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, October 3, 2014

Lk 10:13-16 Leaders and Perfect Imperfections

Friday of the Twenty-Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever listens to you listens to me.  Whoever rejects you rejects me.  And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me."

The Book of Job.  Job was a man who knew how to suffer; that is, he suffered the way we should all suffer:  in peace and with serenity.  This is not easy.  But not many things that are holy come easily.

And though Job had no idea why he was suffering - that important piece of information had not been revealed to him - he suffered the way we should all suffer:  fully committed to the Lord and trusting in His Ways.

Life can be SO stressful!  Take a deep breathe.  Inhale.  Hold your breath.  Exhale with a long, slow finish. 

Difficulties are not meant to break us.  God does not make life difficult in order to break us. Rather, they are meant to unite us to each other and to Him.  Difficulties bring people and God together!  They can teach us some of life's greatest lessons.  For example: We are not an island; we need each other. We need to lift up one another and support each other.  Also, we need to be able to hold on to something that does not move, or shake, or fall apart, or collapse, or wither away.  We need a fortress for our soul and a solid foundation for our home.

"I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust" (Ps 91:2).

Stress busters.  What can help us to relieve unnecessary stress in our lives is to allow the Lord of life (and death) to write our story.

God knows everything about us.  He knows it all.  He knows why He created us, why He loves us and why He wanted us.  We are family, not isolated islands, and what creates a lot of unnecessary stress is when we decide to snatch the pen out of God's hand to write our very own story, often times leaving Him out of it.

This morning I gave a retreat to a group of Freshmen girls.  They were amazing.  Full of life, full of dreams, full of drama and stress. Today's teenagers get easily stressed out.  Why?  Because they feel like they have to perform all the time and for everyone:  parents, teachers, coaches, friends, boy/girl friends, etc.  That's bad, very bad.  But what makes it even worse is when they feel like they are "falling behind" their peers when it comes to grades, awards, scholarships, dating, partying, drinking, clothing and all-around "growing" up. 

This can't be healthy.

Leadership lies.  What does a leader or an exceptional person look like?  Are they born that way?  Is leadership already infused in their DNA? 

No.  Not at all!

"What you are" may be determined by your DNA, but "Who you are" is determined by the decisions you make in your life, especially in difficult moments.  For example...

A few days ago I went on an eighth grade retreat with some kids from a Catholic school.  They were full of life and laughter, but even they were stressed out.  They were stressed about getting accepted to the high school of their choice.  They believe (falsely) that once they get accepted, all their worries will be over.  This would be great, if it were true and if they would just learn to let go and let God, but it is hard to let go of the illusion that we can control everything and everyone in our lives. We need to do a better job at sharing this with our kids.

There was this zip line.  Almost everyone went down it, except for one young lady.  [I didn't go down it because I...I...I didn't have to!!!  So there!]  Anyways, this one young student was hesitating to go down it. What happened next simply amazed me.  All her friends ran to her to gather around her, encourage her, love her and pray for her!  After some time, she took a leap of faith and went down it. 

Love never fails.

So who is a leader?  I believe it is someone who stands alone but is never alone.  They conquer their fears and take a leap of faith, but always surrounded by loved ones. 

Now what makes leaders and leadership possible are their perfect imperfections.  This is why we have all been called to be leaders in Christ Jesus.

And this is what distinguishes leadership from peer pressure, where peer pressure is highly stressful, very negative and totally unhealthy.

Leaders are not boastful or prideful, but kind and patient.  Leadership is love in action.

This is Christ's leadership model, and He passed it down to His disciples:  "Whoever listens to you listens to me.  Whoever rejects you rejects me.  And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me."

I saw a lot of love these past couple of days.  But there's still a lot of room for more action.

P.S.  Here are some past examples of some authentic leaders.  Here, here and here.   

1 comment:

  1. "They believe (falsely) that once they get accepted, all their worries will be over. This would be great, if it were true and if they would just learn to let go and let God, but it is hard to let go of the illusion that we can control everything and everyone in our lives. We need to do a better job at sharing this with our kids."

    We need to do a better job at sharing this with ourselves. The eighth graders tell themselves that all will be OK once they get into HS. The high school kids tell themselves that once they get into college it will all be better. Then it is grad school, the the first job, then marriage, then the first child, then the first child going to school, the first child getting into high school, the first child getting into college, grad school, getting married. Then it's retirement and then what death? The cycle never ends until it's too late. It's so unfortunate that we waste so much time thinking about the time that everything will be less stressful, the time when everything will be at peace.

    Don't wait for that time. It is already here! Amidst our seemingly chaotic, hectic lives, Christ's peace can reign in our hearts. All we need to do is surrender each day to Him. I am constantly surprised how many opportunities God gives me each day to lend a helping hand, a listening ear, a smile, a phone call to a friend. How many years I wasted those opportunites trying to control every aspect of my life. There is no need to worry. If God is taking care of the lilies of the field and the birds in the air, how much more is he taking care of us.

    One of my favorite songs is Lord I Need You by Matt Maher. "Lord I need you, oh how I need you. Every hour I need you....Where you are, I am free. Holiness is Christ in Me." We need the Lord desperately, every hour, every moment. Let's surrender unto Him so we can be free and holy!


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