Daily Reflection — Cast off the Works of Darkness

“Childhood of Christ” (detail) by Gerrit van Honthorst

“Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light…” (Romans 13:11-12).

In Him all things are possible, nothing matters without Him.

It is only by the grace of God that we have been saved and it is only by His grace that we are able to perform those works He prepared for us beforehand (see Ephesians 2:10). In fact, the very first time our hearts turned toward the Lord was in response to His gracious invitation to us. The Church calls this type of grace prevenient grace.

Saint John of the Cross, among other saints, speaks of those moments when our thoughts turn to God, seemingly without any doing on our part. He says that our thinking of God then is not our doing at all, but rather God placing the thought in us… or rather that God is passing close by to us.

We need to understand the power and gift that is God’s grace and embrace it, say yes to it and be led by it. For it is the very love of God for us, operating in our lives. This is what it means to live in Christ.

If any of the works of darkness remain in any way a part of your life, by His grace, cast them off. Turn yourself over fully in trustful surrender to the Lord Jesus. If you open yourself to Him, He will change your life. It’s never too late.

Come, Lord Jesus.

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About the Author

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is also the Founder and President of Virtue@Work, where he provides Executive and Personal Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consulting. Deacon Mike has 30+ years management consulting experience in senior executive leadership positions providing organizational planning and implementation services with a focus on human resource strategy and tax qualified retirement plan design, administration and compliance.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two married children and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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