Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

(Romans 8:26-30; Luke 13:22-30)

Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr has become a spiritual master in the Catholic Church.  Respected as a young priest, he speaks with authority as an old one.  Fr. Rohr finds the two halves of life calling forth different responses.  In the first half people must learn how to stop their egos from running wild.  Then need laws so that they may tolerate one another.  By the second half of life most have learned some self-control.  Yet if they are to develop fully, they need to be transformed into gentle, caring subjects.  Their base instincts and, often enough, culture as well work against this goal.  To transcend these obstacles Rohr sees the Holy Spirit at work.  In today’s first reading St. Paul writes to the Romans of the Spirit’s work.

Paul says that the Spirit intercedes on behalf of believers.  It asks for what the heart does not even know it needs.  The heart wants solutions to the challenges confronting it.  But the Spirit knows that what is essential is not domination.  More critical is compliance to the will of God the Father.  Humans may pray for insight and strength, but the Spirit prays for wisdom and docility.

The human project, which each of us faces, is an enormous task.  Simply put, it is to become a saint.  We are hindered all along the way to holiness.  Fortunately, we have the Spirit praying within us for the grace to reach our goal.