I ask God for an obedient heart and obedient fingers on the computer keyboard to carry out my "Barnabas ministry" to all people whom He brings into the sphere of my influence. And I ask Saint Barnabas for his intercession.
Barnabas, a Jew from Cyprus originally named Joseph, was, like Saint Paul, ranked by the Early Church with the Twelve Apostles, though not actually of them. Saint Luke speaks of him with affection, "for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.” He was known in the Early Church for his charism gift of encouragement, a gift with which I have sensed God blessed me throughout my lifetime of ministry.
An early convert himself, probably after Pentecost, he put his own reputation on the line to sponsor Saul the persecutor of Christians, later known as Paul the Apostle and writer of much of the New Testament canon, when the Apostles, remembering his former fierce spirit, were reluctant to accept the reality of Paul's conversion (Acts 9:27). Later Barnabas pursued Paul to encourage and challenge him to come out of his relative obscurity and join him in widespread missionary work among the non-Jewish peoples. What if Barnabas had not taken the initiative to seek out the new convert Paul and mentor him? Barnabas' spiritual nurture and trust in young disciples was demonstrated again in the unswerving confidence in the potential of his cousin or nephew, John Mark, (Colossians 4:10) who later wrote the second Gospel.
I too feel a mandate from God to stand with any seeker of Truth whether on his initial spiritual journey toward a relationship with Jesus Christ, or a longing for a deeper commitment to Him, or sensing God's call to serve Him, or one who is being drawn by the Holy Spirit into the fullness of the Catholic Church. Wherever someone is on his spiritual journey, according to his leading from the Holy Spirit, I believe God wants me to encourage him through my prayers, my spoken words, and my written and published works. For that I need the gifting of the Holy Spirit with His empowerment and wisdom.
It is God's business where and how He is guiding them. It is my honor, joy, and privilege to place my hand on their shoulders, in reality or virtually, expressing my encouragement, love, trust, and affirmation of God's leading in their lives. It is my calling to be a faithful “Barnabas encourager.”
PRAYER AT MY COMPUTER
Lord, let the words I type with my fingers
and send swiftly by cyberspace
through the technology designed by men,
come first and solely
from my own holy meditations on Your truth,
from my awakened ear in tune with Your heart,
at one with the mind of Christ who dwells within,
overshadowed by the Holy Spirit's direction.
Unite my thoughts to Your purpose and will
for the building up of those who read,
not for the aggrandizement of myself,
but ad majorem Dei gloriam
to the greater glory of God alone.
Grant that the words I compose for publication
may be for the edification of Your people,
the encouragement of their spirits,
and the exaltation of the Holy Trinity:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
(Final topic in Chapter: WORDSMITHING ON MY SUMMIT in Leona's forthcoming book)