Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
1 Samuel, Chapter 18, Verse 15
Seeing how he prospered, Saul FEARED David.
Insecure people spend a lot of time in job justification. Think about it how much time do you or people you know spend in justifying rather than striving to break free of fears and be all God has envisioned them to be? Often insecure people are trapped in a cycle of fear that retards their ability to give power and grace to others.
The law of Empowerment
Saul was insecure. The Law of Empowerment says that only secure leaders give power to others.
But what does it mean to be secure? Using the analogy of personal finance, let’s look at what’s missing from the lives of insecure leaders. This will help us better understand where security comes from and why it matters.
· Paupers, debtors, and hoarders lack the real or perceived financial security necessary to give generously to others.
o Paupers have no source of income aside from the financial assistance they receive from someone else. Penniless and dependent, they’re clearly unable to help others financially.
§ Leaders without purpose are like paupers. They have no passion, low energy, and little drive to grow in influence. Usually, their only source of power is the position they have been given by somebody else. In terms of personal authority, they’re impoverished.
o Debtors may have nice salaries, but their expenses exceed their income. They’ve maxed out credit cards and taken out hefty loans. Consequently, they’re stuck paying exorbitant interest rates on the amounts they have borrowed. In an upside-down financial situation, they’re in no position to give generously to others.
§ Leaders without authenticity are like debtors. Someone deeply in debt may appear wealthy, even though they’re secretly on the verge of bankruptcy. The closer you inspect their life, the more signs of dysfunction you see. Similarly, inauthentic leaders may seem to have all the tools to lead with excellence. However, they are missing the crucial component of moral authority. They do not practice the values they preach, and they prefer to keep others at arm’s length to hide their shortcomings.
o Hoarders are sitting on a pile of wealth, but they think only of protecting it rather than of sharing it with others. They have the plentiful resources but are unwilling to part with them.
§ Leaders without humility resemble hoarders. Having put their talents to work, they enjoy a significant amount of power. However, they’re worried about others taking it from them or gaining more of it than they have. So, instead of using their influence to empower others, they keep it for their own benefit.
· As leaders, we can only lift others up when we’re standing on a firm foundation. Purpose, authenticity, and humility give us a secure, stable base from which to lead.
· Purpose is the answer to the question: why do you want to lead? The best leaders have a purpose that is greater than they are. Their “why” involves more than accumulating money or seeking self-actualization. They see leadership as a calling rather than a career, relishing the opportunity to use their unique talents to accomplish something significant that will outlive them.
· Authenticity means being comfortable in your own skin. Authentic leaders have self-awareness, self-respect, self-confidence, and emotional maturity. They prize integrity above image, and they seek to build trust with others on the basis of their personal character.
· Humility is often wrongly associated depreciating and downgrading ourselves. However, true humility flows out of gratitude and comes when we credit God for our blessings and others for our successes. As Rick Warren teaches, a humble leader doesn’t deny his strengths; he’s simply honest about his limitations. Humble leaders feel no need to trumpet their status, are unthreatened by criticism, and revel in the accomplishments of others. They put their pride aside so that others have room to shine.
Modern man at times out of an inability to cope with the stress of everyday life seeks relief via the vices of sex, drugs and rock and roll. I wonder what would happen to our world if instead of dealing with stress with the distractions of pleasure and entertainment; we acknowledged our dependence on the grace of God; found our purpose and had true gratitude for our blessings.
Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling
of The Most Reverend Thomas J.
Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix,
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix
on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
1. I wish to speak to you about the most important and central teaching of our faith. What I share is “not too high for you.” It is not theology that is only meant for theologians and priests. This concerns the most important reality of our lives – the saving presence of our Lord. This is not a teaching that can be dumbed down or over simplified. This is a truth that we need to be clear and certain about. Be bold, then! Take up and read, drink in the truth, discuss and share it with others and allow Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist, to conform you further to Himself and fulfill the deepest longings of your heart.
2. From the time I was a little child, I knew Jesus was present in every Catholic Church. I could not have explained it, but I was certain He was there. The way my father genuflected before the Tabernacle, the quiet reverence of my mother, the way our pastor Father Daly sang the Tantum Ergo with such gusto and a thick Irish brogue, it was these actions and God’s grace, more than words, that imbedded in my heart a solid conviction about the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. And because our farm family prayed together every evening, during thunderstorms or blizzards, whether we had a bumper crop or hardly anything at all from drought-stricken soil, no matter what, we knew that the Lord Jesus we received at Mass was with us, every day and night, and that whatever we faced, all would be well because of Him.
3. Of course, that faith in the Eucharist has been tested many times over the years. As a seminarian in Tours, France, for example, during two months of intensive French language study, some classmates learning of my practice of daily Mass accosted me, sneering with venom, “You really believe Jesus is present in that piece of bread?” Shocked by their hate-filled tone, I could say nothing for what seemed like eternity; but after probably less than a minute, I managed to stammer, “Yes… I do.” That shocking and embarrassing moment, to my surprise, led ever so gradually to new gratitude for the gift of the Eucharistic faith and a deeper conviction about daily Mass and Eucharistic adoration. It also taught me to expect my faith in our Eucharistic Savior to face scorn and contradiction. To be continued…
Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel