MONDAY, AUGUST 31ST Lk. 4:16-30 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”
- Jesus quotes Isaiah 61:1—The Year of the Lord’s favor on His people. Jesus goes on to say, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
- They are amazed! They speak highly of Jesus and the gracious words He speaks. But at the same time, they ask one another, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” In other words, the carpenter’s son???
- Jesus can read their thoughts and their hearts. They are looking for miracles, signs and wonders. Small town boy makes the big time! Their hearts are not open to seeing who He truly is! Imagine what they would say if He said, “If you would be my disciple, you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me.” (Mt. 16:24)
- Jesus, the son of God made man, is led by the Holy Spirit. We are also called to be led by the Holy Spirit! Of course, always under obedience to the teachings of the Church and the Magisterium! For it is the same Holy Spirit that Jesus at the Last Supper promised to send to guide His Church to all truth! “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” (Jn. 14:16) The Advocate, 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.” (Jn. 14:26)
- Therefore, let us beg for the grace to hear the inspirations and promptings of the Holy Spirit at all times, and be willing and quick to act on them for our own purification, and for the care, comfort and salvation of others, for in charity lies our salvation – there is no other doorway!
INSPIRATIONS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
One of the most important activities of the Holy Spirit working in our lives is that of INSPIRATION. The Holy Spirit inspires in us what is good, noble, pure, worthy, and of course, what is holy.
PROBLEM: RESISTANCE! Arriving at the heart of the matter, we come to the word RESISTANCE. Ever active in the lives of the saints, as well as in our lives, the Holy Spirit often inspires, but we can resist. By resist we mean this: to simply say NO, to reject the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
GENTLEMAN. The Holy Spirit is a Gentleman in the sense that He will never force Himself into our lives. Rather He gently invites us by means of His inspirations to a higher plane of existence—to a life rejecting sin, to a life of purity, to a life of holiness. However, it must be reiterated: the Holy Spirit will knock on the door of your heart, but if you fail to open it, like a true Gentleman He will leave. He will always respect your free will.
SILENCE. Bombarded by countless noises—cell phones, radio, TV, cars, planes overhead, motorcycles, all of this militates against the ability to pick up the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. For that reason, spiritual writers insist on the necessity of silence. Elijah did not encounter God in the thunder and lightning, or in the earthquake. Rather, he encountered God in the whispering breeze.
GOOD VIBES, BAD VIBES! The younger generations speak about the vibes. They might say that a person transmits good vibes or bad vibes. We live in a world bombarded by many noises, which militates against picking up heavenly inspirations. Still, there are the good vibes and the bad vibes. One comes from the Holy Spirit and the other comes from the devil. It is up to us to have proper discernment so that we can reject the bad and receive the good.
COMMON INSPIRATIONS. The following is a list of inspirations that the Holy Spirit often uses to bring us closer and closer to Himself and to our eternal salvation. Read, reflect, and pray on these, and then apply them to your life.
- PRAY! Known under the title of The Interior Master of Prayer, the Holy Spirit gently, but insistently, beckons us to pray. Listen and obey!!!
- SACRIFICE! The Holy Spirit will often challenge us to give up something we like, so as to give us something much better for us; this is what we call Sacrifice. Jesus reminds us: “Whoever wants to be my follower must renounce himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mt 16:24)
- CONVERT! The first preaching and teaching of Jesus was the following: “Be converted because the Kingdom of God is at hand.” (Mk. 1:15) The Holy Spirit constantly challenges us to change what is sinful in our lives.
- CONFESS! Equally important is the Sacrament of Confession! When we have fallen into sin, one of the key operations of the Holy Spirit is to beckon us back to God through Sacramental Confession. The devil will attempt to paralyze us with fear.
- RECONCILE! Upon hurting another by word, action, omission, or even silence, the Holy Spirit is intent upon mending the breach through an act of reconciliation. This demands humility of heart. The Holy Spirit will inspire us to take the first step on the path to reconciliation.
- SERVE! Jesus said: “The Son of man has not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life in ransom for many.” (Mt 20:28) The Holy Spirit will inspire in us noble sentiments of service. When an opportunity presents itself in our lives, the Holy Spirit will inspire us to leave our comfort zone and go out of ourselves to serve the needy and suffering who are present and waiting for our helping hand.
- ENCOURAGE! The bad spirit is the Accuser, ready to condemn people and tear them down. The Holy Spirit will often move us to say a word of encouragement to the downtrodden, to lift up the fallen, sometimes with something as simple as a gentle smile for the forlorn and abandoned. The Holy Spirit will inspire and encourage us to be a modern BARNABAS—meaning, Son of Encouragement. Accept the challenge!
- AVOID THROWING IN THE TOWEL! The expression throw in the towel is a term used in sports which means to simply give up the fight, abandon the struggle, call it quits! The Holy Spirit will often inspire us not to give up when all seems bleak, when the skies are cloudy, the mist is thick, and the sun is hidden. If you like, the Holy Spirit and His inspiration will inspire us in this way: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” After Jesus died, for the Apostles, for all intents and purposes, His mission and their mission was over, fait accompli—a done deal! But no! Jesus returned to console them and encourage them not to give up, but to hang in there and trust Him all the more! When all seems lost, do not be surprised if the Holy Spirit inspires you to try again and trust in God’s power! As the Psalmist expresses it: “Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.” (Ps 124:8)
- SEEK ADVICE! In retrospect, looking back at our lives, how many of us regret certain decisions and actions that marked our lives in the wrong way leaving indelible scars or wounds? If only we had sought and asked for advice, those wrong thoughts resulting in wrong decisions and actions would never have become a reality!!! The Holy Spirit will often inspire us to seek advice when we do not have clarity on a topic or issue at hand. This demands humility, the recognition that we do not know the answer to everything. To be honest, we do not know the answer to most things. A humble request for timely advice can prevent future tragedies!
- OUR LADY—TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT! The Holy Spirit cannot help inspiring us to call out to His Mystical Spouse, the Blessed Virgin Mary! Saint Louis de Montfort, author of the Marian classic on Consecration, True Devotion to Mary, asserts: “Those who love Mary, the Holy Spirit flings Himself into their souls.”
We hope and pray for all, that by being open and attentive to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, you will experience greater peace and joy in your life, a steady growth in holiness, long life and eternal life. Mary, Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit, help us to be open and listen to the Holy Spirit, and to respond with love and generosity
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA