“During this week they should offer up all their prayers and acts of devotion to acquire knowledge of themselves and sorrow for their sins. They will ask our Lord and the Holy Spirit to enlighten them saying: ‘Lord, that I may see’ or ‘Lord, let me know myself’, or the ‘Come Holy Spirit’.
Every day they should say the Litany of the Holy Spirit. They will turn to the Blessed Lady and beg her to obtain for them that great grace which is the foundation of all others, the grace of self-knowledge. For this intention they will say each day the Ave Maris Stella and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin” (TD 228)
Aim: To become aware of our most recurring emotions and the circumstances that trigger them.
Jesus’ joy and excitement (Lk 10:21): At that time Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will”.
Jesus’ anger (Mk 11:12-17): One day, after returning from Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again”. And his disciples heard it.
Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers”.
Jesus, incarnate Wisdom, is not unfamiliar with human emotions. We are so amazed at his spontaneous way to give into the most unexpected reactions even in the middle of his ministry. He gets overjoyed and excited when his disciples return from a successful mission. He bluntly curses a fig tree for not producing fruits out of season. He gets mad at the moneychangers in the temple and quotes the scriptures to justify his anger.
All of us experience a wide range of emotions in our lives. We are all familiar with joy, happiness, excitement, fear, sorrow, anger, shame, guilt, loneliness, grief, depression, to say a few. Since they do exist, these emotions have a purpose and deserve to be called by their names. In fact they do not show up as negative or sinful energies until we fail either to recognise them or to use them for the right purpose. That is why, when they present themselves as negative, all we need to do, in order to transform them, is to name and channel them rightly.
Personal Reflection and Sharing
Naming emotions is the first step towards their transformation. I take time to go over my life and to call to awareness my most recurring emotions and some circumstances that have triggered them.
How do I name my emotions? What purpose have they served in the various circumstances of my life?