"By Their Fruits You Will Know…"

Monday, 5th week of Easter, April 30, 2018 The readings for Easter Sunday Five begin with the gift of Awe of the Lord and end with the Fruit of the Spirit: The Church…. was at peace. It was being built up and walked in the awe of the Lord, and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit grew in numbers (Acts 9:31). Children, let us love not in word but in deed… Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them. And the way we know he remains in us is from the Spirit he gave us (1John 3:18). A branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine. So neither can you unless you remain in me... Whoever remains in me… will bear much fruit… By this is my Father glorified, that

The Gift of Awe of the Lord

5th Sunday of Easter, April 29, 2018 Awe is a better name for this Gift of the Spirit than Fear of the Lord, because fear suggests the emotion of fright. Fear without fright is just perspective. Awe is the gift of seeing in perspective God's greatness and our littleness, God's power and our weakness, God's knowledge and love compared to ours. Seeing ourselves and God in perspective, we see it as insanity to go against God in any way. That is how the Gift of Awe strengthens our wills against choosing any finite good in preference to the infinite Good of God. Courage strengthens us to do what is difficult or dangerous. Awe of the Lord strengthens us to not do what is tempting but forbidden. We

The Gift of Courage

Saturday, 4th week of Easter, April 28, 2018 The gift of Strength, or Courage is the Gift of the Holy Spirit that strengthens our wills to do what is difficult or dangerous. In ordinary situations, Piety or Family Spirit is enough to motivate the good we do. Mothers enjoy taking care of their children; fathers enjoy playing with them. But when the baby cries all night, or work has put parents under stress, they ask God for strength. And it is there. It is a Gift of the Holy Spirit. Ordinarily Piety keeps us interacting as we should with God. Gratitude and respect for our Father; loyalty to Jesus, faithfulness to the Holy Spirit move us to pray, participate in Mass, and to live up to our job

The Gift of Piety (Family Spirit)

Friday, 4th week of Easter, April 27, 2018 Most countries have some fundamental attitude that determines how they deal with each other in ordinary life. For the British it might be "fair play," or politeness. For the French, "liberté, fraternité, égalité." For the Germans, "Ordnung muss sein." For Americans, maybe friendliness. The foundational virtue of the Roman people is presented in the pius Aeneas of Virgil's epic as Pietas—the "gut bond" of loyalty to one's family, one's country, and one's "household gods." It was the basic attitude that motivated people to live up to their obligations as citizens of Rome. Jesus, by sharing his divine Life with us, has made us all children of the Fathe

The Gift of Counsel

Thursday, 4th week of Easter, April 26, 2018 Counsel is the gift that helps us make spiritual decisions; to discern not just the good but the best; especially in complex situations when it is hard to determine by reason alone the right thing to do—for example, how to choose the lesser of two evils, or between what is good, better, and best. Counsel helps us live what Paul taught: "Be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good, and pleasing to God, and perfect" (Romans 12:2). Minimal Christians aim at being "good" by avoiding sin. Awakened Christians aim at being better by "pleasing" God through personal interaction with him. Advanc

The Gift of Knowledge

Wednesday, 4th week of Easter, April 25, 2018 Knowledge is the gift of "practical know-how" in the spiritual life. What the Gift of Understanding helps us grasp in theory, the Gift of Knowledge helps us live out in practice. What is the best way not to be bored at Mass? How make Mass the "source and summit" of my Christian life? How can I get the most out of Confession—and enjoy it? Am I praying in the way that's best for me? How use my temptations for growth? Make suffering meaningful? Be united with God during work? Make my family a Christian community? "Choose and use" my parish intelligently? Let Christianity make me a better friend, neighbor, spouse, parent, and person? Do I know how to

The Gift of Understanding

Tuesday, 4th week of Easter, April 24, 2018 Understanding is just that: the gift of understanding the truth God has revealed. We may learn, and grow up believing, many doctrines of our faith that "just don't mean anything" to us. They don't excite us, give us joy, or motivate us to do anything. For them we don't have, or have not used, the Gift of Understanding. We have to seek to find (Matthew 7:7). If we don't look closely, we won't see clearly. But when we want to appreciate what we believe, the Gift of Understanding casts light on what we read and opens our minds to what we hear. When we read Scripture, the Gift of Understanding lets us enter into the mind of God. When we understand the

