Walking in the Spirit what do we mean by That?

the New Life: walking in the Spirit

1. What do we mean by ‘walking in the Spirit’

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you you hearts of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”(Ezekiel 36:26-27)

Jesus says to Nicodemus “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear it sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”(John 3:5-8)(My thoughts…The person who is moved by the Holy Spirit is full of surprises and often does unexpected but fruitful things.They are like the wind. The wind comes and goes unexpectedly.)

So what is the new life? It is life in the Holy Spirit, God at work in us. Jesus has supplied us with the power to love a new life through his Holy Spirit- We are his instruments…If we acknowledge our need want to have new life in the Spirit, then with expectant faith we must ask him to baptize us in his Holy Spirit. (My thoughts…One reason the Church needs a new Pentecost is that the problems in the world are so great that we need the power of the Holy Spirit. It is my desire and I have expressed it to the chancery and other priests that a day will come when the bishop will ask all the priests of the diocese to come to the cathedral on the vigil of Pentecost. We will all pray for an out pouring of the Holy Spirit on the diocese of Arlington and the whole world.)

What will happen as we walk in the Spirit? It may not be dramatic or sudden, but inevitably the life of the Holy spirit within us will become evident, and things will begin to happen that did not happen before. One clear sign will be the growth of the fruit of the Spirit in us.

At times of difficulty and discouragement, we need to
Hold fast to what we believe
Put our trust in God’s promise that ‘I am with you always’ (mat 28:20)
Seek fellowship, prayer , and support from other Christians
Resist the lies of temptations of the devil

We read in Galatians “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But is you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (My thoughts…In order to walk by the Spirit we have practice acts of self denial. St John of Cross tells us that any spirituality that doesn’t strive to practice self denial is self deception.)

What are the dangers we must guard against.

The first dangerous temptation we face is pride. Everything we do is for God’s Glory, not for our glory. Proverbs reminds us ‘Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.’

The second great temptation we face is ourselves. If our ego is not dealt with, our service will be spoiled. We must be honest and admit we have failed and allow the Holy Spirit to search us and untangle us. (My thoughts…I was getting ready for confession today to prepare my heart for Pentecost. This scripture came to me ‘The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin.’ A great way to prepare for confession is to ask the Holy spirit to convict us of our sin.)

The fact that the Holy Spirit has started the work in us is the guarantee of its completion (Ephesians 1:14) because when the Spirit comes,

He inspires prayer, this will maintain our spiritual power (Roman 8:26)
He brings freedom in praise and worship,this maintains our relationship with God (Acts 16:25)
He gives some a desire for intercession; this supports others (1 Timothy 2:1)
He brings power to witness and evangelize; this draws others to Christ (Acts 1:8)
He brings power for healing and deliverance; this produces wholeness and freedom (Luke 9:1-2)
He nourishes social concerns; this helps us not to become become self-centered (Acts 2:44-45)
He gives access to his gifts and ministries; this build up the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:4-31)
But most of all, he brings a new freedom (Galatians 5:1)

Saint John Paul II said on May 30 1998 “Today, I would like to cry out to all of you gathered in St Peter’s Square and to all Christians: Open yourselves docilely to the gifts of the Spirit! Accept gratefully and obediently the charims which the Spirit never ceases to bestow on us!…The Spirit is like the wind filling the sails of the great ship. If, however, we look at her closely, she uses numerous other small sails that are the hearts of the baptized. Everyone, dear friend, is invited to hoist his sails and unfurl it with courage, to permit the Spirit to act with all his sanctifying power. By allowing the Spirit to act in one’s life one also makes the best contribution to the Church’s mission. Do not be afraid…to unfurl your sails to the breath of the Spirit.”

The Spirit is
Wind: dramatic and powerful, gentle and caressing
Fire: consuming and destroying, but energy and heat producing
Cloud: moving or static, overshadowing, concealing, holding the promise of rain
Oil: heat and light producing, healing, a sign of consecration, a link to the sacraments
Breath: essential for life, creative
Light: a sign of the presence of God, helping us ‘see’ See the face of Jesus
Dove: symbol of peace and love, freedom and flight

How do we stay with the Spirit and not slip back into old ways?

