Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
By Father Patrick Langan, LC
John 14: 21-26
Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name– he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for granting me the opportunity to be with you. There are things in life, Lord, that attract me, but you attract me more. I hope in you, and I love you. Maybe I don’t really understand what it means to love, and maybe I don’t love the way I should, but I do love you.
Petition: Lord, a lot of images distract me. Help me do something about this.
- The Danger: It is easy to forget you, Lord, especially with all the images that are around me. Every image I harbor in my heart, every emotion I abandon myself to leaves its mark. These can come from the radio, the Internet, songs, novels… anywhere. They seem to swamp my mind and make it easier to forget you. These images and emotions can also impoverish, degrade, limit and reduce my ability to extract from life its magnificent content, usefulness and happiness. You remind me that I should use everything only in as much as it helps me to reach you, my final goal.
- The Gift: On the other hand, I know you have sent us the gift of the Holy Spirit. As you promise in this Gospel, he will never stop reminding me of you. All I have to do is let his projector fill my imagination with images, with thoughts, with insights. Of course, I also have to use the world’s media correctly and in moderation. Holy Spirit, I know you are near; take possession of my soul and make it all your own. Guide my every decision so that I choose what is right and reject what is evil.
- Accepting the Gift: When I do forget, the Holy Spirit will remind me of all that Christ has said. All of the emotions and thoughts you inspire, Holy Spirit, will enrich my ability to live enthusiastically and forcefully. You will fill my mind with great and powerful images. All I have to do is open myself to you.
“The habitual difficulty in prayer is distraction. […] To set about hunting down distractions would be to fall into their trap, when all that is necessary is to turn back to our heart: for a distraction reveals to us what we are attached to, and this humble awareness before the Lord should awaken our preferential love for him and lead us resolutely to offer him our heart to be purified. Therein lies the battle, the choice of which master to serve” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2729).
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I have the option of letting myself be consumed with thoughts of anger, lust and power—thoughts that will make me grow old and become a more intense version of myself, closed in on myself. Help me take the steps to avoid these temptations. Allow the Holy Spirit to animate my mind and my soul.
Resolution: I will clear my mind by filling my thoughts with God and his things.