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Center for Action and Contemplation
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit

The Immensity Within

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Father Richard describes the Holy Spirit as the loving immensity of God’s presence within us:

On one level, soul, consciousness, love, and the Holy Spirit can all be thought of as one and the same. Each of these point to something that is larger than the self, shared with God, and even eternal. That’s what Jesus means when he speaks of “giving” us the Spirit or sharing his consciousness with us. One whose soul is thus awakened actually has “the mind of Christ” (see 1 Corinthians 2:10–16). That does not mean the person is psychologically or morally perfect, but such a transformed person does see things in a much more expanded and compassionate way. St. Paul calls it “a spiritual revolution of the mind” (Ephesians 4:23, Jerusalem Bible)—and it is!

Jesus calls this implanted Spirit the “Advocate” who is “with you and in you,” makes you live with the same life that he lives, and unites you to everything else (John 14:16–20). He goes on to say that this “Spirit of truth” will “teach you everything” and “remind you of all things” (John 14:26) as if you already knew this somehow. Talk about being well-equipped from a Secret Inner Source! It really is too good to believe—so we didn’t believe it.

Consciousness, the soul, love, the Holy Spirit, on both the individual and shared levels, have sadly become largely unconscious! No wonder some call the Holy Spirit the “missing person of the Blessed Trinity.” No wonder we try to fill this radical disconnectedness through various addictions.

There is an Inner Reminder and an Inner Rememberer (see John 14:26, 16:4) who holds together all the disparate and fragmented parts of our lives, who fills in all the gaps, who owns all the mistakes, who forgives all the failures—and who loves us into an ever-deeper life. This is the job description of the Holy Spirit, who is the spring that wells up within us (John 7:38–39)—and unto eternal time. This is the breath that warms and renews everything (John 20:22). These are the eyes that see beyond the momentary shadow and disguise of things (John 9); these are the tears that wash and cleanse the past (Matthew 5:4). And better yet, they are not only our tears but are actually the very presence and consolation of God within us (2 Corinthians 1:3–5).

You must contact this Immensity! You must look back at what seems like your life from the place of this Immensity. You must know that this Immensity is already within you. The only thing separating you from such Immensity is your unwillingness to trust such an utterly free grace, such a completely unmerited gift.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps, 10th anniversary ed. (Cincinnati, OH: Franciscan Media, 2021), 83–84; and

A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations (Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing,   2016), 146–147.

Explore Further. . .

Image credit: Arthur Allen, Daily Meditation Spring 2022 Series (detail), 2022, photographs, France. Jenna Keiper, 2022, triptych art, United States. Click here to enlarge the image.

This year we invited a few photographers to share their vision with us in an artistic exploration for the Daily Meditations. The inspiration questions we asked each artist to create from were: How do you as an artist connect to and engage with (S)spirit and/or tradition(s)? How can we translate deeper truths through a lens? How can we show our inherent connectedness (of humans, nature, other creatures, etc.) through imagery? This week’s images by photographer Arthur Allen appear in a form inspired by early Christian/Catholic triptych art: a threefold form that tells a unified story. 

Image Inspiration: My point of departure for this project was a question: Do precious things Glow, or are we casting Light on them? I found no answer (in any philosophical sense) but I did notice in my searches that some images—some “strikes to the eye”—positively wanted me to look at them. They called to me as if I had been ignoring them unfairly, the way I might ignore children’s jokes while I am trying to finish taxes. My goal became to ignore them less. I was surprised by how many of these children can fill a day, how many stories they can tell, and just how dream-like their jokes are. —Arthur Allen

Story from Our Community:

I recently purchased prayer flags. During my morning meditation as I watch the flags being lifted by the breeze, my prayers go out to all creatures. All my sorrows and worries go along, too. God lifts my spirit and heals my soul, and finds different ways to reach us if we are open and willing.
—Joni S.

Share your own story with us.

Prayer for our community:

God, Lord of all creation, lover of life and of everything, please help us to love in our very small way what You love infinitely and everywhere. We thank You that we can offer just this one prayer and that will be more than enough,  because in reality every thing and every one is connected, and nothing stands alone. To pray for one part is really to pray for the whole, and so we do. Help us each day to stand for love, for healing, for the good, for the diverse unity of the Body of Christ and all creation, because we know this is what You desire: as Jesus prayed, that all may be one. We offer our prayer together with all the holy names of God, we offer our prayer together with Christ, our Lord, Amen.

Listen to the prayer.


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