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!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Jn 14:6-14 Are You Abnormal?

Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles
By: Jennifer Burgin

(Click here for readings)
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.

Last Autumn, when Fr. Alfonse asked me to write meditations for his blog, I doubted my ability.  I felt very honored by his request.  However, I worried how effectively I could "connect" with his audience through my own words.  I'm not a vowed religious, a married woman with children or even a cradle Catholic.  Will people relate or think my posts are a bunch of nonsense?.......

Are you abnormal?  Today's reading from 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 spoke to me instantly.  Saint Paul talks about the order of people Jesus appeared to after his resurrection.  The passage ends with the words: "Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me."

How often do we think of ourselves as abnormal?  Maybe we suffer from physical or mental handicaps.  Or, we engage in habits and personal rituals that appear odd to others.  We may be a little eccentric, saying off-the-wall comments that spark a questioning look or response.  People just don't get us!    

God made each one of us special.  Why are we so hard on ourselves?  Why do we think being different is bad?  Why do we care so much about what people say or think about us?  All that matters is that God loves us!

Over the years, I've realized being abnormal - different, unique, special, authentic, out of the ordinary - is something not to be ashamed of.  Certainly, when it comes to being a faithful Catholic it's essential to be perfectly abnormal.  Society's new "normal" involves selfishness, indifference, excess, over-consumption, and waste.  An individual's wants and desires become the primary attraction, creating what Pope Francis refers to as a "throw away culture."  If it's not normal, get rid of it!  If it doesn't benefit "me, myself and I" then it's no good. Throw it out to the dogs!

Abnormality requires each follower of Christ to step out of the bounds of worldliness.  Don't conform to the culture but change the culture.  Don't fit the secular mold but reshape the mold so that God is center.  Focus on loving, caring, and accepting one another as beautiful gifts from God.  

Jesus' own abnormality   Consider Jesus' own abnormality during his public ministry. He dined with prostitutes and tax collectors.  He cast out demons, gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf. He often spoke in confusing terms, answering questions with more questions. Most abnormal of all:  Christ rose from the dead!  Yet, his "abnormality" still attracts people to Christianity even in the midst of growing anti-religious sentiment.  People see the evil around them, often recognizing the poor decisions they've made. They feel a pulsating spiritual magnet drawing them to something uplifting and more fulfilling.  The spiritual magnet of Christ is infinitely strong, overpowering all  material possessions and creature comforts.  Earthly pleasures composed of pride, vanity and sensuality are de-magnetized as spiritual magnetism draws us intimately closer to Our Lord.  

Who wants to be boringly normal when we can be perfectly abnormal!  Proudly wear the t-shirt that tells the world you believe in God and desire to follow his works and his mighty deeds!

Do even greater works   Jesus commands all Christians to perform even greater works.  These are important works he could not accomplish during his short life.  Today we recognize the courageous apostles Saint Philip and Saint James who proclaimed Jesus' way, truth and life with vigor and enthusiasm.  Without their faith and dedication, as well as the ministry of other early disciples, the Christian message would not have survived 2000 years and counting.

As followers of Jesus we may not be able to perform miracles such as raising someone from the dead, but we can help and care for one another. We can certainly ask Our Lord for his divine assistance.  He clearly answers "I will do it"  if we only ask in his name!

Stop the close-minded thinking and critical judgments.  Help those who are suffering instead of ignoring them.  Discover innovative ways of spreading the good news of the gospel.  Be kind and loving toward those who are different. God wishes for peace and harmony among all of his blessed children.  
Saint Philip and Saint James, Pray for Us!

This meditation was written by Jennifer Burgin, a convert to Catholicism.  Please visit her blog:  Jennifer's Spectrum of Spirituality


  1. Agreed. True Catholicism goes against the grain of convention. As I try to make progress in my faith and have a better understanding of God, I find myself becoming increasingly counter-cultural: debates spark between my friends and me; I start seeing the stain of corruption on so much mainstream media; and my soul slowly retreats from it all. Most people would see this as a cause of concern, but I feel much happier now than I did when I was able to fit in with everything. The poor and the impoverished need my attention, not the vain fools in Hollywood. The Truth calls my mind, not the vacuous nonsense of the Internet and demagogues. I take joy in Beauty, in Holiness, not the ugliness and disposable practices of today. Does this make me perfect? Not yet, but I keep trying because Jesus commands this of us.

    By the way, you should feel no anxiety about how you fit in with this blog. Your posts fit seamlessly with those Fr. Alfonse--even the font is the same! I'm still learning...

  2. Thank you Lord for confirming my yes to serving you in a special mission through this meditation! Jennifer I too was doubting my ability to answer the Lord's calling today and feel very honored and privileged. My journey starts today in prayer and much meditation. Blessings to you.

  3. Thank you Lord for my answer through this meditation.

  4. Thank you Lord for my answer through this meditation.


Updated: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. Comments must be concise and to the point.Comments are no longer accepted for posts older than 7 days.