Sunday, January 17, 2021

Day 18 of Embracing Your Creative Gifts: Creative Acts Can Bridge the Divide

 


And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with diverse tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. – Acts 2:4

This scene from the Acts of the Apostles counteracts the damage done in the Old Testament at the Tower of Babel. God punished the people for their pride and hubris by making them unable to communicate with each other. After Pentecost, the Holy Spirit reverses the punishment. The Apostles open their mouths to share the good news and all can understand them, each in their language.

Alas, this gift hasn’t been given to all of us. People are still separated by different languages and cultures. It can be difficult to communicate with those with whom we do not share a common language or cultural identity.

Yet, our creative efforts can help bridge that divide. A beautiful piece of music or powerful work of art can transcend linguistic differences and speak directly to the heart. Flowers cultivated in a garden can bring a moment of joy and beauty to those who pass by. A shared homemade meal can delight the palate and offer a sense of community. Stories can be translated so that others may understand the experiences of another culture.

We are all children of God. Like the apostles, we are all called to proclaim the Good News and build up the kingdom of God. As we work to share the Good News, we must always remember that what unites us in our humanity is greater than what divides us. Our creative efforts have the ability to speak to both the minds and hearts of others.

Prayer

Dear Holy Spirit, please help me to use my creative gifts to help proclaim the Good News and to reach out in love to others who are different from me.

Action

Take some time today to appreciate the creative contribution of someone from a culture different from your own. Listen to a piece of music, view a work of visual art, or read a story. What does it say to you? What can you learn from it?

This is an excerpt from The Work of Our Hands. (Amazon affiliate link)

 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Day 17 of Embracing Your Creative Gifts: The Fruits of the Spirit

 


By the power of the Spirit, God’s children can bear much fruit. He who grafted us onto the true vine will make us bear “the fruit of the Spirit: . . . love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church (736)

The Holy Spirit is within each one of us who has been baptized. Do our lives reflect that truth? Do we bear the fruits of the Spirit? Do we exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? That’s quite an impressive list of positive qualities. I know I shrink a little when I read it. At any given moment, I may fall short of demonstrating any or all of those characteristics. We humans are sinners. We try and fail and try and fail again. I’m so thankful for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the graces that it provides to offer God’s forgiveness and to help me keep trying to be the best person I can be.

This list of fruits of the Spirit is a good litmus test for our creative works as well. Does what we are creating, what we are putting out into the world and into our culture, cultivate these fruits? Is it an act of love on our part? Will it help people feel loved or to show love to others? Does it bring joy to others? Does it help generate a spirit of peace, kindness, gentleness, or goodness in our world? Our world can be so angry. Do our creative acts help different peoples appreciate each other instead of seeing the other as an enemy? Do our creative acts exhibit faithfulness? Do we remain true to the Word of God? Do we practice self-control in our creative acts: not giving in to our base desires, but rather seeking to use our gifts the way God wants them to be used? Do our creative acts encourage others to do the same, or do they tempt them to sin?

Prayer

Dear Holy Spirit, please help Your fruits to be evident in my life. Please help me when I fail to keep trying. Please guide my creative acts so that they may bear Your fruit in other’s lives.

Action

Which fruit of the Spirit do you struggle with the most? Make an effort today to work on that particular trait. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. If you fail, ask for more help and try again! 

This is an excerpt from The Work of Our Hands. (Amazon affiliate link)

 


Day 18 of Embracing Your Creative Gifts: Creative Acts Can Bridge the Divide

  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with diverse tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to spe...