Saturday, December 19, 2009

Components of the Divine Will

"So has the Lord done for me at a time when he has seen fit to take away my disgrace before others." (Luke 1: 25)

Elizabeth recognizes one of the critical elements of God's modus operandi. God acts only in due season. When the fullness of time for that event has come, He acts swiftly. In discerning the will of God, I find these three elements very important:

  • Time
  • Place
  • Manner

Manner refers to the way that God has chosen to act in a particular time and place. Often the manner is ordinary. The manner may be ordinary, but the providential design are operative nevertheless. God's ways are not our ways.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Building Up

"And you too, in him, are being built up into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." (Ephesians 2: 22)

God is building me up one block at a time.

How is God building me up?

The 7 Way Plan in concludes the following:

  • Prayer
  • Eucharist
  • Word of God
  • Reconciliation
  • Ministry
  • Spiritual reading
  • Spiritual direction

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Come to me

"Come to me, all you that labor and are burdened and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11: 28)

What a great promise! But how do I know that I can trust Jesus? Trust unlike belief is not based on rational propositions. For example, in the Creed, we have a set of propositions presented to us by the Church. We give our assent to them because we know that the Church is trustworthy. How do we know that the Church is trustworthy? We know through a supernatural enablement that we share with other Christians that is call "Sensus Fidei." Sensus Fidei translates literally as sense of faith is the supernatural instinct that is placed in the soul by the Holy Spirit when we are baptized. This instinct can grow with exercise and practice.

Trust on the other hand calls for experience of trustworthiness in the person to be trusted. To answer the question – Can I trust Jesus when He promises to give me peace when I come to Him with my burdens? I do not know of a single incident when I trusted Jesus for anything and He disappointed. As far as I am concerned, Jesus is a very trustworthy person. The Church corroborates my personal experience and spiritual instinct in affirming with Sacred Scripture that Jesus is trustworthy. My heart rejoices when I hear Jesus say: "Come to me, all you that labor and are burdened and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11: 28)

I know for certain that I can trust Jesus.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ABC of Mercy

"Go and learn the meaning of the words: Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice." (Matthew 9: 13)

What does mercy mean? Unmerited favor. But I enjoy unmerited favor all the time from Jesus.

There is a pole in the grounds of St. Thomas More Church with a large human shaped heart transfixed with a spear. This reminds me of the open heart of Jesus on the cross from where blood and water flows. Jesus challenges us in the scripture above to go and learn the meaning of mercy. The ABC of Mercy is a good starting point for this lesson:

  • A – Ask for mercy
  • B – Be merciful
  • C – Completely trust Jesus for mercy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Plug into the Power

"A feeling of awe came over the crowd when they saw this, and they praised God for having given such authority to human beings." (Matthew 9: 8)

In Christ Jesus, God has given us awesome authority. He has truly subjected all things to us. In Christ Jesus, we are empowered to be fully active and alive. Because we do not see the evidence of this truth in our daily experience is not a reason to doubt it. The power is there. We need to connect into it. Plug in the power cord. The power is the Holy Spirit living within us.

The barriers to using this power are: sin, fear and ignorance. As we work to eliminate these from our lives, we begin to see the power.

Lord Jesus, empower us to plug into the Holy Spirit so that we can live fully for you every day.