Saturday, May 25, 2013

If you do not eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood . . .

. . . then you will not have life within you."  Jesus speaking in John 6:53

Continuing from the previous post, I do not understand how Biblical Christians can accept the teaching from their ancestral and current pastoral leaders that Jesus did not clearly, and literally teach and institute the Sacrament of himself hidden in the signs of the bread and wine.

Especially when you read this verse in context. 

John 6
51 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" 53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, (or Solemnly) I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me.  58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever."

Jesus tells us that we need to eat his own flesh as food so that we might enter into that divine life shared between Him and the living Father.  Without eating the flesh of Jesus and drinking his blood we remain men and women without the life of God within us.

Question:  How many times during this teaching in John chapter 6 does Jesus mention that his flesh is to be eaten and his blood to be drunk by those who wish to have eternal life, and in verse 55,  to have Jesus abide in him and Jesus in him?

Answer Seven times

None of his disciples thought he was speaking using poetic imagery.  We find out in the verses that follow that some could not accept this.  They did not forsee that Jesus would give us his very flesh to eat and blood to drink in an unbloody sacrifice instituted at the Last Supper, forever memorializing his precious blood being poured out for us from the cross.

In verse 60 we learn what some of his followers thought of this teaching, "This is intolerable language.  How could anyone accept it?"

65 And he (Jesus the Son of God) said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." 66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" 68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."
We know that the Jewish leaders at the time of Jesus's resurrection paid off those guards who were sleeping while charged with guarding Jesus's tomb.  Then they began spreading the rumor that his disciples had stolen the body so as to suppress the eyewitness accounts of Jesus appearing to the women and the disciples after his resurrection.
How is this not analagous to what has happened to the decendants of the Protestant Reformation?  Martin Luther taught the real presence.  But then someone in Switzerland, Ulrich Zwingli, began teaching the presence was symbolic.  John Calvin succeeded him and he taught that the presence was dynamic - when communion was received by "the elect" then the presence of Jesus was present with the bread and wine.
None of this is Biblical.  What an amazing irony.  If you are Protestant, please pray and please seek to find if this veiling of the truth by the Reformers was not heretical, and depriving you of the great act of love of the Savior to be united with you in Holy Communion that you might dwell in Him, and he in you, and where he is, so too is the Father and the Holy Spirit. Please research the articles at The Coming Home Network and Patrick Madrid's article, "Where is that in the Bible?: The Eucharist".
What a tragedy so many Catholics who have received Jesus in Holy Communion leave the Church when they are taught errors by those who propagate these errors.  What a tragedy that parents who prize the photographic moments of Holy Communion do not bother to carry out Jesus's command to the Apostles and also to us at the Last Supper . . . . "Do this in memory of me."  Many children are not brought to receive Jesus on Sundays and Holy Days and they grow up adopting their parents example and attitude that it isn't necessarily Jesus's command.  It is most certainly not optional but an affront to the Savior, in my discernment.  Attending Holy Mass or Divine Liturgy is our response of love, obedience and gratitude to the Son of God.  God forbid anyone would have their eyes so blinded by this world as to view the remembrance and worship of Jesus as an optional way of celebrating a beautiful holiday like Christmas, Easter, or a wedding or commemorating someone's funeral.
If you are Catholic, please pray that the Father would draw you to his Son and increase you faith, devotion, and tender love and gratitude for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Thank you Lord Jesus, for the gift of yourself in the Holy Sacrament of the altar (not the table). 
Father please continue to draw me and all those who you will to encounter and believe and offer love and gratitude to your Son for his great gift of his flesh for us to eat and his blood for us to drink that we might have the divine life of the Trinity present within us.  In Jesus Name, your Beloved Son, our Savior, Amen.
The Gospel Accounts of the Last Supper
 26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:26-28)
22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”  (Mark 14:22-24)
19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 20 And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:19-20)
23 Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. 25 "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth. 20 "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." (John 14:23-26,15:4-5,17:20-21)
It was interesting that John's Gospel, while having the most compelling teaching of Jesus in chapter 6 does not parallel the synoptic Gospels account of the institution of the Eucharist. Some Biblical scholars explain that this is because the celebration of Holy Eucharist was already well-established by the time John's Gospel was written.
Words of Consecration in the Roman Catholic Canon
Institution Narrative (recalling the words and actions of Jesus at the Last Supper; see Mark 14:22-24; Matt 26:26-28; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-25):
On the day before he was to suffer he took bread in his holy and venerable hands, and with eyes raised to heaven to you, O God, his almighty Father, giving you thanks he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying:
In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took this precious chalice in his holy and venerable hands, and once more giving you thanks, he said the blessing and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying:
Words of Consecration in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
"You so loved Your world as to give Your only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.  After He had come and fulfilled the whole divine plan for our sake, on the night He was given over--or, rather, gave Himself for the life of the world--He took bread into His holy, most pure and immaculate hands, gave thanks, blessed, sanctified and broke it; He gave it to his holy disciples and apostles, saying:
Take, eat:  This is my body, which is broken for you for the forgiveness of sins.
In like manner the cup after the supper, saying: 
Drink of it, all of you.  This is my blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Notice the Congruence between John 6:55, Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:19-20, and the Words of Consecration.
Jesus says this is my body and this is my blood.  The priests also say this is my body and this is my blood.

