Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Spirit and the Flesh

"For those who live according to the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit with the things of the spirit."  (Romans 8: 5)

In Galatians 5: 19 - 21, St Paul lists the work of the flesh thus:

"Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness,
idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions,
occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."  (Galatians 5: 19 - 21)

"In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."  (Galatians 5: 22 - 23)

How to cooperate with God's Providence

Accept all that has happened.
Accept everything that is happening. Cooperate with everything except with what is sinful.

Jean-Pierre de Caussade, SJ

Friday, October 25, 2013

My times and seasons are in your hands

"You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?"  (Luke 12: 56)

Lord Jesus, there is nothing I yearn for more at this moment than to understand the times and seasons in my life.  You are Lord.  My destiny is in your hands.  (Psalm 31: 15)  It is said that my disappointments are your opportunity.  Let it be.  Let it be.  Let it be.  Remember your promise O Lord. "For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope."  (Jeremiah 29:11)

"When I am afraid,
in you I place my trust.

I praise the word of God;
I trust in God, I do not fear.
What can mere flesh do to me?"  (Psalm 56: 4 - 5)

"This I know: God is on my side.

I praise the word of God,
I praise the word of the LORD.

In God I trust, I do not fear.
What can man do to me?"  (Psalm 56: 10 - 12)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ

"More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ."  (Philippians 3: 8)

St. Jerome said that "Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ."  In other words, sacred scripture is the royal way to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ said to the Sadducees,  “You are misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God."  No wonder the Sadducees  did not see the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the person of Jesus.

When Jesus appeared to two of His disciples on the Road to Emmaus,
"He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.
 And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And [behold] I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”  (Luke 24: 44 - 49) 

While sacred scripture reveals the identity of Jesus, knowledge of Jesus is not limited to the scriptures.  The living Tradition of the Church is a source of knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Jesus instituted the Sacraments as a means of dispensing the fruits of salvation.  When the Sacraments are celebrated in the Church, the Church teaches that the priest acts in Persona Christi, that is, in the Person of  Christ.  So we know Jesus Christ through His actions in the Sacraments.  We know the Lord through prayer.  In prayer, we thank Him, we praise Him, we bless Him.  We lift up our needs to Him.  We listen to His response and learn how He meets all our needs through His gracious providence.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dominion belongs to Jesus Christ

"For sin is not to have any power over you, since you are not under the law but under grace."  (Romans 6: 14)
Nothing should exercise any power over us except Jesus Christ.  We must say a firm NO to those things that struggle to control our lives.  Some of these are:  parents, spouses, children, relatives, job, money, health, property,car, food, etc.  Listen to what scripture says about these:
"They multiply their sorrowswho court other gods.Blood libations to them I will not pour out,nor will I take their names upon my lips."  (Psalm 16: 4)
Scripture teaches that those who bow down to these tin gods multiply their sorrows.  Does experience not teach us this lesson?  Scripture goes on to command that they should not be honored in any way.  No boasting about them.  They should be taken for what they are:  mere creatures.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Grace and mercy drowned sin

"The law entered in so that transgression might increase but, where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more."  (Romans 5: 21)

Grace and mercy drowned sin.  O happy fault that brought us an abundance of grace and mercy through Jesus Christ.  How indebted and enslaved to the evil one we were and Jesus Christ set us free from all our debt and brought us into His kingdom of light.

Praise and glory to you Lord Jesus Christ.  You are the Lamb of God and the Son of the Eternal Father.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Abraham glorified God through His faith

"He did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God
and was fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to do"  (Romans 4: 20 - 21)

Thank you Lord for teaching me a very important spiritual principle through Romans 4: 20 - 21.  You teach me that the way to magnify you is through strong faith in your promise as Abraham did.  You know Father that for a longtime I have prayed for strong faith.  More lately, I have this profound desire to glorify you by my life.  When I think of glorifying or magnifying your name, I usually thought of doing some extraordinary thing for you.  But you  teach me today that trusting completely in your word, your promises is the best and most effective way to honor you.  I am excited by this.  It sounds simple but I know it is not.  This is why I turn to you to do what I do best:  Have mercy on me and give me this gift.  When you do, I will bear a witness to you in the world, O Lord.  I will spread the knowledge of your name among my brothers, Alleluia.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Jesus Christ is our Teacher

"But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it."  (2 Timothy 3: 14)

Lord, you have been a wonderful Teacher.  Grant me the grace to remain faithful to all that you have taught me.
I believe what I read.
I teach what I believe.
I practice what I teach.