Thursday, March 05, 2020



As with the word from the Holy Spirit for us to Arise, so too with His word Go. [1]

A re-visit of, and meditation upon, the Prologue of the Holy Gospel according to St. John places before our hearts that in the beginning of all things, the Father spoke ‘go’ to His Son who obediently entered time, took upon Himself the matter of sarx, that is flesh, becoming a man, a human being, like us in all things but sin, yet taking all sin upon Himself, and after teaching us, enters, with the moment to ‘go’ into the Garden, into the depths of His passion and death for us, into the tomb, arising in His Holy Resurrection and the going of His Ascension that the Holy Spirit Himself might go forth and arise upon us with flames of fire in sacramental baptism and all the sacraments!

It is the Holy Spirit who invites us to Go and follow Christ, to live out our baptismal vocation, to go in every moment and preach the Gospel with our lives without compromise as He has mandated us: Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” [Mt. 28:19,20] If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours. [Jn.15:20]

Even in the midst of sufferings the Holy Spirit gives us joy, a gift both comforting and empowering: comforting because it is the constant reminder of Christ’s Trinitarian promise: …I am with you always, even to the end of the age. [Mt.28:20], and empowering: because the Holy Spirit gives us all necessary grace to fulfill our vocation, to take up our cross daily and follow Christ, to, in union with Jesus Christ, go and fulfill our vocation of love, as beloved and thus empowered by being beloved becoming loving servants of others, to, in this culture of darkness and death, being light in the darkness.

In the famous poem The Star, these lines: Twinkle, twinkle, all the night. Then the trav’ller in the dark, Thanks you for your tiny spark, He could not see which way to go, If you did not twinkle so. [2] There may be days when for various reasons we don’t think we are shining that brightly, perhaps simply because the darkness of the contemporary culture of death seems almost solid, certainly weighs heavy. Most stars seem only to be tiny sparks, spots of light because they are so far away, yet their light reaches us.

The combination of those numerous stars radiates, cuts through the darkness of the night, because darkness cannot stop nor overcome light.

“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” [Mt.18:3] Too often when living out the Gospel we try and go and do so as adults. In today’s world there is far too much ‘adult’ shouting, arguing, anger, which betrays a lack of simplicity and being like Jesus in the depths of the culture of darkness and death. We need to go constantly and learn again and again: Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. [Mt.11:29]

Like the two weavers in the famous Hans Christian Anderson story The Emperor’s New Clothes, wherein the weavers lie and go through all the motions of making something new, but in reality by convincing the emperor the invisible thread they are using means only the worthy will see the new garments it is all a lie, a scam. All the adults allowed themselves to be in bondage to the fear of not being like everyone else who claimed to see the clothes, hence everybody cowered each other into silence. Only a child, with simplicity and truth cried out: "But he isn't wearing anything at all!"

The surrounding culture of death and darkness is satan’s seductive weaving of false clothing and too many Christians, wanting to be accepted, remain silent, or shout and rage and get dismissed as anti everything.

If we learn from Jesus and imitate His Heart, His humble and meek Heart, then when we go, as we must, to confront the culture of death we will not shout with anger, we will witness with the power of God’s silence, open people’s eyes, and hearts, opened to see, and witness against the nakedness of the culture of death. It is the courageous meekness and humility of Jesus before His accusers: Mt. 27: 11-14.

When we awake and arise, which is go into Love’s grace-gift of a new day, firstly we should go into the enclosed garden of our hearts and express gratitude, faith, love, and then go about the day’s duties, our response with love to the Most Holy Trinity’s love which sustains us as beloved.

The duty of the moment, which if entered into is to embrace the obvious Holy Will of the Father for us, is as varied as those aspects of our vocation – spouse, parent, worker, priest, etc., - of day to day going and loving, which is how we prayerfully live out our primary baptismal vocation. Every step of progress along the road to sanctity is a step of sacrifice in the performance of one’s duty…………The duty of the present moment, however, is not to be regarded as something passive. Rather, it is a constant and unceasing self-renewal, decision to choose or reject the Lord, search for the kingdom of God, belief in the infinite love of God, ardent action from the heart, reflection of the love of God in love of others, all in the present moment. [3]

In the Order of Holy Mass, before the reforms of Vatican II, the priest would stand at the foot of the steps leading to the altar and intone I will go unto the Altar of God. To which the altar server would reply with: To God, the joy to my youth. [Ps. 43:4]

Each duty of the moment is a type of altar, that is we go up to the altar of the moment and place thereon the gift of self, the gift of my druthers.

It is in the going, irrespective of the intensity of the struggle to do so, be that struggle physical, emotional, spiritual, that we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with His gifts of joy and peace.

This gift of joy and peace should never be confused with, nor should we allow satan to so trick us with, the emotional sensation of ‘happiness’, which is a Will-o’-the-wisp, a phantasm and is the fogging of right thinking, that is discernment of spirits, for satan does not want us to be attentive to, and go to, the Holy Spirit. Rather satan wants us stuck in the mud of the surrounding culture which is obsessed with whatever triggers instant happiness, instant self-gratification, itself self-idolatry and no one busy adoring any false god can be in true communion of love with the Most Holy Trinity, the one and only true God.

When we go into the moments of each day, striving as best we can to dwell peacefully in faith, love, hope, joy, we will of course encounter persons, events which disturb our inner peace, challenge faith, perhaps cause us to doubt the love of God, or others; darkness of the culture of death, or just being worn out from the challenge of daily life may stretch our hope to the limit, seem to tamp down our joy almost to oblivion.

Thus we should ask Our Blessed Mother, Lady of Joy, to help us With loving patience….set out to discover every day, every moment, the concrete form that the Mystery of Christ is seeking to take in our lives, so as to embrace it more fully. [4]

Jesus said…., “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” [Jn.20:29], and St. Peter teaches: Although you have not seen Him you love Him; even though you do not see Him now yet believe in Him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. [1Pt.1:8,9]

Every time we turn our gaze away from ourselves, our own needs, and go lovingly towards another and their needs; every time we go into the garden enclosed of our souls to commune in love with the Most Holy Trinity; every time we go to confession, go to participate in Holy Mass, go to Holy Communion and yes, every time at the end of the day, exhausted from fidelity to the duty of the moment, from whatever spiritual, emotional battles we have, by grace, endured, as we pray before we go to bed, there is yet another gift from Jesus, who Himself endured the heat, the labour, the struggles, interior and exterior of each day, indeed we can joyfully hear this in our hearts as His invitation anew that we go to Him, be with Him even while asleep:  “Come to Me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy, and My burden light.” [Mt.11:28-30]

We should go to sleep, like little children nestled in His arms, confident when we awake and arise – go into the grace gift of another day, or perhaps we shall awake before the uncovered face of the Most Holy Trinity: Then all who trust in You will be glad and forever shout for joy. You will protect them and those will rejoice in You who love Your name. [Ps. 5:12]


[2] For the entire wonderful poem:,_Twinkle,_Little_Star

[3] THE ROAD OF HOPE, a gospel from prison; Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan; pp. 22,23; Wellspring, 2018

[4] FIRE OF MERCY HEART OF THE WORLD, volume III, p. 215; Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis; Ignatius Press, 2012

© 2020 Fr. Arthur Joseph

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