Even those of us firmly committed to the Christian path of sanctification often, or even usually, have a backwards vision of spiritual reality. We see ourselves as searching for God and in need of great personal effort towards purification before we can arrive at a place where we might merit great spiritual favors or experience an infused level of contemplative prayer like the saints did.
For many the call to witness as Christians with a simplicity born of spiritual childhood been hijacked by the confusion propagated through social media and other internet outlets. The sad tendency for Catholics to flame those who don’t agree with their opinions, to openly criticize the Pope and to demand this or that form of liturgical reform, has left the church on the brink of a collapse
In John 3:8, Jesus describes the Spirit in terms of the wind. It blows where it wills and you hear the sound of it but do not know where it comes from or where it goes. It brings to mind the sound of the leaves moving in the trees which sounds also like the ocean, another description of the voice of God in Rev 14:2. These beautiful processes are so complex in their simplicity that no Scientist can accurately predict them.
The parable of the lost sheep is a beautiful story of the Divine Mercy (Matt 18:12-14) and the focus is usually on the lost sheep. What of the 99 left on the hills though? The Lord showed me that they also are active in the redemption of mankind. You yourself have probably found yourself among them at times in your life and struggled to find meaning in this place. The same has been true for me. These ‘nights” of faith where Jesus seems absent and we yearn for Him like the dear that yearns for the running streams (Psalm 42) yet remain starved of his consolation – what are we to make of them and how are we to pass through them.
The cold war and the threat of nuclear annihilation has been forgotten by most today, although those of us who are older will remember the movies like
“The Day After” (US) and “Threads” (UK) depicting the terrible aftermath of a nuclear exchange. Fewer still might remember the movie called “State of Emergency” starring Martin Sheen and Tim Piggot-Smith connecting the threat of a nuclear holocaust with the Prophecies given by the Virgin of Fatima.
In contemplating the fact that conversion begins in the mind, I have recently though, as a spiritual director,
about the uncanny destruction wrought there by video and television and how it has supplanted the role of the spiritual director or soul friend.
Go into your inner room and pray”. The Lord showed me how these words from Mathew 6:5-6 are an invitation to plumb the depths of God in intimacy
and mystery. The original Greek word used for inner room or closet was tameion. A better translation of this is an inner storeroom or treasury.
Without a deeply rooted prayer life we will not stand erect in the storms that are gathering against the church, neither will we be able to discern the light from the darkness (disguised as light), the deception of the enemy from the call of the bridegroom.
I finished the last post on the theme of the true evangelist. What the Lord showed me interiorly and through my own experience, is that when you are under the anointing of the Holy Spirit you can’t help yourself in a way. You are always free, as the Lord profoundly respects our freedom. However, there is a childlike joy and glee in sharing the Gospel with others, when you step out into a place of risk.
One of the most inspirational passages of the Gospels is the discourse of Jesus with the Samaritan woman in John 4. In pondering it recently I mused on that imagery of the water of the Spirit “welling” up to eternal life and the Lord brought me deeper into this mystery. Not unlike St Teresa of Avila’s waterings, the welling up of the Holy Spirit is God’s work. and the task of the soul is to get out of His way.