Pondering for Saturday, May 30, 2020

Daily Office Readings for Saturday after the 7th Sunday of Easter: Year 2

Psalm 107:33-43, 108:1-6(7-13) Ezek. 36:22-27; Eph. 6:10-24; Matt. 9:18-26

“ Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.  To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.”  (Ephesians 6: 18)

Paul says to “pray in the Spirit.”  How do I do that?  Do I sit quietly and meditate on what I want God to do or know?  Do I ask the Spirit to pray through me?  That has been said by Paul, that it is not we who pray but the Spirit who prays through us.  I think both of these concepts are correct.

We have become accustomed of asking someone to pray at meals or for opening or closing a meeting and we have framed prayer as religious words heard at key points of events.  I think the scripture writers – our early Christian parents, prayed quietly. In fact, we may not have been able to tell when they were praying and when they were not.

Just as St. Francis said “go out and preach the Gospel and when necessary use words,” I say, pray always, and when necessary use words, words that others may actually hear.

Today, we also remember Joan of Arc; Mystic and Soldier, 1431

Jeanne d’Arc, or Joan of Arc, was born the daughter of peasant stock in France in 1412.  Called the “Maid of Orleans,” she was a religious child, and at a young age she began to experience spiritual visions, which she described as voices emerging from a powerful flash of light. She believed that Saint Michael and Saint Catherine, among other saints, called her to save France from the civil war between the Houses of Orleans and Burgundy. At first, her visions were looked upon skeptically, but she eventually convinced King Charles VII, the not yet consecrated King of France, of the genuineness of her visions. (Great Cloud of Witnesses for May 30)

 In her military campaigns she was captured, and was treated horribly, and sold to the English. “She was later sent back to France, appeared before the Bishop of Beauvais, and was tried at Rouen on charges of witchcraft and heresy. Her visions were declared “false and diabolical” and she was forced to recant. Later that year, however, she was tried and condemned as a relapsed heretic and burnt to death at Rouen. In 1456, following an appeal of her trial, Pope Callistus III declared her to have been falsely accused. She was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. Although her efforts were unsuccessful in ending civil war in France, she inspired later generations with her faith, her heroism, and her commitment to God and to her King. She is today one of the patron saints of France.”  (Great Cloud of Witnesses for May 30)

I thank you Joan, as both a military man and as a priest. Your courage and faith are to be emulated.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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