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Fr. Barron comments on Being Born Again
this made me think of this song:
4/19/2012 11:53:28 AM
I BELIEVE THAT THERE IS BAPTISM OF DESIRE, TOO. A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THIS IS A RELATIVE OF MINE, BECAUSE SHE WAS BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK, WAS NOT ALLOWED TO BE BAPTIZED IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. THIS GIRL, WHO IS NOW A WOMAN AND A MOTHER, SPEAKS SO LOVINGLY AND BEAUTIFULLY, AS IF SHE WERE TO HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED. SHE HAS GONE TO CHURCH, BUT AGAIN, HAS NEVER BEEN BORN BY WATER, ONLY BY HER THIRST AND DESIRE TO BE ONE WITH THE LORD. THERE HAS BEEN A BREAKTHROUGH OF THE SPIRIT, BUT NOT BY WATER, THAT I KNOW OF. SHE HAS SO MUCH GRACE AND WISDOM, AND I RECOGNIZE THAT BEAUTY IN HER AS COMING FROM ABOVE.
4/19/2012 1:50:29 PM
I think any time God breaks through to show you his power and glory, especially if it happens in three days, as it did with Jesus, is super scary, shocking and transformative. It immediately dropped me to my knees. The reason why, is because when it happened, God had just shown me that I was a temple of His Holy Spirit, whom He would raise in three days. I understood the significance. When this happens to people, God has claimed you, and shown you clearly that you are His. Fortunately the gifts of awe and fear have never left me, in order to have me remember and realize my place and position before God- always. The difficult part for me sometimes is, having the ability to recognize what is from God and what isn't. When I am able to recognize spiritual origin, it's like playing hide and seek with a two year old, who doesn't hide very well and, I find them right away. Then, through love and obligation, I have to call them on it. The grace to do that with patience and eloquence doesn't always come with ease for me. I pray for the grace to do that without offensiveness to others, so that others can grow in grace and wisdom, with ease. It takes my conscious cooperation with grace. With a busy life as a mom, sometimes I forget. That is why an examination of conscience, at the end of the day, is helpful.
4/19/2012 2:58:48 PM
As a convert to Catholicism, when I hear the words, "Born Again", not-so-nice bells ring; I remember the late 1970's, early 1980's and the 'Catholic Charismatic Movement'. An elite prayer group, focused on The Gifts of the Holy Spirit ONLY, being urged to burn my philosophy books, taking Biblical words totally literally, not symbolically, the Fruits of the Holy Spirit being ignored in the process; the arrogance of those who cast judgement on Catholics who were indeed baptized, but not "Baptized in the Spirit". The emphasis of darkness, evil, demons, people being possessed,rather than the Light of God's mercy and redeeming grace. Fr. Barron, thank-you so much for saying what you said about symbolism, Baptism with water, and speaking of the Holy Spirit without arrogance or downplaying the full Trinity! God Speed!
4/19/2012 5:04:58 PM
Great as always. Espescially appreciated the Flannery O'Connor references. God bless and thanks so much!
4/19/2012 5:11:35 PM
Thank you -- amazing. Fr. Barron, you make the Word come alive.
4/19/2012 10:32:03 PM
When I listened to this again, you spoke of wind in your sails, then I listened to the song GJ was reminded of, it did remind me that for a long time, I did have God's wind in my sails. When you are in a different spiritual rhelm, like it felt like I was, you cannot always make connections to worldly meanings, and you cannot always remember about time you were caught up in the Spirit of God. However, for a long time, I felt that closeness to God. I actually wrote at least 300-500 spiritual writings during that time, too. Some of the writngs were beautiful prayers of thanksgivng and petition, One was on The Apostolic Creed, one was on the Our Father, many more were on interpretation of scripture. I have had God's breath in my sails, and I have shared it with my Pastor. I didn't keep any of it though. I felt like it belonged to the church and was meant to be shared, and not for me to keep.
4/20/2012 8:47:11 AM
Thanks again Father Barron. Great insight to a most well known and well expounded chapter of scripture.
