My Lord and My God!

Fortitudo, by Sandro Botticelli

Fortitudo, by Sandro Botticelli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You  and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation.

Reading:  Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.  (Ephesians 2:21-22)

Observation:  It is not often that I choose the part of the prayer for the gifts of the holy Spirit to focus on in my gifts section of my journal, but the part of the prayer really spoke to me this morning.  It is only with the gift of fortitude that I will overcome all the obstacles to my salvation.  Furthermore, the reading today was really moving for me today.  Paul is not saying that you should be built together and already be a dwelling place of God in the Spirit, but in Jesus we are being built together and growing into a temple sacred in the Lord.  It is important for me to remind myself that he is not finished with me yet, so when I fall into temptation, it is because there is still work to be done to build me into the dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Personification:  Self-control.  To be able to display the fruit of self-control in my life, my life must always be centered on Christ.  There is no room for anything else, unless I choose to be led astray from the path to righteousness that he has set me on.  From the great principle of the spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, “Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.  The other things on the face of the earth are created for man to help him in attaining the end for which he is created.  Hence, man is to make use of them in as far as they help him in the attainment of his end and he must rid himself of them in as far as the prove a hindrance to him.  Therefore, we must make ourselves indifferent to all created things, as far as we are allowed free choice and are not under a prohibition.  Consequently, as far as we are concerned, we should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, a long life to a short life.  The same holds for all other things.  Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for which we are created.”

Prayer:  O blood and water, which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in you.  O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all of my sins, because of your just punishments, but most of all because you are all good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen!


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