God created us to be free

Scriptures of the Day

Genesis 2:16–17
The LORD God gave the man this order: You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; when you eat from it you shall die.

John 8:31–37
Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free.

Galatians 5:1
For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Quote of the Day

God created us to be free. It’s always been his desire, his plan, his hope, his dream, that the human person would be free. So freedom comes first and foremost from a relationship with God, who created us that way. Remarkably, God shares his freedom with you and me. — Father Dave, WG, Segment 12

Video of the Day
The Wild Goose is Loose Segment 12: The Spirit’s Freedom

Questions of the Day

  • What does it mean to be free?
  • What binds you?
  • Does the past bind you? a desire to control? an addiction? comfort?
  • Does fear or anxiety bind you? anger? a drive to obtain or achieve?
  • How would your life be different if you were experiencing greater freedom?

Prayer of the Day

Jesus, free me from ________________________.

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Kingdom of Truth, Love, Justice, & Peace

Feast of Christ the King

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Old Testament: Ezekiel 34:11–12, 15–17

Thus says the Lord GOD:
I myself will look after and tend my sheep.
As a shepherd tends his flock
when he finds himself among his scattered sheep,
so will I tend my sheep.
I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered
when it was cloudy and dark.
I myself will pasture my sheep;
I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD.
The lost I will seek out,
the strayed I will bring back,
the injured I will bind up,
the sick I will heal,
but the sleek and the strong I will destroy,
shepherding them rightly.

As for you, my sheep, says the Lord GOD,
I will judge between one sheep and another,
between rams and goats.

Responsorial Psalm: 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

New Testament: 1 Corinthians 15:20–26, 28

Brothers and sisters:
Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since death came through man,
the resurrection of the dead came also through man.
For just as in Adam all die,
so too in Christ shall all be brought to life,
but each one in proper order:
Christ the firstfruits;
then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ;
then comes the end,
when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father,
when he has destroyed every sovereignty
and every authority and power.
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
When everything is subjected to him,
then the Son himself will also be subjected
to the one who subjected everything to him,
so that God may be all in all.

Gospel: Beatitudes, Matthew 25

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.”

Colloquy, Divine Intimacy, p 1129

“You, my God are an eternal King, and Yours is no borrowed kingdom. … When the Credo says: ‘of Your Kingdom there shall be no end’ this phrase nearly always makes me feel particularly happy. Yes, I praise You, Lord, and bless You, for Your Kingdom will endure forever” (Saint Teresa of Avila, The Way of Perfection, 22)

“O Divine King, most amiable Jesus, my Redeemer, my Savior, my Spouse, my Master and model, I renew today the total consecration of my being to You, begging You to take absolute dominion over me. Be my Sovereign, my Ruler, my Guide. Direct and govern me entirely, so that everything may turn to Your greater glory. Be King of my memory, of my intellect, of my will, of my emotions; I wish all to be completely subject to You and I invite You to reign in me.

“Your Kingdom is a Kingdom of Truth, of Love, of Justice, and of Peace.

“Grant that Your reign of Truth may be established in my mind, destroying all error, deceit, and illusion. Enlighten me by Your divine Wisdom.

“Grant that Your reign of Love may be completely established in my will, to move it, draw it, and direct it always, so that I may no longer be moved by self-love, or by creatures but by Your Holy Spirit alone. Make this weak, mean, rebellious will of mine strong, generous, constant; make it grow stronger by the persevering exercise of virtue, and by the gifts of Your Spirit.

“Grant that Your reign of Justice may be established in all my actions, so that all I do, having this characteristic, may be a work of holiness, accomplished with purity of intention and with the greatest fidelity in order to give You pleasure and accomplish Your holy will.

“Grant that Your reign of Peace may be established, not only in my soul but also in my sensibility, so that in harmony with the superior part of my soul, it may give You glory and neither retard me nor be an obstacle to union with You” (Sister Carmela of the Holy Spirit, OCD)

Alive Forevermore

Jesus did not come to condemn

But Mass Media is ready to do what Jesus won’t do,
and won’t do what Jesus does do

Grateful for the Mercy of God

Today at work I overheard Man A (who sits behind me) say to Man B (who sits across from Man A), “so who is worse, Roy Moore or so and so.” Sorry, I don’t remember the other guy’s name. You have several to choose from. I managed to resist the urge to insert myself into their conversation (until now).

