“Prayer does not blind us to the world, but it transforms our vision of the world, and makes us see it, all men, and all the history of mankind, in the light of God. To pray 'in spirit and in truth' enables us to enter into contact with that infinite love, that inscrutable freedom which is at work behind the complexities and the intricacies of human existence. This does not mean fabricating for ourselves pious rationalizations to explain everything that happens. It involves no surreptitious manipulation of the hard truths of life.”― Fr. Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer
Gospel Text: (JN 15:26-16:4A)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.
“I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you.”
We are well aware that to be a Christian today is to go upstream. It has always been. Even when “everybody” was a Christian: those who really wanted to be Christians were not too well considered by some. If abiding by Jesus Christ's law, a Christian is a living witness of what God had planned for all men; it is the clear evidence that it is both possible to imitate Jesus Christ and to live with a man's dignity. Many, though, will not be pleased with this example, very much in the same way as Jesus displeased those who killed him. The reasons for this refusal may be several, and we have to bear in mind that, at times, our testimony will be taken as an accusation.
With The Holy Spirit by our side we should not be afraid of anything.
We must remember that in all the baptized faithful, the Holy Spirit dwells in us and we are called to witness. For a few that call may be in preaching or teaching; for even fewer it may be a call to give the ultimate sacrifice of their lives as did many of the disciples. For the vast majority of us, that call is to witness in the manner in which we conduct ourselves at work, at home, in service to others and in our recreation. It is a call to live counter culturally, to always put the other person first in a society that emphasizes personal freedom even to the detriment of others. It is a call to show respect for the dignity and presence of the Holy Spirit in each individual. It is a call to share the joy of God’s love for us - and our love for him - in all that we are and all that we do.