Category Archives: Holy Spirit

No! We don’t!

I went to the Women’s Club meeting last night at my Church (Catholic, of course.)  Thirteen years ago, I joined.  Stopped going to the meetings about 8 years or so ago.  I always pay my dues though.  (It’s only 20 dollars and then I get a copy of the minutes, etc. and can keep up with what they are doing in case I want to go back.)  Most of the time in the past 8 years, I went to the first meeting of the year and paid my dues in person.  However, last night was the first time I went to a first meeting in two years.  They have all new officers, so I thought it might be different.  So, I went.

And, it started out fine.  One of the past presidents did a wonderful program on why we should and do make the Sign of the Cross.  We all got to read one of the 21 reasons and as we went around the room to read, the whole thing began to fall apart.  So, we are talking about our worship of a Triune God.  (Get it, right?  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.)  Couldn’t get any plainer.  Then someone, who should know better, reminded us that a wonderful Muslim woman told her that we all pray to the same God.  WOW!  NO WE DON”T.  What doesn’t this good Catholic woman not understand about a Triune God?  Of course, since I wouldn’t be coming back to the meetings the rest of the year, I let it pass.  Someone else can deal with her delusion

That wasn’t all.  They pass a jar around for donations to the Madonna Fund.  This fund used to provide locally for mothers with small children who needed financial help.  Last night, I found out that the Madonna Fund is given to the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for use overseas.  Since 98% of CRS employees give to pro-abortion candidates during an election and CRS also promotes contraception and abortion overseas, I could never give to the Madonna Fund again.

It’s never easy for me to go to a Catholic organization’s meeting, when it espouses positions that aren’t Catholic.  (sigh)

Maybe next year?

 

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Do Not Grieve the Holy Spirit of God

Ephesians 4: 29-32 is both invitation and warning.  It invites us to avoid sin and all occasions of sin.  It warns us that the Person of the Holy Spirit will be insulted by our sin.

St. Paul gives us a list to follow especially where it concerns destructive and devisive speech.  He tell us to put away all

  • Bitterness
  • Wrath
  • Anger
  • Malice
  • Clamor
  • and Slander

We are to

  • be Kind to one another
  • be Tenderhearted
  • be Forgiving

Remembering the words of our Savior in the Our Father, we thank God for His mercy towards us by showing mercy to others.  Forgiveness!

St. Paul wants “no evil talk” coming out of our mouths.  Whatever we speak should be “edifying” that “it may impart grace to those who hear.”

He also alludes to Is 63:10 where the Prophet recalls how the Exodus generation of Israel grieved the Holy Spirit by grumbling against the Lord and Moses.

Heaven help us!  When I read what passes for discourse today in the age of Facebook and Twitter, I’m reminded that we, too, are a perverse generation, grumbling against the Lord, and grieving the Holy Spirit by our lack of charity and forgiveness.

We need the Holy Spirit to actually intercede for us.  Pray with me these intercessions from the Liturgy of the Hours’ morning prayer for today.  “Lord, pour out your mercy upon us.”

Christ, Rising Sun, warm us with your rays, and restrain us from every evil impulse.

Keep guard over our thoughts, words, and actions, and make us pleasing in your sight this day.

Turn your gaze from our sinfulness, and cleanse us from our iniquities.

Through your cross and resurrection, fill us with the consolation of the Spirit.

 

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Filed under Catholic, Charity, Exodus, Holy Spirit, Liturgy of the Hours

Who Did You Go Out to See?

“As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: What did you go out into the wilderness to behold?  A reed shaken by the wind?  Why then did you go out? To see a man dressed in soft robes? Behold, those who wear soft robes are in kings’ houses.  Why then did you go out?  To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.’  Matthew 11: 7-10

St. John is no “reed shaken by the wind.”  He is not diverted from the path of discipline or mindful of earthly pleasures.

He is the greatest and last Old Testament prophet.  Jesus tells us though that even the “least” saint in the New Testament outshines St. John. John bears witness to Christ by his preaching, by his baptism of repentance, and through his martyrdom at the hand of Herod.  Jesus views John as going before Him in “the spirit and power of Elijah.”

Jesus never undermines the saintly life of John because he is more than a prophet.  He completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah.  The Holy Spirit concludes His speaking through the prophets with St. John and completes the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels.  “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is He Who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. . .Behold, the Lamb of God.”  John 12: 33-36

Do we want to prepare our hearts for Jesus’ coming?  Then, we, like St. John the Baptist, must detach ourselves from earthly goods.  He went into the desert and lead a life of penance.  In so far as we are able, can we retire into the interior of our hearts to await Jesus’ coming in silence, solitude, and deep recollection?  Can we add a greater spirit of penance, generosity, and charity to our daily lives?  Can we give something up or take on something hard in the next two weeks?  The true Joy of Christmas is worth it.

