How to Be Sure You’re Being Led by the Holy Spirit…

Have you ever met someone who said they did something because they felt “led by the Spirit”?

Sometimes it ends in disaster.

(I’m pretty sure that guy who thought God told him to paint his body blue and illegally run across the football field at halftime shouting “Hail, Mary!” wasn’t really tuned into God’s channel. The Spirit apparently led him to jail.)

And yet there’s certainly a reality to being led by the Spirit. It’s what we should be doing every day.

After all, Christ did.

At his baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon our Lord in the form of a dove. Then Matthew 4:1 tells us he was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” In other words, the Holy Spirit directed his actions.

And this is the example we’re all to follow. But how? How can we know we’re actually being led by the Spirit?

Well I’ve got one word for you…”Mary.”

Those of you who have been reading my posts or listening to my Art of Catholic podcast lately know we’ve been talking about how intimately Mary is united with the Holy Spirit.

In fact, St. Maximilian Kolbe makes an incredibly stunning statement that brings this mystery into sharp focus. Back in 1936, he declared that “the Holy Spirit and Mary are two persons who live in such intimate union that they live but one sole life.” Whoa!

That idea would have totally freaked me out when I was coming into the Church some twenty years ago.

Not anymore.

After all, we’re talking about the woman “overshadowed” (​episkiazo​ in Greek) by the Holy Spirit in the same manner the powerful Old Testament Ark of the Covenant. 

We’re talking about the one woman God chose to carry within her womb and give birth to his only Son. She’s the one woman who is the very Mother of God and Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

So while one is creature and the other is the Third Person of the Trinity, it’s virtually impossible to overestimate the depth of the relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit. She literally conceived God in her womb because of Him!

Anyone who argues against the special relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit simply isn’t being true to Scripture. That’s some of what Curtis Mitch and I spoke about in my last podcast on the Queenship of Mary in Revelation 12.

And because of their intimacy, Mary is the key to us being led by the Spirit.

The Wedding at Cana is a perfect example. The same Spirit that led him into the wilderness, worked through Mary in order to instruct him in his first miracle.

Why else would Christ perform his first miracle when his “hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4)? He knew she was intimately united with the Spirit. He knew the Spirit was working through His Mother. So he listened and obeyed.

So did the servants.

After instructing her Son, she turns to them and says, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). They immediately obey and so played an intimate role in a beautiful miracle.

And it’s the same with us.

If you want to be led by the Spirit, get close to Mary. Pray your rosary. Recite your litanies. Throw yourself into her maternal care and beg for her intercession.

And once you’re tuned into her voice and do what she says, you’ll be acting just like Jesus Christ. You’ll be led by the Spirit into the divine life of God.

God bless!

Matthew

P.S. I’m heading back to Italy! Join me in March 2019 for an amazing pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi, Orvieto, LaVerna, and much, much more!

Check it out here!

 

 

 

 

 

Grab your FREE copy of my quick guide to deeper prayer 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life! 

It’s an easy, step-by-step summary of the spiritual giants of the Church designed to help you rocket to God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

077: Next Level Queenship of Mary

Featuring Curtis "the canonical canon" Mitch

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You may think you’ve heard it all when it comes to Mary.

Think again.

I’m betting that my buddy Curtis Mitch is going to lay some new thoughts on you about Our Lady as we continue to celebrate May, the month of Mary, on this episode of the Art of Catholic.

Curtis, as many of you know, has been writing the commentary on the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible for about 20 years. I’ve never met anyone with his depth and breadth of scriptural knowledge.

He’s the perfect guy to turn to when it comes to going next level about Mary.

The truth is, the Virgin Mary is a mystery we’ve yet to fully unpack. Her God-given power and vital role go so far beyond what we can imagine.

But we’re going to start to change that.

In this special episode of the Art of Catholic, Curtis and I will dive into several different texts to discuss:

  • Why “Queen of Heaven” is totally a scriptural title (and not a medieval invention)
  • How the Annunciation in Luke 1 identifies the Queenship of Mary
  • The multiple levels of meaning of the woman “clothed with the sun” in Revelation 12
  • Why the 10th son (not the 1st) of David came to the throne and how his mother is connected to Mary
  • Why Bathsheba was given a throne and how it points to the royal role of Mary
  • How the crucifixion of Christ actually points to Mary’s Queenship

Really understanding how the Queenship of Mary changes everything. Your mother is literally the Queen of Heaven and Earth!

And it’s right out of the Bible itself.

God bless and enjoy this great episode!

Matthew

P.S. I’m heading back to Italy! Join me in March 2019 for an amazing pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi, Orvieto, LaVerna, and much, much more!

Check it out here!

 

 

 

 

 

Grab your FREE copy of my quick guide to deeper prayer 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life! 

It’s an easy, step-by-step summary of the spiritual giants of the Church designed to help you rocket to God!

 

Other episodes you might enjoy:

06: Bible Basics With John Bergsma

043: (More) New Testament Basics with John Bergsma

054: Understanding Extreme Violence in the Bible with Curtis Mitch

 

Fullest of Grace

How Mary Grew In the Spiritual Life

Oftentimes we think of Our Lady as completely perfect right out of the box, so to speak.

And it’s true.

But that doesn’t mean she didn’t progress in sanctity.

“Wait a minute,” you’re thinking. “Didn’t the Angel Gabriel say she was ‘full of grace’ at the Annunciation?”

Yes, he did.

But St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that she actually grew in grace to the point where she was worthy to be the Mother of God. In other words, while she couldn’t merit the grace for the Incarnation itself, she did merit the title “Theotokos” ​(God-bearer). 

Whoa! How?

Through good works.

Like the rest of us, Mary merited an increase in grace and charity through meritorious action. In other words, every time she performed a good work under the influence of charity, she received an increase in grace.

And can you imagine how many good works Our Lady performed in her life? (Might want to grab a calculator for that one!)

So while she was already in perfect union with God from the first moment of her conception – and possessed amazing amounts of charity and grace – it grew by leaps and bounds.

She was constantly increasing in grace.

Remember, says St. John of the Cross, that she was perfectly in tune with God. She wasn’t attached to anything in this world. She never had any secondary or selfish motives.

Every one of Mary’s movements was made under the impulse of the Holy Spirit. That means that every action gained her more merit. (Maybe Gabriel should have called her “fullest of grace”!)

So while she certainly received special graces and spiritual privilege at various points in her life, she also increased in grace by her daily personal activity.

And it’s the same with us.

We grow in grace by performing good works. We merit an increase in the life of God whenever we act like God.

So while we certainly don’t start out perfect like Our Lady, we can certainly grow in grace just like she did. That’s simply one more reason why Mary is an icon of what you and I are made to be. Ave Maria!

God bless!

Matthew

 

P.S. I’m heading back to Italy!

Join me in March 2019 for an amazing pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi, Orvieto, LaVerna, and much, much more! Check it out here!

 

 

All who have been lost were lost because they did not pray.” St. Alphonsus Liguori.

Don’t be lost!

Grab your FREE copy of my quick guide to deeper prayer 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life! 

It’s an easy, step-by-step summary of the spiritual giants of the Church designed to help you rocket to God!