What if Today Was truly HOLY Day…. What Would It Look Like?
Devotional Thought for our Days:
27 Then, Israel, you will know that I am among you, and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is no other. My people will never be despised again.
The Day of the LORD 28 “Afterwards I will pour out my Spirit on everyone: your sons and daughters will proclaim my message; your old people will have dreams, and your young people will see visions. 29 At that time I will pour out my Spirit even on servants, both men and women. Joel 2:27-29 TEV
61 Sanctity does not consist in great concerns. It consists in struggling to ensure that the flame of your supernatural life is never allowed to go out; it consists in letting yourself be burned down to the last shred, serving God in the lowest place… or in the highest: wherever the Lord may call you.
When Paul makes the third point, “Let him not steal but do good works,” Eph. 4:28, he is showing that in the individual commandments we must daily undertake our new obedience, that is, so that our meditation on the Decalog may demonstrate the exhortation to good works. If we have the beginnings of renewal, we should give thanks to God for beginning in us the restoration of His image, and we should pray that these beginnings be increased and finally brought to perfection. We should also consider how sluggishly we follow the Holy Spirit as He helps and leads us into new obedience, and if we stumble or undo the work of the Holy Spirit, we must confess our wretchedness and seek mercy.
When I was a child, the nuns taught us about something called a “Holy Day of Obligation,” I always liked them, because it meant we took time to leave school walk about 6 blocks, and go to church. Which I preferred to going to school and being bored. It didn’t even matter if it was cold and snow and ice made the walk challenging. We got to go to church, which was far better than doing the same old drills in math and diagramming sentences again.
I was probably the only one who liked these days, at least I remember a lot of kids complaining and the Sisters “encouraging” them not to complain. In our old, worn down church in Lawrence there was a sense of holiness, a sense of God’s presence. Even though we couldn’t always understand what the priest from Lithuania said, we knew he spoke of God’s amazing love, as did the liturgy.
Let’s drop the phrase “obligation” for a moment, and what if today was a holy day. If we took our day, and responding to God’s incredible mercy and love, dedicated it to Him. What if we took a moment, thought of His incredible love, and decided, this day, I am going to remember His love for me?
We might do as Martin Chemnitz (one of Martin Luther’s students and theologians) suggested, and meditate on the individual commandments and try to live in what the Lutheran Confessions call, “the new obedience”, even as we see God renewing our life, a renewal that began in our baptism. We would ask God to continue and increase the speed of this renewal, knowing that it is He that brings us to perfection. When we fail, as we will, we wouldn’t just try to ignore the sin, or justify it, we would simply ask God to forgive us. Or, if still bothered by guilt and shame, we could approach a pastor and ask them to hear our confession, that we might hear them tells us God has cleansed and forgiven us.
This is the same thing St Josemaria wrote of when he wrote about not letting the flame of our supernatural life go out, even as we let it burn us out, even to the last shred as we realize the day is holy and sanctified by God, as we walk with Him through it, loving and serving those people He brings into our lives for the moment.
Joel’s prophecy (in red above) is not about the future, someday when God brings us home. It is about every day since Pentecost. Days when God is with us, among us, working with and through us.
It is about today, a day when YOU are holy, for God has our out His Holy Spirit upon you!
May you rejoice, may you vry out in joy, and in prayer that you see this clearly, and respond, depending on our God, for there is no other.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 441-444). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Chemnitz, Martin, and Jacob A. O. Preus. Loci Theologici. electronic ed. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999. Print.