Anyone who would like additional commentary on this might want to also check out Dr. Scott Hahn's wonderful course on this chapter as well:
It is part of a whole series on the Book of John: The Sacramental Gospel.
4/20/2012 10:13:32 AM
I think you see more sin in that new transformed world, not only in your own self but, everywhere and it’s easy to become discouraged.
Is there such a thing as being spiritually exhausted?
4/20/2012 10:27:52 AM
Thank you! You help me to understand this teaching of Jesus more fully. God bless you!
4/20/2012 11:07:36 AM
I believe there is a stream of living water that flows continuously. Tiredness and exhaustion is masked by the grace given to us by God to do His will. I think what grace does is that it makes what was painful or difficult, easily forgetable, or not easily recognized as a hardship. It's up to us to learn to balance the load, and recall that God is good. He does not give us more than we can handle, if we rely on the graces available to us.
4/20/2012 1:32:08 PM
I think conversion is designed to hurt. What if a couple is living in mortal sin but one spouse is unrelenting? Doesn't want to change 'a good thing'.
4/20/2012 6:53:17 PM
fr. barron. you're my main man. period.
4/20/2012 8:17:01 PM
So then what you are saying is that i have not been relying on God's grace in the best way that i can. Is that basically what you are saying? Do i understand?
4/21/2012 8:18:56 AM
thanks again carla, ironically enough, i just remembered a friend told me (a few weeks back) that i relied on God too much. go figure.
4/21/2012 9:47:07 AM
I never looked at the subject in this way, thank you Fr. Barron. This is another perspective, and since truth is at its core, I cannot dismiss it. I will certainly add it to my understanding, and since I cannot un-hear it, I am now accountable for that knowledge you just shared. None of us can un-experience anything, it becomes a part of us for the rest of our lives, be it good or bad. It made sense in other ways too… being born again isn’t a one shot deal, it is a work in progress. The Spirit is to mature, i.e., grow, in each one of us… it is movement, like the wind you used as the example. There is nothing static about growing in Faith. If I were to apply this rationale, or rather truth, I would say that I have been born again many times, each to a deeper level of Faith. Also, that God touches the soul in many different ways; from a life altering joyful epiphany to a “dark night of the soul,” each propels the soul forward (not backward). As one having experienced both, although dark nights go much deeper (hard to explain what is beyond words). Maybe John actually recorded the first “dark night” Nicodemus experienced. I can’t imagine though having God actually walk me through one - awesome. One very uplifting conclusion I walked away with from your commentary, is that God is ALWAYS present as Spiritual growth takes place, held lovingly within the Spirits constant state of Creation, or in this instance, refinement. Thanks Fr. Barron, have a great day.
4/21/2012 10:43:07 AM
I believe homiletics are important in helping others remain in grace. During mass, We have a Deacon who often talks about himself, and his life, without referring to Gospel or the readings. Sometimes he will go on for a prolonged periods of time, too. It happened again yesterday, then he spilled one of the common cups. One of our retired priests was "fed up" with this, became angry, and walked out before mass was ended a couple weeks ago. I believe if Deacons and Clergy are praying and preparing appropriately, they could help those experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit, to remain in grace. Instead, I am often asking myself, "What is wrong and how do we heal from this?" I also feel that if clergy are not modeling Christian behaviors of love and forgiveness, then their Parishioners will not learn to exercise this with one another. If clergy do not know how to model the act of asking for forgiveness when they have wronged someone, then they remain in sin. Finally, I feel that Pastors need to be more actively involved with Parish life. When I look at the mass schedule, and the Pastor is not on the schedule much, and requires the other priests to preside over the majority of masses, then the Parish has some issues that are impeding the presence of the Holy Spirit. There should be a balance in sharing the load. Yes, it takes our cooperation. However, as followers, we have to be fed and tended to, in order to thrive in sharing the Divinity of Christ. If we are not being fed appropriately in our home Parishes, then presence of the Holy Spirit will be less obvious. As much as I love Father Barron, I want to feel like I've been fed at my own Parish, and I don't need to seek food and being tended to, elsewhere. If Bishops are so busy with Sexual Abuse litigation, purchasing property, etc, and do not have time to spend with Pastors and Priests, then something is wrong. Jesus spent a lot of one on one time with the Apostles. It was a piece of all the the stories that was not omitted for a reason.
