Do we obey Him?

Do we obey Him?
a reflection by Fred Schaeffer, OFS


The Reading for today, Friday May 18, in the “Liturgy of the Hours” is from Acts 8:30-32. In part, “He whom God has exalted on his right hand as ruler and savior is to bring repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. We testify to this. So too does the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”


He whom God has exalted on his right hand, is Jesus Christ our Lord. He forgives our sins. People who obey him, the Holy Spirit, are those who strive not to sin. We all are aware that curtailing wrong-doing is very hard, but we continue to try. There are so many distractions from obedience to God. As I sit here in front of the computer, trying to put my thoughts on paper, so to speak, I am distracted by thoughts of problems of daily life. If you are one of those rare individuals who is never distracted, then you are a walking miracle. As a priest-friend of mine used to say, we’ll give you an immediate referral to the nearest psychiatrist.


Bigger distractions come from friendships, friendships to which we’re giving too much energy. There are those who can compartmentalize their thoughts in a way I never could, maybe people who are strong in a business life, and they have learned that they could never accomplish anything unless they control their thoughts. This applies to the spiritual life also. Distractions can become strong temptations and in order to solve these unwanted interruptions, we have to use self-control. When we can do this, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we may have found a way to avoid giving into temptation and sin.


The Holy Spirit, who’s coming to the Apostles and to Mary, the mother of God, on Pentecost, is the third person of the Holy Trinity. “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.” (Nicene Creed)


Yes, of course, we obey him. Without obedience to God, where would we be? With the aid of the Holy Spirit we can overcome temptation and sin. Takes effort. But we continue to root out the evil in our lives, the big problems, then the little ones. It can be done. But then I only have to look at my own existence and I know it is a daily struggle. Is it worth it? Definitely!


Have a Blessed Pentecost!


Fred Schaeffer, OFS
May 18, 2018



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