Because we have free will, each of us becomes the servant of the master we choose. Because we have free will, we are not hapless victims of some mindless and cruel fate. We can choose either to surrender our allegiance to our disordered passions or to the God Who created us in His image and likeness.
We can decide to close in on ourselves and
become slaves to our passions or we can breathe in the breath of the
Spirit and enjoy the freedom of the children of God.
The world around us
is filled with distractions and chaotic noise. This noise makes it very
difficult for us to hear the gentle voice of the Spirit that is
speaking to our hearts. It takes effort to listen. The Psalmist
encourages those who pray with his words, “Oh, that today you would
hear his voice. Do not harden your hearts” (Ps. 95:7-8).
the midst of our chaos, God speaks a word of peace. “Be still and know
that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). If we listen to the word of the Lord and
allow His Spirit to flood our souls, fear and trepidation will be
transformed into holy awe.
At the heart of this meditation is the
question: when God speaks, who will answer? Only those who choose to
listen to the movements of the Spirit are made partakers of Christ and
are thereby brought to the fullness of life. Our anchor is Christ, the
God of Jacob is our stronghold, and forever will be our refuge and
In Christ, God has called us to hear His Word. As
servants of the one true king, we are to listen to the voice of the
Spirit and surrender to His Word. Hardness of heart is at the root of
Fashioned as vessels of clay by the hand of God, we
are made to contain the treasure of great price. Only when the clay is
fired in the kiln of divine love can our hearts become hearts of flesh
rather than of stone.
As heirs of the Kingdom, we should ponder God’s
Word and make it the rule of our lives and the well-spring of our
consolation. In Christ and in Him alone, do we find joy and peace.
Nothing else matters if we are not subject to Christ.
our wills to Christ changes us and alters the way we look at ourselves,
at the world and at other people. Saint Paul was willing to do or to
suffer any thing, to attain the glorious resurrection of saints. This
hope and prospect carried him through all difficulties he had to endure
in the service of the Gospel. He did not hope to attain it through his
own merit and righteousness, but through the power and righteousness of
When the Spirit of the Lord descended upon the apostles,
He came in the appearance of fire. The desire of Christ’s heart was
fulfilled in that gift.
In the Spirit, the Fire of Divine Love engulfed
the earth. This transforming flame gives both light and heat. It
enlightens the path the People of God are to follow and warms their
hearts with love for all that God loves.
Jesus, the Love of God made
visible and tangible, invites us to accept this transforming fire. By
nature, invitations are offered and received with freedom on both sides.
There is no force or coercion. Are we willing to accept it?
--Fr. Jerome Machar, OSCO