Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Spark of the Divine

Perhaps an aspect of the radical goodness of the Good News which was truly GOOD and truly NEWS is the promise, expectation and awareness of the Holy Spirit in each one of us.

“You will receive power
when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” ~ Acts 1:8
"To span the infinite gap between the Divine and the human, God’s agenda is to plant a little bit of God, the Holy Spirit, right inside of us! (Jeremiah 31:31-34, John 14:16ff).
"This is the very meaning of the 'new' covenant, and the replacing of our 'heart of stone with a heart of flesh' that Ezekiel promised (36:25-26). Isn’t that wonderful? It is God doing the loving, in and through us, back to God, toward our neighbor and enemy alike, and even toward the sad and broken parts of ourselves." - Adapted from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, p. 97, by Richard Rohr

Acknowledging our humanness, our doubts and our limitations in the midst of this Divine gift, Fr. Rohr added this prayer:  "...Break through my closed door, O God."

Madonna & child, Eze, France
- note the dove (symbol of the Holy Spirit) at her feet
One of the daily devotionals which I receive via email is called "A Daily Spiritual Seed." (You can find a link to it on my sidebar.) As today is the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, today's edition of "A Daily Spiritual Seed" contained the following reflection, based upon the Lectionary's Gospel reading (Luke 1:39-56):

"Reflection on the Gospel from"
"What is the significance of Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth before the birth of Jesus? When Elizabeth greeted Mary and recognized the Messiah in Mary's womb they were filled with the Holy Spirit and with a joyful anticipation of the fulfilment of God's promise to give a Savior. What a marvelous wonder for God to fill not only Elizabeth's heart with his Holy Spirit but the child in her womb as well. John the Baptist, even before the birth of the Messiah, pointed to his coming and leapt for joy in the womb of his mother as the Holy Spirit revealed to him the presence of the King to be born. The Holy Spirit is God's gift to us to enable us to know and experience the indwelling presence of God and the power of his kingdom. The Holy Spirit is the way in which God reigns within each of us. Do you live in the joy and knowledge of God's indwelling presence with you through his Holy Spirit?" (emphasis added by me)

It's interesting that Elizabeth and Mary, and the unborn baby John, all experienced the power of the Holy Spirit before Jesus was born - before Jesus ever mentioned it, promised it or breathed it upon his friends. Knowing this is so suggests that the Holy Spirit is indeed a gift within each one of us, given by God's grace.

What does this power mean to us?
Why would God give it to each of us?
What is it for - what is its purpose in my life, and in yours?
What kind of power comes with this Spirit?
What are we to do with that Holy gift of love and grace?
What would God want us to do?
How blessed we are to live in a time when the Holy Spirit has been revealed, and how blessed we are to have access to writings and teaching about it. God has told us in so many ways that He loves us, animates us, lives within us (and that we live in Him).
Butterfly with lavender, Senanque Abbey, Gordes, France
"After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
'Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 
For you granted him authority over all people  
that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him...
I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
that all of them may be one,  
Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.  
May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 
I have given them the glory that you gave me, 
  that they may be one as we are one 
 —I in them and you in me—
so that they may be brought to complete unity.
Then the world will know that
you sent me  
and have loved them 
  even as you have loved me.' " - John 17

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