We can’t doubt that Jesus came to save and sanctify us.  We can’t doubt that He is infinitely merciful and we can go to Him with complete confidence.  We can’t doubt that He loves us with an infinite Love; Love that we do not deserve and can never truly reciprocate no matter how we try in our clumsy, sinful way.

During this Advent, we are invited to listen to His voice and prepare ourselves.  I know that it is hard for me to quiet my continual chatter about useless things.  I know that my mind and heart can be like a raging sea of fantasies, thoughts and self love.  I have a hard time turning this off.  It’s hard to be calm during this season with all the distractions of shopping, parties, spending, and eating and drinking too much.

Yet, Jesus can calm the raging sea and quiet the tumultuous mind.  So, pray along with me, “Jesus, help me to quiet the chatter and calm my mind.  Teach me how to fasten my gaze upon you, so that all the rest will fade away.  Draw everything about me to Yourself.”

And, St. John the Baptist, pray for us.

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Filed under Advent, Catholic, Charity, Holy Spirit, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Corpus Christi – O, How I Love the Eucharist

The Thursday after Trinity Sunday is the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ.)  For Catholics everywhere this should be a very big deal. Jesus, before His passion, when He knew that He would be separated from His humanity, gave Himself to us in a very intimate way.  He didn’t leave us orphaned.  When He told His apostles that He would be with us to the end of the world, He meant it. He gave us the Eucharist–His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

A long time ago, when I was in the 7th and 8th grade, we had a Corpus Christi procession on the Feast when we walked reverently through the streets of the small city where our church was located.  I dressed in my Sunday best and marched along with several hundred other people with the Blessed Sacrament.  I was allowed to attend with my school friends.  We didn’t need a nun to remind us of the solemnity of the occasion.  We were silent except when singing hymns or praying with the others around us.  What a great memory!  Unfortunately, these were the last of my Corpus Christi processions of my childhood.  Our parish never did them again.

I’ve always loved the Eucharist.  I love the Adoration Chapel.  When the parish instituted perpetual adoration a few years ago, I committed to two hours.  However, this was stopped by one of our pastors a few years ago.  I still go once a week.  Been doing it for years.  My days are busy and so full of distractions; yet, when I walk into the chapel, it’s as if Jesus is asking me to sit with Him and learn from Him that “His yoke is easy and His burden is light.”  In the Chapel, it is easy to gaze upon Him and feel myself in His presence much like the disciples were with Him in Galilee.  There is only the two of us.  Worries and distractions are far, far away.  I am at peace.

I fear for my Protestant brothers and sisters who don’t believe in the Real Presence.  I fear for those who call themselves Catholic and don’t believe in the Real Presence.  I especially fear for those who call themselves priests and bishops who don’t believe in the Real Presence or allow abuse of the sacrament.

There’s a prayer that the priest says before consuming the Eucharist at Mass.  It’s a good prayer for all of us to pray.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit, through your Death gave life to the world, free me by this, your most holy Body and blood, from all my sins and from every evil; keep me always faithful to your commandments and never let me be parted from you.”

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine.  All Praise and All Thanksgiving Be Every Moment Thine.

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Filed under Adoration, Eucharist and Mass, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Sacraments

The Transfiguration: A Vision of Hope

Jesus’ Transfiguration was all about sustainability for the Apostles.  He knew that they were going to witness some horrific things in Jerusalem shortly.  So, He showed them in a very dramatic way a vision of His glory; a vision of hope.  After the Resurrection and Pentecost, when they understood, they could hope that they would one day enjoy the glory of the full Beatific Vision once they had walked their own Via Dolorosa.

The Transfiguration neatly bridges the Old Covenant and the New: God’s love and justice to His love and mercy.  Along with Elijah and Moses, the “cloud of glory,” the Holy Spirit, which guided the Israelites in the desert, appears to the three apostles.  Jesus’ appearance shines bright and God the Father proclaims His Son to them.  Then, He says something else.  He says, “Listen to Him.”

I have read that Peter, James, and John glimpsed Jesus’ soul on Mt. Thabor.  They were given a small insight, as it were, into the Beatific vision.  They had been shaken by the announcement of His passion, so Jesus permitted some rays from His blessed soul to shine forth for a few minutes.  Jesus was allowing them to see the close connection between His suffering and death and His glory.  Our Divine Master was teaching them and us that it is impossible to reach the glory of the Transfiguration without passing through the suffering.  “Listen to Him.”