We read in Galatians. St Paul says “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain..if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by works of the law, or by believing what you heard?”(Gal 3:1-5) (My thoughts…Many people have had many encounters with the Holy Spirit but end up closed to the new thing that God wants to do in their lives. At the masses and healing services I have fully one third of all the people have never been to a charismatic healing service before and God commonly blesses them powerfully. The reason is simple they have no expectations of what the Holy Spirit can do so they just open their hearts minds soul to the Holy Spirit and allow him to do what He wants to do in their lives. This is what Pope Francis means when he says ‘Let God surprise You.’)

Only when we concentrates again on Christ and walk again with Christ and walking in Spirit are we able to serve again with power. ‘By dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”(Roman 7:6)

When we walk in the will of God, we have peace and will know when we divert from his paths. Christ died to give us freedom; let’s accept it now and walk with him in the power and freedom of his Spirit. Then we’ll begin to experience the Spirit-filled life!

Come Holy Spirit

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Fr Stefan Working Notes for the 28th Sunday Welcome to the Feast

"Let the Fire Fall"

The prophet Isaiah writes ‘On this mountain The Lord of Host will provide for all people a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy food and pure choice wine.’

Jesus says in the Gospel ‘The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son…Then he said to his servants ‘The feast is ready.’

Priest prays at the mass ‘Blessed are those called to the supper of the lamb.’

Recently I was at the bed side of a woman who was dying in fact died. I spoke to her that Heaven is a place of infinite Love, and a feast a banquet. The husband wrote in his letter to me ‘I will always remember you and your Description of Heaven!!’

Vatican II tells us this about the Liturgy ‘In the earthly Liturgy we share in the foretaste of the Heavenly Liturgy which…

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Fr Stefan Working Notes for the 28th Sunday Welcome to the Feast

The prophet Isaiah writes ‘On this mountain The Lord of Host will provide for all people a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy food and pure choice wine.’

Jesus says in the Gospel ‘The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son…Then he said to his servants ‘The feast is ready.’

Priest prays at the mass ‘Blessed are those called to the supper of the lamb.’

Recently I was at the bed side of a woman who was dying in fact died. I spoke to her that Heaven is a place of infinite Love, and a feast a banquet. The husband wrote in his letter to me ‘I will always remember you and your Description of Heaven!!’

Vatican II tells us this about the Liturgy ‘In the earthly Liturgy we share in the foretaste of the Heavenly Liturgy which is celebrated in the Holy City of Jerusalem towards which we journey as pilgrims where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle where the warriors of the Heavenly army sing a hymn of Glory to the Lord, venerating the memory of the saints. We hope to have some part and fellowship with them. We eagerly await the savior Our Lord Jesus Christ, until He our life shall appear and we too will appear with him in Glory.’

The Mass is a Feast but it also is a forestates of the Feast Banquet in Heaven.
In the life St Mariam the Little Arab. Mary gave her a spoon full of soup from the Heavenly Banquet and she would say ‘Just another taste of the soup from the Heavenly Banquet’

The Mass is the Banquet but it also looks forward to the Banquet in the Kingdom of God in Heaven.

The Catechism tell us about the liturgy ‘Christ indeed always associates Himself in the great work (the liturgy) in which God is perfectly glorified and man is sanctified. The Church is the beloved Bride who calls to her Lord and through Him offers worship to the eternal Father. Worship which participates in the Liturgy of Heaven’

Scott Hahn writes in the ‘Lamb Supper’ Liturgy is anticipated Parousia, ‘the Already’ enters our ‘Not Yet’ wrote Cardinal Ratzinger. When Jesus comes at the end of time. He will not have a single drop more glory than he has right nowm upon the altars and in the tabernacles of our churches.’