The Gift of Wisdom

Monday, 4th week of Easter, April 23, 2018 Wisdom is "the habit of seeing everything in the light of our last end" Paul shows us Wisdom in action: I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord… This one thing I do… I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:8ff.). Our "last end" isn't "heaven"—a place. Our "end" is what we exist for; what defines us. For Christians it is to be totally One with the Father, Son, and Spirit in living their divine Life: knowing all Truth, loving all Good. Because by Baptism we already have divine Life, we are already experiencing "heaven on earth"; just not per

Christians Live by The Spirit

Christianity is the gift of divine Life. We live no longer by the flesh—human nature alone—but by the Spirit. Paul says, "If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit." It is those who are "led by the Spirit of God" that we recognize as "children of God" (Galatians 5:25; Romans, chapter 8). Therefore, Christians should not focus on a living good human lives according to the Ten Commandments. That is to live a sub-Christian life. Christians are called—and empowered—to live divine lives according to the New Law of Christ. To do this we need, and are given, the seven "Gifts of the Holy Spirit" prophesied in Isaiah 11:1 (Vulgate version). Four help the intellect to function divi

Celebrate in The Spirit

Saturday, 3rd week of Easter, April 21, 2018 We have seen that the Mass, like nothing else in Christianity, draws us together in the experience of relationship with the Father, Son, and Spirit. We are one in the Spirit: united with God and with each other in celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus—the central mystery of our faith—through which we received the gift of divine Life. The Mass is a celebration of life. Divine Life. To celebrate is to "single out for grateful remembrance." Jesus took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19; see 1Corinthians 11

The Tripod of Prayer

Friday, 3rd week of Easter, April 20, 2018 The structure of the Mass reveals the Church's consciousness of the Father, Son and Spirit. Mass begins "in the name of the Father… Son… Holy Spirit." The intent of the Greeting is so clearly Trinitarian—"grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, love of God, communion in the Holy Spirit"—that many countries substitute "Father" for "God." The Gloria praises the Father, Son and Spirit, ending with "you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father." The Gospel reader is blessed: "May the Lord be in your heart and on your lips that you may proclaim his Gospel worthily and well, in the name of the Father… Son… Holy S

Receiving Communion Together Creates Unity

The Instructions (GIRM 86) say the purpose of the hymn sung during the Communion procession "is to express the communicants’ union in spirit by means of the unity of their voices… and to highlight more clearly the 'communitarian nature' of the procession." The Rite of Communion is an expression and an experience of unity in which the Spirit, through our sharing one Bread and one Cup, actually brings about unity. We pray in Eucharistic Prayers I and III that, "partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit… that we, who are nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son and filled with his Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ." In Euch

One Bread, One Body

Receiving Communion is not just a sign of unity; it creates unity. Before Communion, as all sing the Agnus Dei, the presiding priest breaks the host, the "Eucharistic Bread" that is Christ's Body. The Mass instructions (GIRM 83) say this gesture "signifies that the many believers are made one body by receiving Communion from the one Bread of Life which is Christ." Paul says (1Corinthians 10:17): "Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Sadly, there are divisions among us; almost as many as there are individual persons in the assembly. So Jesus, who in his Incarnation, "though he was in the form of God… emptied himself… being born in huma

The Spirit Makes Holy

Tuesday, 3rd week of Easter, April 17, 2018 In Eucharistic prayer I the presider holds his hands over the offerings and prays: "Make holy these gifts, by sending down your Spirit upon them." In Eucharistic prayer III he declares, "You are indeed Holy, O Lord… By the working of the Holy Spirit, you give Life to all things and make them holy… Therefore… by the same Spirit make holy these gifts we have brought to you." Eucharistic prayer IV proclaims, "He sent the Holy Spirit from you, Father… so that, bringing to perfection his work in the world, he might sanctify creation to the full… May this same Holy Spirit graciously sanctify these offerings, that they may become
the Body and Blood of our

