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flesh and spirit
"Do not yield to the desires that once shaped you in your ignorance." —1 Peter 1:14
Every time we eat food we are being shaped. Some foods make us fat, others make us strong. We may not be aware of this, but nonetheless we are being shaped even in our ignorance. This is true not only of physical food but also of spiritual nourishment. What we watch, read, hear, feel, purchase, and think about — all this is shaping us spiritually. We are usually unaware of this, but nonetheless we lose our shape through yielding to the desires of the flesh.
Therefore, to keep from making ourselves monstrous and ugly, we must crucify our flesh with its passions and desires (Gal 5:24) and become holy in every aspect of our conduct (1 Pt 1:15). Either the Spirit will put to death the evil deeds of the body (Rm 8:13), or the flesh will stifle the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19).
Will the Spirit change your lifestyle or will your lifestyle sadden the Spirit? (Eph 4:30) Will your wine change your wineskin, or will your wineskin burst and spill your wine? (Lk 5:37) Will Pentecost change you or will you nullify Pentecost?
Prayer: Father, change me before I drift farther away from You.
Promise: "Many who are first shall come last, and the last shall come first." —Mk 10:31
Praise: Pope St. Gregory VII tried to shape the Church as he fought against political forces of his time.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Don't Stifle the Spirit on audio AV 56-3 or video V-56.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 9, 2009
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