Saturday, February 21, 2009

Desires of the heart

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for whatever you please and you will get it." (John 15: 7)

Today, I ask Jesus for the fullness of the Holy Spirit and the grace to surrender completely to Him. Ten years ago, when I reflected on the above scripture, I confided to my diary that my top need was for casa. How shifting are the desires of the heart. But in all the shifting sands that make up our desires, Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Isn't this comforting?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Living in Christ

"Live in me and let me live in you, says the Lord. My branches bear much fruit. (John 15: 4, 5)

We live in Christ through prayer, His word and the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Christ lives in us through our participation in group worship, principally the Mass and group prayer. The key to bearing fruit in the kingdom is this symbiosis with Jesus Christ: Living in Him and He living in us.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Instruments of God

"When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the Church and by the apostles and elders, and gave an account of all that God had done through them." (Acts 15: 4)

When Paul and Barnabas arrived in Jerusalem, the Church saw clearly how God had used them and acknowledged that they were instruments of God for evangelization. We too can be instruments of God if we are open to the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Avoid that Village

22

5 When they arrived at Bethsaida, they brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him.

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He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on him and asked, "Do you see anything?"

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Looking up he replied, "I see people looking like trees and walking."

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Then he laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.

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Then he sent him home and said, "Do not even go into the village." (Mark 8: 22 – 26)


 

The above miracle story contains a remarkable sequence of events:

  1. Jesus led the blind man by the hand outside the village.
  2. He put spittle on his eyes.
  3. "Do you see anything?"
  4. "I see people looking like trees and walking."
  5. Then Jesus laid hands a second time on the man's eyes.
  6. The man then saw clearly.
  7. "Do not even go into the village."

Why these sequences of events?

Is it possible that the man's blindness was caused by a demonic influence inside the village? Could there have been resistance to the man's healing if performed in the village? Was there a danger of relapse if the man went back to the village?

One of the lessons of the above scripture is to avoid unhealthy geographies.

The Darkness of Unbelief

"Father of all holiness, guide our hearts to you. Keep in the light of your truth all those you have freed from the darkness of unbelief…." (Prayer at Mass)

God is the Father of all holiness. Satan is the father of all lies.

How does God guide our hearts to Himself? The 7-Way Plan and the 7-War Zones are my special gift. Every day, I am growing in understanding that all times and seasons serve God. Similarly, everything that I experience during the day serves God as He guides my heart to him.

Unbelief keeps the mind in darkness.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Peace of Christ

"Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." (John 14: 27)

Peace is the special gift of Christ. How does one explain the peace of Christ? It is the quiet assurance that all is well, not matter what may be happening to the contrary. It is the certainty that there is a game plan. And everything is working according to that plan. It is the certain knowledge that "Perfect love casts out fear." And that love is God's perfect love for us here and now. The world is incapable of giving this peace. "Nemo dat quod non habet." Nobody gives that which he has not. The world does not have this type of peace and so cannot give it. This is the special gift promised the disciples by Jesus.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Teacher

"But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you." (Acts 14: 26)

The Holy Spirit is my Teacher.

The Holy Spirit is my aide de memoire. He reminds me of everything that I need to remember. What He does not remind of does not matter.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Inevitability of Suffering

"Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead, and so enter into his glory." (Luke 24: 46)

Paul said: "We must all experience many hardships before we enter the kingdom of God." (Acts 14: 22)

There is an inevitability of suffering. It cannot be avoided. Everybody must be salted by fire. In the face of this existential fact, the best attitude towards suffering is the Christian one: trust and surrender. It is useless to kick against the goad.