Monday, May 21, 2018
Bishop takes the Holy Chrism puts it on forehead of confirmandi
Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit
Jewish friends called the feast Pentecost 50
Originally celebrating the barley harvest.
Later the giving of the Law
After Passover – wandered 40 days in desert
Moses went up Mount Sinai – after 10 days – he came down with 10 commandments “heaven has come down to earth”
Same way – after Resurrection Jesus spent 40 days on earth –
Returned to heaven – the Ascension. 10 days later
heaven comes down to earth again – now: the Holy Spirit
1st law was written in stone - this new law written on minds and hearts
Sinai was for Israel - Pentecost is Israel & for the whole world!
Speak of receiving 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit.
They are gifts – given by Holy Spirit – as long as we stay in the state of grace, they are very much active!
- They help us to become holy - help us share in the very life of God now & in eternal life
- they enable us to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit
- they make perfect virtues of Faith, hope & love
1) Wisdom - seek out wise people to understand life - seek the wisdom of God
2) Understanding - see the hand of God at work in my life & to trust!!!
3) Counsel – to judge individual acts – is this good – or evil
4) Fortitude – to overcome difficulties or endure pain & suffering with strength from God
5) Knowledge – use created things in holy and good way – see God who created them
6) Piety – worship God and see each other as children of God – justice!
7) Wonder and Awe – Fear of the Lord - do not want to be separated from God - a healthy fear
Augustine soon after conversion walking down street in Milan.
A person he committed many sins with called out “Augustine!” “It is I!”
Augustine “Yes, but it is no longer I”
A new creation -- why we say Come Holy Spirit!
Monday, May 14, 2018
We are in that “in between time” between Ascension and Pentecost. Lord Jesus had left them to return to the Father – but He promised to send the Advocate – the Holy Spirit. So the Apostles returned to the Upper Room, together with Mary, and they prayed – nine days – that’s where the word Novena comes from. They waited and prayed – Come Holy Spirit!
Surveys show that 55% of Americans pray every day – 21% weekly or monthly – 23% seldom or never.
How do they/we pray? ACTS
St. John Damascene says – “Prayer is the lifting up of the mind and heart to God.” A good definition – but is it all our work? “Not that we have loved God, but that God has loved us first” – God seeks us. Another way to look at it – a conversation among friends.
Thoughts about prayer:
1) How do you pray? Take the time – worth it. Put it right in the schedule. Quiet in the morning or evening – in the car. Pray rosary when walking.
2) Find the center – the meaning and purpose of life – keeps us focused.
3) Speak with honesty – tell God what is going on! Wife & mother at hospital with sick husband, day after day. She just couldn’t take it anymore. Statue outside of Mary. Started throwing dirt at it. Wanted to stop her, but chaplain said, it’s OK, she is praying.
4) Listen attentively. Don’t do all the talking. Every now and then, God might speak audibly, but more often through Bible and other people.
5) Silence – MT – silence leads to prayer leads to faith leads to love leads to service.
Once again note – Apostles made sure Mary was with them in the Upper Room – the model of prayer – let it be done to me – do whatever He tells you!
On this Mother’s Day, may the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God, lead us to the Father.