I don’t know these men whom mass media is parading around for ratings, power, and political plays. I don’t know who did what to whom or when. But considering the things I’ve heard males at work say (and do) to me and to those around me, my response to Man A’s question would have been: “who’s worse: Man A or Man B or Man C, in the office over there? And is Woman A (me) worse of a sinner than Woman B (who sits across from me) or Woman C (who sits around the corner)?”

Many in mass media are ready to point the finger. Consumers of mass media are ready to think I must be all right, because I didn’t do what they say that guy did. (Or at least no one knows, and I don’t expect to be on the nightly news or skewered on late night “comedy” shows.)

The problem with all this is that when the people brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus (hoping he would condemn her), no one was able to cast the first stone. (John 8:7) If all the sinners have to resign or get fired from their jobs, there will be no one working and no managers to fire anyone.

We don’t need to say that mass media is not trustworthy. The oxymoron of the year is Hollywood posing as America’s new moral compass.

Who is willing to go home and look in the mirror? Mass media is ready to judge and convict, but who can or will forgive and heal?

What I do know: the One who died for my sins and yours. The One who conquered death and frees us from sin and has gone ahead to prepare a place for us.

If you want the world to be a better place, get to work on being holy yourself and growing in virtue. It’s not enough that you are not Harvey Weinstein or Charlie Rose or Roy Moore or whoever else is being accused in the public square this particular minute.

If you haven’t already, turn off mass media and forego its drama. Open your Bible, and pray. Give God an opening in your life. Forgiveness and healing and grace are available in abundance from the all-merciful God.

Scriptures of the Day

1 John 1:8–10

If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

John 8:42–47

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? Because you cannot bear to hear my word. You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe me. Can any of you charge me with sin? If I am telling the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not listen, because you do not belong to God.”

John 16:7–11

‘But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

Quotes of the Day
My Judge is also my Savior and my healer

Sin does not allow me to be the son or daughter God wants me to be.

It is a gift of the Holy Spirit that we know our sins.

The evil one condemning us tells us that God won’t forgive. The Spirit convicting us tells us that God always forgives.

Sin is always personal. It’s not a law that we break when we sin, it’s a heart that we break. When we sin we break the heart of the Lord who is madly and passionately in love with us. When we sin we break the relationship that the Father wants to have with us, that the Son and the Spirit want to have with us. Sin severs this relationship and separates us from God who wants to love us and pour out his blessing and his grace and his presence to us.

Truth is a gift of God.

— Father Dave, The Wild Goose segment 11

When God forgives a sinner who humbly confesses his sin, the devil loses his dominion over the heart he had taken. — Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Video of the Day
The Wild Goose is Loose Segment 11: The Spirit Convicts

Questions of the Day

  • What effect has your sin had on your relationships?
  • When convinced of your sin, what do you do next?
  • Do you want to be reconciled to God?

Prayer of the Day
Love and Truth Go Together

Come, Holy Spirit. Come with your Truth.

Spirit of Love, reveal to me to all truth:
truth about the Triune God and about myself.

Holy Spirit, shine your light into my life;
help me to see how I have failed to love,
where and when I’ve misused God’s gifts,
been selfish, prideful, greedy, or lustful;
where I have coveted and been jealous.

Show me the areas of my life where I refuse
your Sprit entry and rightful reign;
where I have been ungrateful, or
given myself credit for what was your grace.

Which neighbor, brother, or sister, did I ignore?
When did I cross the road to go about my own business
rather than assist someone in need?
To whom did I refuse to give my time or talent?

Help me to embrace and accept my poverty.
Reveal the mercy available to me.
Teach me your ways.
Flood me with your healing presence.
Let me be reconciled with God, my creator,
who loved me into being.

Grant me strength to grow in virtue,
especially humility,
and live as a child of God.

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins,
save us from the fires of hell,
and lead all souls to heaven,
especially those in most need of thy mercy.
Amen. (Saint Faustina)

Led into the desert to encounter God

Desert Seasons

God put a hole in our hearts, a hole which only He can fill, a hole that we continually try to fill with things other than God. When we stop trying to fill the hole, then God can lead us into the desert.

