“For freedom Christ set us free.”

(Galatian 5:1)

Did you know that a battle is going on in your mind right now?  When St Paul speaks of the “freedom” Jesus won for us, he’s telling us that we can win this battle and be free from the attacks of sin and temptation.  What’s the battle for the mind?  Well, simply stated, we all have an incredible number of virtues and gifts by striving to be kind, generous, selfless, loving, patient imaginative, intuitive, and so on.  However, we also can be prideful, angry, moody, greedy, deceptive, lazy, jealous, and so on.  In other words, we have virtuous impulses that need to be “put on” and sinful habits that need to be “put away.”

In one way or another, each of our decisions is influenced by a combination of good and bad voices:  the Holy Spirit, the devil, our family and friends, our memories, even our imaginations!  These voices offer us different ways to approach how we live and the choices we make.  The question we face in every situation is, “Who will I listen to?  How will I decide?”

If you don’t want to be controlled by the negative influences, you’re going to need to a couple things: let the Holy Spirit speak to you and try your best to “take every thought captive” so that you can emphasize the upright thoughts and reject the negative ones.  This means holding fast to everything you experience in prayer, the Eucharist and Scripture.

Guard your mind as if you are carrying a valuable diamond in your pocket.  Don’t let any evil influence rob you of your peace or joy.  Try to stay close to Jesus and you’ll find yourself winning this battle of your mind and becoming more like Jesus.  You’ll know the freedom that Christ can to give you.

At the former Holy Family site, a temporary fence has surrounded the north-west portion of the property.  The garage has already been demolished and in the next few weeks, the rectory will be demolished and removed.  It will take about a week to complete.  For some parishioners, this visible change at the south campus may stir up some good or not-so-good memories of the past.  I’m leaning on the Holy Spirit, hoping that this sad but necessary change will facilitate healing and growth by moving our Catholic Community forward in the direction of God’s will.  I trust that most of you feel the same way.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday.  Some parishioners will be using the midweek break to take a weeklong summer vacation.  I will be one of them, visiting my priest-brother in Philadelphia.  I plan to return on Wednesday, July 11.

In God’s Time,    Fr. Carmelo


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