Emmitsburg Council of Churches

Meditation for the Faithful

Father John J. Lombardi

Clogged arteries? As your family doctor recommends solvents and openness against cholesterol-clogging problems in your veins, the Divine Physician Jesus Christ commands: "Be Opened" –to our souls and bodies and "spiritual arteries".

While walking a hundred miles on Pilgrimage in Spain this past August we coined a spiritual- centering-saying to assist us: Pray as you go/ Stay in flow/ To Santiago! There were a lotta’ things to distract or detract us while pilgrimaging, so prayerfully repeating a spiritual aspiration-mantra like that helps focus the soul and keep us in the Divine Flow of God’s Will for us. In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus heals a sick man (Mk.7:31-37 ).This sacred story shows that Jesus is God and that we should worship Him. It also shows there is evil and darkness in the world and that we humans are sometimes ­consciously or not-- closed to God and His Grace and we will not become saints or be healed without openness to God’s Grace We may become closed­not open and need to be opened-- especially when we do not pray to God, esp. thru listening and contemplation. We need opening when we clog our bodies with harmful things--too much food, bad-processed or greasy-unhealthy foods. When we do not take time for sour spiritual lives and do not cultivate a "soul life" and follow only our hobbies or sports or personal pursuits. We need to be opened when we are not regularly receiving the Sacraments, when we are worshipping false idols and becoming materialistic and we do not welcome/receive others

What are some solvents to "suffocation"? +Sacraments­by Confession you get rid of junk and toxins which, if kept inside, may attract other bad, dark things; Stop carrying that stinky stuff, confess it and move on! Sacramental: Jesus used His hands, his spittle, mud and other earthy things to heal, and we may use earthy good ways to heal­crated herbs and medicines which are natural-God-given, and not abuse them. We need to guard against Satan­definitely be closed to openings of demons which seek and gain entrance thru these portals: family dysfunction; harmful/dark music; illicit drugs; occult, excessive depression, abortion and violence, bad thoughts and deeds, aberrant sexuality and sensualism and harmful actions. Don’t go there! Blessed Bernardo Longo, was a man who flirted with the Devil and worked for him and then repented and came back to Church and God thru the Sacraments and especially the Holy Rosary. Protect your children , spouse, family and friends and stay close to Jesus and Mary!

Ways of Healing:  Here are some ways to be brought into God’s Peace: Look up and pray The Serenity Prayer... Music: Listen to beautiful chant/sacred music to heal your soul. Chase away Sin: take this mystical/medicine advice from St John Chrysostom: "Be ashamed when you sin. Sin is the wound, repentance is the medicine. Sin is followed by shame; repentance followed by boldness. Satan has overturned this order and given boldness to sin and shame to repentance."… Right Medicine: The Creator’s creations (natural substances) can be fashioned and used to help His creatures in right ways: don’t abuse/overuse drugs or become addicted to them…Mental: Meditate­daily sit for 10-20 minutes absorbing the Trinity’s pulsations, healing and love: Psalm 46:10­"Be still and know I am God"….Serenity means to be clear: practice this Bliss in your sometimes fast-paced life thru simplicity and slowness…Mystical Healing: Receive and sit in front of the Most Holy Eucharist---Jesus Christ­Which is His Crucified and resurrected-Glorious Body and Blood­receive His Divine-healing Radiation!...Exercise: get your blood and body flowing into His ever-sewing Life and open up what is clogged and slothful…Relational: Be in right relationship with God and others: this will heal you…Creation: Go out into the Creator’s beautiful Creation and enjoy His Magnificent work of art…The Cross: Obviously, we will not always be healed in body, physically. Peace will come when we deeply accept this and be one with Jesus’ Cross and offer up sufferings for others. This is a Deep Freedom and healing!

Here are some Labor Day thoughts for prayer:

Let us thank God for laboring for our salvation by creating the world, by ceaselessly pursuing us thru the prophets; His covenant; thru His carrying the Cross for us. Let us thank the Virgin Mary our Mother in Heaven for thru laboring to deliver to us Jesus Christ. St Joseph the Worker –pray for us! Let us thank all the saints for working in so many ways for health and salvation. Let us follow the example of St Joseph the Worker and labor for others­esp. the poor and sick and dying. Let us thank all the saints for their labors. Let us thank our families-past and ancestors and all who made this country great and our parishes thru their efforts and labors. Let us pray for the just wages of those who work now­especially those in challenging conditions. Let us pray for work for all those seeking just employment. Let us thank all our men and women veterans of wars who defend our land and other’s in the Name of God and Freedom. May all the angels and saints help us to labor prayerfully in this world for the Kingdom of God.


Read other reflections by Father John J. Lombardi