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, March 31, 2015

Jn 13:21-33,36-38 That "Duh DUN Duh DUN" moment

Tuesday of Holy Week
(Click here for readings)


Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, "Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."  ...Simon Peter said to him, "...I will lay down my life for you." Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times."

The demon of acedia. Acedia is defined as "a state of restlessness and inability either to work or to pray."  It is an awful combination of weariness, sadness, and a lack of purposefulness.  It robs a person of his/her joy.  This condition was sometimes found among monks and other ascetics who maintained a solitary life.

Is this what Jesus experienced on the night He was betrayed?  Not at all.  But I suspect Peter did, somewhat, specifically when he could not keep watch - keep his eyes open - for an hour.

The disciples appeared to be in a daze after the Lord explained to them the brutal fact that one of their own would betray Him.  How can this be?  Surely it isn't I, Lord?  What is He talking about?  Judas must have left to buy some food. 

They became lifeless, speechless, and listless, as if life had been sucked (or punched) out of them.  They may even have been walking and pacing up and down.  Can we blame them?  After all, their lives were about to be turned upside down and emptied of all they knew; that is the meaning and purpose they had acquired through Jesus Christ. 

What would the world think of them?  Would they be considered disciples or simple buffoons?  We know what the Pharisees, the pillars of Judaism, thought of them as they were actively hunting them down to destroy them.  No longer would they be considered friends or fishermen, but criminals and enemies of the state.

They went numb.

Do I feel blah? Do I feel lost? Like nobody cares?  Have I lost the joy and excitement of living? 

The Duh DUN Duh DUN moment!  I love the movies!  I really do.  I love to go watch an exciting movie with an awesome middle part.  I can watch a movie and enjoy one with a fair beginning and ending, but I can't enjoy a movie with a lousy middle part, for middle part is where things or people come together to shatter; where the music switches from C major to C minor; and where the lights have been turned off! 

I need to be reminded of these exciting and scary times when I am going through troubling and terrifying times!  How will this turn out?  What will happen next?  Will anything good come from this?  Will I make it out of here?  Will my pain go away?  Will I ever be loved again?  Will I get my faith back?

Tough times - wild times - horrifying times - are an essential ingredient for grace filled endings, just like truth is an essential ingredient for great relationships and love is an essential ingredient for happiness.  Although none of us want to experience these awful times, they are what they were cut out to be: opportunities to cut out, prune, dig, sharpen, narrow, distinguish  - DEFINE - who we are. 

The remedy.  Acedia is a temptation, and the great danger of this temptation lies in the giving in to it.  Don't give in.  Don't rewrite God's ending by sinning.  When you feel gloomy, rebel!  When you feel worthless, revolt!  When you feel lonely or abandoned or forgotten, then reach out!  Life was never meant to be forsaken.  It was always meant to be grasped by the hand of God.  Peter did the opposite of what he felt and asked for forgiveness.  Judas did exactly what he felt and hung himself.  Faith is what saved Peter.  Feelings are what killed Judas.

Do the opposite of what you feel like doing - as long as what you do is right, good and holy - then, and only then, will you have a hand to hold on to.


  1. Acedia is a real thing. People think of it as stress or depression, but it can be an uncontrollable obsession with a certain concern. Sometimes, I feel stuck in a mental pattern dwelling on a particular issue at work, which I want to resolve but can't -- this has happened recently. I consider the matter like an indecisive player considers a move at chess, forever thinking of potential outcomes. My mood and thoughts become paralyzed at a point.

    In this state, I struggle focusing on anything else, talking with other people, or reading. And when it happens, I pray. I pray for Mary's intercession, for Christ's intervention, and for God's grace. This helps much more than thinking my way through the problem because I recognize the problem is outside of me and has taken hold. Obviously, the sacraments help too; they sustain us more than we can ever imagine. I can only realize the presence of an evil force because I constantly know goodness and feel pretty happy. Doctors might prescribe something for this, but I know this a spiritual matter that requires a spiritual solution.

    1. Benedict, what do you mean by saying: “I can only realize the presence of an evil force because I constantly know goodness and feel pretty happy.”? Do you mean that you are happy most of the time and when this temptation occurs, you know it is an evil force? Just trying to understand.

      For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Eph 6:12

      You took the words right out of my mouth!

    2. If I'm feeling something I can't account for, some unease or deep anxiety that originates from an unknown source, then I start thinking it's something spiritual. Some negative feelings or thoughts can be cured with a good meal, or with friendly company, or with simply going outside or getting some sleep. This negative state, which Fr. Alfonse identifies as Acedia, only goes away with prayer and the sacraments.

      I don't struggle with any psychological problems like chronic depression or bipolar disorder; hence, I say I'm pretty happy most of the time. I try to lead a pretty healthy life and this obviously helps, but it doesn't cover every kind of ill.


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