The basics, the building blocks, the foundation, call them what you would like, they are always worth remembering, As you continue on your journey this week, consider returning to the basics if you found that you have strayed from them. Don’t let the evil one keep you from the One who loves you.
Adore, don’t ignore
God is God. Because He is God, He deserves to be adored. He is Lord of all, creator of all, sustainer of all. He alone is worthy of worship, He alone is worthy of praise. To ignore God is to please Satan. Even in the midst of great trials of temptation or harassment, your primary focus should be on God and His grace and mercy.
Adoration of Jesus is more than keeping your eyes on Him, though. It is seeing the Lord through the eyes of faith and worshipping Him in His Eucharistic Presence as if He stood before you in the flesh.
Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you, for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart. Don't listen to the demon, laugh at him, and go without fear to receive the Jesus of peace and love.
Saint Therese of Lisieux
Pray, don’t delay
Prayer is the means by which you keep in touch with God and He with you. Satan will seek to do whatever he can to interfere with this connection because he knows prayer is such a powerful weapon. He will annoy, harass and distract you to the point of frustration if you allow him. Do not panic, do not be anxious, do not grow weary; simply pray now, pray unceasingly. Do not give into the fear or frustration; rather, with the help of God’s grace, continue in prayer. If you can’t pray, stay in prayer until you can pray. Praise Him, thank Him, and then petition Him.
In the midst of triumph or tragedy, the extraordinary or the ordinary, pray.
Through fear, some souls grow slack in their prayer — which is what the devil wants — in order to struggle against these movements, and others give it up entirely, for they think these feelings come while they are engaged in prayer rather than at other times. This is true because the devil excites these feelings while souls are at prayer, instead of when they are engaged in other works, so that they might abandon prayer.
Saint John of the Cross
Praise, don’t grumble
To give God praise is to be humble. To give God praise is to acknowledge that God is God and you are not. The power of praise is profound. Grumbling is the anti-praise, it is the language of the prideful. When you praise God, you deflect all earthly glory and honor to God who is all good. Keep no glory for yourself. “Thank God,” and “Praise God,” should always be on your lips. When you engage in praise you tend toward humility allowing you to better accept God’s will.
It is not enough to just accept God’s will; He calls you to do so gracefully. Satan will attempt to goad you into grumbling. He’ll push your buttons if you let him. He’ll be glad to point out how things are unfair or inferior; he’ll be happy to prod you into fault finding. His target is your wound, whatever it is. Leave your grumbling behind and Satan will have once less point of entry and less leverage to get you to commit sin.
The great enemy of the virtue of obedience is grumbling. Grumbling is the compensation self-love resorts to in its powerlessness in the face of authority.
Blessed Columba Marmion
I am not much of a conspiracy theorist, nor am I an apocalyptic proponent, but if I did lean toward either of those, now would be a great time to be one. Visiting Catholic websites it is relatively easy to come across ones that speak of “prophecies” about the “end of an era”, “the last pope”, “the coming of the anti-christ”, “three days of darkness” etc.
As I travel and speak on spiritual warfare, many times questions about the above are asked, usually coming from a place of fear or uncertainty. When it comes to these types of questions, here are three guidelines to keep in mind.
1. Yes, the end is coming. No we don’t know when.
2. Fear is not of God. Fear is the enemy’s weapon
3. Charity, and a state of grace, cast aside fear.
Of course the world is going to end and all biblical prophecies will come true (even regarding the anti-christ). There will eventually be a last pope and an era of peace will be ushered in at some time. It could be as you are reading this sentence; it could be a billion years from now. Like Jesus, we do not know the day or the hour. But we do know we should…
“Be not afraid” were the first words of Pope John Paul II’s pontificate. Let those words run through your mind and roll off your lips every time you feel fear, especially as it relates to the above. Do not let anybody steal your peace. Trust in God and follow His great commandment, which is to….
Love God, love your neighbor. Do that and remain in (or return to) a state of grace and you will be prepared to handle whatever may come. God has mapped out a plan for us to live with Him forever. Daily prayer and a sacramental life will help us get there. Have faith, not fear and “all shall be well”…
As long as we “conspire” with God and not with His enemies. (Conspire literally means “with one breath”.) Let us not fear the future, let us, like the words of Saint Peter remind us, to act in a manner that hastens the coming of the Lord.
Since everything is to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought [you] to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire. But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.
2 Peter 3:11-14
So yes, the end is near. So, too, is the beginning. Eternal life with God draws nearer with every breath. With whom will you conspire?
Did you ever wonder why Jesus had to die in order for us to be reconciled to God? The feast of Corpus Christi is a great time to ponder that question. Here is one way to look at it.
Finite man sinned against an infinite God. Finite man could not restore right relationship with an infinite God by his own doing. Simply put, no amount of finite could ever add up to infinite.
The Old Testament sacrifices, while efficacious to a degree, fell short in its ability to restore right relationship with God. The OT sacrifices were offered by a finite priest, with a finite victim resulting in a finite sacrifice. What was needed for finite man to restore right relationship with an infinite God, was an infinite priest, who could offer an infinite victim resulting in an infinite sacrifice.
But how is that possible. How could a finite man be an infinite priest and where would finite man find an infinite victim to offer as an infinite sacrifice?
And the word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Suddenly, with the incarnation we have an infinite man who would, in time, become an infinite priest, an infinite victim and an infinite sacrifice, but who was also a “finite” man. Fully human and fully divine, Jesus Christ, and only Jesus Christ, was able to restore right relationship with God. Fully human, He was (is) one of us. Fully divine, He was (is) one with God. He is an infinite priest, who is eternally offering up Himself as an infinite victim, in an infinite sacrifice all the while being fully human.
That is why each Mass is not a symbolic representation or a memorial meal, but is actually that same “once for all” sacrifice that took place 2000 years ago on Calvary. That infinite moment that took place in the eternal now is made present again in the time bound now at each and every celebration of the Eucharist.
Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, is present to us Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity and each and every Mass. For that we should be eternally grateful.