No mention of symbolism, or mystical presence, or being there with the bread and wine. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."

St. Paul summarized it similarly in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread,24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body that is for* you. Do this in remembrance of me.25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying,This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.28Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup.29For all who eat and drink* without discerning the body,* eat and drink judgement against themselves.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Protestants: How can you not believe Communion = Body and Blood of Jesus Christ?

Had a great conversation with a Baptist riding on the softball team's bus back from a game a few weeks ago.  She is the assistant coach, and I am one of the team moms.
I wasn't looking to argue doctrine with her, she was just telling me where she went to church, and about the miracles her father-in-law, the pastor, and her mother-in-law experienced as he left the world of business and began to follow the call to be a pastor.  I would not rule out that she was looking to persuade me to come to her church.
She started telling me how they believe that we are saved by grace, by believing in Jesus Christ.  I don't disagree with that.  I don't believe our Church teaches that we can be saved, other than by believing and being washed clean in the Precious Blood of our Lord.
Then she told me about their belief that the celebration of Communion or "The Lord's Supper" is not the body and blood of Jesus, but just bread and wine.  She asked me what I believed. 
It was at this point that I thought she must have forgotten the conversation we had two years ago when I told her I was Catholic.
I told her that it is only the body and blood of Jesus if the priest consecrating it was ordained as part of the Apostolic Succession.  So if a church's minister is not ordained by those who were ordained by the the Apostles (Catholic, Orthodox Bishops) who were originally ordained by Christ, then that church only has bread and wine. 

I am shaky, or rather ignorant on the specifics as to whether Anglican, Episcopal, Lutheran can validly claim to have this same Apostolic Succession and real presence doctrine in their churches.  I think some "sub-denominations" of each of these do claim and believe this and some are not as strong in the belief and allow for their members to believe in the real or optionally mystical or symbolic presence of Christ in Communion.  That isn't the focus of this post though.  I apologize if I offend any fellow Christians who do believe they are receiving the real presence of Christ at Communion due to my ignorance.
Her church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and they believe, "The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming."
I would agree that all they can celebrate without having a priest is a symbolic act of obedience, but it is not a real act of obedience.  That would actually be a bit of irony contained in this the VII. statement in their confession of beliefs.
What puzzles me would be how they can reconcile sola scripture and non-belief in the validity of the Sacrament as practiced in the Roman Catholic, Byzantine Catholic, Orthodox and other churches with priests ordained according to Apostolic Succession. 
While I could not at the time quote the chapter and verse, I asked her, "In Corinthians, St. Paul says not to receive the body and blood of the Lord unworthily.  How would we unworthily receive the body and blood if it were not the body and blood of Jesus Christ and instead just bread and wine?"
She said her pastor/father-in-law says that has to do with unworthy living, not following Christ, living as we should.

