Living in the Spirit — Center for Action and Contemplation

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Living in the Spirit

Indwelling Spirit

Living in the Spirit
Friday, May 24, 2019

In very real ways, soul, consciousness, love, and the Holy Spirit are one and the same. Each of these point to something that is larger than the individual, shared with God, ubiquitous, and even eternal—and then revealed through us! Holiness does not mean people are psychologically or morally perfect (a common confusion), but that they are capable of seeing and enjoying things in a much more “whole” and compassionate way, even if they sometimes fail at it themselves. [1]

Today I share again from the late Jesuit priest and professor Richard Hauser:

The goal of the spiritual life is to allow the Spirit of Christ to influence all our activity, prayer as well as service. Our role in this process is to provide conditions in our lives to enable us to live in tune with [Christ’s] Spirit. Our effort is not a self-conscious striving to fill ourselves with the important Christian virtues; it is more getting out of the way and allowing [Christ’s] Spirit to transform all our activities. Christ will do the rest. His Spirit has joined ours and will never abandon us.

Gradually we become more and more sensitive to the movements of Christ’s Spirit in our own hearts; simultaneously we grow in sensitivity to the movement of his Spirit in others. Subtly our vision of the world changes. We begin seeing everything in relationship to Christ and the Father, and so we carry on a continual dialog with them. Without really trying, we find ourselves fulfilling Paul’s injunction to the Ephesians to “pray always.” It becomes clearer and clearer what Paul was trying to express when he exclaimed to the Galatians that “I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Before his conversion, [Paul] had not known this power. Now the reality of the new life he had received through the Spirit of Christ so overwhelmed him that it seemed as though everything he treasured flowed from this life, as, indeed, it did. He can only pray for his people that they may receive this same life from the Spirit and so know Christ and his love. [2]

Read Paul’s beautiful prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21:

That is why I kneel before Abba God, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. And I pray that God, out of the riches of divine glory, will strengthen you inwardly with power through the working of the Spirit. May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, so that you, being rooted and grounded in love, will be able to grasp fully the breadth, length, height and depth of Christ’s love and, with all God’s holy ones, experience this love that surpasses all understanding, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. To God—whose power now at work in us can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine—to God be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus through all generations, world without end! Amen.

[1] Adapted from Richard Rohr, Just This (CAC Publishing: 2017), 47.

[2] Richard J. Hauser, In His Spirit: A Guide to Today’s Spirituality (Beacon Publishing: 2011), 133-134.

Image credit: The Miraculous Haul of Fishes (detail), Henry Ossawa Tanner, between 1913 and 1914, National Academy of Design, New York, NY.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: When the Spirit is alive in people, they wake up from their mechanical thinking and enter the realm of co-creative power. —Richard Rohr
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