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, May 13, 2014

Jn 10:22-30 Speak Plainly

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
(Click here for readings)

So the Jews gathered around [Jesus] and said to him, "How long are you going to keep us in suspense?  If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."

Religion still matters.  No matter what people say, religion still matters. 

Half way around the world, over two hundred girls are being held by a Nigerian born Islamic group known as "Boko Haram," which means "Western education is sinful."  Just recently they released a video showing a good number of them "converting" to Islam.  I am not at all impressed.  Not too long ago, I wrote a meditation describing how easy it is to convert to Islam.  Hence, their conversion is meaningless, but remarkable in how delusional the terrorists are, especially if they actually believe these young girls meant what they repeated under duress. 

Let's pray for their safe return, back to their parents and loved ones.

Now if you think that barbarities only happen "half way around the world," then think again. Just a few days ago we read how Harvard University, one of the most prestigious universities in America, allowed a bunch of atheists to masquerade as Satanists and make a mockery of Christian - but above all Catholic - beliefs.  Today, I am pleased to announce that the so-called "Black Mass" never took place.  It was cancelled after an avalanche of protests from students, faculty, staff, religious and secular leaders, and people of just good will and commonsense. 

Drew Foust, Harvard's President, was embarrassed at the entire affair.  In fact, she publically scolded the association for even considering such a hideous event and for hiding underneath the First Amendment (and "academic freedom") to defend religious bigotry.  Imagine for a moment if the Harvard Extension School had, for educational purposes and to exercise their constitutional rights, had invited KKK members to perform a Cross burning ceremony on campus.  I wonder what the world would have thought of that?  Do these people not see their own hypocrisy?  Do they actually think the world does not see their own hypocrisy?  Have atheists and intellectuals become so na├»ve? 


Tell us plainly.  As mean as Satanists are, at least they are honest and direct.  Like it or not, they tell everybody the way they think and the way they see things.  Politicians and intellectuals, on the other hand, have become experts in the use of euphemisms and Orwellianisms, and they are teaching our children - the next generation - their handy trade.   I find this more repulsive than highly opinionated or outspoken people.

Academia continues to insist on the use of politically correct (PC) speech in their statements in order to hide long standing (and sometimes seething) hatreds towards others.  However, not everyone is willing to play along and Harvard was caught in their lie, this time by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.  

Now what makes users of PC speech so pitiful is that it forces them to walk a tightrope between lies, or fall into the depths of verbal meaninglessness. 

Satanists are not afraid to say or do whatever they want because they have nothing to lose.  They have already lost everything.  But most Americans are afraid to stand up and speak out.  In many ways, the First Amendment is dead.  Sure, you can say whatever you want, but it will be the last time you ever say it, especially if you're not part of the "what's-hip-this-year or decade or century."  If you're not in, then you're out.  You're job will be lost.  You're reputation, crucified.  You're livelihood, destroyed.

The spokesman for Satanists said something worth noting.  They said they will stage "their own Black Mass ceremony...to reaffirm their respect for the Satanic faith and to demonstrate that the most powerful response to offensive speech is to shame those who marginalize others..."

That's it!  They couldn't be any clearer: We hate those who hate you.  We take an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.  We shame those who shame you.

I love the Catholic response:  We will be having Eucharistic adoration this evening and will be praying for those who insult us. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that  Harvard President, Drew Faust, attended Eucharistic adoration.  Good for her.

I respect the Pharisees and scribes for asking Jesus to speak plainly:  "If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."  I don't respect the way they handled it:  Crucify Him!  Apparently, they weren't interested in the truth. 

I respect and love Jesus because He was clear and direct; and He was clear and direct because He had no fears.  He knows who He is and He knows who we are. 

"The Father and I are one." 

How clearer (and closer) can one get?

7 comments:

  1. Amen. Thank you. And, God bless you for being fearless in proclaiming The Truth.

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  2. The Unveiling. For those of us that came of age in the late 80s and early 90s (I was a grad student in the early 90s), political correctness was rammed down our throats. You couldn't say anything offensive to anyone--anyone, that is, except Christians. We were tolerant and amidst our silence, homosexual marriage, contraception, and abortion on demand became the norm. CBS' Good Morning America actually celebrated the upcoming marriage of the two male characters on Modern Family. And no one said anything. I couldn't believe it. Why do we have to accept these things? Why is no one saying that this is sinful? Even people in Catholic friends are afraid to speak the truth for fear of reprisal by their Catholic peers.

    I am thankful that at least the PC Culture has finally extended its protective wing to yes--Catholics. Its about time that some intellectual finally realized that a practicing Catholic could be offended by a desecration of the Holy Eucharist. I am pleasantly surprised that Harvard came to their senses and showed that liberalism at its height could be all-inclusive. Yes, we really do exist. That's why I said in my earlier posts that we should be thankful. At least these atheists are honest in what they are doing. That counts for something.

