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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God is Here. All is Good.

07-18-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

There’s an ordinary pine grove located on a tree farm not too far from town where life’s stresses and demands seem to melt away. It is here that all that seemed so important out there no longer is and one can get lost in the rows of trees and majestic beauty. God is here and all is good. We need to connect with the Divine Source of all that is in order to understand what it is we are doing and why we are doing it. Otherwise, things stop making sense and bitterness can overcome one’s spirit. It’s okay to play once in a while and to discover that place of profound life and peace. People always have needs and there is constantly something to do. And while all of that is necessary and we are needed, there is also that inner solitude within that needs to be celebrated and released.

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A Message of Joy and Hope

07-11-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

Maybe the work is best left to the professionals. That’s how many people view the preaching of the Gospel. That’s the stuff priests, religious, deacons, lay ministers, and other professional Church people do. It has little to do with me. Well, that’s not really true. The fact of the matter is that preaching the Gospel has everything to do with you, with all of us who are baptized members of the Body of Christ. Nobody gets off the hook from that job. The question is, however, how do we do it? Well, there’s a safe way, which many choose, to preach the Gospel — and the risky way. The safe way pretty much keeps the Gospel in church and around like-minded people. I say my prayers, go to Mass, contribute to the food pantry, tithe, and attend Bible Study. That pretty much covers the bases, right? Wrong.

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God's Life-Giving Presence

07-04-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

It’s all so ordinary that we can easily miss it. The seagulls hunting and diving for mollusks at the beach offer a display of determination and precision as they gather their food for the day. It’s simply what these creatures do. Yet, there’s a magical artfulness and skill to their work that speaks volumes about the One who breathed life into their being. This is pretty much the way it is with God’s presence. God comes in common ways through common things and ordinary people. Sadly, we are so engulfed in our little worlds of order and ideas to notice the beauty and wonder of it all. Many have numbed themselves to the Divine spark at the essence of all life because that’s just the way it is. What’s so special about it? A sunset is a sunset and a seagull is a seagull. That’s precisely what they thought about Jesus too. After all, isn’t he just the carpenter’s son? What merit can his words possibly have?

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