On one level, soul, consciousness, love, and the Holy Spirit can all be thought of as one and the same. Each of these point to something that is larger than the self, shared with God, and even eternal. That’s what Jesus means when he speaks of “giving” us the Spirit or sharing his consciousness with us. One whose soul is thus awakened actually has “the mind of Christ” (see 1 Corinthians 2:10–16). That does not mean the person is psychologically or morally perfect, but such a transformed person does see things in a much more expanded and compassionate way. St. Paul calls it “a spiritual revolution of the mind” (Ephesians 4:23, Jerusalem Bible)—and it is!
Jesus calls this implanted Spirit the “Advocate” who is “with you and in you,” makes you live with the same life that he lives, and unites you to everything else (John 14:16–20). He goes on to say that this “Spirit of truth” will “teach you everything” and “remind you of all things” (John 14:26) as if you already knew this somehow. Talk about being well-equipped from a Secret Inner Source! It really is too good to believe—so we didn’t believe it.
Consciousness, the soul, love, the Holy Spirit, on both the individual and shared levels, have sadly become largely unconscious! No wonder some call the Holy Spirit the “missing person of the Blessed Trinity.” No wonder we try to fill this radical disconnectedness through various addictions.
There is an Inner Reminder and an Inner Rememberer (see John 14:26, 16:4) who holds together all the disparate and fragmented parts of our lives, who fills in all the gaps, who owns all the mistakes, who forgives all the failures—and who loves us into an ever-deeper life. This is the job description of the Holy Spirit, who is the spring that wells up within us (John 7:38–39)—and unto eternal time. This is the breath that warms and renews everything (John 20:22). These are the eyes that see beyond the momentary shadow and disguise of things (John 9); these are the tears that wash and cleanse the past (Matthew 5:4). And better yet, they are not only our tears but are actually the very presence and consolation of God within us (2 Corinthians 1:3–5).
You must contact this Immensity! You must look back at what seems like your life from the place of this Immensity. You must know that this Immensity is already within you. The only thing separating you from such Immensity is your unwillingness to trust such an utterly free grace, such a completely unmerited gift.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps.
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