Look around you.  We are surrounded by sin and death: millions of pre-born humans murdered; the homosexual lifestyle promoted and celebrated; Christians persecuted and martyred; wars waged on many continents. Destruction is everywhere; sin abounds everywhere.  And, sin disfigures the soul.

Grace, however, transfigures the soul.  One lesson of the Transfiguration is that what has been disfigured by sin cannot regain its supernatural beauty (grace) except by purifying suffering.  Then, and only then, can we live the promise of Romans 8:18.  “For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us.”

On Thabor, after God the Father speaks, the vision disappears.  The apostles see no one but Jesus.  They come down the mountain with no one but Jesus.  This is another lesson of the Transfiguration.  God consoles us and gives us hope, yes; however, we must always see Him alone; Jesus alone.  He must suffice for us.  We must “Listen to Him.”

The time has come for us to repeat, “Jesus alone!” and to come down from Thabor with Him to follow Him, even to Calvary; especially to Calvary.  He is our All.  He alone suffices.

The colloquy from the Divine Intimacy for the second Sunday of Lent ends with this prayer that I share with you now as we continue our Lenten journey.  “The light and glory of Thabor encourage me.  Thank you, O Lord, for having allowed me, if only for a few moments, to contemplate Your splendor and to enjoy Your Divine Consolation.  Fortified and encouraged by this, I come down from this mountain to follow You, You alone to Calvary.”

I will listen to You.  You are enough!

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Jesus and Temptation

Jesus was tempted because He willed it.  Wow!  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way for us.  Because of concupiscence, we are constantly tempted.  In fact, if we aren’t being tempted we’re probably dead.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the devil doesn’t exist.  He still goes about the world like a roaring lion devouring souls.  Jesus showed us how to do battle with the devil, however.

Jesus had been fasting rigorously for 40 days when the devil showed up.  So Jesus was very, very hungry and the devil wanted Him to turn some stones into bread.  Jesus responds with something that we quote all the time in our house.  “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  I love this, because here is the Word of God; the bread of life really sending a smashing volley back to Lucifer.  So Jesus shows us that immersion in His Word and partaking of His Body and Blood at frequent Holy Communion, is a good offense against the devil during times of temptation.

The devil wasn’t finished yet.  Unable to tempt Him with bread; he tempts Him with power.  This fails, too.  Jesus knows that a miracle such as being borne on the hands of angels if He cast Himself down from the high place, would win the admiration and the enthusiasm of the people; but that is not to be the Way for Jesus.  His Way will be the way of the Cross, so he very resolutely rejects this temptation to pride.  Jesus shows us that the way to conquer temptations to pride and vanity is by choosing what humiliates us in the sight of others.

Finally, the devil, undaunted by this second failed attempt, offers the King of Kings the whole world with all its riches, if He would just bow down and worship him (the devil.)  Jesus replies “The Lord thy God shalt thou adore and Him only shalt thou serve.”  Smack down!  Jesus: 3.  The devil: 0.  Jesus is showing us that a heart that is firmly anchored in God will not be drawn away from His service by attraction to or envy of worldly goods.

What’s the final lesson?  The devil exists; however we have weapons for combat.  First, remember that our virtue does not consist of being exempt from temptations, but in being able to overcome them.  Second, we must have great confidence in God.  We must entrust everything to Him:  our whole life and everything in it.  Thirdly, and finally, turn to God with prayer and fasting and use faithfully the grace that God always gives when we are being tempted.  He won’t let us be tempted beyond our strength to resist especially if we trust in Him and His love and mercy.

Remember, He has commanded His angels to watch over all our paths, and they will bear us up in their hands lest our feet strike against a stone.”   What more can we ask for?

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Filed under Catholic, Christian, Faith, Fasting, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Lent, Love, Prayer, Sacraments, temptation, Uncategorized

A General Confession

I’m still having a little trouble typing on the computer without my one finger.  It takes me a very long time and I make a lot of mistakes so I’d rather not do it until the stitches come out on Monday.  Soooo looking forward to that!!!

However, I found this article and just had to share it with all of you.  I’m going to “confess” that I have on occasion been a “coucher of words” because of my pride and this was just the reminder that I needed to really examine my motives with regard to my sins.

Enjoy!

http://catholicstand.com/general-confession-slamming-door-satan-lent/

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Filed under Catholic, Fasting, Holy Spirit, Lent, reconciliation