In the desert we are desolate. We feel empty. Resources are scarce. We suffer. Life is foggy, and we lack clarity. We don’t sense God’s presence. Prayer is dry. Maybe we feel like we are going through the motions. The desert exposes our vulnerabilities, and the evil one tries to exploit them.

But the desert is also a place to discover how to move from the natural life (my effort, my strength and capacity, my intellect, my resources [(all of which are gifts of God, of course)] to the supernatural life (enjoying God’s provision).

Quotes of the Day

Don’t you know that I love you? — God, to Father Dave, in the desert

In that moment, I knew God was going to change my life. — Andrew Laubacher, WG#10

Whenever we feel empty, lonely, that is an invitation for God to fill that space. — Father Dave, WG#10

Scriptures of the Day
verses from the Gospel Luke, chapters 3 and 4

After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying,* heaven was opened and the holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Filled with the holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.

Video of the Day
Wild Goose is Loose Segment 10: The Spirit and the Desert

Fruit with eternal consequences

Life-giving Fruit
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control

Scripture of the Day: Galatians 5:15–23

But if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Questions of the Day

  • What is it that animates your life?
  • What type of fruit is your life producing? Fruit of the flesh, or fruit of the Holy Spirit?
  • What does the voice of the Lord sound like?
  • Lord, how do you want to use me?

Video of the Day
The Wild Goose is Loose Segment #9: The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Prayer for the Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, eternal Love of the Father rand the Son, kindly bestow on us
the fruit of charity, that we may be united to You by Divine Love;
the fruit of joy, that we may be filled with holy consolation;
the fruit of peace, that we may enjoy tranquility of soul;
the fruit of patience, that we may endure humbly everything that may be opposed to our own desires.

Divine Spirit, be pleased to infuse in us
the fruit of benignity, that we may willingly relieve our neighbor’s necessities;
the fruit of goodness, that we may be benevolent toward all;
the fruit of longanimity, that we may not be discouraged by delay but may persevere in prayer;
and the fruit of mildness, that we may subdue every rising of ill temper, stifle every murmur, and repress the susceptibilities of our nature in all our dealings with our neighbor.

Creator Spirit, graciously impart to us
the fruit of fidelity, that we may rely with assured confidence on the word of God;
the fruit of modesty, that we may order our exterior regularly;
and the fruits of continence and chastity, that we may keep our bodies in such holiness as befits Your temple, so that in having by Your assistance preserved our hearts pure on earth, we may merit in Jesus Christ, according to the words of the Gospel, to see God eternally in the glory of His kingdom. Amen.

— New Saint Joseph People’s Prayer Book #894

The gateway to life in the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Is Ever Available

Quotes of the Day: on the sacraments

Baptism

Holy baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments.
— Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213

SELRES_adeaf5a6-645d-49a7-b5e5-aa823856e055ConfirmationSELRES_adeaf5a6-645d-49a7-b5e5-aa823856e055

From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
– it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, “Abba! Father!”;
– it unites us more firmly to Christ;
– it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
– it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
– it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross:

Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God’s presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts. (Saint Ambrose)

— Catechism of the Catholic Church 1303

Marriage

The various liturgies abound in prayers of blessing and epiclesis asking God’s grace and blessing on the new couple, especially the bride. In the epiclesis of this sacrament the spouses receive the Holy Spirit as the communion of love of Christ and the Church. The Holy Spirit is the seal of their covenant, the ever available source of their love and the strength to renew their fidelity. — Catechism of the Catholic Church 1624

Video of the Day
The Wild Goose is Loose #8: The Spirit and the Sacraments

Prayer of the Day

Holy Spirit, make our lives new by your divine power, that we may live by the light of the resurrection and work in a manner inspired by you. I offer myself to your work of healing, peace, and reconciliation. In my busy world bless my silent moments. In the stillness of my heart may I find peace within myself, peace with others, and peace with you. May Christ, our brother, be with us today and every day. — a blend of two prayers of Michael Buckley, The Catholic Prayer Book, p 49