The Catechism says ‘It is in this eternal liturgy that the Spirit and the Church enables us to participate whenever we celebrate the mystery of salvation in the sacraments.’ (CCC 1139) Scoot Hahn writes ‘We go to Heaven when we go to Mass, This is not merely a symbol, nor a metaphor, not a parable, not a figure of speech. It is real. In the fourth century, St Athanasius wrote ‘My beloved brethren, it is no temporal feast that we come to, but an eternal, heavenly feast. We so display it in shadows; we approach it in reality’

Vatican II tells us ‘Liturgy is an ‘Action’ of the Whole Christ. Those who celebrate it without signs are already in the Heavenly Liturgy’

Brant Pitre in his book ‘Jesus and the Last Supper’ shows that already in the Old Covenant. The Jews already could glimpse this feast in Heaven. One of the ancient quotes reads.
‘And (as far) this fragrant tree, no flesh has the right to touch it until the great judgement, in which there will be vengeance on all and a consummation forever. Then it will be given to the righteous and the pious, and it fruit will be food for the chosen, And it (the Tree of Life) will be transplanted to the Holy Place, by the house of God, the King of eternity. They will rejoice greatly and be glad and they will enter the Sanctuary.The fragrance will be in their bones.’

Scripture and MothBalls

This morning I was actually thinking of the smell of MothBalls.

Than I was reading Pope Francis Homily today on the power of the Word of God. Pope Francis said ‘Concluding his remarks ‘The word of God cannot be ‘Moth-Balled’ like some old blanket in an attempt to keep insects at bay! No. The word of God is dynamic and living reality that develops and grows because it is aimed at fulfillment that none can halt.’

What are the odds that I would wake up thinking of the smell of Moth Balls and here Pope Francis is talking about Moth Balls. Do you remember that Trunk that had all those old blankets? Do You remember taking a Wool Sweater out of the drawer with all the Moth Balls in the corner of the drawer.

I don’t remember if I liked or disliked the smell of Moth balls? But as Pope Francis said ‘The Word of God cannot be ‘Moth-Balled’ God’s Word is alive and active. More Powerful than any two edge sword. Able to divide both Soul and Spirit. I think, I though of the ‘Moth Balls’ this morning and then seeing Pope Francis use the term was because ‘The Holy Spirit was reminding me to have a new found trust in the power of the Word of God.’

Question of the day.
Have we ‘Moth-Balled’ the Word of God? Do we believe in the Power of the Word of God?

We read about the power of God Word in the Prophet Ezekiel
‘It was then I saw a hand stretched out to me, in which was a written scroll which he unrolled before me. It was covered with writing front and back, and written on it was: Lamentation and wailing and woe!
He said to me: Son of man, eat what is before you; eat this scroll. then go, speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. Son of man, he then said to me, feed your belly and fill your stomach with this scroll I am giving you. I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.’ (Ezek 2:9)

Fr Stefan The Holy Spirit and the Nobel Prize for Economic Mary and The Holy Spirit Nudge Us

Whenever I meet someone who is studying Economic. I say to them ‘You do know that Economic is not a Hard Science it is more of a humanities.’ Economic has more to do with Psychology than charts. Classical Economic presuppose that we always act in our best economic interest. I give an example to show the point.

Washington Post ‘Economist wins Nobel for examining humans’ bad choice. University of Chicago professor Richard Thaler has won the 2017 Nobel Prize in economics, which tries to understand human human make choices, especially bad one.’

‘Thaler, an American, is one of the leading experts in the relatively new field that combines psychology and economics…We Americans eat too much, take on too much debt, save too little and put off anything mildly unpleasant as long as possible.’

‘Human prefer instant gratification, even if they know that being patient would yield than more money or a better life down the road. Thaler’s best-known work is the 2008 bestseller ‘Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness.’

St Phillip Neri would pray ‘Jesus Protect me from myself.’ Every day we make a series of choices. And we don’t always make the best choices. Sometime we act out of laziness, fear, pride. Sometimes we are just not sure.

That is why I pray to Mary every day ‘Our Lady of Good Counsel. Pour the gift of Counsel into me that I make always choice the surest path to gaining Heaven and becoming a saint.’ Mary Nudge me in the right direct.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t force you to act against your will. But the Holy Spirit does Nudge You in his Still Small voice.

