From the Hermitage
It is a genuine few moments of thanks that I have returned to my "home" here in Lanham for 24 hours. I return to be with my St. Matthias Family that I truly miss now that I am helping my brother in his illness in Delaware. Let me assure any of you who are or have been a nurse or caretaker for the sick and needy, never have I appreciated your vocation as much as I do now that I have been working these past several weeks with my brother in his difficult days of recuperation. Thankfully his illness and incapacitation have reduced his excessive weight by almost 100 pounds! We are praying and trying now through physical therapy to enable him to stand on his feet once again. It is so encouraging to find him sitting bedside with his legs dangling to the floor as he does special exercises -- all of this around 6:30 AM each morning. He is determined to be walking very soon. I continue to rely upon your prayers for his improvement and the ability to do what we take for granted: putting feet on the floor and advancing them forward without even thinking about what a gift walking can be! Now to the Sunday reflection.
6th Sunday of Easter
When we awoke to a bright sunrise this morning, was there any awareness that we are fast approaching the celebration of Pentecost? Surely if we were only one week away from another special day, we might think or say to others: "only one more week and we celebrate special day." Do we think or say today: Just 8 days before we celebrate the day when Jesus, risen from the dead said:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you
another Advocate to be with you always.
For Jesus it was not sufficient that he would come upon our earth and live with the community of believers in Jerusalem and other smaller towns and cities. He had the strong desire to empower us with an Advocate of power, a Counselor or, as we might say, a prized stand-in for himself and our Creator Father. This Holy Spirit is "Another Advocate." Take note: we should not forget Jesus' promise that the gift of the Holy Spirit is additional assistance, counsel and strength for us. Jesus was well aware of the challenges, the temptations, the world would throw before us, the work of the Evil Power. Jesus did not want anyone of us to be left abandoned, without a real power to overcome whatever would separate us from himself and the Father. He did not want anyone of us to walk through life as one abandoned, as an orphan.
This is the gift we celebrate next Sunday. Today I bring this forward so that we might say to ourselves: "Just 8 days more and we commemorate the gift of power, the treasure of the Holy Spirit."
And so ... during this week ahead including today during at least one of the times you might visit with the Wonderful World of Wisdom (www!!!), google Prayer to the Holy Spirit and recite the prayer Catholics have recited to the Holy Spirit for centuries:
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
And kindle in them the fire of your love;
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created
and You will renew the face of the earth.
Likewise you might share in the gift promised to the people of Belgium by their famous Cardinal Mercier which is a secret of sanctity and happiness. Take 5 minutes each day, quiet your probably very busy imagination, close your eyes to everything visible (don't do this while driving or cooking!!!) and your ears to all eternal sounds and withdraw into the sanctuary of your baptized soul which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Once there, speak to the Holy Spirit:
Holy Spirit, soul of my soul, I adore you.
Enlighten, guide, strengthen and console me.
Tell me what I ought to do and command me to do it.
I promise to submit to everything that
you ask of me and to accept all that you allow
to happen to me. Just show me what is your will
Oremus pro Invicem!