Daily Meditation for July 24, 2008
Overcoming Our Mood Swings
Are we condemned to be passive victims of our moods? Must we simply say: "I feel great today" or "I feel awful today," and require others to live with our moods?
Although it is very hard to control our moods, we can gradually overcome them by living a well-disciplined spiritual life. This can prevent us from acting out of our moods. We might not "feel" like getting up in the morning because we "feel" that life is not worth living, that nobody loves us, and that our work is boring. But if we get up anyhow, to spend some time reading the Gospels, praying the Psalms, and thanking God for a new day, our moods may lose their power over us.
Daily Meditation for July 25, 200
Digging Into Our Spiritual Resources
When someone hurts us, offends us, ignores us, or rejects us, a deep inner protest emerges. It can be rage or depression, desire to take revenge or an impulse to harm ourselves. We can feel a deep urge to wound those who have wounded us or to withdraw in a suicidal mood of self-rejection. Although these extreme reactions might seem exceptional, they are never far away from our hearts. During the long nights we often find ourselves brooding about words and actions we might have used in response to what others have said or done to us.
It is precisely here that we have to dig deep into our spiritual resources and find the center within us, the center that lies beyond our need to hurt others or ourselves, where we are free to forgive and love.
Daily Meditation for July 26, 2008
The Dynamics of the Spiritual Life
Our emotional lives and our spiritual lives have different dynamics. The ups and downs of our emotional life depend a great deal on our past or present surroundings. We are happy, sad, angry, bored, excited, depressed, loving, caring, hateful, or vengeful because of what happened long ago or what is happening now.
The ups and downs of our spiritual lives depend on our obedience – that is, our attentive listening – to the movements of the Spirit of God within us. Without this listening our spiritual life eventually becomes subject to the windswept waves of our emotions.
Daily Meditation for July 27, 2008
A Window on Our Spiritual Lives
Even though our emotional and spiritual lives are distinct, they do influence one another profoundly. Our feelings often give us a window on our spiritual journeys. When we cannot let go of jealousy, we may wonder if we are in touch with the Spirit in us that cries out "Abba." When we feel very peaceful and "centered," we may come to realise that this is a sign of our deep awareness of our belovedness.
Likewise our prayer lives, lived as faithful response to the presence of the Spirit within us, may open a window on our emotions, feelings, and passions and give us some indication of how to put them into the service of our long journey into the heart of God.
Sunday, July 27, 2008, 17th Sunday Ordinary Time
"I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act." —1 Kings 3:7
Do you feel inadequate? Maybe you don’t have the slightest idea how you should act in a certain situation or in most situations. Like Solomon, ask the Lord for an understanding heart (1 Kgs 3:9). The Lord will make you more than adequate.
Some of you feel it’s too late. Your life is already in shambles. You’ve been abused, broken, and shattered. However, the Lord promises to make "all things work together for the good of those who love" Him (Rm 8:28). Give your brokenness to Jesus, and He will use it as raw material for a miracle. In Him, you can do all things (see Phil 4:13).
You may feel that your resources, education, energy, etc. are inadequate. Nevertheless, the Lord tells you that you can purchase the most precious treasure of all, that is, the kingdom of God. He has made it affordable for you. God’s kingdom does not cost a certain amount but a certain percentage: 100% (Mt 13:44-46). You can purchase it but can’t purchase anything else if you do.
You don’t have to feel inadequate. In Christ, you have understanding, miracles, strength (Phil 4:13), hope (Col 1:27), energy (Col 1:29), joy (Jn 15:11), peace (Jn 16:33). In Christ, you have God’s ingdom. You are more than adequate.
Prayer: Father, may I rejoice in my exalted position as Your child.
Promise: "The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant’s search for fine pearls. When he found one really valuable pearl, he went back and put up for sale all that he had and bought it." —Mt 13:45-46
Praise: Praise Jesus, "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25), Whose name is exalted above the heavens!