Saturday, May 24, 2008

Drawing from the Well

The past two weeks have been consumed with travel and family. After a short visit to South Carolina, with an hour of fellowship with Dwight Longenecker (his excellent blog is Standing on my Head — a link is in my sidebar) squeezed in, we brought my almost 89-year-old dad back to Pennsylvania for a week. My normal routines were not normal at all, especially reflection and prayer.

When my own spirit is rushed, I find challenge and encouragement from the great souls who have gone ahead of us. This is one way that praying The Liturgy of the Hours helps to take us beyond ourselves. It is “drawing from the well.”

Tomorrow is Corpus Christi Sunday, and with that I noticed the several readings for May 25 in the “Proper of Saints” in the Liturgy. To give tomorrow its focus, I spent some time with the other readings today and was gripped by the last one, written by Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi. What depth of spirit! Perhaps some of you will join me in making this part of your ongoing petition to our Lord....

From the writings On Revelation and On Trials by Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, virgin:

Come, Holy Spirit

You, the Word, are most wonderful, working through the Holy Spirit to fill the soul with yourself, so that it is joined to God, grasps God, tastes God and absorbs nothing but God.

The Holy Spirit comes into the soul signed with the precious seal of the blood of the Word and of the slain Lamb, or rather that very blood urges it to come, although the Spirit moves itself and desires to come.

This Spirit which moves in itself is the substance of the Father and of the Word, and it proceeds from the essence of the Father and the good will of the Word; it comes into the soul like a fountain, and the soul is immersed in it. Just as two rushing rivers intermingle in such a way that the smaller loses its name and is absorbed into the larger, so the divine Spirit acts upon the soul and absorbs it. It is proper that the soul, which is lesser, should lose its name and surrender to the Spirit; as it will if it turns entirely toward the Spirit and is united.

This Spirit, dispense of the treasures which lay in the lap of the Father, and guardian of the deliberations which pass between the Father and the Son, flows into the soul so sweetly and imperceptibly that few esteem its greatness.

It moves itself by its own weight and lightness into all places that are fitting and disposed to receive it. Its word is heard by all in the most attentive silence; through the impetus of love, the unmoved yet most perfect mover infuses itself into all.

You do not, O Holy Spirit, stand still in the unmoved Father or in the Word, and yet you are always in the Father and in the Word and in yourself and in all blessed spirits and creatures. You are the friend of the created because of the blood shed by the only-begotten Word, who in the greatness of his love made himself the friend of the created. You find rest in creatures who are prepared to receive you, so that in the transmission of your gifts they take on, through purity, their own particular likeness to you. You find rest in those creatures who absorb the effects of the blood of the Word and make themselves a worthy dwelling place for you.

Come, Holy Spirit. Let the precious pearl of the Father and the Word's delight come. Spirit of truth, you are the reward of the saints, the comforter of souls, light in the darkness, riches to the poor, treasure to lovers, food for the hungry, comfort to those who are wandering; to sum up, you are the one in whom all treasures are contained.

Come! As you descended upon Mary that the Word might become flesh, work in us through grace as you worked in her through nature and grace.

Come! Food of every chaste thought, fountain of all mercy, sum of all purity.

Come! Consume in us whatever prevents us from being consumed in you.

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