The Odor of Mercy

I love when my wife wears perfume; it delights my heart. The same is true when I witness people doing acts of mercy. The odor they radiate is irresistible. I greatly enjoy being near a person of mercy because their fragrant is what gives the world the odor of Christ.

The odor of mercy flows from our hearts to lavish those in need. It is the odor with which Mother Teresa sustained the poor in the slums of India. It is the odor St. Damien of Molokai emitted when caring for the lepers. It is the odor which overcame death when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.

The odor of mercy is what gives the world its charity; it is what gives humanity comfort and hope. It is the odor that moves us to care for the abandoned, the poor, and the infirm. It is the odor that soothes suffering, sorrow, and bleakness.

Without the odor of mercy, our hearts become like rocks; unresponsive to injustice, intolerance, and hate. Without the odor of mercy we fail to witness Christ‘s full glory in us and through us in others.

May the odor of mercy spring from us always.

God, I give my heart to you this day; may you will it to please you.

Intentionally or Ignorantly

God is an ever present light in the world. The only way to avoid God’s presence is by intention or ignorance. God is merciful to the latter, but unforgiving to the former because “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more” (Luke 12:48).

As Christians, God granted us his Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, to fill our hearts with life, joy, and goodwill so that we would be free from death, despair, and evil. Through his Son, he demanded that “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). In addition, he demanded that we “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

God’s commands are clear as the clearest water. It is our obligation to intentionally – guided by the Holy Spirit – do all three with fortitude, even if at times we fall short. For through us is how God shines his light on the unaware so they too can be entrusted with the Word.

God, I give my heart to you this day; may you will it to please you

Have a blessed day!!!

Sancte Spiritus

On the Solemnity of Pentecost and the birthday of the Church, I honor the Holy Spirit by the words below. Thanks to Deacon Dan Lupo, co-director of Diaconal Formation for the Austin Diocese, for challenging me to write them.

Sancte Spiritus

An indelible mark you placed in my heart, Sancte Spiritus.

A patronage for a journey past the heavens of my nature, Sancte Spiritus.

A call to be your apostle, Sancte Spiritus.

A witness to the blind and the deaf in spirit, Sancte Spiritus

A voice for the voiceless and a healer for the suffering and sorrowful, Sancte Spiritus.

Redemption to the darned, Sancte Spiritus.

Shelter for the homeless, Sancte Spiritus

Companion for the lonely, Sancte Spiritus

Love for the poor, the abandoned and the marginalized, Sancte Spiritus,

Joy to the widow and the orphan, Sancte Spiritus

Peace to the restless and the worried, Sancte Spiritus

Yet, I asked you, am I worthy of this mark? You answered “imitate Paul”; Veni Sancte Spiritus.

What if I fail to affirm you? You answered “imitate Peter”; Veni Sancte Spiritus

I wondered, can I carry this burden? You said “imitate Christ”; Veni Sancte Spiritus.

I praise God for you, my Advocate, my Paraclete; Veni Sancte Spiritus

May I always rest under your wings, Veni Sancte Spiritus.

 

Have a blessed Pentecost Sunday!!!

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!!!