Category: Catholic Articles

The Works Of The Flesh Versus The Works Of The Spirit.

The Works Of The Flesh Versus The Works Of The Spirit.

*🎤The Works of the Flesh versus the Works of the Spirit.🎤*

Homily for Wednesday 17th October 2018.

_“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: 

Fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” *Galatians 5, 19 to 21.*_

For persons who are yet to know Christ, these things Paul refers to as the works of the flesh are just normal unavoidable bodily necessitates. But for those who have been converted, their opinion is the very opposite. So, what is my attitude these things Paul is talking about? Do I agree with Paul that by indulging my flesh, I lock myself out of God’s kingdom or do I believe Paul didn’t really mean what he was saying?

When Paul was talking about freedom in yesterday’s first reading, he was not talking about freedom from the law; (freedom to do whatever we like, since Christ has died for our sake), Paul was only attacking the issue of circumcision. However, some Christians interpret Paul’s words to mean that regardless of what we do with our bodies, salvation is still sure for us.

Dear friends, the truth is that freedom is not the ability to do what my body feels like doing, freedom is the ability to do what God says I must do. Freedom is not living like an animal in the bush, freedom is opening my inner space for God to dwell. We just have to accept that we cannot live by the works of the flesh and still inherit eternal life. We cannot eat our cake and still have it. We cannot even pretend about it.

Pretence is precisely what Jesus noticed with the Pharisees who were so concerned about external things to the detriment of the purity of their hearts. That is why Jesus called them “unmarked graves, on which people walk over without realizing it.” Luke 11:44. By using such an analogy, Jesus wanted to know how rotten they become inside when they only care about the outside. Our true life is not what people see, it is what God sees.

Dear friends, let us start making real efforts to live genuine Christian lives by feeding our Spiritual selves so that our lives would be characterized by LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GENEROSITY, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, and SELF-CONTROL. As St. Paul explains, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have CRUCIFIED THE FLESH with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-25.

Crucifying the flesh entails saying NO to its desires not only in public but especially in private where no one else sees. Crucifying the flesh cannot happen without edification of the Spirit. In fact, the more we edify our spirit, the more we overcome the pangs of our flesh.

Remember the story of the two elephants fighting? Yes, a mother was telling her son about two elephants fighting inside him and the boy asked: “which of them will win?” She replied: “the one you feed.”

Think of how many hours you spend feeding your flesh. Think of the amount and the quality of bodily delights and pleasures you provide for your flesh each day. Then compare that with the number of spiritual pleasures you provide for your spirit daily; the number of hours you spend away from your phone, away from the world, alone with God; the number of hours you spend reading something of worth to educate your mind etc.

Now that you know the elephant you have been feeding, you also know why the battle against the flesh has not been very successful.

*Let us pray: Lord Jesus, cleanse me from inside out that I may live by the Spirit. Amen. St. Ignatius of Antioch, pray for us.*

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. 

Wednesday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time. 

*Bible Study: Galatians 5:18-25, Psalm 1:1-6 and Luke 11:42-46.* 

Fr. Evaristus Abu🎷

The Works Of The Flesh Versus The Works Of The Spirit.

The Works Of The Flesh Versus The Works Of The Spirit.

*🎤The Works of the Flesh versus the Works of the Spirit.🎤*

Homily for Wednesday 17th October 2018.

_“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: 

Fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” *Galatians 5, 19 to 21.*_

For persons who are yet to know Christ, these things Paul refers to as the works of the flesh are just normal unavoidable bodily necessitates. But for those who have been converted, their opinion is the very opposite. So, what is my attitude these things Paul is talking about? Do I agree with Paul that by indulging my flesh, I lock myself out of God’s kingdom or do I believe Paul didn’t really mean what he was saying?

When Paul was talking about freedom in yesterday’s first reading, he was not talking about freedom from the law; (freedom to do whatever we like, since Christ has died for our sake), Paul was only attacking the issue of circumcision. However, some Christians interpret Paul’s words to mean that regardless of what we do with our bodies, salvation is still sure for us.

Dear friends, the truth is that freedom is not the ability to do what my body feels like doing, freedom is the ability to do what God says I must do. Freedom is not living like an animal in the bush, freedom is opening my inner space for God to dwell. We just have to accept that we cannot live by the works of the flesh and still inherit eternal life. We cannot eat our cake and still have it. We cannot even pretend about it.

