November 26, 2022
For you this week:
- Reflection for Saturday: Learn to detect the Holy Spirit’s voice
- Inside the Ministry: The Father’s Heart makes a great Christmas gift
- This week’s WordBytes faith-builder: What Keeps Us From Knowing God’s Will?
- This week’s video: The Miracles that Started Good News Ministries
This week’s Trivia Challenge: Who penned the book of Revelation?
(Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)
Saturday November 26, 2022
Be vigilant at all times… (From Saturday’s Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
Learn to detect the Holy Spirit’s voice
By Graciela Ramos, Assistant Director
One day, a music teacher from a high school told his students that everyone would graduate if they could accomplish the challenge he was going to propose to them. The enthusiastic students accepted and, believing that nothing could be more difficult than a final exam of all topics of the whole year, they eagerly awaited his proposal.
“Well,” said the professor, “the challenge is to follow the oboe throughout a piece of music, indicating when it is executed and when it is silent.”
The students’ smiles immediately disappeared from their faces: “The oboe? What does an oboe sound like?”
“Ah!” said the professor. “You’ll have to find out! You have one week. The test will be next Monday.” The students looked at each other and, thinking that it shouldn’t be too bad, they agreed.
At home, each child began to search the social networks and other media for the sound of an oboe. They found musical pieces by Bach, Hellinger and other musicians who composed exclusive musical plays for oboes. Some were surprised by the beauty and sweetness of the oboe’s sound, but others, annoyed, also focused on listening to the whole music performances.
Of course, the pieces for oboes were simple, but — to detect an oboe in a symphony orchestra? In the midst of so many instruments? It was not easy! The piano, the violin, the cello stood out a lot and hid the sound of the oboe. To hear the oboe required spending a lot of time learning its distinctive sound.
We Christians face a similar challenge. We have to learn to detect the voice of the Holy Spirit in the midst of so many other voices in the world! How can we know when it is the Spirit of God that is speaking to us and not our imagination, our own desires, the world or the “great enemy”? Like the kids in high school, we have to spend a lot of time listening to the Holy Spirit in solitude so we can then distinguish God’s voice in the midst of so much noise.
There is much anger and fear in our world today. We feel it ourselves when we hear about corruption in our Church or the politics that make friends seem like enemies or the loss of our children to the immorality of the world. This, too, is noise that prevents us from hearing God unless we vigilantly take time to pray and do it often.
Jesus tells us in this Saturday’s Gospel reading: “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent.” Be vigilant and pray, that is, in the company of the Holy Spirit , listening to our Father, dialoguing with Jesus, trying to discern the ways of God, because only then will the noise of the world be unable to cover the Voice of the One who is the “Water that gives Life”.
Inside the Ministry:
The Father’s Heart makes a great Christmas gift
Who in your life needs healing in their understanding of God’s love? My book 30 Days to the Father’s Heart would be the perfect Christmas gift; it’s the gift that will last for all eternity.
But order it now! It takes 4 or 5 weeks to print and ship. Go to 30daystothefathersheart.com.
I should have brought this up sooner, but my brain is finding it hard to believe that we’ve arrived at Advent.
This week’s recommended faith-builder:
What Keeps Us From Knowing God’s Will?
We can never totally trust our own minds and hearts. Before we can listen for God’s voice, we need to get all of our personal desires out of the way. We must surrender them, nail these intruders to the cross with Jesus and let them die. Here is one way to do this in prayer:
“Father, in the name of Jesus, and by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, I make it an act of my will to die to all human reasoning and my own desires on this issue. It doesn’t matter at all what I think or what I desire; it’s what You think that counts, what You desire for me. With an act of faith, I thank You, Lord, that You have seen the sincerity of my heart, and that You see I am not going to operate on human reasoning or desires, and I ask You to silence the voice of my Self. I delight in doing Your will.”
That’s just one of 10 tips in the article @ wordbytes.org/master-needs-you/what-keeps-us-from-knowing-gods-will/.
WordBytes is a library of Catholic faith-building articles by Good News Ministries. Come on in and explore! Visit WordBytes.org today.
The Miracles that Started Good News Ministries
Nearly 28 years ago, Ralph and I said yes to founding Good News Ministries of Tampa Bay. Zoom ahead to 2021. A young, enthusiastic entrepreneur, Dominic de Souza, had responded to Covid lock-downs by starting a Catholic-only, social media platform called SmartCatholics. GNM has thrown our support behind it. We built a Good News community there, sharing our saint quotes, daily reflections, and other faith-builders. The GNM family has grown from this, including a new volunteer.
Dominic wanted to find out more about us, so he interviewed me on his video podcast, SmartCatholics Mastermind.
Recorded live, I talked about how I felt drawn as a child to follow in my Protestant father’s footsteps to become a minister. But that was a misinterpretation of the calling that God had placed on my life.
My story jumps to becoming Catholic as a young adult and getting involved in lots of parish ministries. Come and watch the video to hear about the miraculous ways that God led me and Ralph to minister the way that God intended.
At the end of this 15-minute interview, Dominic asked me to share the one message that I would like the viewers to know regarding how God can work in amazing ways in their lives too. What do you think was my answer?
Answer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
Who penned the book of Revelation? The Apostle John, who was one of Jesus’ closest friends. He also wrote the Gospel of John and the short letters named 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John.
God bless you!
Every morning, I lift up in prayer everyone who helps Good News Ministries in any way (donors, volunteers, prayer supporters, etc.) and all the prayer requests posted on our site. What can I cover in prayer for you? Post your prayer request.
How else can the team and I serve you today? Visit our homepage.
Let’s connect in GNM’s own SmartCatholics community, called Good News Faith Builders. I’m available to interact with you there.
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Your servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries
Find this and past issues at gnm.org/newsletter. Please share what will minister to others.