Knowing that evil exists in our lives but that Christ frees us from its chains is the key to freedom in this world.
The life of a Christian is blessed by sacramental grace. Anything we can do to add to the soundtrack of sanctification, to have the air we breath be blessed, enriches everything we do and our encounters with others.
It may be a luxury for many (especially busy moms!) to consider praying the Liturgy of the Hours, which is why Magnificat magazine providing a shorter option for infusing the day with additional prayer is such a great treasure.
I often think with just a snapshot of the sermons that appear in the Office of the Readings daily, we would all be further along in the ways of the examined life, which is so much of what Pope Francis is leading us on.
Today is no exception. It’s from Saint Macarius. Here’s just that snapshot:
Woe to the path that is not walked on, or along which the voices of men are not heard, for then it becomes the haunt of wild animals. Woe to the soul if the Lord does not walk within it to banish with his voice the spiritual beasts of sin. Woe to the house where no master dwells, to the field where no farmer works, to the pilotless ship, storm-tossed and sinking. Woe to the soul without Christ as its true pilot; drifting in the darkness, buffeted by the waves of passion, storm-tossed at the mercy of evil spirits, its end is destruction. Woe to the soul that does not have Christ to cultivate it with care to produce the good fruit of the Holy Spirit. Left to itself, it is choked with thorns and thistles; instead of fruit it produces only what is fit for burning. Woe to the soul that does not have Christ dwelling in it; deserted and foul with the filth of the passions, it becomes a haven for all the vices.
When a farmer prepares to till the soil he must put on clothing and use tools that are suitable. So Christ, our heavenly king, came to till the soil of mankind devastated by sin. He assumed a body and, using the cross as his ploughshare, cultivated the barren soul of man. He removed the thorns and thistles which are the evil spirits and pulled up the weeds of sin. Into the fire he cast the straw of wickedness. And when he had ploughed the soul with the wood of the cross, he planted in it a most lovely garden of the Spirit, that could produce for its Lord and God the sweetest and most pleasant fruit of every kind.
Knowing what we’re facing and what we’re saved from if we determine to follow the way of Christ, makes all the difference.
Ibreviary is a good place to look now and again when you have some time for reflection.
And there is always Magnificat.