Prayer for the Day
Mary I give your permission to Nudge me to make the right choices today and everyday
Holy Spirit Nudge to me move in the direction that you want me to move
Holy Spirit fill my heart with your Light
Jesus Fill my Heart with your knowledge about what to do in every situation
Mary give me your mind and thoughts so that I will always make the right choices in my life in light of gaining Heaven and becoming a Saint
Holy Spirit and Mary constantly Nudge me in the Right Direction and keep me on the sure prath to Jesus

Today is the Feast of the Holy Rosary ‘Our Lady of Victory’

"Let the Fire Fall"

October is the month of the rosary. My devotion to the rosary began when I was a junior at Gannnon University. In Jan 1991 I went to Franciscan University for a pro-life conference. During this conference a young student asked me to pray the rosary with him. I said to him that I had not prayed the rosary since I was in 8th grade, but I followed my heart and prayed the rosary with him.

After the conference I went back to Gannon University. One day in the chapel, I said to Jesus, “I promise to pray the rosary every single day of my life.” At that moment I knew I was called to be a priest. And now, almost 27 years later, I have never missed a day praying the rosary.

John Paul II said that the rosary was his favorite prayer. The rosary is a contemplative and vocal…

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Today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Victory

I give out thousands of prayer book dedicated to Our Lady of Victory. I have a special devotion to a Priest Venerable Fr Nelson Baker. This Priest appeared to me over 15 years ago. And from that moment I have asked the ‘Holy Spirit Why?’ There are many reasons not the least of which is His Devotion to Our Lady of Victory. On a trip to Paris he went to the Church of Our Lady of Victory. At the church he saw the church lined with crutches. He saw in Mary under the title of ‘Our Lady of Victory’ a powerful intercessor for Healing. Fr Baker crowing gem as a priest is a Basilica ‘Our Lady of Victory.’ So on this day. I invite you to recite this litany for any needs you might have. Thanks

Sign of the Cross.

Lord, have mercy on us,
Christ, have mercy on us,
Christ, hear us,
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

The response for the following greetings is Pray for us.

Our Lady of Victory,
Victorious daughter of the Father,
Victorious Mother of the Son,
Victorious Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
Victorious servant of the Holy Trinity
Victorious in your Immaculate Conception,
Victorious in crushing the serpent’s head,
Victorious over all the children of Adam,
Victorious over all enemies,
Victorious in your response to the Angel Gabriel,
Victorious in your wedding to St. Joseph,
Victorious in the birth of Christ,
Victorious in the flight to Egypt,
Victorious in your exile,
Victorious in your home at Nazareth,
Victorious in finding Christ in the temple,
Victorious in the mission of your Son,
Victorious in His passion and death,
Victorious in His Resurrection and Ascension,
Victorious in the Coming of the Holy Spirit,
Victorious in your sorrows and joys,
Victorious in your glorious Assumption,
Victorious in the angels who remained faithful,
Victorious in the happiness of the saints,
Victorious in the message of the prophets,
Victorious in the testimony of the patriarchs,
Victorious in the zeal of the apostles,
Victorious in the witness of the evangelists,
Victorious in the wisdom of the doctors,
Victorious in the deeds of the confessors,
Victorious in the triumph of all holy women,
Victorious in the faithfulness of the martyrs,
Victorious in your powerful intercession,
Victorious under your many titles,
Victorious at the moment of death,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Spare us, Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Hear us, Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy, Lord.
Pray for us, blessed Lady of Victory.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

The Novena Prayer

Let us pray:

Our Lady of Victory, we have unshaken confidence in your influence with your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Humbly we ask your intercession for all of us associated under your title, Our Lady of Victory.

We beg your powerful assistance also for our own personal needs. (Please mention here your special intention in you own words.) In your maternal kindness please ask Jesus to forgive all our sins and failings, and to secure His blessings for us and for all the works of charity dedicated to your name. We implore you to obtain for us the grace of sharing Christ’s victory and yours, forever in the life that knows no ending. May we join you there to praise forever the Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, one God, for all the ages to come. Amen.

Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen)

Let us pray:

Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To Thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To Thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us.
And after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of Thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary,
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God:
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

The Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to Thy protection, implored Thy help, and sought Thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto Thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To Thee I come; before Thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate! despise not my petitions, but in Thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

All this we ask of The Father in the name of Mary’s Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with Him and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer To Our Lady of Victory

Let us pray:

O Victorious Lady! Thou who has ever such powerful influence with Thy Divine Son, in conquering the hardest of hearts, intercede for those for whom we pray, that their hearts being softened by the rays of Divine Grace, they may return to the unity of the true Faith, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.