Lenten Reflection #1: Joel 2:12

Listen here: https://anchor.fm/simplediakonia/episodes/Lenten-Reflection-1-Joel-212-eqhjf0

“Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning” (Joel 2:12).

Reflection:

Lent is a four-legged stool of spirituality:

• The season for repairing our relationship with our Creator through prayer

• An opportunity to grow in perseverance and patience by embracing fasting

• A moment to share with profound gratitude from our well of blessings

• A chance to be born anew in the waters of consolation and conversion

Lent is the spiritual return home of the prodigal child to the warm-forgiving embrace of merciful love.

Today’s Intention:

O Lord, thanks for the gift of Lent, a time of spiritual renewal. We humbly pray for joy, courage, and strength during the journey ahead.

Peace and Goodness

One-Minute Reflection: 1 John 3:11, 18 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #26)

Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: https://anchor.fm/simplediakonia/episodes/One-Minute-Reflection-1-John-311–18-30-Days-of-Prayer-for-Unity-26-eqgbcd

“For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another. Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:11, 18).

Reflection:

Talk of unity is cheap when its foundation lacks charity.

One significant danger to unity is jealousy. Unhinged, envy produces wrath and depression, often harming oneself and others (Cf. Genesis 4:1-16).

God created us to love one another; let us do His will.

Today’s Intention:

O Lord, help us to bring unity to our nation through charitable deeds and truth.

Peace and Goodness

Normalcy over the Abnormal

There is no doubt that certainty these days is lacking the strength of normalcy. What appeared normal three weeks ago is now abnormal. We are unable to shake hands or being too close to each other for fear of getting sick. The isolation of worry and concern is threatening our community. However, people are not to blame or judge because we are fragile beings: “We all fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). We prefer joy to sadness, health to sickness, prosperity to hardship. Yet, we do have control in the choices we make these days of chaos. They are choices that can make or break our society: being kind and merciful toward each other. What that looks like is different for each of us. As a husband and father, that means to keep my stress and anxiety from negatively impacting how I related to my wife and children. May be for others is to restrain themselves from grabbing all the essential items in the grocery store so others can have some too. Yet for others is to love and give more than they usually do, especially for the lonely and disfranchised. We all have a role to play to replace the chain of chaos and fear with the crown of glory, to remove the drapes of darkness hovering around our hearts with the lights of faith, hope, and charity, to bring back that which makes us normal: a caring community. May God give us the strength to preserver over the abnormal.

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

On the last day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit, we celebrate the Vigil of Pentecost. On this occasion, we ask the Holy Spirit to overshadow us with the Fruits of the Holy Spirit: signs of Christ’s love visible to others through our thoughts, words and deeds.

These fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity. (CCC 1832)

Christ built his church with 12 apostles and he builds our heart with the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit. It is through these gifts that our faith, hope, and charity are sustained and displayed. We must share with others these gifts with the same determination as the apostles shared Christ’s message. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are not meant to be kept to ourselves; lest we commit gluttony and our hearts become ruined.

We want our hearts to produce everlasting harvest. It is, therefore, necessary that we make daily efforts to nourish ourselves with prayer, liturgy, and the Eucharist and to seek and practice the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. By doing this, we enable the Holy Spirit to descend upon us as he did on Pentecost and thus speak in tongues of love.

Have a blessed day!!!