I have started using a Mass journal. Before Mass begins I pray:
God, show me one way in this Mass that I can become a better-version-of myself this week.
I then keep actively engaged, knowing God will be faithful. This week He came through once again and really spoke to my heart. He showed me why these past weeks have been so difficult.
As Father Ed began Mass he prayed “Thank You God for Your Presence that guides us even when we are not aware of it.”
I have been sad in spirit and depressed lately.
“Why are you in despair O’ my soul? and why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His Presence.” ~ Psalm 42:5
I realized I have moved out of His Presence and let other “things” occupy me.
I have craved and desired peace in all areas of my life. I believe this is what all of us long for.
Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” ~ John 20:19
The LORD grants us this peace we so desperately long for – not in our circumstances – but in His Presence.
I have been doubting my service to Him.
Brothers and Sisters, live by the Spirit. ~ Galatians 5:16
By sharing and living in the life of Christ through the Spirit (His Presence) we share in Jesus’ ministry. Doing the Father’s will making alive the Kingdom of God here and now. (excerpt of Father Ed’s Homily)
I want to serve the LORD fully but often succumb to my weak flesh.
“For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, lust, idolatry, sorcery, hate, rivalry, jealousy, fury, selfishness, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit o the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.”
The fruits of the Spirit are life-giving. The Presence of the Holy Spirit empowers us to do the difficult work.
I question my role as a leader.
“As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them. “Receive the Holy Spirit.” ~ John 20:19-22
The Presence of the Holy Spirit enables us to lead others to experience the Good News of the Gospel. We proclaim the Good News of Jesus by our lives. (excerpt from Father Ed’s Homily)
I look to “what can I do?”
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained. ~John 20:23
It’s the Spirit that guides our lives for the LORD. The power of the Holy Spirit allows us to do that which we can’t do on our own. Forgiving people who hurt or disappointed you is hard, it’s not something we can do on our own. (excerpt from Father Ed’s Homily). But by praying and keeping ourselves in His Presence we are able to forgive and do all other things through Christ.
So my better-version-of me activity this week is to spend all my time in His Presence and to pray
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. Let us pray. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.