The Holy Spirit in daily life

Walk By Faith Ezine, Issue #1
August 11, 2006

Copyright © 2006 by beginningCatholic.com


Walk by Faith is an Ezine to help you develop and live a strong Catholic faith. Whether you’re a life-long Catholic or are just becoming Catholic, Walk by Faith helps you find and follow the deeper Catholic faith that’s waiting for you in the ordinary events of your daily life. Let’s Walk By Faith together!

(This is a 100% opt-in email newsletter. See the bottom of the page for subscribe/unsubscribe information.)


In This Issue

  1. Welcome
  2. Pearl of Wisdom (this month: Pope Benedict)
  3. New “Catholic Spiritual Treasures” program
  4. Two new eBooks
  5. New section on the Sacraments
  6. Freebies & password
  7. Feature article: The Holy Spirit in daily life
  8. Lots more coming soon!

1. Welcome

Welcome to “Walk By Faith”, the beginningCatholic.com Ezine.

First of all, thank you for subscribing! I’ll do the best that I can to bring you lots of useful information about the Catholic faith.

If you received this newsletter in the text-only version, you can also view it in HTML when you are online. See the bottom of this newsletter for the link to the back issues archive.

To use the links within the Ezine, you need to be connected to the Internet.

Please pass this Ezine on to anyone you feel might benefit from its content. Just forward them a copy or have them visit my website at…
www.beginningCatholic.com


2. Pearl Of Wisdom

“The story of Mary of Magdala recalls to us a fundamental truth: a disciple of Christ is whoever, in the human experience of weakness, has the humility to ask for help, who is helped by Him to heal, and who is then led to follow Him closely, becoming a witness to the power of His merciful love, which is stronger than sin or death.”

–Pope Benedict XVI
Angelus address, July 23, 2006
(Pope Benedict was referring to the July 22 feast day of St. Mary Magdalene)


3. New Catholic Spiritual Treasures program

I’ve just launched an exciting new program on beginningCatholic.com–it’s called Catholic Spiritual Treasures.

This program re-publishes outstanding print works in an online format, so you can find all the information you need about the Catholic faith, right when you want it.

I’m very excited about this project!

It will let beginningCatholic.com bring you great content from many of the best Catholic writers around.

The first Catholic Spiritual Treasures publications are already available online. You can read about them in the next two sections of the newsletter, or online at:
Catholic Spiritual Treasures


4. Two new eBooks

I’m thrilled to tell you about two new eBooks that I’ve just published online!

These two eBooks are the first Catholic Spiritual Treasures.

One is a classic work by popular British priest & author Fr. Bernard Basset, called “Following Christ Through The Gospels.”

Fr. Basset wrote this book to help people meet Christ in the Bible, gain a deep understanding of the Gospels, and develop a solid prayer life. And what’s more, he gives a lot of specific guidance on applying the Gospels to our daily lives. Highly recommended! Following Christ Through The Gospels

The second eBook is actually a free gift to you as a subscriber to “Walk By Faith”!

It’s called “100 Favorite Catholic Prayers”. This eBook is a selection of 100 very useful prayers originally compiled by Fr. Lawrence Lovasik, author of many prayer books.

The book focuses on prayers that you can use daily. It has morning prayers & night prayers; well-known prayers and ones that will become new favorites; prayers from the Saints, short aspirations & long prayers–well, you get the picture!

(See below in this newsletter for the password you’ll need to download this book–it’s available only to subscribers!)
100 Favorite Catholic Prayers


5. New section on the Sacraments

The beginningCatholic.com Web site also has a large new section on the Sacraments.

This section is also a part of the Catholic Spiritual Treasures program.

Most of the articles on the Sacraments are abridged versions of Fr. Leo Trese’s very popular work, “The Faith Explained”. Father Trese was an outstanding teacher and writer. He published most of his books right around the time of the Second Vatican Council (“Vatican II”), and they remain some of the clearest and most accurate guides available for learning about the Catholic faith and life.

I hope you’ll enjoy this new section on the Sacraments. Each article is loaded with rich, clear content and focuses on what each Sacrament really means for us in a day-to-day sense.
Section on the Sacraments


6. Freebies & password

The “100 Favorite Catholic Prayers” eBooks is just the first freebie available only to subscribers! More good things are in the works, and will be available soon.

