Yielding To The Holy Spirit
Tears are the humble, created water of my heart that corresponds to the powerful uncreated water of the Spirit’s life in me. Tears are perhaps the most rejuvenating and re-creating water of all, the evidence that I have allowed grace to melt the ice at the center of my being. As Leon Bloy says strikingly, where there are tears, there is the Holy Spirit, because the Spirit of God is always, as at the beginning, “hovering over the waters”. What areas of my life are still rigid, refusing to yield resistance and be shaped by God’s fingers? “Flecte quod est rigidum,” we pray in the Veni, sancte Spiritus. In what parts of my person do I still allow the old inflexible grouch of sin to have his way? Each one of us, according to our state in life, has different strategies for allowing the old Adam and Eve to survive in us. We may have that rascal, the decrepit old self, locked away safely, but surreptitiously we still pass him food through the slot in the dungeon door, do we not?
The Glory of God is always found in movements of love, in communication of life, never in static routine, cramped piety, thoughtless repetition of official acts, conventional observance, external religious acts that could easily become the letter that kills, the continuing tyranny of the old, sinful self. The Spirit, by contrast, is wind, fire, light and water, Glory: the unexpected, the transforming, the self-communicating, the self-outpouring Power that shapes by embracing and not letting go. The way of the disciple is necessarily a way of discipline, because discipleship is the living school in which we learn how to be like Christ by intimate association with Him.
~ Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis~
E. Leiva-Merikakis, now known as Brother Simeon, is a Cistercian monk of Saint Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer, MA. He is the author of Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word, a three volume commentary on Saint Matthew’s Gospel.