Pretence is precisely what Jesus noticed with the Pharisees who were so concerned about external things to the detriment of the purity of their hearts. That is why Jesus called them “unmarked graves, on which people walk over without realizing it.” Luke 11:44. By using such an analogy, Jesus wanted to know how rotten they become inside when they only care about the outside. Our true life is not what people see, it is what God sees.

Dear friends, let us start making real efforts to live genuine Christian lives by feeding our Spiritual selves so that our lives would be characterized by LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GENEROSITY, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, and SELF-CONTROL. As St. Paul explains, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have CRUCIFIED THE FLESH with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-25.

Crucifying the flesh entails saying NO to its desires not only in public but especially in private where no one else sees. Crucifying the flesh cannot happen without edification of the Spirit. In fact, the more we edify our spirit, the more we overcome the pangs of our flesh.

Remember the story of the two elephants fighting? Yes, a mother was telling her son about two elephants fighting inside him and the boy asked: “which of them will win?” She replied: “the one you feed.”

Think of how many hours you spend feeding your flesh. Think of the amount and the quality of bodily delights and pleasures you provide for your flesh each day. Then compare that with the number of spiritual pleasures you provide for your spirit daily; the number of hours you spend away from your phone, away from the world, alone with God; the number of hours you spend reading something of worth to educate your mind etc.

Now that you know the elephant you have been feeding, you also know why the battle against the flesh has not been very successful.

*Let us pray: Lord Jesus, cleanse me from inside out that I may live by the Spirit. Amen. St. Ignatius of Antioch, pray for us.*

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. 

Wednesday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time. 

*Bible Study: Galatians 5:18-25, Psalm 1:1-6 and Luke 11:42-46.* 

Fr. Evaristus Abu🎷

Why Do Franciscan Friars Wear Brown? What Does Their Vestments Signify? 

Why Do Franciscan Friars Wear Brown? What Does Their Vestments Signify? 

It’s one of the most iconic and recognizable religious habits in the world. The image of a preaching Friar, in a simple brown robe with a humble cinture, is a powerful, evocative, and indelible image. But why exactly do Franciscans wear brown? Let’s take a close look at how the classic brown robes of the Franciscans came to be. 


By Canon Law, the numerous religious orders existing within the Catholic Church each wear their own distinctive garb according to the customs and laws of their institute. While it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of them all, the most easily recognizable religious robes may be those coarse brown ones worn by Franciscan friars, which are usually tied with a three-knotted rope, and paired with sandals. We can recognize a Franciscan’s robes from 100 yards away, but how did their brown color become the standard for their order.


Living simply.

Franciscan friars live their lives in solidarity with the poor, taking vows of poverty and living with few possessions. The Rule of St Francis does not prescribe any particular color to the order, but it does invite its members to “wear humble garments,” to “dress in cheap clothing.” The Franciscans serve the poor at their level and it would not help their mission to be covered in finery while serving the destitute.


Earth tones reflect the earthly body.

Every order which takes a vow of poverty does so in order to demonstrate that possessions are not what define us, and to follow the words of Christ in Matthew 19:21:

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

OFM.org, homepage to the Ordo Fratrum Minorum, cites a biographer who mentions the saint’s admiration of the plain lark, suggesting that brown reflects earthly life and the works of the order to relieve earthly suffering:

“Its plumage is earthy. It gives example to religious women and men that they should not have elegant and fine attire, but rather wear dull colors, like that of the earth.”


In the beginning, brown was all they had.

St. Francis began his order about 809 years ago, in 1209. At the time the brothers’ robes were supplied by peasants, who often were not much wealthier than the Franciscans. The most common color worn by the peasant class of the dark ages were varying shades of gray and brown, depending on the source of wool that was used. Undyed cloth was the cheapest available. The robe worn by St. Francis preserved at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels is gray. The Franciscans, whose clothing is meant to be utilitarian and long-lasting, were unconcerned by color, but as their influence grew, brown simply became “their color.”

The color served another purpose as well. When the order first began, the brothers lived among the leper colony of Rivo Torto near Assisi, and spent much of their time climbing the mountainous region of Umbria in order to bring relief to the needy. The friars would often sleep in dirt, and the brown color was useful in helping them to still look relatively clean.

The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a more recent branch of the followers of Francis, are known for their gray habits.


