Tuesday in the Sixth Week of Easter at Mississippi Abbey

For the jailed and the jailers at Philippi, something touched them deeply and changed their lives. The earthquake got their attention, but something else touched them and changed their lives. It was the Advocate that Jesus had promised.

The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, changed their lives because it made demands on them. The law of God is written on our hearts, so it demands that we live in tune with our inner experiences, distinguishing those experiences that flow from the Spirit from those that are passing impressions. “Inner experience” means such things as thinking, imagination, memory, feeling, and willing.

Which of these provides the best criteria for distinguishing experiences of the Spirit touching our hearts? It is the will, that is, our desire. Our will moves us to obtain the object of desire, but it is the object that gives the will power. So, it is the promised Spirit that gives the power to act on the desire to love and serve God and our neighbor.

This is how many people often begin. It may be a seismic-crisis or perhaps just a nagging unrest, that got our attention but then the Spirit touched us and gave us the power to live for God and neighbor. It was life-changing.

That desire will make us receptive to experiences that will wear down our attachment to things contrary to this desire. You see, this Spirit is not only an Advocate; it is also a teacher and a comforter. In those functions it sanctifies. In those functions it affects our interiority. It draws us. It is the Spirit of Jesus Christ so it prompts us to do as He did: to be interiorly united in faithfulness by living in the truth.      

And for this we are grateful. It is our vocation to thank Him for our life and to thank Him with our life.