WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Discipleship amidst Dissipation
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
May the prayers of the Virgin Mother of God help us to answer the call of Christ to be awake, to be consumed with the charity and knowledge of the love of God, that we may not fail to shine forth the light of Christ, even to a dissipated and distracted generation, who cannot help but sit up and take notice of people who enter into media with firm purpose and keen faith.
HYTHE, KENT, UK (Catholic Online) - Onlsaught.
One word which describes the sensual barrage of messages and memes, adds and fads, deals and do's and the endless river of excess of our age.
The result is a kind of dizziying drunkenness of the senses, a busyness of the body, where the expected result is to be desperately dissipated.
What do we do?
Follow the Mass readings for the day as Christ's instruction to you personally: "You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come." Stay awake! ""Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so."
In the arena of constant hum and buzz of activity, consider it Jesus Christ's call to stop. Focus. Do not allow the spirit of the world to make you, "present the parts of your bodies to sin as weapons for wickedness, but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life and the parts of your bodies to God as weapons for righteousness."
That's right, for a body, a mind that is so busy that it cannot stop and hear God, will inevitably, perhaps even without knowing, present parts of the body for sin. This is why pornography is such a terrible problem in our day: lack of prayer and overuse of stimulation, perhaps not even sensual stimulation, but simply the kind that doesn't allow one's passions to be still enough to seek the grace to rest in God.
What do we do?
Pray, pray, pray, and then pray, pray, pray some more. And after you are done with that pray again and again. The finite spaces of one's time and focus will either be filled with the Master who stills the soul or the spirit of mammon, the spirit of this world, which rejects the reign of Christ over the senses.
For when the Lord is with us, when God is present before our minds as the filter of all the activity, he preserves our souls in peace. Otherwise we will be easily conquered and led astray. As the psalm says, "Had not the LORD been with us, let Israel say, had not the LORD been with us- When men rose up against us, then would they have swallowed us alive."
Here are some practical pointers to keep one's focus and live the Gospel for the day:
-Schedule your prayer. Put it in your book, you iCal, your galaxy phone reminder, sticky note, whatever, just make it real and be accountable to it. I have an extra calendar on my iPhone that has its own color and it is called, "Holy Hour." When I see it I know that is the most important appointment of the day, when the Lord is scheduled to quiet my heart and still my passions to remind me that every moment is the moment when the Master is coming.
-Make periods of turning off your phone, computer, work. Like Jesus, turn away from the poor, the sick, the suffering, the needs of the day and turn to your Father in secret. Advent and Lent are perfect times to go off of Facebook and suspend networking.
-If your state in life requires of you certain amounts of a flury of activity, make clear boundaries of involvement with media. I noticed a huge presence of peace in my life when I did not allow my computer in my bedroom, since the anxiety of responding to messages was causing me to loose the sense that it was my sanctuary, that the Lord said, "Go to your room and speak to your Father in private." Here no one else can reach me and I speak with no one else. This is especially true for married couples, who ought to have a place in their home and in their relationship that is exclusive and off limits to anyone except the beloved. Having your computer in a "public" place is good also if you struggle with internet porn.
-Go to Mass as frequently and devoutly as you are permitted. Confess regularly with a confessor who can keep you accountable.
-Have periods of the day, even brief ones of 30 seconds or a minute where you can make an intense act of spiritual holy communion. St Maximillian Kolbe used to make many many brief visits to the blessed sacrament every day. Even thirty seconds where you focus intently on the passion of Christ will change the other seconds of the day.
-Be grateful. Be armed and shielded by gratitude - which is a kind of basin and container for authentic charity and worship of God.
-Walk in friendship with the Holy Mother of God. Her zeal in trampling on the spirit of the world and the sweet aroma of ardent prayer will suffocate the stench of dissipation and the snares of the enemy who cannot breath when the love of her Immaculate Heart consumes a soul in worship of God.
May the prayers of the Virgin Mother of God help us to answer the call of Christ to be awake, to be consumed with the charity and knowledge of the love of God, that we may not fail to shine forth the light of Christ, even to a dissipated and distracted generation, who cannot help but sit up and take notice of people who enter into media with firm purpose and sure charity.
Father Samuel Medley, SOLT, is a priest of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, and is based in Hythe, Kent, United Kingdom. He speaks to groups around the world on Blessed Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Visit his homily blog http://medleyminute.blogspot.com or his blog on the Church's teachings on marriage and family life http://loveandresponsibility.org
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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