Sunday, February 22, 2015

Putting the Re: Back in Repentance

“If you always do what you've always done, you’ll always get what you've always got.”
-Henry Ford

I, for one, do not want to stay how I am. Yet, I found myself taking a good hard look at myself and realizing that much of what I often try to change...hasn't...and much of what I haven't wanted to change...has.  Such is life, right?  Well, as I've been digging down deeper and asking the Lord to illumine my darkness I've come up with a couple things you might find helpful.  First today's gospel:

Mark 1:12-15 (RSVCE)

12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him. 14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”

The Holy Spirit, "drove" Jesus Christ out into the wilderness.  This took me off guard today.  Jesus always struck me as a sort of, "guy in charge" kind of man.  But what is this?  It appears that even Jesus in his human nature was, in fact, subject to the Spirit...obedient to the Spirit.  Of course!  He maintained full obedience to the Father and to the Holy it.  I asked the Lord to help me, right off the bat, to help me be more responsive to his bidding. (To be able to hear his bidding more clearly)  I am often too responsive to my own thoughts and this is, "what I've always done."  Therefore, if even Jesus sets out into the desert it makes sense for me to likewise look for certain, "deserts" in my own life.  Prayer, adoration, and solitude come to mind. (Heard a great homily that spoke a bit on solitude this morning by the way...inspiring)  The desert is not the place that I often WANT to go...but is the place I'm ALWAYS glad I went to.  I more easily go to any "oasis" I can find.  Self-will, entertainment, food...whatever I want to do.  I need to let the Spirit "drive" more often.  Mortification, fasting, solitude, prayer...these things can bring peace but peace at a cost of my own whims and desires...which aren't really worth that much to begin with anyway.

Unplug...says the Lord. This is hard for me. I often think that I have something worthwhile saying when in actuality I spend time saying it and miss things that I should rather be doing.  My words are not that valuable and people can surely go on without them.  I have to remember this the next time I let too much time slip by. Yes, my times writing are often a prayer for me...I just need to shut up sometimes.  In fact I need to remember that my actions speak more loudly than words.  My wife and kids are watching me peck away at is passing me by.  This is not to say writing isn't important at has it's place and time.  I just "always do" this kind of thing.  If I want a true, deep and lasting change of heart...I think to unplug is to listen to the Lord more least for me.  Maybe some of you need to do more, "speaking up" and that's fine too.  The Lord is working on all of us if we're letting him.  I want to change and be more like my Lord.

I want to leave you, then, with a great quote from Magnificat and then I'll be on my way:

"Here it is good for me to consider that, unless I take deliberate care, I shall simply copy the life around me . I shall conform to the spirit of the world in which I am immersed. But to achieve that newness of mind whereby I am formed after the fashion of Christ, I must make careful scrutiny of myself and, contrasting myself with that divine Model, reform my soul gradually to that perfect pattern." ~Father Bede Jarrett, OP.

Ultimately, I can't even repent on my own and I need the Lord's "hand" which is "at hand" to believe in the gospel.  I depend fully on his grace.

With that, in fact, I'll stop here for now...until next time...God bless you and keep you and grant you his peace! Amen.  (My son just handed me a note that says, "I Love You Dad.")

Bye for now!

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