Source and Summit of Unity

Monday, 3rd week of Easter, April 16, 2018 The Mass instructions (GIRM 78) say the "center and summit of the entire celebration" is the Eucharistic Prayer, in which "the Church implores the power of the Holy Spirit that the gifts offered by human hands… become Christ’s Body and Blood," and "the Church here and now gathered offers in the Holy Spirit the spotless Victim to the Father. The Church’s intention is that the faithful… also learn to offer themselves, and so… be brought into perfect unity with God and each other, so that at last God may be all in all." Mass is "an action of Christ and the Church, the holy people united… In this way, the Christian people… expresses its cohesion…" The p

Be the Voice of God

3rd Sunday of Easter, April 15, 2018 The Creed says the Holy Spirit "has spoken through the prophets." The Gifts of the Spirit are divine enlightenment—Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel—and divine empowerment—Piety (Family Spirit), Courage and Awe of the Lord. The Spirit speaks through today's prophets to show us Truth we had not noticed, and to urge us to do Good not supported by our culture. Then he overcomes the division this causes (Matthew 10:34) by making us One in a new and deeper way: "one in the Spirit." That is how we experience the Being of God. Before Jesus, God chose special persons as prophets to give a message to the people. Now every Christian is consecrated in Bapt

Give Flesh to The Spirit

Saturday, 2nd week of Easter, April 14, 2018 The Creed says the Holy Spirit is equally "adored and glorified" with the Father and Son" This reminds us to be as conscious of the Spirit as we are of the Father and Jesus. We adore the Father by praising and obeying him as Creator of all things, and by taking responsibility for the planet as "stewards of creation" (Eucharistic Prayer IV). We adore the Son by recognizing the divinity of his body, not only in the Incarnation and Eucharist, but also in the living members of his Body on earth: ourselves and all who have accepted the "grace (divine Life) of the Lord Jesus Christ." We adore the Spirit by striving for constant, total surrender to his i

Our Bond of Unity

Friday, 2nd week of Easter, April 13, 2018 The Creed says the Spirit "proceeds from the Father and Son" because no word exists to describe how the Spirit's existence depends on the existence of the Father and Son. All Three are eternal, Being Itself, the "uncaused Cause" of all that is. But the Being of God, the Being that just "Is," has to be a Being that is relationship between Three Persons. For God, Being Itself, to be is to be in relationship. We say the Father "generates" the Son because Jesus used the words "Son," and "Father" to describe their relationship. But this is unlike any natural generation. "Only begotten Son" just means uniquely begotten. Likewise, the Spirit "proceeds" fro

Spirit of Divine Life

Thursday, 2nd week of Easter, April 12, 2018 The Creed calls the Spirit the "Lord and giver of Life." The Good News is Christians have both human life from "the flesh," and divine Life from the Spirit: "What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6)."You are not [just] in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him" (Romans 8:9). All Three Persons give Life together. But we "attribute" this to each Person differently. As Creator, God just gives created life. He only becomes our Father when he shares his own uncreated Life with us. What makes us be divine

The Meeting Point

Wednesday, 2nd week of Easter, April 11, 2018 The Creed says Jesus was "made flesh by the Holy Spirit." Strictly speaking, Jesus was made flesh equally by the Father, Son, and Spirit. Whenever the Three Persons act "outside" themselves on created reality instead of just interacting with each other as Father, Son, and Spirit, they always act as One. But because of the distinct roles that define their relationship with each other, we "attribute to," or "associate with" each Person certain things they do. For example, we attribute "creation" to the Father; "redemption" to the Son made flesh in Jesus; and "sanctification" to the Holy Spirit. Because the Spirit's role within the Trinity is to be

© 2014 - 2018  by Immersed in Christ. All rights preserved.

Immersed in Christ is a 501 (c) (3) Charitable Organization.

  • facebook-square
  • Blogger Square