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Daily Devotion for August 23, 2012
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
O my God, I offer you all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of your only son, Jesus Christ. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to His infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of His infinite love.
O my God, I ask you for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill your holy will, to accept the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in Heaven for all eternity.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Father in heaven, creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon me and receive my heartfelt gratitude for all that you have done for me and for those I love. Thank you for all the graces and blessings you have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: Our faith and religious heritage; our food and shelter; our health; the love we have for one another; and the lives of our Lord and friends. Dear Father, in your infinite generosity, please grant us continued grace and blessings during the coming day. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, your only son, who has saved us from death.
May God Almighty send me his light and truth, to keep this day and all the days of my life. And may His mighty hand protect me, and all my brothers and sisters who have joined me in prayer this day, blessing our homes and our lives.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Psalm 96:11-13 (ESV)
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.
For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth.
1 Corinthians 12:1-3 (ESV)
Spiritual Gifts 
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.
Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
Notes on the Scripture
Little is said about the Holy Spirit in the Gospels. Christ told us only that we would receive a Comforter after He departed earth, so that we would not be alone. Nor can we learn “facts” about the Holy Spirit directly, for the Spirit is God. We cannot see or hear or smell or touch it (or Him, as you prefer).
We know the Spirit in two ways. We can sense it sometimes, without using our eyes and ears, for the Spirit will make its presence known to us. It is God on earth, with us, and we have the ability to know the Spirit, which can be with us or even in us. We feel touched by it even though our fingers feel nothing.
But also, we know the Holy Spirit by the effect it can have on our conduct and the conduct of others. At Pentecost, when the Spirit descended on the apostles in the upper room, they began to speak in languages they did not know and amazed the crowd. (Acts 2:1–31)
I know, from personal experience, that the Spirit can give us the power to do things that we simply could never have accomplished by ourselves. Many others will testify to this. It is an enormously powerful force for change, and it is always with us if we only ask. Christ told us to cast our cares and anxieties upon Him, and it is the Spirit who will take these from us, if we only believe with truth and sincerity. The Holy Spirit is God with us, on earth, during our lives.
Paul gives us a simple rule. A person cannot say “Jesus is Lord” (at least, not with sincerity) unless the Spirit is with him; and one who has received the gift of the Holy Spirit cannot curse Christ. This reminds us amply that human beings will never become perfect, for we have seen many charlatans seek their fortunes and fame by proclaiming Christ in the manner of carnival barkers, and it is difficult to think that such people are truly our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Yet, it is not for us to judge. One who extols the divinity of Christ may be very flawed, and full of sin; yet, he is our brother, even as he succumbs to temptation. Our duty is to love such people, despite their hypocrisy, and help them find their way back onto the path.
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