    Stand Up! If nothing else, this whole discourse should remind us that our voice counts. We can be silent no more and have to not only live the Truth but we must speak the Truth in love.

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  3. “Hence, their conversion is meaningless, but remarkable in how delusional the terrorists are, especially if they actually believe these young girls meant what they repeated under duress.”
    If anything, these girls will detest the Muslim religion because of this very reason: they were forced!

    “It was cancelled after an avalanche of protests from students, faculty, staff, religious and secular leaders, and people of just good will and commonsense.”

    I guess my Catholic beliefs have convinced me otherwise. I think it was because of all the ‘invisible’ sacrifices, prayers and acts of love that were performed that was the real impetus to the cancellation. People can cry for justice all they want, but in the end, it’s God Himself who will “allow” something awful to happen, such as the Nigeria girls’ abduction or not, such as the Black mass. It’s the media who has made that statement, not God. I believe in such an omnipotent God who is only trying to make saints out of the “ones who have been given more”. Do we honestly believe that we humans have that much control over this world? Oh my goodness! It’s God who has ALL the control! We just think we (or the media) do!

    If I honestly look at Jesus’ teachings, all He asked me to do was to love God and love my neighbor / enemy. Maybe peaceful protests are great! I am NOT disputing this. I am disputing what control we think we have in our lives, period. But I am utterly sad when I think back just 5 years ago when an abortionist Dr was killed in Kansas. It’s our collective protests (in our own hearts) that killed that Dr. – not just the man who eventually got convicted of his murder. God looks at the heart of each one of us, not our minds.

    Whoever responds, please just attack my ideas, not me. I’m not attacking you!! I am just giving a different Catholic viewpoint.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous,

      I never make ad hominem attacks, so please know that I am only challenging (not attacking) the ideas you posted in your comment yesterday.

      "It is our colective protests (in our own hearts) that killed Dr. --- not just the man who was eventually got convicted on his murder."

      I wholeheartedly disagree with this assertion. That violent act was the action of a fanatic much like 9/11 or any other violent actions in the name of "religion." God does not call us to violence, He call us to peace. That being said, it is critical we are visible as witnesses to the truth--both for our fellow men and for our legislators.

      I have been actively involved in the pro-life movement since 1990. I can't tell you how many women that I have known that have had abortions have said that if there had just been one person outside the clinic the day of their abortion, they would have turned away. The presence of one person could have saved a life of another. Isn't that simply shocking how influential we actually are? Our physical presence is more important than we know. It can actually save lives.

      Then there is the legislative arena. Our representatives represent us. If we do not speak up and be present, they will not know how we feel. See my earlier post and watch the video from the Capitol buidling last summer. My kids and I went down twice in three days. I didn't want to go the second time, but my teenage daughter had to remind me how important it was to stand for life -- Not to just pray, but for those that are able -- to stand for life. She stood on her feet for 10 hours to get into the gallery. She was my hero that day.

      "I am disputing what control we have in our lives, period." Obviously, God Almightly is ultimately in charge but he has given us Free Will! We have a choice everyday to be His hands, feet, ears, and lips. It's up to us what we do with it. So many are silent because they don't want to offend and because they have been shrouded in the veil of political correctness, but the Truth spoken in love is never offensive because it is the objective Truth. Why are we so afraid?

      A couple of years ago, one of my other kids visted Dachau, one of the concentration camps in Germany. The most striking thing she took away was video footage of the ordinary Germans who lived outside the camp that visited it at the end of the war. The video showed troops leading the residents of the town into the camp to show them the atrocities that existed just miles from where they lived. People were laughing and carrying on when they went inside. When they left, they were silent. They had been changed forever. How could this happen right under the noses they queried?

      "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." We cannot control the outcome but we can control our ability to witness to the Truth. Those that have an agenda for abortion rights, contraception, gay marriage have counted on our silence for too long. The state of affairs has been permitted by our apathy and fear. We can control our ability to pray in front of the clinics. We can control our ability to stand up for what is right and not be afraid. It's not only our right under the First Amendment, it is our duty as Catholic Christians. When Pilate asked "What is truth?" we should have an answer.

