Ah, quiet! All visitors have left. And peace! No traveling is required of me this week. (Next week will be a different story, but for now, I am truly at peace and happy.) I was very pleased with Doah this weekend, as well. His group home chose to go to a movie during the time that he and I usually spend at Sunday evening Mass in his town (one over from San Ignatio). Doah chose to give up the movie for Mass. Those of us who are not mentally challenged would do well to learn from him. At Mass, we ran into two friends of mine whom Doah dearly loves and sat with them during Mass, after which we all we out to dinner together at KFC (Doah's favorite "restaurant"), an impromptu decision.
This week, as in the last couple of weeks, I continued to read and enjoy Matthew. I have to repeat: what a great gospel! This week I continued on to Chapter 12, where I find compelling words about God from Jesus in verse 7: "I desire mercy, not sacrifice."
Reading: Matthew 12:7
Meditation: I found these words to be very comforting. So often we think that love of God is all about sacrifice -- and certainly sacrifice with cheer, where sacrifice is warranted, has immense value for many reasons -- but here we are told that God is not all about sacrifice. God is all about mercy. That is definitely "good news" and differs considerably from much of what comes from the Old Testament. I wonder if we miss out on a lot of mercy simply because we are so strongly focused on sacrifice that we do not notice mercy being extended to us even when we benefit from it.
Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning. I now retire to private prayer to praise God for all the ways in which He tries to teach us. I will ask God to help me be more open to His teaching, and I will repent for each time I have failed to notice God's mercy. As always, I will thank God for wanting only the very best for us.
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.