Start a Nano Journal
I know, I know, you’re already writing constantly, but this is a journal for you, and to carry you through the editing in December. It will give you a few moments to clear your mind, do some long-hand writing, and then proceed with your novel and its editing. Give it a try.
1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13
“To each individual the manifestation of the spirit is given for some benefit.”
Just as Jesus showed himself to the apostles and sent them on their mission work as his Father sent him, we also have the holy spirit within us as a guiding hand, showing us which path is the one that is best for each of us.
Write about when you’ve felt the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Today is the day, Holy Spirit.
You come upon us and leave a breath on each of us.
Your give your spirit to be a part of us,
as a third to join with the Father and the Son.
A guiding hand
There when needed,
Received with gratitude.
Acts 1:15-17, 20a, 20c-26
1 John 4:11-16
“He [G-d] has given us of his spirit…”
He is always with us even if we are unaware of it. As I write this, I am also planning an RCIA lesson for teaching the holy spirit, and in my heart it’s all there, but I can’t get the words onto the paper. I imagine that’s probably because the holy spirit isn’t an intellectual thing; it’s a faith thing. It’s ephemeral and other worldly. It’s in the heart, not the head. When we come to a crossroads, how do we choose? Is it the well-worn path or the not yet trodden, leaf-covered path? Left or right? Towards where the sun came from? Or where it’s going to set? We always choose, and what guides us is unmistakable and remarkable, and whether we’re aware or not, G-d remains in us, and we in Him.
What time do you remember making a decision that had the confidence of G-d guiding you or the holy spirit poking you in one direction or the other?
Come, Holy Spirit
Take my hand,
Lead me in the way I’m to go.
Come, Holy Spirit
Show me the way,
Lead me to the lighted path.
Come, Holy Spirit
Guide me with your love,
Lead me to the truth.
Come, Holy Spirit
I trust in you.
Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48
1 John 4:7-10
In the first reading today, the gift of the holy spirit poured out on the Gentiles. Peter ordered them to be baptized – cannot withhold water when they’ve received the holy spirit.
It’s not the water. It’s not the holy spirit. It’s not the cross. It’s all of those individual things becoming the greater thing, not only to guide us, but to always be within us.
When I was brought fully into the church four years ago I found out that the Easter Vigil is the only time the parish priests confer confirmation on the candidates. It is the only time that the bishop is allowed to be substituted. It is also the one time when the traditional sacraments are given in their order – baptism, confirmation, communion – rather than receiving the first communion between baptism and confirmation. There is something about being a part of such a longstanding tradition. When I participated and observed the Jewish rituals, I was always in awe of being a part of G-d’s chosen, descended from Abraham, observing things that had been observed since the beginning.
I feel that same way about my journey through Catholicism. In my studies, I’ve discovered that the mass hasn’t changed much since those first centuries.
The profoundness sometimes weighs on me, but the joy of it all lightens me.
This I command: love one another
Accept the Father’s love,
Offer your love as he does.
Accept His saving power, and
Offer gratitude for it.
Follow his commands,
Absolve your sins,
Close your eyes, and breathe it in.
Exhale it out with thanks, and
1 John 3:18-24
It reminds me of James 3:26: Faith without works is dead. It’s not the faith that’s important; it’s what having faith leads you to do. From giving money to giving time, our works and their reception increases our faith which increases our good works. Similarly, when we love both truthfully and through our deeds, we, and they, come alive.
“Let us love in deed and truth.”
Remind me, O Lord that faith and love are paramount, equally deed and works will lead us to fulfillment and a deeper faith and abiding love. Amen.
1 John 3:1-2
The cornerstone is the foundation, but it’s more than that. It’s the beginning, the first step, the mark of remembrance; the placeholder for all that is to follow.
When seeing the cornerstone, we see where that space all began. Sometimes there’s an engraving, a year of commencement or sometimes completion. A symbol highlighting the buildign’s significance – a cross, an open book. Letters: an engraver’s initials, an artist’s signature, a person’s legacy.
We trace the marks with our fingertips; we photograph all sides with a camera or even our mind’s eye. We do a pencil rubbing on vellum, but there are still realizations hidden deep away.
We begin with the cornerstone and find our own way from there.
Show us the full meaning of the cornerstone,
Bring us there for the beginning,
And walk with us as we end there
At the end of our circle.
We pray to you, and thank you for being by our side.
1 John 5:1-6
Today’s journal prompt comes from the Liturgical Press publication, Daily Reflections for Lent: Not by Bread Alone 2018 by Michelle Francl-Donnay:
Her meditation for Saturday, March 24:
“As the long season of Lent turns toward Holy Week and Easter, stop with G-d to take stock of where you have been. Where has your heart been opened? What Scriptures have spoken to you most clearly? What are you still clinging to that you wish to leave behind?”
Enlighten, O God of compassion, the hearts of your children, sanctified by penance, and in your kindness grant those you stir to a sense of devotion a gracious hearing when they cry out to you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Use this liturgical prayer as a journal prompt.