Devotional Thought of the Day:
38 And he said to them, “Keep watch, and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38 (TEV)
56 Spiritual childhood demands submission of the mind, which is harder than submission of the will. In order to subject our mind we need not only God’s grace, but a continual exercise of our will as well, denying the intellect over and over again, just as it says “no” to the flesh. And so we have the paradox that whoever wants to follow this “little way” in order to become a child, needs to add strength and manliness to his will.
We live a life that is challenging, that is complicated, and when we are doing right in one person’s eyes, we are doing wrong in another’s view. If we forgo the former, we are criticized, if we play by the latter’s rules, we are judged and perhaps even condemned.
Very few are wise enough to navigate these harsh waters that we find ourselves in, yet our minds tell us we must. And so we screw up, sometimes critically, unable to balance all the things in the adult world.
We aren’t the first with this problem, see the writings of the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul.
I’ve always thought the answer would be found in wisdom, the application of the intelligence God has given us. Now into my 50’s, I wonder if that is achievable, As St. Mark records of Jesus, we desire to do what is right (just and fair, ) Our spirit resonates with what is right, we are so willing to do it, but we fail.
I find some help here in the words of St Josemaria this morning, that it is not our mind that provides us with the answer, Our mind, our wisdom, and intellect, has to be humbled and broken. It must submit to Christ, be entrusted to His guidance. And it is in this discipline that the fruit comes forth, as our faith becomes the childlike dependence on God that will always sustain us.
This isn’t easy, it requires strength and a focus that needs to be crafted, It requires that our souls learn patience, so as to temper the mind. It requires our hearts be comforted, that the anxiety which often compromises our intellect be stilled.
This is not possible by our own strength and merit.
We need the Spirit, we need the loving, strong guidance of the Spirit who cleanses us of sin, revives and renews us. The Holy Spirit causes us to look with awe at Jesus, our savior, and Lord. And as we do, we become more childlike in our faith. more willing to accept God’s directions, more willing to depend upon Him.
This is our hope, this work the Spirit is doing in us, this hard work that is truly a blessing, for it testifies that God is at work in our lives and that He cares for us.
Heavenly Father, please help us become childlike in our dependence on You! Continue to pour our your Spirit upon us, disciplining us, that our heart, soul, and mind would be Yours, and reflect the glory of Your love ot our lost and broken world. AMEN!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 1975-1979). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.