“For what is Life? To me, it is Christ!”
For the last two weeks we were invited to live out the means of prayer and revision of life for us to be formed at the same time to collaborate with him in forming others as his disciples.
This week we deepen on the spiritual accompaniment. We will value and enjoy this means as we know its real essence, its importance and relevance in our following. At the same time the proper disposition one must have before this means as Fr. Jaime Bonet, FMVD our founder said in Verbum Dei Constitutions #30, “All members will regularly seek direction or spiritual accompaniment as an indispensable means of discerning the light of the Holy Spirit and the will of the Father in every circumstance and situation, over and above our own will and desires. It would be impossible to live, feel, think and love as Jesus without a highly sensitive and well-formed conscience.
Spiritual direction is clearly seen in the passage of Luke 24, in the Walk to Emmaus, where Jesus himself showed his being a spiritual companion or spiritual director for the two disciples who wanted to journey alone. It is Jesus himself who opened their eyes of their wrong decisions to go away from Jerusalem, because they thought that Christ never resurrected. As it is said in Luke 24:31, “their eyes were opened and recognized Him”.
Spiritual direction is important to us disciples of Christ, for it is a great means for us to open up in order to be guided in our spiritual journey. It is a very important means in order to help us build a strong spiritual life and in the process of integrating the contemplative life and the active life. Spiritual accompaniment is not talking about other people, but it is to talk about yourself, your personal relationship with God. From this we can also learn how we are accompanied and from that learning we will be able to accompany others in their spiritual journey as disciples of Christ.
Let us open up to the thoughts and ways of God
8 for my thoughts are not your thoughts and your ways are not my ways, declares Yahweh. 9 For the heavens are as high above earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts.
The spiritual direction, which we also call “opening up” is an indispensable means that helps us to discern the light of the Spirit and the will of the Father in every situation and circumstance, over and above our own will. It facilitates us to open up and to be liberated from those experiences, things or people that prevent us or delay our following of Jesus and our conforming of our lives to His life.
(Verbum Dei Statutes 275)
Let us walk more quickly towards God
35 I am saying this only to help you, not to put a bridle on you, but so that everything is as it should be, and you are able to give your undivided attention to the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 7:35)
It would be impossible to live, feel, think and live like Jesus without a very strong delicateness of conscience and correct formation on the same. Because of this Spiritual Direction, it can never be an evasion of responsibility of finding our answer in Jesus. Neither can it be confused with seeking understanding, security or support in the spiritual director, nor substitute the freedom of the undivided heart which belongs to the Lord. But rather an effective way to freeing ourselves from ourselves and to walk more quickly towards God.
(Verbum Dei Statutes 276)
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus who is our teacher in becoming like Him.
39 He also told them a parable, 'Can one blind person guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit? 40 Disciple is not superior to teacher; but fully trained disciple will be like teacher.
Many missionaries have found spiritual direction very useful in their following of Christ. It can help us to clarify the path we are on, highlight the road ahead while helping us to avoid some major pitfalls on the way. Regular spiritual direction also enables us to listen more clearly to the voice of the Spirit and piece together like a mosaic, the various ways God is speaking to us in our live. Having regular Spiritual direction usually once a month, gives us reassurance that we are being guided so that we too are able to guide others – if not, we might both fall into a pit as Jesus warns.
(Fr. James McTavish FMVD)
Let us be obedient to the Spirit and his fruits will flourish clearly in our lives
26 And as well as this, the Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness, for, when we do not know how to pray properly, then the Spirit personally makes our petitions for us in groans that cannot be put into words; 27 and he who can see into all hearts knows what the Spirit means because the prayers that the Spirit makes for God's holy people are always in accordance with the mind of God.
35 The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. 36 And I tell you this too: your cousin Elizabeth also, in her old age, has conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, 37 for nothing is impossible to God.' 38 Mary said, 'You see before you the Lord's servant, let it happen to me as you have said.' And the angel left her.
13 Then Jesus appeared: he came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 John tried to dissuade him, with the words, 'It is I who need baptism from you, and yet you come to me!' 15 But Jesus replied, 'Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that uprightness demands.' Then John gave in to him.
8 'You have already been told what is right and what Yahweh wants of you. Only this, to do what is right, to love loyalty and to walk humbly with your God.'
Until the obedience to the Spirit becomes a reflex in us, and his fruits flourish clearly in each one of our lives, our continuous exercise of formation will consist of practicing an active and generous obedience to the same Spirit who is in us as the Guide and the Strength and prays to the Father with groans which cannot be put into words in favour of our sanctification.
(Verbum Dei Statutes 278)
Let us be docile and trustful to the Holy Spirit, the fountain of all good deeds and all holiness
21 Life to me, of course, is Christ, but then death would be a positive gain.
6 Whoever claims to remain in him must act as he acted.
(1 John 2:6)
18 The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,
To follow Christ, to live as he did, to carry out His mission having this very same attitude is impossible for us without the confident self-giving and the docility to the Holy Spirit, fountain of all good deeds and holiness. We may repeat with the apostle, “To me, life is Christ.” In the measure of our obedience and fidelity to the light and guidance of the Holy Spirit, who with his gifts, forges in us the perfect image of Christ.
(Verbum Dei Statutes 274)
Let us be prompt to live out the will and ways of God in our discipleship
4 It was because of his faith that Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain, and for that he was acknowledged as upright when God himself made acknowledgement of his offerings. Though he is dead, he still speaks by faith.
38 Mary said, 'You see before you the Lord's servant, let it happen to me as you have said.' And the angel left her.
10 If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.
Promptness to live out the will and ways of God. Spiritual Direction consists of accompanying the person so that he can obey promptly and faithfully when he is faced with God’s initiatives and he can learn to be guided by faith to the point of achieving an attitude of complete docility, happiness and joy in the Lord. This way, our life can be a clear testimony that God liberates us from the egoistic I that constantly interferes and makes difficult our process of becoming Christ.(Christification)
(Verbum Dei Statutes 277)
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Isaiah 22: 15, 19-23
Psalm: Psalm 138
2nd Reading: Romans 11:33-36
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.