From desert to orchard to forest

How thankful I am for the Easter season which calls our attention to the hidden work of the Holy Spirit, the breath of life which comes upon us in wind and fire. What is born of the Spirit is spirit. ( John 3:7-8) Jesus says to Nicodemus, we must be born from above. The wind of the Spirit blows where it wills. You can hear the sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it’s going:   After Baptism, the Spirit leads the believer wherever he chooses, (like the wind blowing).   Nicodemus is confused because these Christian truths go far beyond the Jewish faith.   The early Church easily understands them and gladly explains them to the world.  Jesus’ heavenly role as Son of Man goes beyond Baptism and the Spirit’s indwelling.  ...

I want to hear your voice

If you’d like, I’ll take you with me on my healing journey as it’s unfolding. Sometimes, many times…words can no longer suffice when we are suffering through trials and tribulations. Maybe you’re in a place like me where you wonder if any of the work you’ve done for the Lord over the years, most especially for your family, will ever see fruit this side of Heaven. Maybe it looks like the enemy is winning and you’re wondering if the narrow road was- is- worth the price. Do you never think that? No? You’re a better pilgrim than me. I used to try to be strong for the Lord. Imagine that? Ah, but now and then, the suffering becomes so intense, I have no choice but to face my true self and turn to the Lord, completely...

Chapter 72 and the Wise Virgins

Chapter 72 and the Wise Virgins

  Some commentators say that chapter 72 of the Holy Rule of St Benedict might be considered, ‘a synthesis of the entire rule.’ In a few short sentences, St Benedict, “condenses the whole science of monastic perfection.” For me, in this chapter, I feel as if I meet the man St Benedict. Every word of it penetrates to the interior attitude and motive of the heart as we are challenged to live a good life in community according to our vocation.   Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness which separates from God and leads to hell, so there is a good zeal which separates from vices and leads to God and to life everlasting. This zeal, therefore, the monks should practice with the most fervent love. Thus they should anticipate one...

The Holy Trinity

The Holy Trinity

  Holy Trinity  Sandro Botticelli 1491-1493     “The Holy Trinity or Pala delle Convertite is an altarpiece by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, dating to c. 1491-1493. It is housed in Courtauld Institute Galleries of London.   It was originally commissioned by the Arte dei Medici e degli Speziali (guild of the Doctors and Pharmacists) for the church of Santa Elisabetta delle Convertite in Florence, a church/monastery housing former prostitutes or fallen women, who had converted from the licentious life to one of honesty, and whose patron saint was Mary Magdalene.   The picture shows the Trinity (Jesus Crucified, God and the Holy Spirit’s Dove) within an almond with seraphim.   In the background is a blue sky within two...

The Spirit of Truth and Love

The Spirit of Truth and Love

  There’s so much I’m asking the Spirit for this Pentecost. I hope to be filled anew, that I may learn to love as He loves;   and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. —Romans 5:5   With a renewed presence of the Holy Spirit, I long to understand what it means to abide in Christ..Such a strange word to modern ears, that apart from it’s use in the gospels, one might consider it obsolete. Nothing much continues or perseveres these days; promises kept, once the foundation of our human community, have all but vanished. No matter, I am still called to abide and I pray the Holy Spirit anchor me to Christ, that it be more that just an...