4/21/2012 2:50:59 PM
I don't think we can rely on God too much, because without God we can do nothing. I really can't answer your question about how you rely on grace, because I don't know anything about your life, but anytime you are in doubt if an effort is good enough, it's good to keep trying, so that you are in doubt no longer:) In other words, take your weakness, for example, if it's impatience, and try to practice not reaching for "extression of frustration" in response to your impatience. Grace comes when we accept God's help with our passions. Soon, accepting grace becomes effortless, with God's help, and our willingness to practice the virtues, and accept His help.
4/21/2012 6:01:22 PM
carla, so the answer to my question is no, there is no such thing as being spirirtually exhausted? Or is there really a yes or no to that question?
4/22/2012 5:39:09 AM
Scripturally speaking "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak," so perhaps it's physical/neurological exhaustion (physical/flesh) from being spiritually busy? You can be neurologically over-taxed in any field or line of work, too, if you don't practice balancing your workload.
4/22/2012 11:41:11 PM
The Ignatian exercises is a tool to help you in your spiritual life. It helps you to discern if it is the good spirit or the bad spirit that one is listening to. One can be physically exhausted and then the evil spirit cannot be discerned. It is also important to have a spiritual director who can pray with you on such things. The important thing is not to make a decision when you are in spiritual desolation especially a major life changing decision. God bless.
4/23/2012 1:15:50 PM
Excellent! Thank you.
4/26/2012 7:56:13 AM
I want to truly make the Faith my own! How do I know if my faith is legitimate? I want to own it! How do I know if I'm not judging my legitimate Faith by the world standard instead of eternal Christ's standard? I don't want to be a hypocrite! Is Faith like holiness -one never truly arrives! Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee!
4/27/2012 12:39:16 PM
Study the Catholic Faith. Jesus said: Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Through the many years, the church has been persecuted. Remember there were only few followers of Jesus in the beginning and they were being martyred. Because Jesus built this Church, we can still belong to it. I recommend reading Scott Hahn's book and Rosalind Moss. There are many theologians who found their home in the Catholic Church. Just read the lives of the saints. I am just in awe of their lives. God bless.
4/27/2012 10:33:44 PM
Thanks for this commentary, as God's gifts from above are still gifting us with Grace as Jesus describes to Nicodemus. This gift from the Holy Spirit is a real game changer of life to help sharpen our search for God's will. It is truly the finding of a great treasure or that pearl of great value. We have a great and loving God!
4/28/2012 10:06:24 AM
Thanks brother Paul for sharing this excellent commentary from an inspired interpreter.
4/28/2012 1:27:22 PM
I Want to be like St. Augustine, "a man truly after gods own heart" I understand that faith is not an assent of the intellect rather an accent of the will! I just don't want to lose my mind when wholeheartedly accepting the faith! Like a child scared to go down a steep slide this business of trusting Christ and losing oneself from an earthly existence to a divine existence is nothing short of miraculous! Please continue to pray for me and for all those scared to make the leap. Under his mercy, Joseph Howland
4/29/2012 6:06:58 AM
Thanks Fr Barron. I listen to this clip every day... it helps me get thru what I'm going thru right now...
5/4/2012 9:51:48 AM
Study the Word and give yourself time to come to know God and Christ...there's always more to learn. There's nothing wrong with God-given intellect. Notice how the Lord inspired St.Thomas Aquinas to use his intellect in conjunction with His grace to write the Summa Theologia. Trust in the Lord...read His Word every day...early in the morning, if possible. The amazement never ends as you grow in your faith. You've begun the mosy wonderful journey possible, one full of tests along the way to help you grow, one accompanied by a peace which surpasses understanding. May God Bless You always.
8/3/2012 7:10:24 AM
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