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 6, 2014

Jn 6:30-35 What Can He Do? More Than We Know.

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

The crowd said to Jesus:  "What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?  What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert..."

What can Jesus do?  What can He give us?  What an excellent question.  So, what is the answer?

I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. 

There is a hunger and thirst within us that no food could ever satisfy and no drink could ever quench.   In other words, there is a quest for purpose and meaning that no technology could ever satisfy and no science could ever quench.  This profound hunger and thirst comes from within us and it drives us to the point of madness.  It originates from the heart and mind - the soul and it is satisfied only in Christ Jesus.  

"You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you."  - Confessions, Book 1, St. Augustine of Hippo.

It should be clear to all of us that we were made to question and discover, not just hunt and gather; to love and be loved, not just mate and multiply; and be filled with a sense of awe and wonder, and not just calculate and manipulate. 
Jennifer Fulwiler.  A few days ago I bought a book entitled:  "Something other than God."  I haven't read it yet, but I was intrigued by the book's description. [Note:  I have added my thoughts in brackets].

"Jennifer Fulwiler told herself she was happy.  [Is this not typical of some secular young people?  Few will ever come to admit it.]  Why wouldn't she be happy?  She made good money as a programmer at a hot tech start-up, had just married a guy with a stack of Ivy League degrees, and lived in a twenty-first-floor condo where she could sip sauvignon blanc while watching the sun set behind the hills of Austin. [She believed one of the biggest lies ever told:  the more you have the happier you will be.]

Raised in a happy, atheist home, [First problem.] Jennifer had the freedom to think for herself [Very few people ever "think" for themselves; instead, they just learn from others.] and to play by her own rules [Original sin. It must be an awesome feeling to decide for yourself what is right and wrong or good and bad]. Yet a creeping darkness followed her all of her life. [I wonder what it was? Meaninglessness? Uselessness? Sinfulness?]  Finally, one winter night, it drove her to the edge of her balcony, making her ask once and for all why anything mattered.  At that moment everything she knew and believed was shattered.

Asking the unflinching questions about life and death, good and evil, [Finally!  Alleluia!  Asking deep questions - even when answers are unavailable - are a wonderful way to open one's mind to awe and wonder and something much greater than materialism and positivism] led Jennifer to Christianity, the religion she had reviled [Reviled? Imagine a world without religion: scary and hateful.  Back to square one.] since she was an awkward, skeptical child growing up in the Bible Belt.  Mortified by this turn of events, she hid her quest from everyone except her husband, concealing religious books in opaque bags as if they were porn and locking herself in public bathroom stalls to read the Bible." [Is this what the believer's future will look like?]

...'Something other than God' is a poignant, profound, and often funny tale of one woman who set out to find the meaning of life and discovered that true happiness sometimes requires losing it all. [What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?  Good question, Jesus.]

Well, I don't know about you, but I can't wait to dive into it.

What can Jesus do?  He can move hearts and minds to see life in a way never seen before and where enormous gaps are finally filled. Who am I?  Why was I created?  What is the purpose and meaning of life and death?  What is good? Why is life so important? Why is it beautiful?

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Mt 7:7).


  1. A fellow Lay Dominicans introduced me to Jennifer F. a few months ago. I was intrigued by her story. Check out her blog:

    Also, she's known for creating "Saint Generator" app. It randomly selects a patron saint for the year.

    I'm adding her book to my Kindle reading list. :)


  2. God is Dead? I am noticing an increasing trend in our young people to say they are atheists. When I was a freshmen in college, I entered a prestigious music conservatory in Boston. After being exposed to the hedonisitic and narcissistic behavior of college kids, I thought that maybe Nietzsche was right and "God is Dead" or as Woody Allen so appropriately said "If Jesus Christ were alive today, he would never stop throwing up." I wondered how these talented people could not see that their talent was a gift from God Almightly--for His glory alone. After college, I attended an elite (Catholic?) law school DC. I craved a Catholic atmosphere. Sadly, I did not find one at this elite institution. I learned that the intellectual elite utterly rejected the notion of God. Somehow, if you had "arrived" intellectually then surely you would have pushed out the anitiquated notion of God. I was belittled countless times by professor and the Washington elite for being a paracticing Catholic in a Catholic institution!

