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, September 27, 2014

LK 9:43-45 Hidden in the Fall

Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest
(Click here for readings)

By Stephanie Juarez

While they were all amazed at his every deed,
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Pay attention to what I am telling you.
The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”
But they did not understand this saying;
its meaning was hidden from them
so that they should not understand it,
and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Paying attention to what the Lord is telling me is not exactly my strong point. Sometimes I hear Him, but don’t understand. Sometimes I hear Him perfectly but am too stubborn to do what He is asking of me. And sometimes, like the apostlesI am afraid to ask questions the tough questions.
St. Therese of Lisieux aka “The Little Flower”, whose feast day we will celebrate on October 1st, wasn’t afraid to ask the tough questions. In her autobiography, Story of a Soul, she writes

I wondered for a long time why God has preferences, why all souls don’t receive an equal amount of graces. I was surprised when I saw Him shower His extraordinary favors on saints who had offended Him, for instance, St. Paul and St. Augustine, and whom He forced, so to speak, to accept His graces…. I was puzzled at seeing how Our Lord was pleased to caress certain ones from the cradle to the grave, allowing no obstacle in their way when coming to Him.…

Jesus deigned to teach me this mystery. He set before me the book of nature; I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful, how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the Lily do not take away from the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wild flowers.
And so it is in the world of souls, Jesus’ garden. He willed to create great souls comparable to Lilies and roses, but He has created smaller ones and these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God’s glances when He looks down at his feet. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be.

The only way we can become what God wills us to be is to first seek holinessTo become holy is our universal call as Catholic Christians. Yet as St. Therese explained, we each called to a different level and form of holiness. We may never have our autobiography published around the world like she has or have hundreds of charitable organizations named after us like St. Vincent de Paul, but we are all still called to the communion of saints.

You have to listen for it though. The call is not always in roaring rush of wind, but in a gentle whisper (cf. 1 Kings 19:11-13). And sometimes it’s hidden in suffering. Sometimes we hear the call in the center of our hearts after a great fall.

A few months ago, I started learning to play guitar. The first thing you have to do before you can even play one chord (much less a whole song) is to tune your guitar. If it’s not tuned it won’t matter how perfectly you try to play the chords, the song is going to sound terrible! Learning to tune your guitar by ear takes a lot of time and effort. You have to memorize the sounds of each string to differentiate between the notes. Some notes are way higher or lower than the others so it’s easy to tell them apart but some differences are much more subtle.

I think this is a reflection of our spiritual life. Sometimes we don’t know exactly what the Lord is asking of us because our hearts haven’t gotten in tune with His most Sacred Heart. ConfessionHoly Communion, and recourse to Our Blessed Mother, are the best way I have found to retune my heart when it gets off beat.

Have you ever wondered if the Lord really loves you? Have you ever thought that you totally screwed up God’s plan for your life? Have you ever questioned whether God even has a plan for you? Have you ever felt that you are just too broken and weird and messed up to ever become a saint? I have. I’ve wondered all these things at some point or another. But that was because, like Eve, I was starting to pay too much attention to what the devil wanted me to believe rather than what the Lord was trying to tell me.

I’heard a thousand times that the Lord loves us and that He Himself is Love, but I never got it. For most of my life I didn’t understand that His love for each one of us is completely unique. He sees us separate from the others. We’re not all lumped together in a sort of general love for humanity. His relationship with each one of His children is different. Therefore, He doesn’t speak to me in the same way He speaks to you.

He speaks to each one of us in a way we can understand if we only pay attention and listen in humility.

St. Vincent de Paul, pray for us!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

This mediation was written by Stephanie Juarez. For more of her writings please visit her blogLover of the Light.

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