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above.  You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world." 

Do you ever feel like you don't belong here?  If so, then good job!  Congratulations to you!  You're doing great this Lent!

Earth is not our home.  It is our workplace.  This is not where we belong.  It is God's EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow).  

We can live like highly evolved animals or we can live like Christians.  We can live for things that belong to this world or live for the things that belong to God.   

This morning, I spoke to someone who works at a Catholic radio station.  They were seeking my opinion on a question someone recently called in and asked.  It was a great question.  Very timely. 

"Aren't Catholics being a little hypocritical when they condemn the firing of Mozilla's CEO but then demand that a Catholic University not invite any controversial speakers?"

Great question.  But it's like comparing stones to scones.  There's a huge difference between inviting someone and firing them.

I am not at all offended at Fr. Jim Jenkins or Notre Dame for not considering me as a guest speaker.  I would be offended by them if they denounced me or attempted to publicly humiliate me, then I would have every good reason to feel hurt by them.  In the case of Mozilla's former CEO, his resignation is acknowledged by all as a firing and a coup d'entreprise.  Okcupid assassinated him.

Also, there's a huge difference in aim between a sectarian institution (i.e. Catholic or religious university) and a secular business.  Hence, it's perfectly reasonable for a sectarian university to invite individuals who share the same moral beliefs.  It's also perfectly legitimate for them to fire someone who no longer shares the same moral beliefs.  When it comes to the business world, it would be entirely unreasonable and discriminatory for a company to fire someone because of their personal beliefs on marriage.  It would also be entirely stupid to hire someone as CEO because of their personal beliefs on marriage.  The firing of Mozilla's CEO was hurtful, harmful and dangerous. 

Personally, it's extremely important that all Catholic and Christian universities invite guest speakers who will defend and promote Catholic or Christian teachings.  Why?  Because where else will people hear them?  Let's be real, folks.  The entertainment conglomerate (Hollywood, the music industry, sitcoms, soap operas, the radio, the news, the public schools and public squares), as well as the Internet, has done an amazing job at effectively shouting over, shouting down and shutting out anything Christian or Catholic. 

And there is a reason for it.  As the Gospel's tell us, when Jesus finished speaking, "the crowds were amazed at his teaching" (Mt 7:28), and "because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him." 

Amen.  Amen. 


  1. Fr. Alfonse,

    Another Aha! moment for me: "Earth is not our home. It is our workplace. This is not where we belong. It is God's EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow)."

    I shall do my best to do God's work.

    Rosa E.

  2. You're right to say that Catholic speakers need a platform, and the Church and her institutions should serve as that platform. I still bristle over Notre Dame giving the time of day to a president who makes a point to muzzle Christians and right to live out their beliefs. Besides his stances on the rights of conscience, he has enough opportunities to give speeches, and in fact, has given so many that no one really cares to listen anymore. The heroes who suffer for the faith, for the poor, for the young and the old, have no such opportunity. If they sit at the table, they should be asked to move up, not neglected because they lack influence.

  3. I don't know about Father Jenkins, but Father William Miscamble, who is a major supporter of the pro-life movement at the university, would probably be thrilled to have you come and speak. As would William Dempsey (alumnus) of Project Sycamore, who leads efforts on the campus to fight against secularization. The Edith Stein Conference (falls under the responsibility of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture) has gained influence over the past 10 years or so, and has focused on issues related to the dignity of women, marriage, chaste relationships, and vocation. There is a call for papers and speakers every year, usually late fall I believe. (The conference is in February.)

    The Center for Ethics and Culture (Carter Snead is director) has been spearheading many important efforts. Father, it would be so wonderful if you could look into forming a relationship with some of these leaders & organizations. They share the outlook of faith in heart, mind, and spirit that you share with us.

    1. Hello Father Alfonse, The Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture just sent out a Call for Papers today for its fall conference if you are interested:

  4. I have no idea if you've seen this but I remember watching the Chipmunks as a kid and seeing an episode where they did a Beatles parody with Alvin proclaiming they were "bigger than Mickey Mouse"

  5. Father - There seems to be quite a bit of pride even bringing up the issue of not being invited to speak at Notre Dame. Maybe I'm just reading your words wrong and not understanding your message. Remember your vocation is NOT all about radio stardom, guest appearances at public conferences, and being famous in the spotlight. Yes, no question you are an amazing speaker. Just be careful not to take your popularity and allow it to overshadow your true call to work within your assigned diocese. I think we need you here to serve our diocese and not flying out to privileged catholic universities giving out keynote addresses.

    Please don't be offended at my comments.


    1. I can't even say you missed the point, Jennifer. I think you skipped the meditation. Are you really serious?

      Also, do you realize how you just inflated Father's vanity by saying we need him here (to serve our diocese)?

    2. Yes, I'm dead serious. I get his point but I also see a lot of hidden ego in his words. You can criticize me all you want, Dear Anonymous. It is not appreciated. If FA has an issue with what I wrote, he didn't have to post my comment. Maybe the only way NOT to inflate Father's vanity, pride or ego in general is for all of us to stop the comments and stop reading his blog. Better yet, stop worshiping him as if he is a "god". Talk about pumping up the ego.

      Priests are assigned to specific diocese for a purpose - to serve specific areas. He follows the Bishop's orders. It's not "vain" to say that he needs to serve where he is assigned. He just happens to be in Dallas, TX. He could ask to be transferred to serve in Indiana. Then it wouldn't be "vain" for me to say he needs to serve the parishioners in the specific Indiana diocese. Grrr.....



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