    Religion is an opiate of the people. A few weeks ago, I was on the way to Austin with a couple friend of mine. They were both raised as Muslims but do not practice any faith. It was late on the way home and the topic turned to religion. The husband commented that "it was good for people to have religion since at least they had something to hold onto -- even if it is a sham." My mind turned back to Karl Marx -- "religion is an opiate of the people." God is not an opiate. He is our loving Father. He makes us alive. He does not dull us. That's a fact. Plain and simple. I prayed for this couple that they would come to know Christ.

    Words of wisdom. I have been following your dialogue with the atheists. The great sadness is that this "intelligensia" is spreading it's gospel to our teenagers. Where the rejection of God used to happen in college when we were free of our parents antiquated notion of God, I now know young people that are self-proclaimed atheists. We have an entire generation (mine) of atheists raising kids that are atheists. It's sad.

    God has not abandoned us. Coin tosses, weighted coins, coins landing on their side, aside - there is only one truth - that man was created in the image and likeness of God to know, love, and serve Him. I am so glad the author of the book is telling her story. I will check it out.

    1. I always thought atheism and materialism were opiates of the people, poisoning them with the thought that they were free and happy when in fact they're actually hallucinating fantasies. Notice how as the world becomes less and less religious, they also become less and less interested in anything: they could care less about politics; they watch more and more television, and play more and more video games (virtual reality beats actual reality any day); they marry much less often, and do not participate in any actual communities, even secular ones. Obviously, their drug of enlightenment has left them in this pitiful state of isolation, wondering why no one cares about them when they've conditioned themselves to respond (or not respond) in the same way.

      I used to fear the encroachment of atheists, thinking they could extinguish all certainty and leave the Church and its Faith as a relic in the past. Go to Europe, and all too many people have accepted this consensus without much of a fight. Fortunately, I do not fear this anymore. Atheists have too much to account for, including themselves. They make their opponents uncomfortable by shifting the burden of proof on them for everything, forcing them to answer questions only God would know. I prefer to turn the table and ask them to account for their belief in nothing, when that very belief removes any basis for belief. Take away God, and you take away creation, reason, morality, beauty, and any real meaning to life. To me, this is much harder, and much less natural, to defend than the belief and worshiping of the Holy Trinity. Yes, the atheist not does not have to account for any of that, but then again, that person is still there talking about it. How is that? Even without arguing about it, the atheist's life will fall to pieces if he decides to live out the nothing he ascribes to; it's only a matter of time before it happens. Once the party stops, so will their confidence.

      This woman has written some great posts in the apologetics site, Strange Notions. I hope her story inspires others.

    2. Fr. Alfonse and Blog Followers:

      There is a great book by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli (the Jesuit priest that married us from Boston College) entitled Handbook of Catholic Apologetics. Check out Chapter 3 "Twenty Arguments for the Existence of God." These guys know their stuff.

      "Something other than god" was a quick read. Very inspiring story. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have been recommending it to everyone I know.

  3. Father Alfonse - I began reading "Something Other than God" today and can't put the book down! It's an excellent story! I'm already half way through. It's a fast read. Very well written with a bit of humor splashed in throughout her conversion process. I think you will enjoy it. Look forward to reading your final book review.


  4. >>Is this what the believer's future will look like?<< Unfortunately Father, I think you are right when you challenge us to think what the future of believers will be like. The father in the story below was arrested for protesting the requirement for his 9th grade daughter to read a sexually explicit book at her public school. He was arrested! I don't know if he was Christian, but I wouldn't be surprised if he is. I suppose we can at least say he has traditional convictions--very unpopular these days:

    You know what is ironic? Another source reported that the school board refused to allow him to read the sexually explicit passage to them. When he asked to do so, a school board member said, "Sir, would you please be respectful of other people?"

    If school board members do not want to be subject to it, why would they permit its use with 14 year olds? Does that even make any sense?? ...Stupidity is a mark of evil.


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