Wednesday in the Sixth Week of Easter at Mississippi Abbey

Today, Jesus tells us that the Spirit of Truth will “take from what is mine and declare it to you.” The Spirit will not just give a good story that makes sense out of life-events. Nor will it just use the gospels and the Rule to give directions. Those things will be done, but the Spirit will do something significantly more…something that we really need. So, we need to know that we really need it. The gospels and the Rule help us to realize that. How?

We realize that the gospels and the Rule demand more from us than we can do. It’s discouraging…very discouraging. That’s the good news. That’s how we realize that we need the Spirit. So, I don’t wish new members many blessings, or good luck. I wish them desperation. (Worked for me!)

It is then that we know our true standing before God. He loved each of us first…and it touched us. When the scriptures used “touched” or “tasted” it commonly means “experienced.” That experience touched us so deeply that we wanted to respond with everything. It changed one’s life. It changed how we valued things. It changed what matters most and that changed everything else. We each felt we owed it everything and, like the rich young man in the gospel, we wanted to spend everything…butt we couldn’t. That is the truth that we “cannot bear it now.”

That love was given gratuitously. It was what we were always looking for and never knew enough to want. Like the Prodigal Son, Matthew the Tax Collector, and the grateful leper, we accepted what we knew we don’t deserve; we agreed to receive what it is impossible to pay for.

This realization is the humility needed to receive what the Spirit of Truth gives: the power. It is the power to live by a story that we didn’t write.