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, May 30, 2014

Jn 16:20-23 Some Thoughts

Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter
(Click here for readings)

Jesus said to his disciples:  "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy...I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you."

Weep and mourn.  First thought.  This is transitory.  Weeping and mourning are a part of life, just like clouds and raindrops are a part of the week (or month, if you live in Texas).  But as awful as they make the day, they are essential for sunny days.  We need to weep and mourn, otherwise we would take everything and everyone for granted.  It's awful, but it's true.  It's awful to see someone suffer, but it is good to see those who suffer.  I, for one, have learned so much from those who have suffered.  I have also learned a lot from those who have avoided any type of suffering.  It is scary what happens to them.

Second thought.  Is Christ inviting His disciples to weep and mourn?  I believe He is.  But why?  Does the Lord want us to feel bad about His impending doom?  I don't think so.  Does He want us to be sympathetic to His pain?  I doubt it.  Then why is He inviting His men to cry? 

Weeping and mourning are an essential part of reconciliation.  Christ invites His followers - all of us - to acknowledge the truth tragedy reveals about the human condition:  we are imperfect and limited beings, and if we try to deny this fact or hide it from others, we ruin ourselves. 

Prior to His arrest, the Apostles wept.  After His arrest, they ran and hid, just like our ancestors of long ago: after their fall, after their first sin.  But once the Apostles had a chance to reflect on their loss and their sins, then their mourning turned into a prelude to bold action and remarkable evangelization.

The rest of their story is God's amazing grace:  "I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you."

Whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.  Final thought.   Be careful in what you ask for.  Otherwise, you may find yourself at odds with God's plans. 

"I do not want to suffer like the Saints."  Then be prepared to suffer and not be a saint! 

Do not ask the Lord to take away your sorrow.  Rather, ask for the grace to grow from it.  Do not ask for the Lord to remove all obstacles from your life.  Instead, ask Him for the courage of patience and guidance. 

Do not ask the Lord to take the life of your enemy.  Come now!  Rather, ask for their conversion.  Finally, do not ask the Lord to take away your life.  Instead, ask for the grace to be a lighthouse for others. 

Only once did the Lord ask His Heavenly Father to remove the cup that was placed in front of Him, and immediately He repented, saying "Yet not my will, but yours be done" (cf. Lk 22:42). 

Weeping and mourning are nothing but tell-tale signs of maturity and growth.  Do not run away from them, but embrace them and get to work.


  1. Pope Benedict XVI write something that always stuck with me about suffering and how it forms the Christian character. Those who suffer often have more faith, more wisdom, and more hope than those who never know serious suffering. Atheists, however, take Epicurus as their model. Contrary to the belief that suffering will make one an atheist, relative comfort is much more likely the condition for the newfound atheist. Ironically, although many atheists are relativist in regards to faith and morality, many of those same people will uphold the absolute of suffering and suggest that their denial of the Holy Trinity will bring some kind of closure to the person in pain. Only a bystander can make this kind of ridiculous conclusion.

    I remember one of your talks with some the young group at St. Catherine of Sienna about this subject. I like what you said, and what you say now, that suffering gives things meaning. Without it, we would take things for granted. St. Augustine said, and C. S. Lewis later repeated, that things of this world give more pleasure in anticipation but disappoint when actually acquired, while the things of heaven may give only limited pleasure, depending on one's level of hope, but satisfy infinitely when acquired. To me, this seems to be the logic that keeps one who suffers steadfast in their hope. They know this at a deeper level.

    Many of the saints actually pray for suffering so that they might better identify with Christ and convert their worldly desires to spiritual ones. To the nonbeliever, this seems like the height of foolishness, but Christ shows that this desire is truly the apex of nobility.

    1. Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

      And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be?

      The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

      Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

      And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

      When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

      When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

      Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”

      But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

      Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
      Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

      The Prophet, 1923, Kahlil Gibran, pg.29-30

  2. When I was a young law student I met a young beautiful 16 year old girl named Gianna Jessen. She was aborted by her mom at 7 1/2 and miraculously survived the saline solution abortion. Gianna was just starting to to be a national spokesperson for the pro-life movement. If you don't know of her, her autobiography is inspirational as are her pro-life talks.

    I recall her saying that she had the "gift of cerebral palsy" as a result of the failed abortion. How so, I queried? "It helps me to appreciative the gift of walking. People who don't have this illness may not even appreciate walking without falling down." she said. This has always stuck with me.

    Suffering can be beautiful as you both have said. We not only unite ourselves with Christ's suffering, we more fully appreciate the wonderful gifts that God gives us.

  3. Saturday as I was driving home from church I noticed huge raindrops falling from the sky in bright sunlight. It was so strange because I'm used to the violent thunderstorms we experience here in the Dallas area. I didn't hear one clap of thunder, see one bolt of lightening, or even see the sun behind the clouds. The water droplets were huge! I imagined God shedding more tears of joy than sorrow . Yes, he mourns when his children sin and choose destructive paths. However, he weeps in thanksgiving when one person converts!

    I shed so many tears though out the month of April. Turning a decade older hit me hard. I experienced a prolonged pity-me party I thought was never going to end. (Thank goodness the clouds are finally lifting.) Nothing seem to go right. My mind became confused. On a few occasions, I asked the Lord to take away my life. Take away my life and let another person live who has much more to offer. (I thought about Taylor and Anna whose lives were cut way too short.) I still struggle thinking I'm not good enough or strong enough. Tears flow as I struggle with the life God has given me. The best way way to keep my eyes dry is to recognize the incredible blessings Our Lord gives me every day. God is good. Suffering is part of this goodness.


  4. 'Christ invites His followers - all of us - to acknowledge the truth tragedy reveals about the human condition: we are imperfect and limited beings, and if we try to deny this fact or hide it from others, we ruin ourselves.'

    I asked my 3rd grade teacher, a sweet nun: “What if I thought something was a sin, but it really wasn't, would I still have a spot on my soul if I did it?” She said yes, because I thought it was a sin and I did it anyway. I couldn't understand her answer in the way I was asking it. I thought she was wrong. (I was considering my bad thoughts I had about someone – she didn't know that.) But this experience /answer stayed in me. My conscience was with me even then.

    I understand the teachings of the Church on intentions. I can’t do (justify) something wrong even with the intention of making it right. I used to think that there were situations in which this wouldn't be the case. There is a true story of a Christian woman who was captured during the holocaust for hiding Jews in her home. The head soldier that caught her told her: ‘if you will sleep with me, I will spare them; but you must continue to be with me.’ This woman accepted this agreement, until the end of the war. The Jews’ lives were saved and she was deemed a heroine because of her actions. Of course, this story could have had a different ending. It wasn't about her intentions, it was about his.

    These last several years have molded me into a different person – all for the good! God has given me a chance to understand more than sin, more than guilt. I have understood sin, but I have also understood what St Augustine said: that God can bring good out of evil – ‘Oh Happy Fault’. I no longer want to live with only good intentions. I want to live as Christ would want me to live where there is no sin or guilt. With God's grace, I know there is a way, only with humility and love.


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