< <  

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

  > >

Seven Founders of the Servites

James 1:12-18
Psalm 94
Mark 8:14-21

View Readings
Similar Reflections

the holy spirit or totalitarian dictators?

"The tug and lure of his own passion tempt every man." —James 1:14

Our desires are dangerous because they can conceive and bring forth sin (Jas 1:15). As sin grows, "it begets death" (Jas 1:15). We must control our desires, or we will live a living death (see 1 Jn 3:14).

Naturally, our desires seek to be totalitarian dictators — to dictate every aspect of our lives. Only the Lord, Who created our desires, can redeem them and free us from their determination for dictatorship. The Father through the Son sends the Holy Spirit to strongly desire in opposition to our natural, fallen desires (Gal 5:17). If we live in the Spirit (Gal 5:25) by living our Baptism, we crucify our "flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24).

Thus, life is either freedom in the Spirit or slavery to desires. "Doing our own thing" is not freedom but thinly disguised slavery. Doing God's thing by the power of the Holy Spirit is a freedom so profound that it frees us even from death and for eternal life.

Do you want true freedom? Then you want to deny yourself (Lk 9:23) and be docile to the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  Father, may I not be foolish enough to think that slavery is freedom.

Promise:  "He wills to bring us to birth with a word spoken in truth so that we may be a kind of first fruits of His creatures." —Jas 1:18

Praise:  The Servites opted for freedom by putting themselves under the authority of the Queen Mother and the King of Kings.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape The Spirit, the Flesh, and the Devil on audio AV 92A-3 or video V-92A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003