You’ll need this password to get to the members-only downloads page: “holymary” (without the quotes).

The downloads page is here:
Freebie downloads

(You can also get to it by clicking on the Freebies selection in the left-hand navigation menu.)


7. Feature article: The Holy Spirit in daily life

We’re in the middle of what’s called “ordinary time” in the liturgical year–the days outside of the special times of the Lent, Easter, Advent, and Christmas seasons.

These days of ordinary time are a perfect chance to consider the “ordinary” action of God in our lives.

And that would be the action of…

…the Holy Spirit!

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit, of course, is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

The Spirit has a special, specific action in our lives: sanctification. This is the process of making us holy.

Since this sanctification is the main (and hard!) work of our lives on earth, it’s essential that we get to know the Holy Spirit, and to learn his ways of acting in our lives. We must become great friends with him.

Getting to know the Spirit

There are 3 main ways we get to know him:

  1. Docility
  2. Prayer
  3. The Cross

Docility simply means keeping ourselves open to being lead and taught.

The Catechism reminds us of the need to be “docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit” and “in readily obeying divine inspirations.” (Catechism, 1830-1)

Docility is necessary because the Lord speaks to us with a “still, small voice”– we need to be quiet, humble, and open to his promptings to hear him.

The Spirit speaks to us through “promptings”: thoughts, small suggestions, and the circumstances & people around us. He also often leads us by those from whom we seek guidance & direction, and through the legitimate exercise of authority.

This sounds simple, but it’s really hard for most of us.

We have to develop the habit of asking God what he wants us to do, where he wants to lead us, and who he wants us to help–and not to base things on what we want.

You know: “thy will be done”, and not “my will be done.”

Prayer

The Holy Spirit is the master of prayer, and of the interior life (Catechism, 1995 and 2672).

Prayer is essential for the Christian life. We must set aside time for private prayer, for this is one of the primary ways that God has chosen for the Spirit to work in us.

In prayer, we invite the Spirit to come and teach us. It is the primary place for hearing his inspirations, through our thoughts & imagination.

Prayer with Scripture is especially beneficial.

The Cross

In the life of Christ and his Church, the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost came only after the Crucifixion.

We, too, must follow the same path if we are to follow Christ.

Jesus himself told us, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mt 16:24)

The Catechism also tells us: “The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle. Spiritual progress entails the… [self-denial] that gradually leads to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes.” (#2015)

Following this in daily life

But what does this really mean, especially for us ordinary people?

It means to let the “language of the Cross” form the basic pattern for your life.

That “language” has several key ingredients:

  • Abandoning ourselves to the will of God, without limits …for the love of God.
  • Denying ourselves and rooting out self-interest …for the love of God.
  • Seeking only God’s glory, and not our own …for the love of God.
  • Giving ourselves for others …for the love of God.

In a word, it means to follow Christ closely.

And that, finally, is the real work of the Spirit: to make our hearts conform to the heart of Christ, to remake us in the image and likeness of the Son.

We shouldn’t look for one big, heroic cross in our lives–a sort of “martyr syndrome”.

We already have all the crosses we need! Every one of us can find our own cross in many small ways throughout the day. We find it in the needs of our family, friends, and co-workers. It comes to us in the unexpected sufferings and frustrations of the day. And we can find our cross each time we have a chance to forget ourselves and instead do something, however small, that benefits someone else.

Each is an opportunity to grow closer to Christ.

So now, in these days of ordinary time, we should ask the Holy Spirit to help us learn to identify and embrace the crosses in our own lives.

That is the only path to holiness!

“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
–Ezekiel 36:26


  1. Lots more coming soon!

Thanks for reading “Walk By Faith” this month.

I have a number of other new things under way, so keep watching the beginningCatholic.com site in the coming weeks for lots more good stuff!

As always, please let me know what you think of this Ezine and the Web site. Also if there’s anything you’d like to see on the site–I’m all ears!

(You can just reply to this email, or use the Contact form on the Website.)

Thanks again, and keep in touch.

–Mike


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