Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27TH Lk. 21: 29-33 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
Part 1: Moving Thanksgiving away from a holiday to a life-style … by Ann Voskamp
Part 2: BE OPEN TO THE INSPIRATIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT! By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
PART 1: Moving Thanksgiving away from a holiday to a life-style… by Ann Voskamp
A friend dared me to start counting one thousand things I loved. I took the dare, accepted the challenge, kept track of one thousand things, one thousand gifts – a thousand graces. Before I knew it, thankfulness to God began fully to change me.
What I actually found – startling! – was more daily wonder and surprising beauty than I had ever expected. And in a few short years, this daily hunt for God’s grace, His glory, had ushered me into a fuller life. A life of joy!
I decided to try to live this giving thanks as I believe Jesus did each day, regardless of His circumstances. And what I found was that in giving thanks for each moment and savoring it as bread from His hand, I’d find sustenance and the grace of God Himself in it.
Even when I am sometimes impatient or unwilling, when I face conflict and heartache, I’ve begun to accept that even the impossible is a possible opportunity to thank God, to experience the goodness and grace of the Giver of all! There is always more grace. And it is always more than I expect.
And you? You in the midst, you in the mire, are you too thinking about counting one thousand gifts, about making your life all about joy in Christ, about loving God and enjoying Him forever? There is so much joy in seeing how He uses our simple act of noticing the blessings He bestows all around us to transform our lives and the lives of those we touch.
Praise Him for the unexpected and the unlikely, for the daily and the difficult, and the graces in disguise. The more you count, the more gifts you will see. Do not disdain the small. The moments add up, and we might come to believe it – the whole earth is full of His glory!
Whatever you do, the practice is intended to be a way of cultivating a habit, of learning to live in praise, to make gratitude and joy your default, to move thanksgiving away from a holiday to a lifestyle – that all the days might be holy and set apart for real joy! God is waiting to reveal so much through your desire to know Him more deeply and completely!
PART 2: GET TO KNOW THE HOLY SPIRIT—GOD’S GIFT TO YOU! By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
Common sense teaches us that it is almost impossible for us to really love a person if we do not know that person. This principle can be applied to our relationship with God, to our relationship to the Blessed Trinity, to our relationship to the Holy Spirit.
GET TO KNOW GOD AND JESUS. In the Diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Jesus pointed out to Saint Faustina that one of the ways that she could get closer to God, get to know God better, would be to meditate upon one or some of His attributes. By attribute is meant, descriptive quality. Omnipotence, Omniscience, Wisdom, Eternal, Infinite, Love—these are a few of the attributes given to God. With respect to Jesus, there are many simply gleaned from the Gospel text: Lord, God, Savior, Way, Truth, Life, Good Shepherd, Bread of Life, Lamb of God, Light of the World, the Alpha and Omega, etc. Following up in this line of thought, let us apply this now to the Person of the Holy Spirit. There are many titles that can be attributed to the Holy Spirit, most especially in the prayer called “The Sequence” that the Church prays on the Solemnity of Pentecost, as well as in the prayer that the Church calls “Litany of the Holy Spirit.”
TITLES FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT. This brief essay has as its thrust and purpose to highlight ten of the most noteworthy titles given to the Holy Spirit. It is our hope that all will get to know the Holy Spirit better and deeper, speak more often to the Holy Spirit as your Best-Friend, and most important, fall in love with the Person of the Holy Spirit. In fact, it is the Holy Spirit Himself who can teach us to love sincerely!
1. THE SANCTIFIER. Let us initiate our title description for the Holy Spirit with the title “The Sanctifier”. What this word really means is that the Holy Spirit is the one who makes us holy! Pope Saint John XXIII stated: “The saints are the masterpieces of the Holy Spirit”. Indeed, you are called to become a saint. Therefore, why not entrust your goal and mission to the Person of the Holy Spirit. Pray this simple prayer every day: “Holy Spirit make me a saint!!!” By way of biographical note, we encourage you to read the spiritual masterpiece of the saintly Bishop of Mexico, City, Luis Martinez in his work on the Holy Spirit with the title (you can probably guess it?) “The Sanctifier”!
2. CONSOLER. Life can be tough; the cross at times can be exceedingly heavy and burdensome; trials, contradictions and even persecutions can visit us frequently. With the cross weighing heavy on our shoulders we all need at times some consolation from a Good-Friend. That consolation can come from none other than the Holy Spirit who is invoked as The Consoler. In the classical prayer to the Holy Spirit we pray: “May we always rejoice in His consolation.”
