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Chris (email link at the bottom of each page)

"Create in me a pure heart, Oh God"

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Psalm 50 (51)


10.    Create in me a pure heart, Oh God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11.    Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12.    Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.

Chris


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The Holy Trinity

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John 3:16–18
 
Depiction of Father, Son and Holy Spirit
 
It is common today for commentators to point out that the three major world faiths are very similar in that they all share a belief in one God.  Althoug it is true that Christians believe in one God, our faith departs radically from Islam and Judaism in its belief that in the one God there are three Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  Furthermore, God the Son entered time and space and lived as one of us.
 
Belief in the Trinity is a central mystery of the Christian faith.  We are baptised “in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19), and we are invited to develop a relationship with each Person of the Blessed Trinity.  Jesus’s life, work, ministry, preaching and teaching all testify to this fundamental truth of Christian revelation.  In fact, the doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity could be described as the central mystery of the Christian faith and life; and it is this mystery that we are celebrating and rejoicing in today, Trinity Sunday.
 
For many Christians the ‘mystery’ of the Trinity remains just that: a mystery.  But the word in this sense is not used to mean a conundrum or a puzzle impossible to solve, but a sacred truth which we wil be able to penetrate more deeply only if we ask the Holy Spirit to shed his light and truth on our minds and spirits.
 
Instead of saying, “I can’t get my head around the Trinity,” we should say, “I need God’s help to get my head into the Trinity.”  In other words, we need to pray, “Lord, teach me, show me, guide me, lead me into the beauty, glory and majesty of your Blessed Trinity."
 
Here’s a prayer that could help:

"O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so as to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity." (Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity)

 
Chris
 
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The Holy Spirit for St Stephen, and for us

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Acts 6:8-15
 
Events began to unfold around Stephen which mirrored the Lord’s Passion and death; false accusations, charges of blasphemy and being hauled before the Sanhedrin.  Like Christ in life, like Christ in death, Stephen becomes the first martyr.  And his witness of martyrdom speaks to every generation of believers, until the end of time.
 
Luke highlights how Stephen was a man full of grace, filled with wisdom and the Holy Spirit.  He was God-centred, not self-centred.  Where did this grace and power come from?
 
Some of the answer can be found in the opening verses of Chapter 6: Stephen was selected by members of his community because of his apparent virtues and was presented, along with six others for the blessing of the apostles.
 
Luke informs us that the apostles “prayed and laid their hands upon them” (v. 6).  This was the customary manner in the early Church by which people were invested with the Holy Spirit to carry out special assignments and work.  This must have been the source of Stephen’s Spirit-filled life.
 
We too can be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Without the Spirit we labour in vain as we seek to serve the Lord by the power of our own strength and abilities.  Don’t be afraid to seek out the blessing of being prayed over to receive a fresh outpouring of the Spirit.
 
Bishops, priests and deacons can make this prayer, but so can fellow believers – when two or three gather in Jesus’s name.
 
We are called to be Spirit-filled Christians, men and women who live not for ourselves but for others, not by our own strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
Lord, fill me with your Spirit; fill me with your joy, hope and love that I many be an authentic witness of the Gospel.
 
Chris
 
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A Great Gift

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Acts 2:14, 22–33
 
 
The Holy Spirit is a gale blowing through us all
The Spirit was Jesus’s greatest gift to us, but we don’t rely on or turn to the Spirit enough in our lives.
 
Brother Lawrence said, "Those who have received the gale of the Holy Spirit go forward even in sleep.”  The Holy Spirit is God’s love poured into our hearts, and filled to overflowing with that love, like the apostles we are sent out to be bold and confident witnesses to the truth of the gospel.
 
Today, give thanks and praise to God for the many gifts that He has given us, but particularly the gift of rising from the dead and the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
 
"A gift is freely given, and expects no return.  its reason is love.  What is first given is love; that is the first gift.  The Holy Ghost comes forth as the substance of love, and Gift is his proper name.” (St Thomas Aquinas)
 
Chris
 
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