The cincture.

Another distinctly Franciscan trait of their garb is the cincture, a long corded rope with three knots tied into it that is worn around the waist. While the cincture does help to keep the sack robes closed on gusty days, the three knots represent Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, the three cornerstones of the Franciscan Order.


The hood.

While most Franciscan habits have an attached hood, one branch is distinctive for its long hoods, known as capuches. The Capuchin Franciscans take their name from this distinctive feature, and have in turn given their name to the capuchin monkey (who seems to be wearing a hood) and to cappuccino, the coffee beverage that echoes the coloring of the Franciscan habit.

Is Jesus Like Sleeping Beauty In The Tabernacle? What Exactly Is He Doing There? 

Is Jesus Like Sleeping Beauty In The Tabernacle? What Exactly Is He Doing There? 

There’s actually a figure from the Old Testament who gives us a clue …

The Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft, in one of his numerous books, asks this question: “What is Jesus doing in heaven right now?” The answer is classic Kreeft, at once pithy and profound: “Praying for you.” The only real way to improve upon Kreeft’s answer is simply to draw a further inference: If Christ is praying for us right now in heaven, then he is also praying for us right now in the tabernacles of the Catholic churches on earth.

Sometimes, we Catholics are tempted to think of the Eucharist as something holy yet inert, kind of like Sleeping Beauty. But that is incorrect; we should strive to change our habits of thought in this regard. To enter into the presence of the Eucharist is, instead, to enter into the presence of a Person who knows us and is praying for us at that very moment. Christ’s prophetic words about the Temple in Jerusalem find their fulfillment in your local parish church: “My house shall be a house of prayer” (Luke 19:46).  


Christ never ceases nor tires of praying for each of us before God the Father, whether on earth or in heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes this point in #662, “Christ permanently exercises his priesthood, for he ‘always lives to make intercession’ for ‘those who draw near to God through him.’” Again, let that thought sink in: Christ doesn’t stop praying for us. Ever.


The need for someone like this, someone who loves us and literally never stops asking God for good things for us, is revealed even in the Old Testament. In Exodus 33711, the intimate prayer of Moses with God is described. A designated place for prayer, a “tent of meeting,” was set up outside of the Israelite camp. As Moses would enter this tent, a “column of cloud” would descend upon it, signaling the presence of the Lord, to whom Moses would then speak “face to face, as one man speaks to another.” With their intercessor standing before God, the Israelites would then begin to pray “at the entrance of their own tents.”


Yet the Sacred Scriptures include one additional detail, one that foreshadows the unceasing prayer of Christ: Although the prayer of Moses would eventually end, and he would return to camp, his young assistant Joshua “would not move out of the tent.” In the abiding presence of Joshua there is a suggestion that intercession to God on our behalf should not actually come to an end. While we exist, it is fitting that our existence should be lifted to God in prayer. It is fitting that anytime we pray—whether “at the entrance to our tent,” or anywhere else—our intercessor should be standing before God.


But we can dig deeper still. Why is it fitting to have an intercessor before God as we pray? Or, putting the question back in terms of the story from Exodus, why did the Israelites rise and pray at the entrance of their own tents as Moses prayed? Why did that somehow seem like the right time for personal prayer? Surely it was because of that “column of cloud” that indicated the special presence of God.


While the people might have known in some abstract way that God was always present to them, the cloud was a tangible reminder, a summons to prayer. In this sense, the prayer of Moses enabled the people’s prayer. His prayer called down the presence of God in their midst, prompting them to pray.


Yet what is only prefigured in Moses and Joshua is fulfilled in Christ. Christ’s unceasing prayer before God the Father is truly what enables our own prayer. In praying, Christ gives us the gift of prayer.


How does Christ do this? How does he give us the gift of prayer? Again, the presence of God is the key. We can say that Moses “made God present” to the people in a visible but sporadic way through the column of cloud that descended upon the tent of meeting. But Christ makes God present for us in a lasting and personal way by unceasingly asking the Father to send the Holy Spirit into our hearts. Christ is the mediator “who assures us of the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit” (CCC, #667).


The Holy Spirit is the fire Christ wishes to cast upon the earth (Luke 12:49), the one who teaches us to pray and unites us to Christ. In receiving the Holy Spirit, we receive the gift of prayer at its very source, God himself.

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