Saturday, April 16, 2011

Forgiving and retaining sins

“Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.” (John 20: 22-23)
The Church teaches that by the above instruction, Jesus Christ instituted once and for all times the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also called, the Sacrament of Penance, Sacrament of Confession. Since I returned fully to the practice of my faith, this Sacrament has become a powerful weapon in my arsenal. St. Paul instructs us in Ephesians 6 to put on the “full armor.” My armory is made up of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Eucharist, Prayer, the word of God and a few others.
Today, at the Dominican Church in downtown, I had course to thank Jesus Christ once again for this Sacrament. The pattern I established many years ago for using this Sacrament has been very helpful to me. I do not wait until “something happens” to take recourse of this Sacrament. I try to go once in two weeks and I have found this routine best for me. Weekly seems too short and monthly appears too long to remember everything that should be mentioned.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Complete Truth

“I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you to bear now. However, when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking of his own accord, but will say only what he has been told; and he will reveal to you the things to come.” (John 16: 12 – 13)
Jesus Christ promised His Church that the Holy Spirit will lead her to the fullness of truth. With complete assurance in this promise, the Church has throughout the ages prayerfully reflected on the words of Jesus and the experience of living out this word. Eternal truths have been perceived with clarity and added to the body of doctrines. Dogma or the certitude of doctrine is part and parcel of the Catholic heritage. Truth never changes.
The Blessed John Henry Newman writes: “Certitude of course is a point, but doubt is a progress. Certitude is a reflex action; it is to know that one knows.” The Holy Spirit helps the Church to come to certitude of doctrine by which the faith of the Church is constantly nourished. Jesus said that it is impossible to enter the kingdom of God unless one has the mind frame of a child. A child perceives truth by intuition.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

He will remind you

“I have said these things to you while still with you; but the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.” (John 14: 26)
Last Sunday after Mass, I stopped to talk to a friend whom I know shares the same enthusiasm about the Holy Spirit as myself. I beam with joy when I hear him attribute everything to the Holy Spirit. I feel the same way as himself. I rely completely on the Holy Spirit for inspiration and power. Without Him, I don’t even want to start any project. I marvel constantly at His suggestions and ideas. “Try this.” Or “Put it this way.” Each time, it is a winning proposition.
What I appreciate most about the Holy Spirit is what he does to my memory. He reminds me constantly what Jesus has said to me and equally important, the marvelous things Jesus has done for me. Thank you O Holy Spirit.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Paraclete

“If you love me you will keep my commandments. I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth whom the world can never accept since it neither sees nor knows him; but you know him, because he is with you, he is in you.” (John 14: 14-17)
Loving Jesus and keeping His commandments is one and the same thing. He who claims to love Jesus and at the same time breaks constantly one or the other of the commandments is a liar. When we know Jesus and love Him, we open our hearts to the greatest gift – the Spirit of truth. He is called the Spirit of truth here to show His opposition to the spirit of falsehood that rules the world. The Holy Spirit in us assures our victory over the world. With the Holy Spirit in us, we fear nothing. He is the voice that speaks in court. He tells us what to say and do in critical moments of our life. Calling on him makes a difference in every single situation.
Send forth your Spirit O Lord!!