In the Company of the Spirit
Recently, my mind wants to rest upon the Holy Spirit. Yet, this desire is impossible for my mind to achieve from its own strength. Why? Because, the Holy Spirit, the Love of God sent to us from the Father and the Son, offers Himself through resting upon another. Not by strength does one gain the Spirit, but through surrender. One must surrender to the Spirit’s request for rest. Through this request of the Spirit to rest upon person, one is brought into the Spirit’s company. Let us not forget that the Spirit is a person, sure we can argue over the use of he or she for the Spirit, but at the end of the day no person can force themselves into the company of another. To reside with someone begins with an invitation. To be in the company of the Spirit is an invitation that the Spirit offers to each soul freely, through the request of resting upon them.
We know not when or how often this invitation will come. Why? As St. John teaches us the Spirit is a “wind that blows where it wills […] (John 3:8a).” Nothing can contain the wind, it moves, touches, and comforts those it wills to care for. As I get older, I find within myself the desire to simply rest with and be present to my friends. However, when I was younger I got lost in wanting to learn all that I could learn about those I called my friends. Within that desire to know all I could about them, I got lost in the details and set aside the ability to just be and rest with them in peace. The desire to know, if not rooted in humility, easily becomes a craving to control. The Spirit will not and cannot be controlled.
To Know the Spirit
Yes, the Spirit is uncontrollable, but this does not mean the Spirit is unknowable. When we accept the invitation of the Spirit and enter His company, the very air of the Spirit fills us. The wind that roamed over the waters of chaos, comforted Elijah on a mountain, and drove Jesus along in His mission, has now chosen to rest within our being. To have the Spirit resting in our hearts, begins a journey that moves the heart into a new way of Love. For it is by the wind that a ship moves most freely from one shore to another. How are we to understand this journey of love? Let us think about what the world offers. The love offered by the world is a closed fist, using its strength to hold on to that which it covets. The love, that is the Spirit, is an open hand willing to give all that it must for the other. It is through the peace of the Spirit that a person’s hands become open willing to offer the gift of love that resides within their hearts.
Thus, to be in the company of the Spirit, in the journey of love, means we must begin to participate in the life of the Spirit (Phil. 2:1). A life marked in compassion and mercy, which shapes the whole being of person. In the journey of love, offered by the Spirit, compassion and mercy are fruits that spring up when and where they are needed, not for their own sake, but for the needs of those called to join the company of the Spirit, so they too may begin the journey of love. For as the Spirit is, we are all called to be, in this world (John 3:8b). The air within our lunges that we use to speak the words of compassion, hold within themselves the invitation of the Spirit’s love. The wind that comforts our weary flesh in the dark hours of our lives, is shown through same comforting touch of mercy offered to a person by the hands of one already in the company of the Spirit. Through these moments of being with another, the wind of the Spirit, begins to move towards the other, asking if He may rest upon them. Why? It is in that moment of rest that the Spirit chooses to make Himself fully known, so the Love of God may be known by another.
“Oh, Powerful love of God, how different are your effects from those of the world’s love!” ! St. Teresa of Avila (Soliloquy 2, 1)