Today's Gospel: Luke 4:31-37 Jesus is always offering us healing, freedom, and more life. In this gospel, we see that the evil spirit within the man recognizes Jesus: “I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” And with that recognition, Jesus heals the man, and releases the demon from him: “Be quiet! Come out of him!” How many times have we been possessed with negative thoughts and desperately needed Jesus to release them from us? The other day I was looking for something on my bookshelf and came across my late father’s copy of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. I pulled the book off the shelf, opened the red cover, and between the pages I found a handwritten note of my father’s which said: ‘By your cross Jesus, free me from past fantasies to control past events and people, to re-do my life, for riches, fame, honor. Make me Your follower. Give me deep compassion.’ In that moment, I was hit by the storm of my father’s heart, and could see so clearly that I was doing the same thing to myself and to my life. I constantly wanted to re-do the past; I, too, was feeling disappointment in myself that I hadn’t enough fame, honor, or riches. I took this note and my aching heart to spiritual direction, taking this long-held family story, from generation to generation, out of the container of fear and shame. As I held this note, an arrow pierced my heart. ‘I can’t carry this anymore,’ I cried. God heard my cry, and in that moment I felt released like a bird flying out of a cage.


What needs healing within you?


My dearest Lord, release me from all that separates me from Your love. I surrender myself to You.
Copyright 2018 Colette Lafia Colette Lafia is a San Francisco-based spiritual director, workshop and retreat facilitator, and adjunct faculty member at Mercy Center, Burlingame. She is also a part-time elementary school librarian. Colette is the author of Seeking Surrender: How a Trappist Monk Taught Me to Trust and Embrace Life, and Comfort & Joy: Simple Ways to Care for Ourselves and Others. Receive newsletters in your inbox, including the Daily Gospel Reflection each morning! * indicates required
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