by Commander Richard Brehn, NOAA Corps
NEW! Scroll to the bottom for the podcast of this writing.
WE are living in extraordinary times.
And in the midst of them, here you are. No doubt, you probably feel powerless in the face of the many changes taking place in our world—an insignificant player, a person with little to no impact on the world around you, let alone the course of history. Perhaps you feel as though you are tied to the rope of history and being dragged behind the Great Ship of Time, tossing and turning helplessly in its wake. That, my friend, is precisely what Satan would have you, me, and every Christian believe, and so, lead us into the bondage of fear, anxiety, and self-preservation. Into a spiritually neuteredexistence. But he knows better. He knows that if you truly understand who you are in Christ, and that if you begin to live in a relationship with God that is authentic, sincere, and total, that you will become like the bow of the Ship. That your life—even if it is lived cloistered in a convent hidden away from the world—will make history in ways that perhaps can only be understood in eternity.
NEW! I am now adding podcasts to this Lenten Retreat (including yesterday). Scroll to the bottom to listen through the media player.
BEFORE I can write further, I sense Our Lady saying that, unless we have faith in God, nothing in our spiritual lives will change. Or as St. Paul put it…
…without faith it is impossible to please Him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Heb 11:6)
Dear friends, this is not the meditation I had planned for today. However, I have been dealing with one little crisis after another for the past two weeks and, in truth, have been writing these meditations after midnight, averaging only four hours sleep a night the past week. I am exhausted. And so, after putting out several little fires today, I prayed about what to do—and this writing came immediately to mind. It is, for me, one of the most important “words” on my heart this past year, as it has helped me through so many trials by simply reminding myself to “be faithful.” To be certain, this message is an important part of this Lenten Retreat. Thanks for understanding.
I apologize that there is no podcast for today… I’m simply out of gas, as it’s almost 2am. I have an important “word” on Russia that I will publish shortly… something I’ve been praying about since last summer. Thanks for your prayers…
IT says in Proverbs,
Without a vision the people lose restraint. (Prov 29:18)
In the first days of this Lenten Retreat, then, it is imperative that we have a vision of what it means to be a Christian, the vision of the Gospel. Or, as the prophet Hosea says:
My people perish for want of knowledge! (Hosea 4:6)
ARE you still with me? It’s now Day 5 of our retreat, and I am certain many of you are struggling in these first days to stay committed. But take that, perhaps, as a sign that you might need this retreat more than you realize. I can say that this is the case for myself.
Today, we continue expanding the vision of what it means to be a Christian and who we are in Christ…
AND so, the spiritual or “interior” life consists in co-operating with grace in order that Jesus’s divine life may live in and through me. So if Christianity consists in Jesus being formed in me, how will God make this possible? Here is a question for you: how did God make it possible the first time for Jesus to be formed in the flesh? The answer is through the Holy Spirit and Mary.
MY brother and I used to share the same room growing up. There were some nights that we couldn’t stop giggling. Inevitably, we’d hear the footsteps of dad coming down the hallway, and we’d shrink beneath the covers pretending we were asleep. Then the door would open…
IT is one thing to have self-knowledge; to see clearly the reality of one’s spiritual poverty, lack of virtue, or deficit in charity—in a word, to see the abyss of one’s misery. But self-knowledge alone is not enough. It must be wed to humility in order for grace to take effect. Compare again Peter and Judas: both came face to face with the truth of their inner corruption, but in the first case self-knowledge was wed with humility, while in the latter, it was wed to pride. And as the Proverbs say, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” 
THE first path by which the Lord can begin to transform a soul is opened when that person, seeing themselves in the light of truth, acknowledges their poverty and need for Him in a spirit of humility. This is a grace and gift initiated by the Lord Himself who loves the sinner so much, that He seeks him or her out, most especially when they are enclosed in the darkness of sin. As Matthew the Poor wrote…