February 14, 2012
Memorial of Saint Cyril, monk, and Saint Methodius, Bishop
Listen to the podcast version here.
Mark 8: 14-21
Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread;
and they had only one loaf with them in the
boat. And he cautioned them, saying, "Watch out--beware of the
yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod." They
said to one another, "It is because we have no
bread." And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them,
"Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you
still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do
you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have
ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember?
When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?"
They said to him, "Twelve." "And the seven for the
four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did
you collect?" And they said to him, "Seven." Then he
said to them, "Do you not yet understand?"
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I know you
have worked in my life, and yet I take so
little account of it. Just knowing the truth of your
presence in my past would be enough to convert my
heart totally to a future of commitment to you. Knowing
your history will make me long for you. I hunger
for goodness that will make this day fruitful in ways
that will last, that will not deceive me. I intend
to not let my mundane passions leave me blind and
crippled before the opportunity to be your apostle today.
Petition: Lord, grant me the
grace to commit myself more to your will through a
deeper trust in you.
1. Missing the Foundation: “Is it because we have no
bread?” We can see how easy it is to miss
the messages God wishes to send us in prayer, because
we are preoccupied only with what is immediate. We can
be hungry for success, want a friend or family member
to make peace with us, or we become obsessed over
the finances. The insecure heart is pulled away from a
healthy vision of life because it is not founded on
rock. The soul that lives from the true foundation knows
that as long as it has Christ and is doing
his will, all is well.
2. Remembering the Works of God: “And do you
not remember?” One of the worst sins of the people
of Israel was to have forgotten God’s great works on
their behalf. It is important to reflect often and with
gratitude on the many benefits we have received from Our
Lord. Each of us should remember: It is God who
created us and who has begun the work of our
holiness. If he has brought us this far with only
a modest amount of cooperation on our part, how much
further could we go if we were to give him
our total dedication? How much more good would flourish in
our lives? How many problems would find God’s hand shaping
them for our benefit?
3. Wishing to See Again: On any given day, every
follower of Christ should have a healthy mistrust of what
he thinks is the absolute need for his life. Oftentimes,
a spiritual “detox” is in order to free us from
becoming obsessed over secondary goals. This detox is found in
the school of prayer. St. Augustine notes prayer is where
we exercise desire, where we let our heart purify itself
from its distractions, and where we let affection and devotion
for the Beloved expand. The fire of divine love can
heal many divisions and complexes in our psychology, if we
consistently open ourselves up to it.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, keep me from that
spiritual anorexia that makes me lose the hunger for your
presence in my life. I can let daily pressures and
disordered passions block my ability to love you as I
should. How I endanger myself; how I destroy my happiness
in this world of illusion. Free me, Jesus, from my
own folly! Give me back the hunger to love you
again, as I promise never again to let myself be
carried away by activism and pride.
Resolution: Today I will write down the things
I have been seeking that could take me away from
Christ. I will honestly renounce them in an attitude of
holy indifference, wanting them only in as much as Jesus
wants them in my life.