Today’s guest post by Fr. Mike McNamara, a priest in the Archdiocese of Boston, was from an article that appeared earlier in the Scituate Mariner on June 8, 2017. Fr. Mike’s ministry has both been the work of evangelization but also a focused response “to the darkness of abortion and addictions as it affects individuals, families and the church”. I am so pleased to share his thoughts on the challenges that have beset our families and communities and what faith provides.
“And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings…” Psalm 91
‘And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings’ is a line found in the refrain of the popular contemporary hymn, ‘On Eagles wings’. Using words of scripture in the song, it touches many hearts. It seems that no matter how often we sing it, people never seem to tire of it. Many have hung onto its words at Church Services and especially at funerals, where it offers much comfort and hope.
We have just celebrated Memorial Day. Remembering the eagle as a national emblem, we cannot help but reflect on the bird’s unique strength and majesty and beauty. It was these qualities that attracted the Fathers of our country to make it a sign of our nation.
What many do not realize is that the eagle, taken from the Bible, is a symbol for Christian people of faith. It symbolizes those people who allow the Holy Spirit to lift them beyond the limitations of this life to share in a life of communion with God. Unique dimensions of the eagle’s abilities are identified with the unique abilities of the Holy Spirit.
One unique quality is their way of seeing things. Eagles are able to see a prey from great altitudes and another bird from up to 50 miles away. The Holy Spirit gives us a new ‘vision’ and ability to ‘see’ life and truth.
Eagles also have a great ability to sense wind currents and instead of relying on only the great strength of their mighty wings, instead use them in response to the wind currents around them. As a result, they are able to fly higher, farther and faster than other birds. The Holy Spirit does not abandon a Christian to ‘fly’ through life under their own power. Rather, the Holy Spirit lifts them up with His power to reach the heights of their full potential.
Today, our communities are suffering under the terrible blindness of addictions. They bring us down and rob us of seeing what is true in life. They bring down so many of our families and friends. We seem to have no ability to stop their wave of destruction once they enter into our lives.
However, with the Holy Spirit, there is the power and a fullness of life that no addiction can destroy.
When we allow the Holy Spirit to be our strength, then there is hope and freedom. The Spirit shines the light that no darkness of addiction can withstand. The Spirit is the truth that reveals the lies that we have been duped into believing. The Spirit of life destroys the spirit of self-destruction and death that is robbing us of so many loved ones, and the love, gifts and blessings they were intended to share with us and the world.
United, in the love of the Lord, as a community, we have the ability to change the direction of the world around us. Living one day at a time, beginning our day on our knees before God, doing His will, allows The Lord to bring victory over these powers in our lives.
We have just celebrated Memorial Day and all the sacrifices so many made for us to be free. May we not loose our freedom because of this enemy that wants to destroy so many. May we experience in powerful ways that great strength and power of the Holy Spirit, lifting us high, on great wings of faith, to set us free and making all things new.
Fr. Mike McNamara
Priest of the Archdiocese of Boston
Director of Servants of Christ Ministries in Scituate
Part time Parochial Vicar of the collaborative parishes of Resurrection and St. Paul’s in Hingham.