In other words, he preaches on this passage of scripture using a figurative interpretation.  He doesn't interpret the words of St. Paul literally, but instead when he says Body and Blood of the Lord he associates that not with the substance of the bread and wine but with those receiving the bread and wine.
1 Corinthians 11:
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.
Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, Italy - the flesh was determined to be of the myocardium (wall of the heart)
So the focus in that Pastor's coverage of this passage is verse 11:28 an unworthy manner and in 11:29 the discernment would be to not discern that one is part of the body of Christ?
How do you get past the literal meaning in 11:24, "This is my body".  How can you profane the body and blood of the Lord (11:27) if it is just bread and wine or grape juice symbolically remembering Jesus's last supper? 

After we got off the bus, my daughter said I was a little loud and repetitive with the, "How could we unworthily receive bread and grape juice? It has to be unworthily receiving the body and blood of the Lord." She asked if I could have said it lower and less repeatedly, but of course that is not possible after the fact.
Similarly, and we didn't get this far, how do you interpret John 6:51 -
(Jesus said) "I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
This would have to be symbolically interpretted I guess as well, right? 
That is what I heard on the last Journey Home episode I watched.  That for John 6 many of the Protestant sects switch from a literal interpretation of scripture to a figurative interpretation.  Some of the same preachers who tell their congregations how critical it is to believe God created the world in six 24 hour days (see Gen. 1) and rested on the seventh tell their congregations that John 6:51 and 1 Corinthians 11:27 are to be interpretted figuratively, or discern the body and blood is really talking about the body of Christ, the Church, that St. Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 12:

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free -- and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
But that isn't what St. Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians 11 and that isn't what Jesus is talking about in John 6:51 or the preceding verses in John 6.

As Flannery O'Connor said, "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."
Flannery's quote could be applied to many things that have become tolerable and accepted in our culture, but for the purposes of this post, I am including it because it is a nagging thing isn't it to get good spiritual food in studying the Bible, hearing well-prepared sermons ("messages"), praising God in beautiful, heart-lifting music or traditional hymns and then to be hit in the face with not being in real obedience to Christ who told us to receive his body and his blood of the New Covenant in rememberance of him.  Then what an outrage to realize only those priests, and not all priestly people (see 1 Pet. 2:9), are ordained by Christ to consecrate bread and wine, and through the power of the Holy Spirit have those elements transubstantiated into the Real Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ our Lord.

We as Catholics are sometimes left undernourished by the watered down reverence of our liturgies, ill-prepared homilies, or music gone awry that accompanies the Mass.  We do want it all though.  We want the fullness of the truth, and we want to be filled to overflowing by worshipping in Spirit and in Truth (see John 4:24).
Here are some quick points to remember, paraphrased from Fr. John Bartunek in The Better Part's
commentary on John 6:36-51:
Real Devotion to the Eucharist:
  • Active and prayerful involvement in the Mass (or Divine Liturgy for eastern rite Catholics)
  • Our recollection in receiving Communion (recollection = attention to the presence of God in the soul)
  • The frequency and sincerity of our visits to the Tabernacle
These things follow when we remember:
Jesus is the bread of eternal life, its source and sustenance and Jesus's presence in the bread and wine of the Eucharist is the source and sustenance of our life of intimate communion with God.  In my own life I find that if I do not visit the Tabernacle, do not receive Jesus frequently in Holy Communion then my efforts toward recollection are more strained and less frequent as well.  I still find God and the presence of God in Scripture, as do my Protestant friends, but there is an emptiness and a more hollow recollection for me personally without basking in the Eucharistic presence of Christ in the Tabernacle, Monstrance, and receiving Jesus, my Lord, in Holy Communion.
For my fellow Catholics, you might want to check out this site:  Also, keep in mind there are many documented Eucharistic miracles through the centuries.  Unfortunately few Catholics in this country were told about them!

