To Live in the Spirit

Christians are challenged to submit their lives to the rule of the Spirit of God. The other choice is to live according to the passions of the flesh. St. Paul is a man who understands how easy it is to be good-willed and yet wrong in one’s understanding of a particular matter. We first meet him in the Acts of the Apostles when he is getting permission to arrest and persecute the early Christian Church. He thought he was doing God’s will in this. However, he discovers how wrong he was and becomes a Christian himself. God raised St. Paul to become one of the greatest evangelists the Church has ever seen.

Paul’s early life was guided by his pride. He thought he knew all there was to know about the things of God and he acted accordingly. But he failed to allow himself to be guided by the Spirit of God in this judgment. The same can happen to us if we do not consciously submit ourselves to the guiding wisdom of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. This requires great humility and the willingness to seek out the Spirit’s wisdom through prayer and the reading of the Scriptures. We also have the teachings of the Church and the lives of the saints to guide us. Only when we do this will we be able to fully discern God’s will and receive the grace to be able to live it.
In the Gospels, we see Jesus returning to prayer, seeking His Father’s wisdom concerning the next step in His ministry. We need to learn from the humility of Jesus and recognize that if it is good enough for the Son of God to submit His life to the Father, then it ought to be good enough for us as well. There is protection in uniting our minds and hearts with the will of God that we will not find in our own wills or strength. This is why the Scriptures always applaud as wise those who place their lives under the grace of God in submission to His will.
Fr. Steve Tynan

Reflection Question:
Do I tend to live and act as an independent spirit, or am I willing to live according to God’s will – in submission to the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

Lord Jesus, open my heart to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and grant me the grace of humility in ever-growing abundance, so that I will submit my life to His power and grace.

St. Frances of Rome, religious, pray for us.


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