Several years back, a friend and I were talking about making a certain purchase. I started the comment that I wait to buy things until I first make the money to deplete it. An honest communication followed as my friend was unable to envision that. It was absolutely foreign to them. I explained that we may possess something, but it isn’t ours until we pay the price for it.
Jesus paid the price for us so that God could own us by us dominating more of Him within us.
In the desert, minuscule fuels will ignite as a dry undergrowth or weed spontaneously combusts from the heat. As the bush is exhausted, it dies out due to a lack of fuel. To the human eye, these appear unrelated occurrences, but they are not. Each bush is part of that area’s ecosystem, altering the living standards around it. They share the same conditions necessary to cause the spontaneous combustion.
We are seeing this in our world today. The depraved spiritual ailment has dried up numerous human feelings. Murder by abortion and euthanasia, narcissistic self-‘medication’ through materialism, ruin of human identity through gender politics, numbing tendernes through legalized marijuanas, Catholics being martyred for their faith…the conditions for combustion are shared worldwide, infiltrating every culture. Sensationalism and promotion in the media provide the canal to deliver’ fuel’ to keep the ardours disappearing and to start ones anew. What are stressed as isolated incidents due to their unrelated human reasons are, in fact, spiritually related.
Of course, we are in the season of deriving rewards from Jesus’ paying the price for us. He explained that He must leave in order to send His Spirit down to us. This Sunday, it comes to fruition. In the time of Moses, 3000 people were lost to venerating deities on the Jewish Feast of Harvest( Pentecost)( Exod 23:14 ). While Moses was with God on Mount Sinai receiving the tablets in which God Himself wrote the precepts of our Covenant with Him, the people below were worshiping deities. Moses apprise the Levites to find and kill the idol worshippers, which totaled 3000( Ex. 32:28 ). They determined this by having the people drink of the sea from which the golden calf had come; the bellies swelled of persons who had sacred( Num 5:21 -2 3 ). For the Jews, Pentecost was both a rapture of receiving the covenant while also a sad memorial of this infidelity and death. Through the power of the Spirit of the resurrected Jesus, God redeems anew 3000 souls who choose to turn away from their deities and respond to the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. Rather than tablets, the brand-new pact is written upon the hearts of those who countenance it( Jer 31:31 -3 3 ).
They still have much to learn of God, and far to go in developing that relationship, but they have made the first step.
We too are mercy with these Endowments of the Holy Spirit being infused into our soul at Baptism and inspired in affirmation. But they lie dormant, waiting for us to respond to the Spirit within us. It is this Spirit that holds us the wish to honourable thinking and acting. With each better-good choice, and denial of the lesser-good choice, that excellence is engrained just a bit more into the soul. Once willing to make this our habit, God builds upon that with his 7 Offerings: Wisdom, Understanding Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear/ Awe of the Lord.
We must choose to honestly imitate Him and not just go through the motions. Therein lies precise the difference between Judas Iscariot and the other 11. After all, Judas wasn’t born in denial of God’s mercy. He would have grown into that depraved position one choice at a time.
Fast forward to the others , now at Pentecost, they didn’t simply speak what they thought was right and necessary based on their knowledge. After all, Jesus had taught what comes out of the mouth advances from the heart and this debases a person( Mt 15:18 ).
‘Among those who have become My relied maids there are some who dish Me with sect, without subservient suspicion, it is not the merely dread of sanction, but affection which attaches them to My service( thus Peter before the Passion ). But this love is still imperfect, because what they seek in My service( at any rate to a great extent) is their own benefit, their own satisfaction, or the pleasure that they find in Me. The same flaw is is located within the affection which they digest towards their neighbour.’( Our Lord to St. Catherine of Siena)
In the Three Ways of the Spiritual Life, Fr. Garrigou Lagrange explains how the apostles flourished in the spiritual living, squandering St. John of the Cross’ explanation of it, St. Augustine’s teaching of the Apostle’s alterations, and discoveries of the Lord to St. Catherine of Siena, all physicians of the church[ i ]. The apostles have previously been suffered the purgation needed to prepare them for this paradigm shift( Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius week 1 ). Yet people remain very imperfect, trying God for their benefit. They continue manufacturing the lesser-good choices( Sp. Ex. 142 vs. 146 ); St. Ignatius would see them the 2nd class of men( Sp. Ex. 154 ). And while they may have achieved strength on their own constituent to avoid mortal sin( Sp. Ex. 165) and so look’ holy’, they have much furthest to go in true-life decency. It is living with Jesus in adoration of Him, countenancing Him to educate them, studying and following His manner of thinking and doing, that they stretch in righteousnes. They permit themselves to be transformed, including the dark night of the impressions that this necessitates. They begin interior union with God, that is having more of His presence within them( the illuminative highway; Sp. Ex. Weeks 2& 3 ). He “opened their recollections to understand”( the 2nd highest gift of the Spirit; Lk 24:45) Once Jesus ascends, they are reasonably withdrawn from Him absolutely, and still without a full understanding of His kingdom( Acts 1:6) they are “correspondingly uneasy, says St. Augustine”. Garrigou Lagrange summarizes saints schooling this as their Dark Night of the Spirit, leading to their more habitual confederation with God received at Pentecost.
One choice at a time, they disposed themselves to God’s transforming grace. By His grace, their minds were sanctified and soothed. They didn’t just listen to Jesus for three years, deciding what’ resonates’ and what they can’ buy into’. They literally lived with Grace Himself, in Grace Himself, and allowed Him to transform them. This is precisely what He aims of us.
We think of peace as an adjective. Peace is a noun. It is someone, God. By our Baptism, “we ii” daughters and sons of Peace.
Mary, Mother of Peace, teach us to be approachable of Him so that, through us, Peace may reside in this world once again.
Please continue to pray for Pope Francis, all clergy and religious, and the worldwide Church especially those receiving the sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation! May we all ordeal the real interior freedom of Peace Himself 😛 TAGEND
“When He, the seven-fold Spirit, and the soul of an line-up more hoisted and truly discern informs us, His possession is in no way an interference nor is His motion and direction in an external and viciou imposition. In reality these affects of the Spirit are intimate, vivifying, and autonomous, so that He who is the reason of our rationalization and the life of our spirit is more intimate to us than we are to ourselves. So it is that under His action we feel more free and active than ever.”( Servant of God Rev. John Arintero OP[ ii ])
[ i ] Rev. Garrigou-Lagrange: 3 ways of the spiritual being https :// www.ewtn.com/ catholicism/ library/ three-ways-of-the-spiritual-life-1 2556
[ ii ] Servant of God Rev. John Arintero, OP. Mystical Evolution Volume 1, p. 240.
This post was originally published on The Face of Grace Project and is reprinted now with permission.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.
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