Saturday, January 12, 2013

If we ask anything according to his will, He hears us

"And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours."  (1 John 5: 14 - 15)

Father, what beautiful words of encouragement you have for me this morning.  If there is something I can say with certainty today, it is that I do not desire anything outside your will.  If I do, do not grant it.  I have come to learn and believe firmly that you know what is best for me.  Three of your greatest blessings to me today convinces of this truth.  I did not choose Casa, STM, SFJ by my own ingenuity.  Your loving providence guided me to these blessings. I did not choose to enjoy the blessings of Sunday because of my brilliance or goodness.  You gave it to me as a pure gift. Why then should I dishonor you by wanting anything outside your will?  Forbid that this will happen.

Father, you promise that since I do not know how to pray and what to pray for, your benevolent Spirit living in me will direct my heart and mind to pray in accordance to your will.  May this happen always and everywhere.  I ask for this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ.  Amen!!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

"I do will it. Be made clean."

"Now there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where he was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately."  (Luke 5: 12 - 13)

This man was full of leprosy and Jesus touched him.  What can I learn from this?  Grant me the grace to extend my hand and touch all those you want me to touch.

The man said,  “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean."  The man has heard about the miracles of Jesus and believed that Jesus could heal him.  Faith is to believe that God has the power to do whatever He wishes come what may.  This leper has this faith. He also understands that God will not do everything He can do.  His will is the best for us.  He prays and hopes that God's will for him will be healing.

Jesus utters the gracious words, 'It is my will that you be healed.'  Then He said, "Be made clean."  And the leprosy left the man immediately.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God

Scripture and religion teach us that there is a constant struggle in the world between the forces of good and evil.  If I am in any campaign or struggle, I will be interested in any shortcut to victory.   1 John 5: 4 caught my attention because it promises a silver bullet for any war.  That bullet is Faith.

What is faith?  In the very next verse, St. John the Evangelist defines faith:  Who [indeed] is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”  (1 John 5: 5)

 In the Sacred Scriptures, there are many definitions of faith.  But 1 John 5: 5 appeals to me because of its simplicity.  I need a working definition of faith that I can use in battles.  I believe in Jesus Christ.  I believe that He is the Son of God.  I believe in His promise that if we ask, we shall receive; if we seek, we shall find; if we knock, the door will be opened to us.  Yes, I believe in prayer.  I believe in miracle.  I am learning today to leave the rest to God.  Once I exercise my faith through prayer, I surrender to God the outcome, the means and the timing of His answer.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Perfect love drives out fear

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love."  (1 John 4: 18)

Perfect awareness of God's constant and unconditional love for us means living in the full knowledge of His loving and powerful providence.  This providence is fully at work for us every moment and every step of our life's journey.

If you fear that God will abandon you with regard to family, health, finances, job, tools, food or future, it means that your understanding of His love for you is deficient.  Our spiritual journey is to take us from the place of fear, worry and doubts to the glorious freedom of fullness of charity.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

He taught them many things

"When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things."  (Mark 6: 34)

Lord Jesus, you satisfied the hearts of those who seek to listen to your word by teaching them many things.  After teaching them many things, you fed them with bread and fish and they ate and were satisfied.  Grant me a compassionate heart for all those you appoint me to minister to.  May I remember from this event that nourishment for the body should not be neglected when teaching the word is the primary event.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Unleashing the Power of the Holy Spirit

After dinner on this feast of the Epiphany, I watched Christian TV and 2 of the presentations touched on my major theme for 2013:  How to be filled with the Holy Spirit and His power.  Both Merritt and Lindsey talked about what I know already.  The new thing I learned is this:  Every morning, I am refilled with the HS during morning prayer.  My asking for the HS in prayer with faith unleashes this outpouring.  How do I activate this power?  There is no global activation.  It is a point to point activation.  An analogy with the credit card is appropriate here.  Because your credit card is good and activated does not mean that you walk into a store, pick an item and walk out with it.  You still have to go through the checkout and present that card.  In the analogy with the HS, presenting the card at checkout point is ASKING FOR THE HELP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AT THE POINT OF NEED.  This is done through prayer.  The  prayer need not be lengthy or complex.  A simple "Help me O Holy Spirit" is enough.

The other important thing I learned about the Holy Spirit activation is this:  After invoking the help of the HS in faith, Surrender the Outcome, the Means and the Timing of the Solution to the Holy Spirit.  We see here, a deeper exercise of faith.  This is the level I fail.  Sometimes, it is difficult to surrender the Outcome, the Means and the Timing of the Solution to God.

As I reflect on the above, I remembered a prayer I learned  during my Desert Experience:
I believe in Prayer
I believe in the word of God
I believe in Miracles
I leave the rest to God.

The fourth step - LEAVING THE REST TO GOD is the hardest.  Leaving the Rest to God means Surrendering the Outcome, the Means and the Timing to God.  If I can do this, this will represent a quantum leap in my spiritual development.  At this point in my spiritual journey, my only hope of making this leap is pure grace.  This  I know that God is on my side and that in the fullness of time, He will grant me this grace in His mercy.

"Faith that is firm is also patient."  (Isaiah 28: 16)

You have overcome them

"You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them, for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."  (1 John 4: 4)

The first principle of a successful spiritual campaign is:  Do a thorough SWOT analysis   SWOT stands for:  S = Strength, W = Weakness, O = Opportunity, T = Threat.  I learned this principle in Marketing.  Then I saw that this is one of the principles of Ignatian spirituality.

After SWOT analysis, St. Paul urges the Ephesian Christians to:
"Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.
Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.
For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens."  (Ephesians 6: 10 - 12)

For this warfare, we are to put on the full armor and not pieces of armor.  One of the most important pieces of armor is "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

The word of God, the sword of the spirit assures us even before the battle that we "have overcome them, for the one in us is greater than the one who is in the world."  What a tremendous boost to confidence is the sure knowledge that the outcome of the battle is certain to be victory for us.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

They prostrated themselves and did Him homage

"and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."  (Matthew 2: 11)

They prostrated themselves and did him homage even though they found Mother and Son in a very poor environment.  They walked by faith that led them to the house and not by physical and sense evidence.

They came, they saw and they worshiped.  No doubts, no fears, no worries.

Lord, grant me the faith of the Magi for your presence in the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament.