exercise in the spirit
"We have gifts that differ according to the favor bestowed on each of us." —Romans 12:6
Doctors recommend regular physical exercise to keep our bodies in shape. Physical therapists recommend specific exercises to enable an injured body part to work normally. Musicians practice exercises on their instruments to develop "muscle-memory." Thereby musicians hone their physical talents to the point of being automatic, making them free to enter into the spirit of the composition.
In an even greater way, Doctor Jesus commands us to exercise the gifts of the Spirit He has given us (see Rm 12:6, RNAB). By exercising our spiritual gifts, the body of Christ becomes more vigorous. Each spiritual gift helps to heal the wounded parts of Christ's body when exercised properly (1 Cor 12:9). By exercising our spiritual gifts regularly, we become so "in tune" with the Spirit that we develop "Spirit-memory." We are more quickly able to recognize the movements of the Holy Spirit, even to the point that we become "co-workers" with the Spirit (1 Cor 3:9).
The risen Jesus has given us the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:8, 10). Now we have a choice. Will we exercise these gifts or make excuses for not using them? (Lk 14:18ff)
Prayer: Holy Spirit, "I will not treat God's gracious gift as pointless" (Gal 2:21). Fill me up and use me up.
Promise: "I want My house to be full." —Lk 14:23
Praise: St. Martin let himself be used as an instrument of the Holy Spirit and was able to do great works of charity.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 3, 2009
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