Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

  • Focus for 2018: Balancing Inner and Outer Wisdom

    Focus for 2018Thank you for your patience--website is as good as new!

    With the turn of the new year, gurus in every area of human accomplishment and fulfillment are promoting new on-line classes in everything from meditation and ministry to confidence-building and business-launching. When I peruse all the topics of learning, the number of podcasts that interest me, and add the fiction I would like to read or hear, it’s overwhelming. If all I do is stop to prioritize my learning and reading goals for this new year as a tool to pick and choose in what to invest my time and resources, I have missed the deeper spiritual yearning such desires awaken.

    The constant glut of information and opportunities can tempt us away from seeking the wisdom that God has planted within us — our unique contributions, insights, and faith that come from the indwelling Spirit who enlightens our own particular incarnation in space and time. It’s easy to think that the answer to our struggles or unmet goals—whatever they might be—is “out there” somewhere, if we just find the right mentor, program or continuing education event.

    The urging of the Spirit inside, however, calls me to set aside time to listen inwardly in contemplation before I look outside me for the direction or answers I seek. That’s not to say that I cannot be helped by others’ teachings; human development requires us to share our wisdom with those who come after us. But we rob ourselves and others, when we do not listen to the insight, hopes, plans, and dreams that bubble up from the God who makes a home in each of our hearts.

    With this in mind, I have coined a phrase for my focus in 2018: “explorational balance.” I want to balance outward seeking with inward listening, reading with meditation, consumption with contemplation. I pursue a life that seeks new ideas, a deep growing spiritual life, faithful decisions, and a greater embodiment of love in and for the world — all of which can happen only when I moderate my search for learning from others with time to listen to the wisdom within.

    We are each a one of kind embodiment of spirit and matter, energy and consciousness that has come into being after nearly 13.8 billion years of the evolution of Creation. What is the unique message the Spirit calls you to share in 2018? I invite you to join me in listening deeply with explorational balance!

    Image: Mandala 77, Downloaded from

  • Spiritual Spring Cleaning

    blogpic spiritualspringcleaningIn her book, The Holy Spirit, Sr. Mary Ann Fatula of Ohio Dominican University writes, “We know that the Father’s perfect image or ‘icon’ is the Son (Colossians 1:15), and that the Son’s living ‘icon’ is the Spirit; but there is no other divine person who is the Spirit’s image. It is human persons filled with the Spirit who are the most brilliant icon revealing the Holy Spirit to the world.”

    Have you ever thought of yourself as the living icon of the Holy Spirit? Jesus was limited in time and space to the first century, but the risen Christ transcends all time and space and eternity so that his living presence can fill the whole creation. As believers and followers of the risen Christ, our lives become the dwelling place, the guest house for the Holy Spirit to live and shine through us.

    I have been wondering lately, what kind of host I have been to the Holy Spirit. Have I relegated her to a back room that is full of dust and dirt? Have I limited the Spirit to only one part of who I am rather than allowing the Spirit to take full possession of my life? Have I put forth my best effort to make sure that my life is a hospitable dwelling place for God? Maybe this is why Jesus was born in the hay among the stable animals—a stark reminder that none of us are too smelly and awful for God to live in and love us and transform us.

    Perhaps prayer, meditation, journaling, Bible-reading, exercise and other forms of spiritual practice are for the Holy Spirit, the equivalent of house cleaning, preparing a lovely meal, and setting out the nicest towels for a houseguest. Where does my life need some sprucing up so that the Spirit may enter more fully? Am I willing to die to my ego and my preferred outcomes so that the Holy Spirit can shine brilliantly through me?

    Perhaps this is what is really meant by the Aaronic blessing God spoke to Moses: “The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord look upon you with favor and + give you peace” (Numbers 6:22-26). Perhaps way back then, Moses and Aaron understood that God’ presence not only shines on us, but through us. It’s like sunlight—we don’t look at the sun directly but we see it instead, in the light it shines all around us. We do not see the Holy Spirit’s light directly, but we see it reflected in the faces and lives of those in whom the Holy Spirit dwells fully.

    I think it’s time for some thorough spiritual spring cleaning.