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Monday, June 6, 2011

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St. Norbert
Pentecost Novena - Day 4

Acts 19:1-8
Psalm 68:2-7
John 16:29-33

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how is peace produced?

"I tell you all this that in Me you may find peace. You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world." —John 16:33

Jesus promises us that we will find peace in Him and that we will suffer. Some people find this a strange combination. However, the Lord does not give us peace as the world gives peace (Jn 14:27). He gives us peace "beyond all understanding" (Phil 4:7) and beyond circumstances. Jesus gives us peace in suffering.

In fact, a certain kind of suffering — suffering in the pattern of Jesus' death (see Phil 3:10) — not only is not contradictory to peace but may also be the very means of attaining peace. We can find our joy in suffering (Col 1:24); we may also be able to find our peace in suffering. When we suffer because of our sins, we fall apart; we become disintegrated. When we suffer for being Christians (see 1 Pt 4:16), we become integrated. When we suffer for love of Jesus, we see life differently. The things we "used to consider gain" we have "reappraised as loss" (Phil 3:7). We have God's shalom-order in our lives. We have Jesus' peace.

The Holy Spirit produces the fruit of peace in our lives (Gal 5:22). The Holy Spirit leads us into suffering "chains and hardships" (Acts 20:23) and into being "insulted for the sake of Christ" (1 Pt 4:14). The Holy Spirit produces peace through redemptive suffering. Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, on this fourth day of the Holy Spirit novena, give me Your peace in Your way.

Promise:  "As Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down on them and they began to speak in tongues and to utter prophecies. There were in the company about twelve men in all." —Acts 19:6-7

Praise:  St. Norbert allowed the Spirit to be active in his life by deriving strength from the Blessed Sacrament and reclaiming others for God.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011

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