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    2. Hello Violin,

      “I wholeheartedly disagree with this assertion. That violent act was the action of a fanatic much like 9/11 or any other violent actions in the name of "religion." God does not call us to violence, He call us to peace.”
      That could be a really good answer: he’s a fanatic.
      I’m not the best at explaining this so just bear with me! I do wonder if there are other possibilities: if we are one Body of Christ, and I am one cell in that Body, I weaken the body with my sins. And everything good that I do comes from God so the Body becomes stronger if I love. It’s exactly what you said ‘we influence each other.’ We can take this literally or figuratively. I personally take it figuratively. (For instance, when Jesus was healing the paralyzed man, He said ‘what is easier to say, get up and take up your mat or I forgive your sins?” In other words, forgiveness of sins brings healing to the Body of Christ and healing of the Body must include forgiveness of sins.
      Even if you want to think about it literally, still, we are not an island. We influence each other. For some reason, I think that this man was influenced by persons of like mind - of course not to kill!!! but the viewpoint that Drs. who perform late term abortions are bad people. The reason I even mentioned this b/c it was only 5 years ago not 20 years ago!! Have we not come further than this? They are ignorant people! Just ask the women who have had abortions, who were pro-choice and are now pro-life….. they all say: I just didn’t know, I just didn’t realize.
      However, I do agree with you that God does not call us to violence….. even that violence that is an intention in our hearts toward our enemies. Please, please do not take this in a personal way; I just don’t know a better way to put this out there: But, do you think that your daughter felt any hatred for her enemies (pro-abortionist) through all that waiting and standing for 10+ hours in a stand for pro-life? When listening to your video, I found myself calling those folks a few choice words! If she didn’t find any hatred in her heart surrounded by that then she is a saint! She can allow it to go in one ear and out the other without analyzing it in between! It’s a hard balancing act – doing the right thing with the right heart.
      “ It's up to us what we do with it. So many are silent because they don't want to offend and because they have been shrouded in the veil of political correctness, but the Truth spoken in love is never offensive because it is the objective Truth. Why are we so afraid?”
      Violin, your passion for the Lord is obvious and beautiful and charitable! I understand your comment in the intended context. I just don’t think I was clear enough for you to understand mine. I have discussed/argued/stood up for my beliefs all of my life, sometimes with love, sometimes not. I will continue to do so. It’s a journey. You think that you are doing God’s will by taking active political action. I think that I am doing God’s will by going to daily Mass, saying a rosary every day, praying with my family every night, meditating on God’s word for at least 30+ minutes a day and trying to do at least 10 acts of love a day to strangers, family and friends.(Yes, I literally count them like a little kid!)
      Visible or invisible, are we not both influencing? It’s both “and” & “ or”!

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    3. Dear Anonymous:

      I think you are doing a wonderful job! I can say you are influencing me! I am truly inspired by all the spiritual things that you are doing! It's a good goal for me. Fr. Alfonse, (though he didn't even know it) challenged me to get back to daily mass, routine Confession, adoration, among other things. I thank God that we have good priests at our church to assist us in our faith journey. In the various places that we have lived, this hasn't always been the case. We are truly blessed.

      I am sure my comments reflect how frustrated I am that our society has devolved so far. I don't remember it being this crazy in the 70s and 80s. I truly wish we could all live the life that God intended us to live. Our faith is so beautiful and provides such an excellent recipie for a meaningful life filled with His love and His peace. I wish more people could experience this joy!

      I do agree with you that it's journey. I often learn from my daughters. I was feeling so incredibly angry (and depressed) that week in Austin. My teenager had a red tape over her mouth that said "4 life". As I said, she stood for 10 hours in silence, holding a handmade sign, praying for everyone around her. Her silent witness caught the eye of two national Catholic reporters. Whenever I uttered some slight against the pro-abortion supporters she kept telling me to pray for these people. I was almost embarrassed by how good and holy she was.

      So, it is a journey and one that we walk together. I am so glad there are so many kind people of faith so we can learn from each other and, together, build the kingdom of God on Earth. God Bless you and your family! Please keep my family in your prayers!

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  4. Hello Violin,

    The only reason I do what I do is for Him and Him alone. If I influence anyone, it’s only b/c of His grace. If the scales fall from someone’s eyes, it’s not because of what I said or did, it’s b/c of what God decided to do with that grace. That’s what I was trying to say…. It’s not b/c of me, it’s b/c of Him. I just ‘think’ it was something I said.

    Many years ago, I was told that I should see the fruits of my effort in bringing people to Christ. I fervently loved Him and others, but I didn't see the fruits equal to my effort. I grew so very weary after years of living this way. I got to a point that I didn't even believe in myself, much less my God. To this day, I still fear authority. This cross He gave me was perfectly crafted for me. He didn't leave anything out. In reflecting back, I wouldn't trade that cross for the world! I just don’t want to go through that Hell again! I’m still trying to embrace pieces of that cross.

    I have heard about the Christians being killed because of their conversion from Islam. I have heard that Islamism is the new communism. I just can’t keep looking at this world falling apart in front of my eyes and keep expecting it to change for the better! I cannot expect anything to change, but I must keep on loving.

    What I’m trying to say is that I know that I can’t get involved politically b/c my passion for justice would overtake my passion for His Love. And I think that His Love is what He wants me to live and die for.

    Know that I will keep you and your family in my prayers. See, that's another act of love I can count for today :)

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