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Live By the Spirit

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“I say, then: live by the Spirit” … (Galatians 5:16)

I am reading the book Broken by William Cope Moyers. It is his harrowing story of living with addiction – addiction to cocaine, alcohol, success, power and more. He was on a quest, as a young man, to be as successful as his father, the well known CBS News correspondent and White House Press Secretary for President Lyndon Johnson. In Moyers’ story we are reminded of how we as humans can stray from lives of truth and compassion to a lifestyle that craves and seeks, at all costs, things that can bring tragedy and ruination to life. When chasing the wrong goals and living with misguided values, life can become very broken. 


Most of us, as we read these words quickly say to ourselves, well that’s not the way I live. Sure, I want to be successful, but I’m not an addict. I may not be perfect, but I have found balance between work, time with family, being generous, providing for my family, caring for the poor, providing positive (and healthy) mentorship for my colleagues, getting exercise and making time for quiet, reading, prayer and time with God. I, for one, would not be totally truthful, if I said that about myself. Finding balance for me is challenging. As I look at the list, I do some of those things very well, while I fail miserably at making others happen. 


In our reading today from Galatians we are reminded that we are called to live our lives in the Spirit, the Spirit of God.  Being led by the Holy Spirit involves the desire to hear, the readiness to obey God’s Word and the sensitivity to discern between your feelings and His promptings. Do we mentally orchestrate our day and ask the Spirit to bless our plan – or do we ask the Spirit for guidance and let life flow from the answer to that prayer? Maybe the answer to that question is not the same each day.


Our challenge is to live each day guided by the Holy Spirit. It’s easy to become consumed by the urgent in our lives and neglect ourselves. In doing so we become insensitive (to ourselves and others), our lives are not motivated by love, and we can lose touch with our moral and spiritual selves. Challenge yourself to model a life that imparts love, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, kindness, joy, peace and self-control. Today, I’ll try again too.   


Holy Spirit,

we sometimes struggle with life and our compass that points to You, fails.

Give us strength and insight to live life each day,

consistent with Your guidance and Your gifts. Amen.

Carol DeSchepper
Director, Parish Nurse Center, Avera

1 KINGS 19:16B, 19-21 ● PSALM 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

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