“We Have the Mind of Christ”

Who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel Him?

The prophet Isaiah posed this rhetorical question.  “Whom did God consult to gain knowledge?  Who taught Him the path of judgment or showed Him the way of understanding?” (Isaiah 40:13-14)

King Solomon posed the same rhetorical question, as we will read in our first reading at Holy Mass this coming Sunday.  “Who knows God’s counsel, or who can conceive what the Lord intends?” (Wisdom 9:13)

paulprison12
St. Paul in Prison by Rembrandt

Rhetorical questions.  God possesses unfathomable wisdom; we cannot plumb its depths.  To imagine that we know better?  Laughable human presumption.

Our ‘spirit’—our own proper intellectual capacity to reach God—it gets there only by faith.  We believe what we do not perceive, because we trust the authority of the source of the information.

But: the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are real.  That’s what St. Paul was saying when he wrote to the Corinthians:  “We have the mind of Christ.” (I Corinthians 2:16)

St. Paul wrote I Corinthians because of divisions among the people.  He diagnosed the cause of those divisions:  worldliness, imperfect faith, reliance on human approval.

So his letter clarifies the Gospel beautifully.  The unity of the Church consists in Christ Himself, present in the Blessed Sacrament, Who fills us with His supernatural, divine love, and Who directs us spiritually towards the true goal, which is to share in His resurrected, immortal life.

The resurrected, immortal life of Christ:  We believe that He lives that life, and that He shares it with us.  We experience interiorly the reality of that life by His divine inspirations, which He has equipped us to receive, by giving us the seven gifts.

The mind of Christ—it is wisdom, true heavenly wisdom—the savor, the sweetness of being alive, with no fear—no fear of death, no fear of human disapproval, no fear of the future—no fear whatsoever, except the fear of offending our good God.

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Three Strawberries of the Dozen

Holy Spirit dove sun

The Lord Jesus pours the Holy Spirit into our souls. And the Spirit bears fruit in us, as if in a garden, or grove, or strawberry patch.

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The Trouble with the World

Do not let your hearts be trouble Passion of the Christ
John 14:1

Let’s thank the good Lord that he kept someone as intelligent and insightful as St. John the Evangelist so close to Himself at the Last Supper. St. John remembered and wrote down some important things that Jesus said that evening.

Our readings from chapter 14 of St. John’s gospel began last Sunday, with the Lord Jesus saying: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

Now, the Apostles might reasonably have asked: “Don’t let our hearts be troubled? But you have just told us that you will not be with us much longer, and that we cannot go to the place where you are going. Of course our hearts are troubled!”

And we might reasonably ask also: “Don’t let our hearts be troubled? Lord, You came to reveal the face of the eternal and almighty Father, then you vanished into the heavens. But these days no one seems to care about anything other than internet access and Donald Sterling. The world seems to have closed in on itself completely, and people want immediate satisfaction instead of eternal life. Of course our hearts are troubled!”

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Knowing what Christ the King Knows

Christ is the faithful witness.

Jesus said, ‘For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.’

Christ has born faithful witness to the great and enduring truth. We need to grasp this truth, if we are to make any sense out of our lives. But we could never have figured it out, if Jesus had not born faithful witness to it and testified to it.

Christ bore witness faithfully. In other words, he testified without swerving, without fudging, without prevaricating, without betraying the truth. That Christ bore ‘faithful’ witness does not mean that He testified to His own personal “faith.” He testified to what He knows and has always known, namely God. Christ knows the great, enduring, and transcendent truth. He knows; we believe. We have faith in the knowledge of Christ.

With me? Good. Now, how did Christ bear faithful witness? How did He testify to the mysterious truth of God?

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Evening Homily for Second Advent

This is my prayer, that your love may increase more and more, in knowledge and every kind of perception. –Philippians 1:9

These were St. Paul’s words to the Christians in Philippi, when he wrote to them from prison.

Moses with his "horns"
The church in Philippi was the first that St. Paul founded in Europe. It was the community that was most dear to him. The purpose of his letter was to beg the Philippians to comfort him by persevering in faith and love.

Let’s pay careful attention to what the Apostle wrote: “This is my prayer…that you may increase in knowledge and every kind of perception.”

St. Paul did not write to the Philippians to correct them. They had not abandoned the true faith, nor gotten confused, nor slipped back into paganism or into Judaism. The Philippians were on the right track, and St. Paul rejoiced in it.

But he prayed that they might increase in knowledge and discernment. A few moments ago, we made a similar prayer for ourselves. At the beginning of Mass, we prayed: “Father, let us share the wisdom of Christ.” Let us share the wisdom of Christ.

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Labor of Love

football diagramLet’s say you are a defensive linebacker. Let’s say the other team just scored a touchdown. Then they try a two-point conversion.

Let’s say you intercept a pass on their conversion attempt. You run the ball back to the OTHER end-zone.

How many points does your team get?

Two points, chief. Two points.

Did you know that? I have been a football fan all my life, and I did not know it until yesterday.

john isner
John Isner

Speaking of college football, Florida beat Charleston Southern 62-3.

Impressive victory. But the Gators did not cover the spread, which was 63 points.

Yesterday was quite a day.

I was sorry to see Andy Roddick knocked out of the U.S. Open so quickly. On the other hand, we tall guys have to stick together. (John Isner is 6′ 9″.)

…It’s time for some new Bests.

The overwhelming winner of the First-Anniversary poll was: “This blog is best enjoyed with a cold one.”

…Happy Labor Day! The “labor of love” is your patient indulgence of this tedious blog, written by one of the worst priests ever ordained.

…Here is a mysterious saying of Christ:

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