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Posts Tagged ‘gifts of the Holy Spirit’


Mark 9:1-7: Jesus Transfigured

Icon: The Transfiguration

Icon: The Transfiguration

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Rather than ask for a sign of our worthiness or God’s presence, we might act on the opportunity we are given to witness to Christ’s transformation as did Peter, James and John.

When we pause in the rush of life to examine those around us . . .

When we listen for God’s voice and do as God bids us . . .

When we are loving in our approach to enemies . . .

When we are patient with ourselves, faithful to our covenant, hopeful that our impossible dreams will be realized . . .

We see miraculous conversions taking place around us constantly . . . and this is our sign.

We witness the transformation of the members of Christ’s Mystical Body, we discover that we ourselves are transfigured . . . and this is our sign.

We see the blessing of the gifts offered by the Holy Spirit . . . and this is our sign.

We keep vigil at the tomb to witness to the Resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of ourselves and so we begin to fully understand that it is through his own transfiguration that Christ transfigures each of us. And this surely and simply and certainly is our sign . . . that we are well and truly loved by God.


For more on icons, click on the image above or visit: https://iconreader.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/transfiguration-icon-the-event-and-the-process/ 

Adapted from a favorite written on March 22, 2008.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

John 14:26-27

holy-spirit-dove[1]Prayer for Understanding

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  (John 14:26-27)

We crave to be heard and understood yet all the while God’s counsel is before us. As we continue our Lenten journey with the prophet Amos, let us listen for the wisdom sent to us on the wings of the Spirit.

First Word: Put away black-and-white thinking. May we learn to see both sides of every story, listen to both hearts in every argument. Holy Spirit, bring us your counsel.

Second Word: Step away from corruption and nepotism. May we have the courage grapple with dishonesty in ourselves and others. Holy Spirit, bring us your fortitude.

images[9]Third Word: Be open to transformation and redemption. May we be open to the healing presence of God. Holy Spirit, nurture in us a loving awe of the Lord.

First Woe: Be wary of the ease with which violence creeps into our lives. May we grow to understand how violence insinuates itself into our lives. Holy Spirit, send us deep and lasting wisdom.

Second Woe: Be prepared for deep mourning that threatens to drag us into darkness. May we grow in faithfulness and devotion to God. Holy Spirit, instill in us fidelity and piety.

Third Woe: Turn away from your worship of little gods and turn toward the Living God. May we grow in our awareness of false teachers and preachers. Holy Spirit, engender in us deep knowledge of God’s ways.

holy spirit image[1]We crave to be heard and understood; let us listen for God’s Word . . . and let us ask for understanding of the world’s Woes. Let us give thanks to God’s prophet Amos who speaks to us today.  As we continue our Lenten journey, let us pause to listen . . . to reflect . . . and to pray, in Jesus’s name, and in unity with the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


For more information and images of the Holy Spirit, click on the images above.

For more on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, including a link to a more in-depth discussion, go to: http://catholicism.about.com/od/beliefsteachings/f/FAQ_Gifts_HS.htm  

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Sunday, August 9, 2020

blender_simulating-and-rendering-fire_feature1-652x245[1]Hebrews 4:12-13

Rendering

Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from God, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of God to whom we must render an account.

The writer of Hebrews gives us here an understanding of the nature of God’s word.  It is more than comforting and healing.  It ignites a fire within that renders us to God.  It gives understanding and wisdom. And it calls each of us to an accounting of our actions.

God says: I created each of you to share my happiness and goodness with me forever. I created the world around you so that you might have resources and companions to accompany you on your pilgrimage to me. I come to you through my creation and I instruct you through my word.  I send Jesus to you each day as my Living Word. I know that it is difficult for you to follow his example of forgiving enemies and praying for our persecutors but still . . . I ask that you do this. For this is what I do. I pray continually for those who shut me out of their lives or worse . . . those who slander me and say that I do not exist. I send you my Spirit to console, to heal, to encourage, to enlighten, to counsel and to teach. These teachings are sometimes hard . . . but this is the nature of my Word. It comes to light a fire in your soul, to soften stiff necks and to melt cold hearts. It also comes to nurture, to restore and to rescue all from any enticement that draws you away from me. When I ask for accounting of you this is what I ask: do you enact my Word with justice and mercy; do you love me before all others; and do you forgive those who visit calamity upon you?

“God’s speech is compared with a sword that can pierce the innermost depths of the human person (v.12).  That piercing has a discerning or judgmental function and the note of judgment is reemphasized as the imagery shifts (v. 13).  Before God’s word noting is hidden, but all is ‘naked and laid bare’.” (Mays 1153)  here is no point in keeping secrets from God as God knows and sees all. Yesterday we reflected on how we might cleave to God – separate ourselves or unite ourselves. Today let us spend time thinking about how and what we render to God. Do we withhold a tiny, small and secret part of ourselves? Or do we render our whole self – body, soul and spirit?

To render: 1) to melt down, to extract by melting, to purify; 2) to transmit to another, to deliver, to give up or yield, to hand over for consideration or hand down as a legal judgment, to agree and report on as in a verdict; 3) to give in return or retribution, to give back or restore, to do a service for another; 4) to cause or to become; 5) to administer; 6) to give recompense.

What and how do we render ourselves to God?


Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 1153. Print.

Image from: https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-fire-made-of-607313

Definition from Merriam-Webster Online: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/render

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Acts 19:1-5: The Holy Spirit

Holy Monday, April 15, 2019

We tend to focus on God the Father and God the Son more often than God the Holy Spirit; yet it is this Spirit which takes up residence within when we prepare ourselves for the reception of God’s love.  I like to think of this Spirit as feminine . . . as nurturing, saving, sustaining, abiding.  I like to think of nestling into the soft feathers of this mother bird who welcomes her brood home.

As a child, one of my chores was to feed and care for our family’s chickens and I used to love to see the peeps run under the out-spread fullness of the mother hen when they were frightened or cold.  This is how I picture the Spirit: a warm and safe haven for those of us who find the world a bit too frightening.  The mothering bird allows her chicks to face the world . . . she gives them a safe harbor from which they can turn and face the world . . . and return to it for one more day.

We are taught that the Holy Spirit brings us seven gifts.  They are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord We are to take on these gifts as our armor when we dare to move out of the protecting wings of the Holy Spirit and into the world.

It is our willingness to face fear that ennobles us.

It is out readiness to examine our motives and actions that enriches us.

It is our humility before all that God is and does for us that glorifies us.

It is our love for all – including our enemies – that defines us.

It is our trust in God that strengthens us.

It is our hope in goodness that emboldens us.

It is our Spirit which desires union.  It is our Holy Spirit that calls us into bloom, to then bear fruit in order that we might carry into the world God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)

These are God’s gifts to the world . . . and through us, they come to fruition.  Let us bring them boldly, hold them tenderly, carry them wisely, and return them humbly to our God.


A re-post from March 1, 2012.

Image from: http://netsbridalnotes.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html

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