God's Definition of Success

10-17-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

"What do you wish me to do for you?” Whether we realize it, this is a question God is always asking. It’s an important question because the answer we provide will reveal a great deal about where our hearts lie. Our requests of God can often appear very noble and altruistic. They consist of requests for healing for someone in need of prayers, successful resolution of a personal conflict, assistance in overcoming a disease and myriad other desires for both ourselves and others. We are especially concerned about those we love and can easily find ourselves bringing their struggles to God for a hearing in our prayer.

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Invest Yourself in the Kingdom of God

10-10-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

If we are truly in love with God, then the basics are not going to be enough. That love is going to want to be expressed in going above and beyond, in leaving the comfortable and familiar, in stretching and growing, and in following a voice other than our own. St. Teresa of Calcutta rightly instructs us that for “love to be real, it must cost, it must hurt, it must empty us of self.” Being in love with God requires more than just checking the boxes of the commandments. It requires a sincere and unconditional self-investment. Desiring God with our whole heart, mind, and soul means that I must also desire a relationship with my neighbor with that same degree of fervor.

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Love...Works in Progress

10-03-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God.” Apart from the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, nothing speaks better of God’s incarnate love than marriage. God designed it this way. We place great value on love and rightly so. What we fail to realize, however, is that love, its very presence and place in our lives, is not simply part of the human package deal. Love comes from God. It is one of God’s greatest gifts to human beings. When we begin to realize that our very ability to love is sacred, it changes up how we see the essence of life, and purpose and sanctity of marriage.

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The Start of a Good Foundation

09-26-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

What are the little ones? They are the poor, the marginalized, the women and men at the well, the Zacchaeus’ looking for Jesus from a tree, those mired in sin, the blind who want to see, and the lame who want to walk. They are the lepers and the different ones who have been told that they are unclean, and the ones who suffer from abuse and grave injustices and oppression. They are children who want nothing more than to be loved and enjoy celebrating their innocence. These are all the little ones and they are all vulnerable. Life already brings them burdens, we don’t need to add to them.

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Create a Space of Sacred Silence

09-19-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

There is something about being first. Whether it be first in line, first to be picked for the team, or the first one to finish their work, great satisfaction is achieved. Our egos love being first. It somehow sets us apart from everyone else, gives us a sense of pride and positions us to feel better than others. When we are first, we can glory in our efforts, skills, and achievements. Isn’t that what really matters? After all, we are taught from a very young age to be proficient, stay on top, be the best at what we do, and win the praise and esteem of others. This is the stuff that makes us successful and provides us with a comfortable, satisfying life.

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He Meets Us Where We Are

08-29-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

Albert Einstein said that the “true measure of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Being a disciple of Jesus Christ requires a great deal of imagination. It is not enough to simply attend to facts, rules and rituals and consider the job done. Quite contrarily, the Gospels demands creativity, of trying to discern how to put flesh on the Beatitudes and properly serve God’s children. Jesus never doled out a top down agenda. Not once did he ever demand conformity over conversion or sacrifice over mercy. The Gospel is always about putting people in touch with their compassionate, forgiving, and unconditionally loving God and meeting them where they are.

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A Choice We All Must Make

08-22-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

“Far be it from us to forsake the Lord for the service of other gods.” We struggle with our gods. They appear in the forms of things like money, power, prestige, popularity, privilege, and self-fulfillment. We like these “gods” because they make us feel good and ask very little of us in return. When we worship them, we worship ourselves. How can you go wrong with that? We buy into the illusion that if something can give us a comfortable life, free of want and need, then it is worth setting other things aside to pursue it. In essence, we sell our souls. Our struggle with “who is God” and to whom do we belong is a real one and one that can easily find us empty and experiencing disillusionment.

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Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

08-15-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

“They are courageous, wise women who ground us, focus us, and inspire us. They are the good mothers who walk with us and light our way. They teach us life lessons and help us heal and navigate through challenges and difficulties. We need people to point the way. Sometimes, these wise ladies are not our biological mothers but women in our lives, who through their strong and faithful presence, anchor us and remind us that we are loved. We need these women. Human beings do their best when they have cheerleaders in their lives. They show us that even when facing despair there is always a brighter tomorrow.

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The Lens Through Which We View Life

08-08-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

The lens through which we view life makes a difference. It also determines who we choose to learn from and what we allow to shape our thoughts and feelings. For many, life is simply what it appears to be, a given that either through evolution or some other means just came to be. There is no apparent rhyme or reason to things and things can be dissected and understood only in terms of what they empirically present. To the person using this lens, a tree is a tree and a flower is a flower. Their composition and existence can be understood only to the extent that current human knowledge allows. Through this lens, what gives life purpose and meaning? This lens has an essentially unknown beginning and definite end. Once those are accepted, the middle becomes some kind of pursuit of happiness, with values and principles being things that are self-created and found acceptable.

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Learning to Trust

08-01-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

“You cannot see the forest for the trees” is a widely known saying that can bring wisdom to our understanding of our journey. Often, our sight becomes limited to what is immediately before us. We lose touch with lessons and experiences from the past and promises and hope for the future. As human beings, we have the privilege of being able to choose things. What I like and don’t like, want, and don’t want can be major preoccupations of our minds and hearts. Our preferences and desires begin to define us more than the simple fact of our being. Who we are matters more than what we are or what we have. If we don’t move beyond the external and superficial stuff to what really is of essence, we risk becoming very unsettled, disorientated, angry, and unhappy. We fail to see the bigger picture of hope and promise that lies ahead and the Divine Presence that has sustained and carried us before.

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