By Florence, SSJD Companion
Spirit Of The Living God
O Spirit of the living God, thou Light and Fire Divine
Descend upon Thy Church once more and make it truly Thine
Fill it with love and joy and power, with righteousness and peace
Till Christ shall dwell in human hearts, and sin and sorrow cease.
Blow, wind of God, with wisdom blow until our minds are free
From mists of error, clouds of doubt, which blind our eyes to Thee
Burn, winged fire, inspire our lips with flaming love and zeal
To preach to all Thy great good news, God’s glorious commonweal.
So shall we know the power of Christ, who came this world to save
So shall we rise with Him to life which soars beyond the grave
And earth shall win true holiness which makes Thy children whole.
This is one of the many songs which captures the different names and the job description of the third person of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Spirit is often referred to as fire, wind, tongues, doves…rûach and pneuma, and She has a busy schedule: ordering the cosmos; renewing the face of the earth; empowering the people of God; unifying the church; convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement; enforcing Christ’s victory on sinners; confirming our identity as God’s children; making us holy; gifting us praying tongues; healing our wounds; comforting us in our distress; keeping us on track and interceding on our behalf 24/7…Pentecost certainly deserves more attention than it is receiving!
What I admire about the Spirit most is Her quiet presence in our lives. Her works, Her nudges, Her cares, Her counsels, Her miracles…all performed powerfully without fussing. We do not always notice Her. But when we slow down long enough to smell the flowers, to touch the trees, to watch the bees working hard, to admire the colours of the sky, to notice the human faces around us, to take a deep breath – rûach – we see the Spirit of the Living God living amongst us.
Now is a great season to walk around the delightful blooming gardens in the convent and the nearby areas. Every time I take a walk, I know I do not walk alone. The intoxicating smell of the lilac, the chirping of the insects and the singing of the birds, the vibrant colours of the different plants, the moist in the soil, the rabbits munching their meals, the hospital staff on their way to work, the baby snails finding their ways in the cypress…it is heavenly, it is the work of the Spirit of the Living God. The Spirit who lives in me walks with me to enable me to see Her presence.
The Spirit is also working in the kitchen, the dish room, the offices. She is a resident in the convent, in our neighbourhood and in ourselves. Every bite of food we eat, we taste Her, every dish we wash, we touch Her, every paper we read, we hear Her. When we say our prayers in the chapel, She speaks through us. We do not always notice the Spirit perhaps because She is a part of us.
We bow to each other after prayers because the Spirit lives in us, we recognize the image of God in each one of us. We are taught not to “grief the Holy Spirit of God”, to “Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted…” As we look at the world in 2020, we have good reason to believe the fire, the wind, the rûach and the dove living in us is grieving. Our bows embody Her quiet presence. We must continue to bow to each other, as this gesture casts us off from the chapel onto a voyage to the world to spread power of the Spirit of the Living God.