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Life in the Spirit
Life in the Spirit

Life in the Spirit: Weekly Summary

Saturday, May 25, 2024

We all are temples of the Holy Spirit, equally, objectively, and forever! The only difference is the degree that we know it, draw upon it, and consciously believe it.
—Richard Rohr

The gift of the Spirit is God’s own power to love unconditionally—and to transform the world by that power. This gift of knowing the Spirit, of being able to love as God does, is the same gift we need today.
—Richard Rohr

When Jesus is understood in relationship with Spirit as presence, wisdom, and power, we can experience Jesus as a dynamic figure, one related to God’s mysterious activity and one who dwells with us, always present.
—Diana Butler Bass

We must be guided by the Spirit in all that we do. We work with the movement of the Spirit as wind, light, and breath to change us and empower us to be agents of change.
—Grace Ji-Sun Kim

At Pentecost, each body and ethnicity is affirmed as sacred and of worth, a human being loved by God. No human voice or body is denied the presence and fire of God.
—Luke Powery

Without the Spirit, Bible study does not lead to divine intimacy and union; rather, it can lead to self-sufficiency and confirmation about why we’re right. Instead of leading us to God, it becomes a way for us to protect ourselves and to judge and diminish other people.
—Richard Rohr

Week Twenty-One Practice 
Lectio with the Wind 

God’s Soul is the wind rustling plants and leaves,  
the dew dancing on the grass,  
the rainy breezes making everything to grow.  
Just like this, the kindness of a person flows, touching  
those dragging burdens of longing.  
We should be a breeze helping the homeless,  
dew comforting those who are depressed, 
the cool, misty air refreshing the exhausted,  
and with God’s teaching we have got to feed the hungry: 

This is how we share God’s soul. [1]  

Christine Valters Paintner guides readers through an experience with wind and how the Spirit might be speaking through it. This practice is best experienced outdoors or near an open window. 

Sit or lie down comfortably, shifting your body so you feel relaxed and open. Take as much time as you need to turn inward and settle into stillness. It is often helpful to notice your breathing: with the in-breath, breathe in an awareness of the presence of the Spirit; with the out-breath, breathe out all that distracts you from this time of prayer.  

Become aware of the way wind is present in the world around you—through a breeze blowing, through birds flying, butterflies fluttering, seeds being scattered by the wind, your own breath. In this initial encounter with the element of air, listen for one of its manifestations. Notice if the birds, the butterflies, the breeze, the seeds, your breath, or some other form invites you or stirs you. Listen for the way God might be calling you to deeper attention to wind this day. Listen until you have a sense of which manifestation of air is inviting you, and then spend some time savoring it…. 

Allow the Spirit to expand your capacity for listening and to open you to a fuller experience of the element at work in the world.   

[1] Carmen Acevedo Butcher, Incandescence: 365 Readings with Women Mystics (Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2005), 173. Butcher’s verse is based on Hildegard of Bingen, Liber Vitae Meritorum (The Book of the Rewards of Life), 2:43. 

Christine Valters Paintner, Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements (Notre Dame, IN: Sorin Books, 2010), 38.  

Image credit and inspiration: Tim Zänkert, body of water (detail), 2017, photo, Unsplash. Click here to enlarge image. Like sunlight on water, we cannot grasp or clutch Spirit, but its beauty is with us all the same. 

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