2 Corinthians 2:15 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.
A Word of Hope
On this Holy Tuesday, as Jesus made his words and presence known among every level of the population of Jerusalem, let’s consider the wisdom in this prayer by John Cardinal Newman:
“Dear Jesus, help me to spread your sweet fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that my life may be only a radiance of your life. Shine through me, and be so in me, that every soul with whom I come into contact may feel your presence in my soul. Let them look up and see not me but only you Jesus and give you glory. Stay within me and then I will begin to shine as you shine; so, to share as to be a light to others, and that light, O Jesus, will be all from you. It will be you shining on others through me. Let me preach you without preaching, not by words alone but by my life example; by the captivating force and sympathetic influence of what I am which is the evident fullness of the love my heart and life bears for you. Amen”
Were there specific portions of this prayer which had extra meaning to you? That’s probably God’s Spirit talking to you about your life’s need for a more vibrant spiritual life. The phrase that stays with me the most from this prayer is: “Dear Jesus, help me to spread your sweet fragrance everywhere I go.” When I was a kid, we used a common phrase to describe another kid whom we disliked: “he’s a stinker!” It may have become part of our vocabulary from the old Our Gang movies, in which one little nuisance boy was named Stinky.
Have you ever wondered if your presence, words and actions within the group might be given a similar label? As we go about our life, we emit an emotional and“spiritual fragrance” which has an effect upon other people. Will it be good or “stinky”? All of us have known individuals whose fragrance spreads gloom, doubt, suspicion and gossip. However, a life filled with the Spirit of God has a very different fragrance. Each Christian is like a rose bush which God planted in the individual’s daily life. The loving life of Christ shines upon its leaves and urges each rosebud to open its petals wide to let the sweet scent of God’s love perfume the whole garden area.
I’m reminded of the words from 2 Corinthians 2:14-15; “But thanks be to God, who in Jesus Christ always leads us… and through us spreads in every place [we go] the sweet fragrance that comes from knowing Jesus. For we are the aroma of Christ among those” [with whom we have contact]. (II Corinthians 2:14-15)
Will our aroma be one of kindness, forgiveness, love and acceptance which is the scent of God to a needy world?
“Let me preach you without preaching, not by words alone, but by my life example; by the captivating force and sympathetic influence of what I am which is the evident fullness of love my heart and life bears for you.” Amen
Donald (Luke) Day
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare