Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Jesus should be sought more directly

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jesus_comfortsIt is always good to ask God to rectify what needs to be rectified deep down in our souls instead of sending trials to show us what darkness is most hidden. The deeper we purify, the higher our place in Heaven. The quickest avenue to that is a direct relationship with Jesus. Just ask Him for it!

Many times, in life, we forget that He is the intermediary between God and men -- He alone. We pray to be in His direct Presence with the assistance of saints, especially the Blessed Mother. It is this direct Presence that must be most and constantly sought.

If there are intractable problems in your families, including with finances, it may be time to go more directly to the Lord and ask Him to be right there for you, right alongside you, really there, extremely personal; your best friend, releasing you from bondage. To speak with Him always is to pray as Scripture admonishes, "without ceasing." And this can work tremendous power (and deliverance) in your life.

Recently we received a note from a long-time viewer (asking that I) "write something that will give some inspiration during such financial hardships we are all experiencing." . . .

One answer: Ask Jesus to lift suppressions and repression of your finances and more importantly anything that hinders His call in your life. Realize His power over Heaven and earth. He is all-powerful. He is Power itself! There is no questioning this. Ask Him (every day) to break curses. He is Light itself and so we ask Him to "illuminate" the soul in its deepest parts, and we should beseech Him to do this and to purify us at that level. We have gone through our own ups and downs; it isn't easy, paying for health care, a Catholic education, and those types of endless things.

Jesus should be sought more directly. Ask for that "personal relationship"! Pray even non-verbally -- just yearn for Him! Thank Him in advance. Praise Him always. Release control and give it to Him.

In our time, many have strayed from having a personal relationship with Him and do not ask Jesus Christ to be in their very midst, to be beside them every moment, closer than their shadows, truly there, to be their nearest dearest friend. We have forgotten to speak with Him through the day with spontaneity and depth. We place too many things between us and Him, even certain rituals or habits.

He is directly accessible.

And it is His Real Presence that changes and cleanses most profoundly.

He wants this. God wants this. Jesus in our midst: it should be the goal of life, having Him as a companion, scattering darkness.

He purifies what is within. He protects us from what is without.

The Blessed Mother and the saints (especially Joseph) can help us reach this direct relationship. As we pray to Jesus, as we worship Him, they pray with us. Let Him come through the Blessed Sacrament and be with you. Ask anywhere all day. It is the best prayer to fall asleep to. We must ask with the energy of fervor. It must be our goal! Your angel will help. But, again, mainly just ask Him for it!

You Need a More Ordinary Jesus. This our Church needs to teach as it did in the first century: the approachability of the Lord. We look at 2 Chronicles 1:5 as an example of True Presence and a precursor even of the Blessed Sacrament. Here we see where Solomon "offered sacrifice in the Lord's Presence on the bronze altar at the meeting tent."

That night, the Lord God appeared to Solomon and allowed him to make a request, which was answered.

When we honor Him in the "high places" -- in the meeting tent of the soul, at all times -- we walk in His Favor.

And when it is God's Will we are doing, and it redounds to our best eternity, our prayers are fulfilled. When our dreams and goals begin to frustrate us, this is a sign that it is something we are too focused on or not His Will. We can make a goal or need an idol. Like Abraham, put on the altar of sacrifice what means the most to you. Be happy with or without. When you show God that you will love and trust Him and be happy even if the request is not met, this brings the greatest closeness and power. Sometimes God snaps His fingers against evil or illness or financial insufficiency and solves it; sometimes, it is more gradual; always, if you call, He strengthens your armor. Certain trials are allowed to indicate darkness or weaknesses or as spiritual development. Sometimes, there is a chink in our armor: an access point. Stand in authority, move in power, know you always win with Him, says K. A. Schneider in his excellent book, Self Deliverance. You must take control of your thoughts. You must reject the devil's words the instant they are spoken -- the temptations he sends, the dislike, the criticality, the confusion, or fear, the anxiety, the discouragement.

screwtape-devil-webCan a Christian be possessed by the devil? This is a question some debate.

Yes, at least "infested," and certainly affected, but there has to be an entry point and we close entry points when we walk step by step at the very side of Jesus.

Michael Brown

(The article was edited for space. The entire letter can be read on Mr. Brown's website)

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