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, May 19, 2014

Jn 14:21-26 Mindful of God

Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
(Click here for readings)

Jesus said to his disciples:  "Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.  Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him."

God's Commandments.  Far too many of us take the ingeniousness of God's Ten Commandments for granted.   I think it's because we truly believe we would have come up with them on our own.  After all, they make perfect sense, right?  Well, yes and no.  Yes, because they fit in well with our human nature.  No, because our human nature - even to this day - actively rebels against them. 

The World's Commandments.  Based on what I have seen and heard (from facebook, twitter, friends, family, kids and parents), if I had to replace the God's Commandments with something even more fashionable or "modern," I would have to start with the following: 

1st Commandment:  I'm Special.  Of course you're important, just like everyone else, right?  But unfortunately, "I'm Important" often means that others are not. 

Professor Jean Twenge, of San Diego State University, thinks "kids are self-centered enough" and don't need to hear (over and over again) how "special" they are.  His study found an alarming rise in narcissism and self-centeredness among college students.  They really think they're more special than others.  Hence, they're more likely to have romantic relationships that are short-lived, at greater risk for infidelity, lack emotional warmth and to exhibit game-playing, dishonesty, and over-controlling and violent behaviors.  In other words, a growing number of young adults tend to lack patience and empathy towards others, and react aggressively to criticism and favor self-promotion over helping others.

2nd Commandment:  It's more important to look good than to be good.  Of course no one will admit this, but we all believe it.  Let's face it.  We spend more time training our body than our soul; more time examining our face than our conscious; and more time selecting our clothes than selecting our choices.  This commandment leads to only one thing:  PTPLO (People Treating People Like Objects).

3rd Commandment:  Be Nice.  Be Tolerant.   Every time I hear people say that Christians or Americans need to be more tolerant of others, I think of a simmering pot, not a melting pot.  Let's not fool ourselves.  A tolerant society is a simmering society, and if we are not careful, then, given the right (or ripe) conditions, it will blow up in our faces. 

A revolution is in the making.  I can sense it.  To avoid it we must love our neighbor, not tolerate them, which means we must do what is right and always avoid evil.

I could go on and on, but I think I have made my point. 

Only One God and only His Commandments.  The temptation is strong to look for someone other than God, to be one's own god or to turn others into gods.  It all comes from our ancestors bad behavior and lack of understanding. 

In the city of Lystra, Barnabas and Paul preached the Good News and cured many of the ill (cf. Acts 14:5-18).  The folks there were so impressed by their words and actions that they began to call Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes."  Shocked out of their minds, the Apostles tore their garments and brought the people back to their senses.  How fortunate of them.  Throughout history, many charismatic men would have risked death to get what Paul and Barnabas were handed. 

If you wish to be great, then be meek and humble of heart. 

Be mindful of the Lord and all His commandments. 


  1. The Life You Were Meant to Live. I have always found the Ten Commandments so freeing. Their beauty is that they are so simple and clear. They are timeless. Isn't it unbelievable that we have been struggling with the same challenges and vices for thousands of years and the answers are still the same! Sometimes it gives me comfort to know we're all in it together and that I am not alone in my struggle, Other times, I think -- how stupid are we that we can't get it right! Duh? If we simply embrace the commandments, we are completely free to live the life that God intended for us. It really is quite simple, yet so complex. Complex because we try to make ourselves into mini dieties. Complex because we lack humility.

    Time to Celebrate. Living in this post Modern Age, we now actually celebrate (not just embrace but celebrate) the violation of God's commandments. Man can rationalize anything and, indeed, we have rationalized our sin and written our own commandments and created our own dieties. Many are living for "something other than god." The other half, shrouded in a cloak of PC, are afraid to stand up for what's right.

    Commanment 1/2. Today, our homilist asked us what our first commandment would be if we were to write our own. My mind immediately to Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God.” That's what's missing today. The first and most important thing is for us to acknowlege that He is God and that we are not.

    Whereas forty years ago, we may have had other gods (money, beauty, lust, greed, etc.) in ADDITION to God, today, we have taken God off the table altogether. It's not a question of having "other gods beside me", it's acknowledging that there is a God in the first place. So, perhaps, we have to start with the more daunting (yet basic) task of first getting others to understand that yes Virgina, there is a God and his name is Jesus Christ.

  2. I realize narcissistic and self-center kids are on the rise. I partly blame poor parenting and social media. Some parents (not all, of course) spoil their kids rotten, or they ignore them because of their **own** selfishness and narcissistic behaviors. Then crawls in social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) where it's all about telling the whole world about yourself even if it may be far from the truth. With the child's life so "exposed" and self-promoting in the virtual world, no wonder they enter college with the attitude "I'm the greatest and won't lay down a finger to help anyone else but me..."

    On the flip side of the equation are truly beautiful young people. (Remember Anna and Taylor.) They are all heart and self-less. They are mindful of God every day, and they see God through others. I think of my alma mater Texas A&M who has a large Catholic student population. (A few "special" Aggies have chosen to become religious brothers and sisters.) We may have a growing population of narcissistic young men and women, but we must also look at the positive side. We have growing population of amazing young people dedicated to the Church and the Christian way of living. Our young people are more pro-life than ever. They see the darkness of the world around them, and all of the selfish people, but continue to following the Lord's commandments anyway, praying for those who choose not to.

    We are all special in God's eyes.


    1. Jennifer B

      I do agree with you that the young people are turning it around. As someone in their mid-40s, the twenty somethings and certainly the teens are more pro-life and on fire than ever. I attribute this to better, more orthodox clergy--and yes, to the JPII Factor. Saint John Paul II really brought about a new evangelization in the Church. It has been remarkable. Young people are hungry for God and we finally have clergy willing to instruct them. Growing up in the 70s and going to Religious Ed (CCD) we learned next to nothing! The times they are changing. Keep our clergy in your prayers. They need our love and support.

  3. I have always appreciated the beatitudes more than the ten commandments. I know I viewed the commandments as God telling me what NOT to do verses in the beatitudes where God is telling me what TO do. There really is a big difference. I find this in parenting. Just telling them what not to do all the time doesn't work. But when I can somehow convey or show them ways of doing something they can grasp what to do and why instead of me just saying no to something else they are more prone to doing it.

    However I have realized that all the commandments are the basic building blocks in living out the beatitudes! They must come first.

    The homilist made a great point about these readings: as Paul said 'we are just human beings.' We can think of ourselves as too holy....or.....we can say that my sins are too big for God to forgive. Either place we will not be growing in Him. I know I continue to fall into the same trap every time.....its what you said.....have faith in me which I am trying to do.

    Thank you Father for this beautiful meditation. It made me feel lighter than I have in a long time!


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