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  My Witness

Vol. 3, No. 3, July, 1998

Letting Jesus Be Lord!
by Sr. Brigid Meierotto, S.N.C.

Sister Brigid This is the eighth in a series of articles entitled: "You Are Invited to a Profound Interior Renewal." We repeat the quote from the Vatican II Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity:

"Since the whole Church is missionary, and the work of evangelization the fundamental task of the people of God, this Sacred Synod invites all to undertake a profound interior renewal so that being vitally conscious of their responsibility for the spread of the Gospel they might play their part in missionary work among the nations" (*35, Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity).

In the spring issue of MY WITNESSES, we reflected on the fruit of faith that is a new way of seeing. Faith opens the eyes of our hearts to see that the saving will of the Father in Jesus surrounds us with the loving power of His Spirit.

Do you think that God doesn't work in your life? It is faith that is the key to having God work powerfully in us and through us. If we act in faith we will see things happen that are beyond human power. If we act in faith we will see the Holy Spirit work in ways that we had not dared to hope for.

Whenever we are in a situation where we are powerless to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit, "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness, self-control," (Gal. 5:22-23), it is only by our acting in faith and by our trusting in the Lord to act within us, that will make it possible for the fruit of the Spirit to be evident in our lives.

Suppose that I have had a most distressing day at work, one of those eight hour sojourns where "nothing has gone right." I drag my feet all the way home, thinking dark thoughts and asking ultimate questions like, "Why is this happening to me?" I experience none of the fruit of the Spirit within myself. At home I discover that the other members of my family are in the same condition. Humanly speaking, this is an impossible situation. How is it possible for any fruit of the Spirit to come forth from me or from the members of my family? Only by our stepping out and acting in faith. Only by a conscious desire to change - by concrete action, and by calling in faith on the power of the Spirit of Jesus in this actual situation.

To use the words of St. Paul, our minds must be renewed. "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you mayn prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" (Rom. 12:2).

The truth of the matter is that the only way to change is to go against our negative feelings and fears and begin to act in faith. Another way of saying that is, we must die to ourself. "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit" (Jn. 12:24). As we step out, acting in faith, the fruit of the Spirit begins to be borne in our lives.

By striving daily to act in this way we become rooted in Jesus, begin to grow, and slowly become established in the faith. "As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving" (Col. 2:6-7).

If we want to see the power of God, moving immovable objects, if we want to experience His presence, or to feel that He is personally in our midst, the gift of God that we need is faith. To bear the fruit of the Spirit, we must act in faith. Faith makes it possible for the Holy Spirit to live in us and work through us.

Let us pray for this faith that believes enough to trust in the power of the Lord to come forth in our weakness and bear good fruit for the building of the Kingdom of God. "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God" (Rom. 8:26-27).


Here are a few reflections to help make this article a valuable tool for your interior renewal:

First: Read the article again. Accept the living word of God that it contains as life-giving for you.

Second: Prepare yourself for prayer. Stand before the Father, realizing that He looks upon you and loves you. Pray the Our Father and the Hail Mary.

Pray: "Most loving Father, in the name of Jesus our Lord, I beg you to fill me with your Holy Spirit that my imagination, my memory, my thoughts, the intentions of my will, my whole person be for your praise."

Third: Take your Bible or this article and slowly read Rom. 12:2. Picture yourself before the Lord, as you are in His Kingdom. Picture yourself in all your human relationships, as you are in this world.

Fourth: Now choose your answers to the following questions:

  1. The way that I am conformed to this world is:
    a)  I'm hooked on TV
    b)  I buy my children the latest toy
    c)  I keep up with the latest styles in fashion
    d)  other ____________________________
  2. For my mind to be renewed, I am going to have to:
    a)  change my way of thinking
    b)  pray for the desire to change
    c)  step out and act in faith
    d)  other ____________________________
  3. I want to step out and act in faith but I am held back because I:
    a)  have a fear that holds me back
    b)  don't trust God enough to come through
    c)  don't remember to ask for the Holy Spirit to act in this moment
    d)  other ____________________________
Fifth: Reflect on Gal. 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit. Write here the situations where you find that you are empowered by the Spirit to bear this fruit, and the situations where you are not able to desire, to act, and to ask the Spirit to come forth. Pray for the Lord to act in your life in these areas. Pray with faith!

Love _________________________________________________________________


Joy __________________________________________________________________


Peace _______________________________________________________________


Patience _____________________________________________________________


Kindness _____________________________________________________________


Goodness ____________________________________________________________


Faithfulness __________________________________________________________


Gentleness ___________________________________________________________


Self-control ___________________________________________________________


For Effective Evangelization:

Bring forth the fruit of the Spirit by desire, by concrete action, and by calling on the power of the Spirit of Jesus in faith.

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