Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Spirit of Your Father

Memorial of St. Benedict, Abbot

By Melanie Rigney

I will heal their defection, says the Lord, I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them. (Hosea 14:5)

Behold, you are pleased with sincerity of heart, and in my inmost being you teach me wisdom. (Psalm 51:8)

Jesus said to his Apostles: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (Matthew 10:16-20)

Lord, free me from concern about earthly opinions. I ask for the courage to do Your will always.

“My political views are those of the Lord’s Prayer.” That quote from St. John Bosco pretty much sums it up for me, in terms of the United States and the Catholic Church. Am I loyal to the Magisterium? Yes. Do I think it’s my job to police members of the clergy, locally or up to and including Pope Francis? No. I’m not that smart or educated. I struggle enough with obedience in my own life.

And so, I found it a bit humorous recently when in the space of twenty-four hours, I was challenged twice on my view of the Church’s relationship with women religious: that there’s always been friction; that friction helps smooth the rough ends of anything; and that women religious do and always have done many amazing things for those living on the margins financially, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.

One person who contacted me in essence said I was na├»ve, that there’s no room for conciliation and compromise today, only confrontation and combativeness. The other challenge came from an acquaintance who advised me I’m being “watched” because a few years ago here at Your Daily Tripod I wrote an essay acknowledging some people’s frustration over the issue and advising prayer for the strength to remain faithful... which was about the same advice I gave the first person who contacted me.

For the longer I’m at this, the more I understand that it’s not about loudly arguing with others about what my views may or may not be on any Church or secular political issue. It’s about bringing souls to the Kingdom in whatever way God chooses to use us and, in my case, the way is in writing about the struggle in us all to love and believe. God provides the words and the grace; we provide the faith.


Today, consider a challenging relationship. What are the words the Lord desires you to say? Use His, rather than your own.

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