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!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mom 3:22-30 Calling All Christians

Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)


Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
“How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided,
he cannot stand;
that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property
unless he first ties up the strong man.
Then he can plunder his house.
Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies
that people utter will be forgiven them.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will never have forgiveness,
but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”
For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

There is a popular sentiment out there today that we can be ‘spiritual’ but not ‘religious.’ Church-going Christians are mocked on television. A spoken word video titled “Why I hate religion but love Jesus” has twenty-nine million hits on Youtube. Young people are overwhelmingly choosing to not attend Mass when they leave for college-- the list goes on. Sure, it can be a tempting trap to fall into. After all, if we want to stay home instead of going to Mass in the freezing cold weather, why do we still have to go to Mass? We can decide for ourselves if the Cowboys game is more aligned to our good feelings, right?  Jesus says overwhelmingly in this Gospel reading that the answer is no. Even in the twenty first century, the Church is still a necessity.

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. Excuse me if I take these words out of context, but I think they make a great point. In school, we recently read an essay titled “Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Among many other things that Emerson disliked was organized religion—in particular, Christianity. He poses the following question: “For every Stoic was a Stoic; but in Christendom where is the Christian?” Even though it fried my nerves a little to read his essay, Emerson raised a good point. In our Christian nation, the United States, where are the Christians? It’s not that we’ve gone missing, it’s just that we’ve gone a little, well—lukewarm. We bring our families to Church on Sunday but remain relatively unchanged by what we hear. We conform to the culture.
Imagine you aren’t a Christian, but are seeking the truth. Then someone comes up to you wearing a crucifix, cursing and complaining about something, or bragging about a wild party they went to last night. Would you align Christianity with the truth, or would you call it a fa├žade employed by an otherwise apathetic group of people? Probably the latter. We are dividing the Church against itself by professing one faith and living by an entirely different one. When we do this, we cause the Church to fall. After all, our sin never just affects us—sin affects the entire community, the entire Church.

But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. Another reason why we may not understand the need for organized religion is that we have lost our sense of evil and sin. This reminds me of a quote that I read once: “You say you don’t believe in Satan? Satan believes in you.” Evil is alive and well in the world—it’s just masked beneath all of the things we have accepted in our modern culture. I equate it to feeding a dog a pill in a spoonful of peanut butter; the dog is so convinced that the spoonful of peanut butter is good and normal that he forgets what he is swallowing. Satan is still alive and attacking us as God’s children. We are still all too ready to give in and let ourselves be tied up. We are weak! This is one of the major reasons why we can’t go at our faith alone—we aren’t just deciding what is good and bad according to our own constitution when we think about our faith. We are waging war against a real enemy who lurks around every corner.

But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.” The Pharisees were so convinced that Jesus did not conform to their laws that they couldn’t bring themselves to acknowledge His goodness, even when it was obvious. I feel like this is another major reason that our culture rejects organized religion: we have it ingrained in our heads that every institution is bureaucratic and corrupt. Even when the Church fosters figures such as Mother Teresa and Maximilian Kolbe, many still refuse to recognize her goodness simply because she is an institution. We can’t be so skeptical. Sometimes the truth is right before our eyes—we just have to be open to it.

Let’s pray that we will have greater faith in our Church and have the courage to hold true to her, even when everything around us tells us not to.

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