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, March 9, 2015

Jn 2:13-25 In and Out

Third Sunday of Lent
(Click here for readings)


Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep and doves, as well as the money changers seated there.  He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area. ...He said, "Take these out of here, and stop making my Father's house a marketplace."

As soon as I finished meditating on the first reading, taken from the Book Of Exodus, and the Gospel passage, taken from the Gospel of John, I couldn't help but think of...In and Out Burger! 

Well, not so much the "Burger" part, but more like the "In and Out" aspect.  

Lent is all about "In and Out."  In with the good; out with the bad.

Driving In our Lord.  This is good.  The Commandments are good for all of us, especially for teenagers.  We all need rules.  We all need boundaries.  Otherwise, the one thing we cherish more than anything else - our freedom - will be lost. 

Freedom without responsibility is a disaster!!  I have said this so many times in my life.  Now if I would only live by it!

Most adults have come to the brutal conclusion that freedom can quickly come and go; that is, choices made can easily become addictions never intended.  I find it shocking just how quickly the Promised Land of Freedom can become the Land (Egypt) of Slavery. 

Don't you remember:  by the time we are eighteen we couldn't wait to be from our parents; free from all those age restrictions; and of course, free from the Church and all her medieval rules! 

Free at last!  Thank God Almighty we are FREE at last. 

But Freedom without responsibility leads to tears and regrets. 

The Ten Commandments were never intended to restrict our freedom.  On the contrary, they were intended to protect our freedom!  Of course this makes no sense to someone who has a confused or distorted idea of freedom. 

So what exactly does it mean to you to be free?  Does it mean you have the right to do whatever you want?  Good or bad?  Right or wrong?  Holy or unholy? 

Or does it mean something else?

I think freedom means to never be forced to offend my neighbor or my God!  Freedom means to have the choice - the liberty - to do what is right, good and holy. 

In with the Good.  Now out with the bad!

Driving out our demons.  In today's Gospel passage, the Lord reminds us - maybe even warns us - that if we don't drive out the demons from our lives and institutions, then they will drive out God from our lives and institutions. 

Will the temple of God be converted into a marketplace or will it remain a temple?  That is the question!  And the answer depends on who is more courageous and determined to win!

Hence, out with the bad!  Let's drive out our demons before they drive us insane!

This past Saturday, I was watching Forensic Files and I was stunned to learn about the life of a woman named Madalyn Murray O'Hair (1919-1995).  She was the founder of American Atheists and is considered the number one person responsible for eliminating prayer in public schools. 

To those who interviewed her, Madalyn appeared as a fouled mouth angry and bitter woman.  She disowned her very own son, William, after he embraced Christianity.  Wow!  So much for imagining tolerance, compassion, understanding and even forgiveness in a world without religion. 

It appears as though she had a difficult time with male relationships.  She married John Henry Roths in 1941.  While in the military and overseas, Madalyn had an affair with a married Catholic man, William J. Murray.  Some people think that William Murray refused to divorce his wife because he was Roman Catholic.  I doubt it, since he had an affair with Madalyn in the first place!  It sounds to me like he used his Catholicism as an excuse not to marry someone he didn't really love!   Regardless, Madalyn changed her last name and took Murray's last name.  

Finally, around 1954, she, along with her two boys, tried to defect to the Soviet Union - because of there promotion of state atheism - but was denied entry. 

But it wasn't her ideas that got her on Forensic Files.  It was how her life came to an end:  tragically.  In 1995 she was kidnapped, murdered and mutilated, along with her son Jon and granddaughter Robin by a convicted felon out on parole, David Roland Waters.  Waters was a member of the American Atheists and worked for the organization from 1993-1994.  He was apparently angry with Madalyn because she fired him and wrote an article about him, accusing him of being a homosexual. 

What a tragedy!

But the reason why I even mention Madalyn in this post is because she fought tooth and nail to have prayer removed from public schools, and won.  I won't even get into the debate about prayer in public schools.  I'm not sure I would disagree with her, especially if kids were being either forced to pray or punished for not praying. 

The point is this:  there are some people who are actively trying to drive God out from the public square.  In driving out the money exchangers, the Lord was simply reclaiming what was rightfully His and gradually being lost:  His Home, a place for Him to dwell. 

As for Lent, am I driving God out of my life ,as if he were some sort of demon?


  1. Replies
    1. BRIAN WESTLEY COMMENTED: Since you apparently lament the removal of official government prayers in public schools, that shows me that you have no grasp of genuine religious freedom.

    2. Lamenting? I see no evidence of lamenting.

      "Official government prayers"? Where can we find these "official government prayers?" Surely these "official government prayers," like all official things, must be in some "official government manual for public schools."

      By the way, William Murray wrote a great book about his experience with his mother. It's a must read! I read it a few years back. Talk about the manipulation of young minds!

    3. As Murray tells it, his atheism was enforced from childhood by a tyrannical, explosive and indifferent matriarch. Growing up in a household run by his mother and maternal grandmother (his father left when he was an infant), Bill says it was clear to him that his mother wanted only girl children: "One of her favorite stories—I've heard her repeat it many times—is that when I was born and the doctor told her, 'It's a boy,' she asked him if there wasn't some way he could put it back." Bill says he remembers her cruelties all too well: Once, in a fit of temper, she shattered a model airplane he had been working on for months—and another time she bit him so severely he still recalls the pain. "As a kid I won a baseball trophy," he says. "Two years later when she came across it she asked where I had bought it. I told her I'd won it, but since she didn't know or care that I played baseball, she didn't believe me. Her attitude was that if she couldn't see it or touch it or feel it, it didn't exist."

      He traces her atheism to that self-absorption and hubris and to an aggressive antiestablishment streak that led her (with her two sons) into a variety of left-wing causes—even, he claims, to the Soviet embassy in Paris in search of exile. Rejected by Moscow, she retreated angrily back home to Baltimore where, as he puts it, "The rebel found a cause in prayer at school."

      (Bill Murray Interview, People Magazine, 1980),,20076618,00.html

    4. Brian,

      It's good to see you on the blog again! I follow your comments as I am interested in all viewpoints that relate to meaningful discourse on matters of faith.

      Have you ever heard of Andrew Flew? He was an atheist that was engaged in a heated debate with my friend Roy Varghese. After 20 years, Andrew embraced the concept of God as Creator. He co-authored the book, There is a God, with Roy. I would be interested to know if you have read it and what your thoughts are.

    5. 1. This post never lamented the removal of prayer from public schools. In fact, here's what it actually says, "I won't even get into the debate about prayer in public schools. I'm not sure I would disagree with her, especially if kids were being either forced to pray or punished for not praying."

      2. It is true that forcing kids to pray or punishing them for not praying would be wrong and a violation of freedom, but by removing prayer and the Bible from school the opposite is now true. Children are being punished and bullied for living their Christian faith.

      Freedom is, as this post states, having the ability to exercise free will. To do what you think is right and to avoid what you think is wrong. As long as children are not forced to pray in public schools, government prayers are not a violation of religious freedom. This country is a Christian country, based on Christian values. It is a nation "under God". "Religious freedom" does not mean that you cannot mention or pray or discuss your own religion in front of a member of another religion lest you offend them. It means that you have the right to freely choose what religion you want to belong to and practice/discuss/evangelize it in a peaceful manner. As long as you aren't forcing anything on anyone else or disturbing the peace, you should be allowed to continue practicing your faith.

  2. I heard an excellent sort homily on the 10 commandments which I thought everyone may enjoy.

    1. Worship God alone. Everyone worships someone or something. What is of supreme importance in your life? The word worship comes from worth – ship. If you place supreme worth on anything other than God, your moral and spiritual life will come apart.
    2. Don’t take the name of the Lord in vain. Act and speak like He is of the supreme importance. If we speak in a denigrating, casual way about God, it leads to a coarsening of the soul. We need to have right speech to build up our souls.
    3. Keep holy the Sabbath. We need to incarnate our worship of God in a definite practice. Worship must express itself through action. We need to worship God so we have a right ordering toward God. God does not need us. We need Him.
    4. Honor your father and mother. If we can’t manage to honor those close to you, something is the matter. The family is the building block of society. We need to build it up.
    5. You shall not kill. Most of aren’t killers but we need to think of our daily interactions. Are we someone who, in our dealings with people, is a life-giver?
    6. You shall not commit adultery. So much pain is caused in a marriage by cheating.
    7. You shall not steal. This includes not only stealing someone’s property, but stealing their reputation. St. Thomas Aquinas said calumny is violation of the 7th commandment for we are stealing someone’s good reputation. Are we doing this?
    8. Don’t bear false witness. Stop tearing each other down. We need to make sure we are not destroying someone’s reputation.
    9. and 10. Don’t covet your neighbor’s wife or goods. We all desire what our neighbor has. Let’s put God first.


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