Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Morning Meditation #117: Giving Our Best

Once again, it is closer to Monday evening than Monday morning, and I hope you all ambled over to Fr. Austin's reliable Monday morning coffee inspirational post. I missed last week entirely because I was traveling and out of reach of the Internet, and that is likely to happen frequently during the next couple of months, including trips to Ukraine and the Czech Republic. Will try to do something in advance. Today I was supposed to be traveling, too, but I had to push back my tickets until tomorrow. I have spent the entire weekend, literally, in bed. We have a whooping cough epidemic here in California, so the doc thought it wise to give me the pertussis vaccination -- except he was unaware that I am allergic to eggs, and I was unaware that the vaccine was produced with egg. So, I had to deal with quite a bit of nausea from that, plus suddenly after being vaccinated, I seemed to have started to develop the symptoms of whooping cough. My ribs ache from all the coughing. Sheesh! (On a positive [?] note, I have lost seven pounds in three days -- quite an effective diet, but not one I recommend. And my sweet Jordanian cat, Murjan, who acts more like a dog than a cat, has not left my side these past four days.)

Anyway, I have finally crawled out into the living room and read further in  Micah, which I finished, along with Nahum and Habakkuk. Not finding anything there, perhaps because I am still groggy and light-headed, I kept reading on into Zephaniah, Haggai, Zecharia, and Malachi.I guess because I am sick I was hoping to find something positive, but finally I gave up and focused on Malachi 1: 13-14, which seems to have as much meaning today as centuries ago:
13 “When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the LORD.
14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord.
Reading: Malachi 1: 13-14

Meditation: Taken allegorically (I realize at the time it would have been taken literally), I wonder how many of us routinely bring injured animals to God as sacrifices. How often do we hurry out the door after communion and before the final blessing? How often do we shorten our prayer time, or miss it altogether? How often do we leave a need for someone else to take care of because we are too busy -- and then perhaps feel guilty about it, but nonetheless we did turn our backs. How often do we promise to spend quality time with God, and how often do we not follow through on that promise? How often do we cut back a contribution because of a sudden financial burden, rather than trusting God to take care of that burden? I think it is human nature to constantly weigh the benefits of A or B, spending time or money on endeavor X or endeavor Y -- and that is as it should be as long as the scale is God's and not one we have improvised.

Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning/afternoon. I now retire to private prayer to praise God for His willingness to forgive all those times that He gets cheated and to give us yet another chance. I will thank God for all the times He has forgiven me. I will, of course, also ask for His mercy in general and repent for even  needing forgiveness. Then I will move on to contemplation, my favorite part of the day, letting God take over the direction in which my relationship with Him moves.

I will leave you now to your prayer and contemplation. First, though, I would like to bring to your attention a Monday morning prayer post that you might enjoy:

Fr. Austin Fleming, priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and pastor in Concord, Massachusetts, posts a prayer each Monday morning that he calls "Monday Morning Offering." I enjoy his prayers very much. I think you also will find them inspirational. He has graciously given me permission to include a link to his blog on my Monday Morning Meditation posts. (During the week, he also posts great homilies and other thoughtful discussions. I enjoy reading those, too, as do readers of this blog who have taken the stroll over to his blog.)

For additional inspiration throughout the week, I would point out two sets of blogs: (1) the list of devotional blogs on my sidebar and (2) my blogroll, where I am following a number of inspirational priests and writers about spiritual matters. I learn so very much from all these people. I highly recommend them to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment