Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization
"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"
Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Keep the salt flavorful and the flame of faith burning!!!
In today's Gospel Jesus tells us salt is good and to keep salt within yourself. Ironically my doctor would not be happy with the Lord because he tells me to keep salt out of myself! Because I have Meniere’s disease, salt doesn't help my body. It causes pressure and fluid buildup in my ear and so I have to take a water pill and drink lots of water and eat a low salt diet in order to keep the fluid buildup to a minimum. So, salt isn't good for me in that way! :-)
But, on a spiritual level salt means a flavor that enhances our spiritual life. We use salt to flavor bland meat. In places where the livestock are not that healthy, for instance even in Florida the cattle are not as healthy as the Texas Longhorns and Omaha Steaks that we are used to. This is also true in desert regions like the Middle East and so salt is often used to flavor bland meat, or meat that isn't cooked well or is not that high in quality.
The Lord challenges us to consider what will happen if the salt loses its flavor. You can't season salt so then it’s no good for seasoning the meat. If we as Christian disciples lose the flavor of our faith and spiritual life we become bland and mediocre. So we have to remember that we are body and spirit. We have two dimensions to our human personhood and we need to keep alive and vibrant that spiritual dimension of ourselves. Our souls are meant to live on forever with God. We need to cultivate through healthy decisions and conscious choices and activities our spiritual life. We need to pray, receive the sacraments, love and serve others, read the scriptures be nourished by the Word of God, come to Mass, make our morning offering, be devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to cut out from our lives all that leads us to sin as the Lord challenges us to see today. This doesn't mean knee-jerk reactions but this means thoughtful removing of sin from our lives
So then we realize the importance of keeping salt in our lives, of keeping the flavor of our spiritual life strong and vibrant so that our whole self is seasoned by it. When the flavor of our faith fails we become frustrated by little things, we become depressed, we become detached and without peace within ourselves and with others, we become less likely to be happy healthy and prosperous. In order for our whole selves and our lives to be peaceful, in order to have peace with ourselves and among others, we need to nurture our spiritual life and do all the things that the Lord and the church give us to cultivate our spiritual dimension. We need to keep the salt of spirituality alive in us, to keep salt in us for salt is good in the eyes of the Lord.
What exactly is that salt? The salt is fire the Lord tells us – the fire of the Holy Spirit given to us at our Baptism. So, we need to nurture the gifts of the Spirit and the call of our Baptism to keep the gift of the flame of faith alive in our hearts. This gift is not something new that we have to seek out but it is already in us because of Baptism and enhanced because of Confirmation. We possess the gifts of the Spirit and so it is critical for us then to nurture those gifts and promote the growth of our spiritual life through Word and Sacrament, prayer and loving service, and removing from our lives all that leads us to sin.
We have been salted with fire. Salt is good but if it fails our whole person becomes bland. So many people in our world today wander without purpose, are sad and upset and worried because they do not have the light of Christ within them and so many people who know Christ do not tap into the potential that the gifts of the Spirit give us. So we pray for ourselves and for all of our world that we would nourish and nurture our spiritual life in order to grow in communion with God and to keep the unique salt and flavor and flame of faith alive in our hearts.
It's much like a bellows: we already have the gifts of the Spirit within us like embers. We need to fan them into flames and then we will find peace within ourselves and among others. Those who do not find peace do not have Christ and when we are without peace we are away from Christ. So, we seek to love the Lord more and more and to increase our commitment, good choices and our love for the Lord.
It's much like our bodies: if we fail to exercise and eat a good diet and take care of ourselves and go to the doctor then our bodies will become weak. So, too, we need to take care of our spiritual lives with consistent actions in the right direction and by spending time with the Lord.
Keep the unique flavor of our Catholic faith alive in you. Seek to grow in holiness every day. In determined spiritual growth, we discover the peace that only God can give.