Thursday, May 8, 2008

"The Great Unknown"

"The arm of the Lord has not been shortened." God is no less powerful today than he was in other times; his love for man is no less true. Our faith teaches us that all creation, the movement of the earth and the other heavenly bodies, the good actions of creatures and all the good that has been achieved in history, in short everything, comes from God and is directed toward him.

The action of the Holy Spirit can pass unnoticed, because God does not reveal to us his plans, and because man's sin clouds over the divine gifts. But faith reminds us that God is always acting. He has created us and maintains us in existence and he leads all creation by his grace toward the glorious freedom of the children of God.

For this reason, christian tradition has summarised the attitude we should adopt toward the Holy Spirit in just one idea: docility. That means we should be aware of the work of the Holy Spirit all around us, and in our own selves we should recognize the gifts he distributes, the movements and institutions he inspires, the affections and decisions he provokes in our hearts. The Holy Spirit carries out in the world the works of God. He is, as we read in a liturgical hymn, the giver of grace, the light of our hearts, the soul's guest, our rest in work, our consolation in sorrow. Without his help there is nothing innocent or valuable in man, since he is the one who cleanses the soiled, heals what is sick, sets on fire what is cold, straightens what is bent and guides men toward the safe harbour of salvation and eternal joy.

But our faith in the Holy Spirit must be complete. It is not a vague belief in his presence in the world, but a grateful acceptance of the signs and realities into which he has poured forth his power in a special way. When the Spirit of truth comes, our Lord tells us, "he will glorify me, for he will take of what is mine and declare it to you." The Holy Spirit is the Spirit sent by Christ to carry out in us the work of holiness that our Lord merited for us on earth.

And so, there cannot be faith in the Holy Spirit if there is not faith in Christ, in his sacraments, in his Church. A man cannot act in accordance with his christian faith, cannot truly believe in the Holy Spirit, unless he loves the Church and trusts it. He cannot be a coherent Christian if he limits himself to pointing out the deficiencies and limitations of some who represent the Church, judging her from the outside, as though he were not her son. Moreover, consider the extraordinary importance and abundance of the Paraclete when the priest renews the sacrifice of Calvary by celebrating Mass on our altars.

...

To live according to the Holy Spirit means to live by faith and hope and charity — to allow God to take possession of our lives and to change our hearts, to make us resemble him more and more. A mature and profound christian life cannot be improvised, because it is the result of the growth of God's grace in us."

-St. Josemaria Escriva

*Taken from: Christ is Passing By - "The Great Unknown"

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