On Monday mornings, I pray with the Moms-in-Prayer group at my kids' school.  We pray in the "sanctuary" which is the entire church for the Reformed Church and not just the holiest area of the space where the altar and tabernacle reside.  Many times I notice, palpably, the emptiness of the worship space without the Eucharistic presence of Christ.  Once we begin praying I am aware that there he is in the midst of 2 or more gathered in his name (see Matt. 18:20) and we also pray using Scripture which helps.  For awhile I stopped attending this prayer group opting instead for Mass.  Now I am attending the group again, but stopping in for prayer in front of the Tabernacle at my Church afterward.  I can attend daily Mass on the other days of the week.  Praying for my children, the other moms' children, and the school together, in a focused and intense way is very worthwhile.  When I came back and rejoined them, the Lord seemed to confirm this for me.

I was led to the Church I attend now and it took care of the negative feelings I had when the three Scriptures for Mass were not used for the homily or only nominally used, and when the homilies were essentially as superficial as to find that set of words that would be least likely to cause anyone in attendance discomfort, and the music leader was given full rein to dress and orchestrate the music according to her whims.  In addition the Church I am in now is super reverant.  The priests are preachers in the tradition of the early Church fathers, and the homilies should cause us some discomfort and spur us to action, especially the action to repent of our sins and plead for the Lord's mercy.  Our priests regularly emphasize our personal relationship with all three persons in the Holy Trinity, the need for daily prayer, and the need for daily reading of Scripture.  As I told my Baptist friend on the bus, "You would be surprised that our priests preach many of the same things your Pastor or other Protestant preachers do." 

With the exception of course that the bread and wine we receive are not mere symbols of Christ's body and blood sacrificed on the cross, but his real body and blood to give us divine, eternal life in our souls.

Christ's gift of himself in the Eucharist is to me the way that he fulfills his promise:
"Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." - Matthew 28:20

Is it just me or does the refrain from the
Stations of the Cross echo in your mind when you enter a church where Christ is present in the Tabernacle or Monstrance?

Leader: We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.
All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

GREAT NEWS:  If you are attending a Protestant Church and want to learn more about Jesus's real presence in the Holy Sacrament of Communion and want to take steps to get your questions answered and, God willing, take the steps necessary to receive Jesus's body, blood, soul, and divinity, you can.  Please access this link to the Coming Home Network.  There are links from that home page for pastors, and non-pastor lay people.  Marcus Grodi is less "tongue-in-cheek" than I am.  He is more mature that way! 
I apologize if I offended any of my Protestant brothers and sisters in this post in any way.  It wasn't my intention, but I probably could have edited it more thoroughly to ensure it.  Please forgive me. 
My prayer is the same as Jesus's prayer to Our Father, "Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one." - John 17:11b

Monday, May 20, 2013

"You are my Savior, who has always loved the sinner"

- from St. Jane de Chantal, 1572-1641

God gave me yet another fresh start this weekend through the grace of the Sacrament of Confession.  I went the same day as my youngest child's First Confession, the day before his First Holy Communion.  Usually I do not have the chance to prepare much for Confession as I usually go when there happens to be a priest hearing confessions on Sunday during Divine Liturgy.  Sometimes there is a priest, and sometimes there isn't.  But on Saturday, I knew there would be a priest so I did some actual preparation, a thorough examination of conscience. 

The priest probably didn't realize that it would be a longer, more thorough confession than my usual.  But he settled in, after hearing the little ones tell of their disobeying their parents in various ways, and heard me out.  He gave me some of the same advice that I had been "stumbling upon" on the days leading up to my Confession.

Part of it was the Serenity Prayer that many women attending Al-Anon receive.  My Mom had a little framed version, only about a 3" x 4" size on her dresser.  I had read it and prayed it many times.  It looked exactly like this:

The Serenity Prayer
After diving into the wealth of Scripture and the writings and prayers of the saints, it had fallen out of favor with me.  Then I heard it on the radio the other day.  It was the Catholic Channel, so I didn't dismiss it.  Then the priest mentioned it in his advice in the Confessional on Saturday.  So now I am thinking I need to stop dismissing it and start praying it more.
That first part, accepting the things I cannot change, that isn't just for spouses of alcoholics, as I may have attributed it, since my Mom got if from Al-Anon, but also for parents, especially mothers like me that don't know when to just be quiet and let their children make their choices.  Even when I know those choices are not optimal and will cost both them and us.
Somehow God lets us have this free will, even though he knows more than anyone the cost of sin, the cost in our lives and those in our lives, and the cost born physically and interiorly by his Son in his Passion and Death on the cross.
The second key part of my priest's advice that was echoed in the writing from St. Jane below is that God is always near, and he loves me.  I need to call to him in confidence for help when my buttons are being pushed or when I am tempted, as the first recourse.  It can become a habit, with God's grace, it will be my new habit of the rest of my life.
Confirmation came today from my reading of Galatians 5, and also on the advice of St. Jane de Chantal on Galatians 5:13-25 captured in The New Jerusalem Bible: Saints Devotional Edition.

1Christ set us free, so that we should remain free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be fastened again to the yoke of slavery.
13After all, brothers, you were called to be free; do not use your freedom as an opening for self-indulgence, but be servants to one another in love,14since the whole of the Law is summarized in the one commandment:  You must love your neighbor as yourself.  15If you go snapping at one another and tearing one another to pieces, take care:  you will be eaten up by one another (reminds me of married life, or conversations with my teenagers).
16Instead, I tell you, be guided by the Spirit, and you will no longer yield to self-indulgence. 17The desires of self-indulgence are always in opposition to the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are in opposition to self-indulgence:  they are opposites, one against the other; that is how you are prevented from doing the things that you want to. 18But when you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious:  sexual vice, impurity, and sensuality, 20the worship of false gods and sorcery; antagonisms and rivalry, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels, disagreements, 21factions and malice, drunkenness, orgies and all such things.  And about these, I tell you now as I have told you in the past, that people who behave in these ways will not inherit the kingdom of God.  22On the other hand the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, 23gentleness (meekness) and self-control (temperance); no law can touch such things as these.  24All who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified self with all its passions and its desires.
25Since we are living by the Spirit, let our behavior be guided by the Spirit.

As another confirmation in our Mothers-in-Prayer group this morning, one of the moms mentioned how nothing has changed since the first sin in the garden.  Pride and selfishness caused that sin, and those two still cause personal sin today.

St. Jane de Chantal wrote this letter to a close associate on how to correct evil inclinations with good behaviors--the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  Emphasis added by me.

"My dearest daughter, may the good God inspire me to say what is for his glory and your consolation. (good way to begin a letter or a blog post :)  In my judgment all the repugnancies of which you speak, all your feelings, aversions, difficulties, are for your greater good.  And you are bound not to yield to them.  You should keep making resolutions every day to fight and resist them.  Yet when you fall--say as many as fifty times a day--never on any account be astonished or uneasy.  But quite gently reproach yourself and take up again the practice of the contrary virtue.  All the while speak words of love and confidence to our Lord.  Speak them just as much after you have fallen into a thousand faults as if you had fallen into one. Do not forget all that we have said to you on this subject.  Practice it for the love of God, assured that God will draw his glory and your perfection out of this weakness.  Never have a doubt on this point, and bear up bravely and sweetly whatever happens.  If sometimes you feel weak, cowardly, with no confidence in God, compel you lips to utter words the very opposite of your feelings, and say them firmly:  My Savior, my all, despite my miseries and my distrust, I trust you completely.  You are the strength of the weak, the refuge of the miserable, the wealth of the poor.  In a word, you are my Savior, who has always loved the sinner.  Now these and similar words, my dearest daughter, you can say--perhaps not with devotion or tears, but with set purpose.  Then pass on to divert your mind in some way, for the Almighty will not let you escape from his hand that has so securely captured you.  Don't you see how his sweet goodness comes to your aid in such a striking and beneficial way? -- St. Jane de Chantal, 1572-1641

Finally this beautiful verse celebrating the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church in Pentecost, and to each of us in our Baptism, Confirmation, and the many times in our lives when the Lord has given us a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit:

"(T)he love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us." --Romans 5:5b

Faith and expressed confidence and trust in the love of God is a great gift, and when we act on it, we glorify Him!