It is human and natural to react to our beloved’s anger with anger of our own. And to react to his/her bad mood by responding with a similar mood. And to react to emotional pain with a desire to inflict pain.
It is divine to choose a different response — take a breath, pause to pray, wait for the Holy Spirit to help us understand what is happening, and recognize the instructions that Jesus is giving us for handling the situation more lovingly.
The divine response is impossible unless we have first gained self-control through an ever-deepening relationship with the Holy Spirit. We all have the Holy Spirit’s fullness within us, given to us in our baptisms and confirmed in the Sacrament of Confirmation. We all have the holiness of Jesus within us.
We have what it takes to choose the right behavior and make a divine act of love when we feel like reacting in an unloving way. However, to decrease our natural inclinations we must increase our prayer life and our listening ability and our receptiveness to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- How do I feel when I’m reacting to something unpleasant?
- What can I do to make myself slow down and, through the Holy Spirit, discover a way to act in love instead of reacting?
Strengthen your relationship:
Pray together for a new in-filling of the Holy Spirit. Ask Jesus to enliven your relationship with his Holy Spirit, anoint you with the gifts of the Spirit, and help you produce the fruits of the Spirit.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries