crucified or burnt flesh?
"In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness, and chastity." —Galatians 5:22-23
If we live by the Spirit (Gal 5:25), we will be led by the Spirit (Gal 5:18). We will then walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:25), Who will produce in our lives the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). However, if we stifle (1 Thes 5:19) or sadden the Spirit (Eph 4:30), we will do the works of the flesh (see Gal 5:19-21).
We cannot live for long partly in the flesh and partly in the Spirit, for these two are directly opposed (Gal 5:17). Either the Spirit in our lives is lusting against the selfish desires of our flesh so as to crucify them (Gal 5:24), or the flesh is increasingly stifling the Spirit so that after having begun in the Spirit we will end in the flesh (Gal 3:3). We will have either the fruit "that remains unto life eternal" (see Jn 6:27) or an everlasting hell of burning flesh.
Therefore, constantly decide to crucify the flesh and to live in the Spirit.
Prayer: Father, I choose life in the Spirit (see Dt 30:19) because I love You.
Promise: "Happy the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, but delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on His law day and night." —Ps 1:1-2
Praise: St. Ignatius was able to write several pastoral letters on the way to his martyrdom.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Don't Stifle the Spirit on audio AV 56-3 or video V-56.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 10, 2012
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