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!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

2 Pt 1:16-19 The TransFaith

The Transfiguration of Faith
We did not follow cleverly devised myths
when we made known to you
the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received honor and glory from God the Father
when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory,
“This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven
while we were with him on the holy mountain.

A few weeks after his conversion, St. Augustine and his mother St. Monica started to return home from Milan, filled with joy. Like Simeon seeing the Messiah at the end of his life, Monica, after waiting all her life, had finally witnessed the conversion of her son at 32. After this momentous occasion, she knew that her life, one of so much anguish and expectation, could finally conclude peacefully. On her way home, she and her son experience a vision in which the two of them transcend the earth, bask in the light of God, and feel a heavenly kind of peace. Soon after this event, Monica passes away at Ostia just before they take the boat to return to North Africa. Although she does not reach her hometown of Tagaste, she does, in a sense, make it home: her home in Heaven.
The vision that the saintly mother and son experience relates to the vision of the transfiguration of Jesus that Peter, James, and John behold. This experience does not mark the beginning of their faith journey, nor the end, but a special kind of turning point in the middle--a point in their ascent that separates the gentle incline of inquisitive faith to the steep climb of tested faith. Before Peter and the others see Jesus appear with Moses and Elijah in a cloud of light, they had only followed Jesus in a physical manner, hearing His words, seeing His miracles, trying to understand Him, who He was, why He had come. Earlier, God had allowed them to have a small glimpse of Jesus' divine nature; Peter distinguished himself by declaring preternaturally that Jesus is the Son of God. However, their faith at this point still rested in a tentative state. To withstand the horrors of Jesus' crucifixion, these three leading disciples needed to visibly see what they had only verbally confessed; the truth that had reached their minds needed to sink into their hearts. Once they see Jesus transfigured; they know in their hearts that Jesus is God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, the King whose "dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away." Similarly, Augustine's vision sheds light in his heart that he found the Truth, which before he had surmised, but now actually sees. Like the Jesus' first disciples, Augustine must do more than follow; he must lead.
Peter recalls the event of the Transfiguration as a way of explaining the meaning of faith. Faith has two key elements: belief and trust. Belief entails certain activities of the mind, things like logic, proof, definitions, and analogies. Most converts normally start in this state of belief. They learn the creed, reflect on dogma, observe the liturgy, read the literature, and examine available pieces of evidence. Like children seeking to understand their environment, people who first enter the Christian faith have many questions, many objections, and depend heavily on those with more experience. Eventually, this belief must develop into something more substantial: one must decide whether accept the Christian life, or reject it and find another kind of life. Faithful Christians must not only believe but actively trust in their Lord and live out His Way. Trust ultimately dwells in the realm of the heart, which inspires the mind to think, the body to act, and soul to live. The transfiguration signals the reality of Christ's spiritual children finally entering adulthood, allowing them to act with confidence and build on a commitment forged by trust.
Once fortified in his faith, Peter did not rest on this accomplishment but took on his responsibilities with unprecedented zeal and alacrity. Even Jesus Himself had to temper this disciple's enthusiasm when it was exhibited in his foolhardy plan to save his Savior from crucifixion. Before he could save others, Peter would have to cool his burning ardor with wisdom and patience; for, contrary to conventional opinion, Christ did not preach a blind faith grounded in emotions and premonitions, but a seeing faith illuminated by reason and truth. As Peter allowed Christ to guide and instruct him, he could put aside the "lamp shining in a dark place" and allow the new day to dawn in his heart. As a result of his devotion, his heart was transfigured. Peter likewise instructs other Christians to hold fast to the lamp of the gospel, and open their hearts to Christ's transfiguration.
While modern Christians may not want to imitate Peter's rashness, they should imitate his faith. Christ chose Peter as His rock because of Peter's faith. Only a faith as strong as Peter's could sustain the Church in its infancy. The genius of Paul, the prophecy of John, the charity of James, all first relied on the faith and leadership of Peter. Like Atlas, Peter shouldered the burden of external persecution and internal conflict with superhuman strength of character. Humble yet resolute, Peter attributed his accomplishments to Jesus Himself, not any golden argument or attractive mythology. He went beyond the point of belief into trust, and never looked back. In the same way, Christians of all ages must make this decisive step and trust in the Lord, making real the virtue of hope, and putting to action the virtue of charity.


  1. “We did not follow cleverly devised myths
    when we made known to you
    the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

    Many atheists revert to claiming that Jesus is a take-off from other myths: Zeus, Aries, Dionysus, Apollo, etc. They try to compare and find the parallels of Jesus to these gods. (I can see how easy it would be to fall into this trap if you don’t know Love.) All have stories that had ‘the moral of the story’ endings that gave people of that age to live by.

    This very statement in the book of Peter is indicating that not only is Jesus NOT a myth, but that Peter is insuring the Christians differentiate “cleverly devised myths” from the actual and real stories of Jesus that really happened…. “We had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

    How hard it is to convey Jesus to atheists because both parties are trying to convince each other using only their heads. I realize this is rampant in our world now with mostly males. It’s just the way your brains were made. It’s how you relate to one another. Christian women have their battles in different areas of this secular world! It’s beautiful to see how God plants people (Atheists, Protestants, American Muslims, other Catholics we disagree with!) in our lives – not necessarily for us to “win” (whatever that looks like), but for us to change into more Loving Christians who do and say everything only for Jesus! Both persons are gifts for each other.

    1. That part of Peter's letter struck me as well. The claim that Christianity cleverly synthesizes a set of mystery cults and myths has absolutely no historical evidence, and Peter makes this point with beautiful simplicity. Unfortunately, people with biases simply like to connect dots they want to see and cobble together a theory that portrays the early Christians as a devious group of conspirators set on creating a false church. Needless to say, it's an insult to Christianity as well as history. Christianity is founded on historical events that actually happened. The New Testament says this; the Church Fathers said this; and the Church has done her best to preserve this truth. Pope Benedict reiterates in his series on Jesus of Nazareth that the reality of Christianity has no precedent. No human person could have thought it up because its originality rests utterly outside human tradition.

      The supposed appropriations of other pagan religions (Mithras, Dionysius, Osiris, etc.) has been thoroughly refuted by scholars. A quick search on Google can satisfy anyone who's curious--the apologetics site,, has some great essays on it too. The parallels between Jesus and certain pagan deities are often stretched and the links cannot be made. And again, there's NO documentation of anyone coordinating such a fabrication, not even of a heresy that tried to maintain this. Only in the 19th century did some "enlightened" people come up with this idea and propound it as truth. I suppose people buy into it because it lets off the hook to repent, but they endanger their souls and their ability to cope with reality when they buy into all such nonsense.

  2. Benedict, are you by chance AugustineThomas on Patheos? I saw someone post by that name a while back and he said he named himself after his two favorite theologians. Sounded similar, just curious. thanks

    1. No, that's not me. There're a lot of Augustinians out there, and a lot of Thomists. I can speak with some competency on St. Augustine, but I'm pretty inexperienced with St. Thomas Aquinas. Pope Benedict XVI, master theologian that he is, can discuss both with fluency, but he tends to quote Augustine more often and share more of his arguments. In my mind, Benedict provides the best model for modern Augustinian thought, and for this reason, his writings tend to resonate more for me than other contemporary theologian/philosophers.

      I sometimes comment on The Catholic Thing ( and Strange Notions ( The former site has an essay everyday concerning Catholic issues, and latter is an apologetics site. My comments are usually drowned out by better ones in the Catholic Thing, and they're usually viciously attacked on Strange Notions by various nonbelievers who troll the comments section. I like that this blog usually has pretty supportive readers.


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