“Now a certain man named Simon had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he was someone great. All of them, from the least to the greatest, listened to him eagerly, saying, ‘This man is the power of God that is called Great. And they listened eagerly to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. But when they believed Philip, who was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8: 9-12)
Both Simon the Sorcerer and the Apostle Philip worked certain, miraculous acts in Samaria, impressing the people of Samaria. But all Simon’s magic offered them was the thrill of spectators, observing a “man,” Simon, whom they equated with “the power of God.” Th...
“My son, give Me your heart, and let your eyes observe My ways.” (Proverbs 23:26)
Every step I take to salvation, on my journey of following Christ, including participation in the sacraments, must include my wholehearted wanting to do so. The sacraments don’t work “magically,” nor does the Holy Spirit work forcibly, according to some automatic formula, against my will or against my heart.So let me take extra care to embrace His work, also in the sacraments, wholeheartedly and with discernment. If I am seeking communion with Him in the Eucharist, let me understand that I truly want communion; to be one with the Body of Christ. If I am seeking forgiveness for my sins at Confession, let me bring to the table true “repentance,” a true “change of mind.” And so on.