So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
In Pope Francis’ recent visit he clearly reminded us, like Paul, to care for others as Jesus did. He reminded us of the need to serve others, especially those throughout the world who suffer the ravages of poverty. How do we, as individuals and as church respond to the issue of poverty in its many forms? Both Paul and Francis invite us to pay attention to what we’re involved in, how we make choices, where and to what we’re drawn. Are our choices and decisions life-giving or do they diminish the hope and spirit of others? Do we ask God to lead us?
I believe we’re being invited to become discerning children of a loving God who wants us to enjoy the inner freedom that comes from spirit-filled choices, choices that bring joy to ourselves and others as well. How easy it is to become slaves to life’s daily consumer-driven, self-gratifying challenges. Discernment takes time, mindfulness, and prayer to the One who can fill our hearts with the inner freedom that we so desire.
Where is your heart being drawn today?
—Pat Schloemer is a member of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Cincinnati, Ohio, and in her fourth year of service with the Ignatian Lay Volunteer Corps. Pat and Sam Schloemer have been married 54 years, have 4 married children, and 11 grandchildren.
Grant me, O Lord, to see everything now with new eyes, to discern and test the spirits that help me read the signs of the times, to relish the things that are ours, and to communicate them to others. Give me the clarity of understanding that you gave Ignatius.
—Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ in Hearts on Fire, © 2004, Loyola Press: A Jesuit Ministry, Chicago, IL.