Friday, October 21, 2011

The Spirit Pleads

From a letter to Proba by St. Augustine, bishop describing the peace that surpasses all understanding:

     "The person who asks for and seeks this one thing from the Lord makes his petition confidently and serenely. He has no fear that, when he receives it, it may harm him, for if it is absent, anything else he duly receives brings no benefit at all. This is the one, true and only life of happiness, that, immortal and incorruptible in body and spirit, we should contemplate the Lord's graciousness for ever. It is for the sake of this one thing that everything else is sought and without impropriety requested. The person who has this will have all that he wants; in heaven, he will be unable to want, because he will be unable to possess anything that is unfitting."

I love it when the saints simplify spiritual truths and that's what St. Augustine does in today's reading from the liturgy of the hours. His letter to Proba was continued through the past week's second readings beginning last Sunday through today--Friday. I highly recommend reading all the excerpts from the letter because they are so full of wisdom.

Augustine reminds us of the "one thing" we should seek: "to dwell in the Lord's house all the days of my life" (Ps 27: 4) which is the happiness that is everlasting. It is the peace that surpasses understanding.

In prayer he suggests we pray as Jesus did, "not my will, but thine be done" and then abandon ourselves so that our will can be transformed to our Father's, and become accepting of any circumstances that the Lord allows for our greater good.

Even when we do not know what to pray for the Spirit of God does, and "pleads for the saints according to God's will." (Rm 8: 27) Augustine explains that this pleading, this intercession "moves the saints to plead," to intercede.

So let us continue to stir into flame our desire to "dwell in the house of the Lord all our days" by praying as Jesus taught us in the Lord's Prayer.

Grace & peace!


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