3. COUNSELLOR. Not only is the Holy Spirit known as the Consoler, but also as the Counsellor! When in doubt, when the heavy cloud of uncertainty descends upon you, when weariness, frustration, and confusion seem to darken your reasoning powers, then it is time to recoil from the battle-field and fervently invoke and pray to the Holy Spirit for light, for counsel, for insight so that you can make the right decision for the honor and glory of God and for the salvation of immortal souls. Pray as such: “Holy Spirit, cast out my darkness and give me light!”
4. INTERIOR MASTER OF PRAYER. Anybody who takes their spiritual life and prayer life seriously, sooner or later will encounter obstacles on the road to progress. This is par for the course in the spiritual life! Therefore, when it seems as if your prayer life is stagnant or even paralyzed, that you are on a spiritual-tread-mill and going nowhere fast, then it is most certainly the time and moment to invoke the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Even the great Apostle Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Romans, expressed his struggle in pray with these words: “We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with ineffable groans so that we can say Abba-Father.” (Rom. 8: 26) Indeed, the Holy Spirit is the Interior Master of your soul and He is most willing to help you to pray if you have an open and docile heart.
5. THE GIFT OF GIFTS. One of the simplest but sublime titles that is given to the Holy Spirit in the Catechism of the Catholic Church is that of The Gift of Gifts! The nature of the theology of Gift is that it is given freely, free of charge. We simply have to open our hearts to receive it! If God wants to give The Gift of Gifts to you then why not open up your heart in humble gratitude and receive it!
6. THE BOND OF LOVE. In the Mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity, the Holy Spirit is the bond of love between the Father and the Son. In a word, the Holy Spirit is uncreated love. Saint Paul states that charity—supernatural love—is the bond of perfection. Why not, right now, beg the Holy Spirit to set your heart on fire with the love of God! Saint John of the Cross writes most beautifully: “In the twilight of our existence we will be judged on love.”
7. SWEET GUEST OF THE SOUL. One of the most poetic and beautiful titles found in the Prayer to the Holy Spirit on Pentecost called the Sequence is the following: “Holy Spirit, Sweet Guest of the Soul.” In essence, its meaning is the following: through Baptism we became living Temples of the Blessed Trinity and this of course includes the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Not only is He a Guest in the most intimate part of our being which is our soul, but still more: he is the SWEET GUEST. As honey is to the tongue, and the fragrance of spring roses to the nostrils, so is the Holy Spirit to the docile, humble, and loving soul. In the midst of the bitter valleys and dark tunnels that we must all traverse, in the depths of our being we can invoke the Holy Spirit as the Sweet Guest of our soul.
8. THE SOUL OF THE CHURCH. With respect to basic Ecclesiology, the study and the knowledge of the Church, the Holy Spirit has a primary and essential role. Jesus is the Head of the Mystical Body the Church and we are the Members of the Mystical Body the Church. The Holy Spirit is the SOUL of the Mystical Body the Church. By definition the soul is the life-giving principle! Indeed, if we truly want to experience life and life in abundance in the Lord and His Church, we must constantly invoke the Presence of the Holy Spirit. “In Him we live and move and have our being.”
9. THE PURIFIER. One of the most common symbols or images for the Holy Spirit is that of FIRE. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles as FIRE—TONGUES of FIRE. Our God is a devouring fire. In drawing close to this devouring fire that is the Holy Spirit, He desires to burn away in us anything that is not pleasing to God. Saint John of the Cross uses the image of a piece of rusty metal cast into an ardent and scathing fire. In time. all the rust falls off and the metal becomes red hot like the fire. So the Holy Spirit, this consuming fire, works efficaciously to scour, burn, and purify from our soul all our sins and the residual effects of sin. So we can say with Saint Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.’
10. THE MYSTICAL SPOUSE OF MARY. Finally, the Holy Spirit in His relationship to the Blessed Virgin Mary is that of being her Mystical Spouse. It was through the powerful overshadowing of the Holy Spirit that the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived Jesus within her womb—the sublime accomplishment of the Incarnation of the Son of God. Saint Louis de Montfort makes this consoling connection: “Those who love Mary, the Holy Spirit flings Himself into their souls.”
In conclusion, by praying and meditation upon these ten titles or names or descriptions of the Holy Spirit, we pray that you will get to know this Sweet Guest of your soul, that you will enter into more frequent conversation with your Interior Master, and finally, that you will learn the art of truly loving God with your whole being and your neighbor, created in the image and likeness of God. Come Holy Spirit, come through the Heart of Mary.
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin Mary
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA