The indwelling of the Holy Spirit gives us a knowledge of God even more wonderful than faith gives, for even faith has to be content with God's descriptions of Himself. In faith I am indeed listening to a Person who is telling me all about Himself. He is the very truth, and all He says is commended to me by the most solemn and certain of motives; but I am still very far from coming absolutely into direct and absolute experience of God. That, indeed, fully and absolutely, can be achieved only in Heaven...Yet although I must wait for Heaven before I can achieve this absolutely, it is nonetheless true that I can begin it on earth by means of this indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. This real presence of God in my soul can secure for me what is called an experiential knowledge of God, such as undoubtedly I have. It is not only that I believe, but I know. Not only have I been told about God, but, at least in passing glimpses, I have seen Him. We may say what the men of Sichar said to the woman of Samaria: "We now believe, not for your saying, for we ourselves have heard and know." "For the Spirit Himself gives testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God."
-excerpt taken from He Dwells In Our Souls by Bede Jarrett p 23
There is something that unites us more closely to our friends than knowledge does, and this is love. ...The more we know of that which is worth knowing, the more we must love it.
Now, love is greater than knowledge whenever knowledge itself does not really unite us to the object of our knowledge; so Paul can deliberately put love above faith, since faith is the knowledge of God by means of ideas which are themselves created and limited and inadequate, while love sweeps us up and carries us right along to God Himself. Hence it was an axiom among past theologians that love is more unifying than knowledge, so that the real indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we must expect to find not only that He is the object of our intelligence, but also that He has a place in our hearts. Indeed, it is impossible to conceive any experiential knowledge which does not also include in it the notion of love.
-excerpt taken from He Dwells In Our Souls by Bede Jarrett p 26
Within me is the Holy Spirit, dwelling there - sent, given. As the object of knowledge, He can be experienced by me in a personal and familiar way. I can know Him even as I am known. As the object of love, He becomes my friend, stooping to my level, lifting me to His. At once, then, although still in a merely rudimentary way, the glories of my ultimate reward can dawn upon me. Even upon earth, I have already crossed the threshold of Heaven.
-excerpt taken from He Dwells In Our Souls by Bede Jarrett p 30
What is the difference between the Beatific Vision when we will see God face to face in heaven and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit here on earth? The difference, one may say, is largely a difference of consciousness. Here on earth I have so much to distract me that I cannot possible devote myself in the same way as I shall be able to then. There are things here that have to be done, and there is the body itself, which can only stand a certain amount of concentration and intensity. If strained too much, it just breaks down and fails. All this complicates and hampers me.
But in heaven I shall take on something of the consciousness and alertness of youth. A child can thoroughly enjoy Himself, for he has got the happy faculty of forgetting the rest of life, all of troubles, anxieties, and fears. Heaven, then means the lopping off of all those menaces, and the consequent full appreciation of God in knowledge and love. Hence I must not be disturbed if, here on earth, all these wonderful things which I learn about concerning the indwelling of the Holy Spirit do not seem to take place. It is very unfortunate that I do not appreciate them, but it is something at least to know that they are there. It is a nuisance that I do not see Him, but it is something at least to be certain He is within me.
-excerpt taken from He Dwells In Our Souls by Bede Jarrett p 32
THE HOLY PLACE
Hebrews 10: 11-22
I do not have an altar
Or lamb to sacrifice;
The Lamb of God paid, once for all
For sin, the final price.
But there's a quiet, holy place
Which I have set apart
To bring my sacrifice of praise-
The altar of my heart.
I do not have a mercy seat
As Israelites of old
Constructed of acacia wood
And overlaid with gold.
But oh, I have a mercy seat
Where God and I can meet,
And where I fellowship with Him
And worship at His feet.
The Holy Place - veiled and reserved
For the High Priest, alone
With confidence I enter now
And come before the throne.
I also have a great High Priest
Who met the law's demand
By offering His precious blood
He sits at God's right hand
And there He intercedes for me -
My cause He will defend;
His wounds will qualify Him as
My advocate, my friend.
-taken from Mount Up With Wings by Joyce Hart, p19
Trust - Rest - Wait
"TRUST IN THE LORD"
What, Lord? Just trust?
But my mind is prone to doubt
And I'm filled with fear
As the night draws near
And my lamp is going out.
"REST IN THE LORD"
What, Lord? Just rest?
This lesson is hard to learn.
I water my bed
With the tears I shed
And tonight I toss and turn.
"WAIT ON THE LORD"
What, Lord? Just wait?
Wait with unfurrowed brow?
It has been so long
I have lost my song
And I need the answer now.
Oh, Light my lamp again, dear Lord
And hold the key to the gate
Calm now my fears
And dry my tears
While I trust - and rest - and wait.
-taken from Mount Up With Wings by Joyce Hart, p 5
"It is very clear that so tremendous a presence as this indwelling must have tremendous results. If the Father and Son and Spirit are always with me by grace, the effect upon my soul should be considerable. To begin with, the very nearness of God which the indwelling secures must make a great difference to my outlook on life. To have within me the Even Blessed Trinity is more than an honor; it is a responsibility; it is more than responsibility, for it is the greatest grace of all....
"I must consequently expect that the results of this indwelling are judged by God to be considerable, and that it is of great importance to me that, one by one, I should discover them. The Incarnation brought its train of attendant effects which I have to study; the redemption, the sanctifying of all immaterial creation by its union through man with the divinity. This indwelling also must therefore have its effects, the knowledge of which must necessarily make a difference to me in life....
"At the moment of conversion, when suddenly I was drawn into a tender realization of God's demands and my own heart's hunger, the indwelling of the Spirit became more consciously operative with its flood of light and love."
-excerpt taken from He Dwells In Our Souls by Bede Jarrett p 37,39,40
"When God comes to the soul, He comes with His full strength of love, and thereby gives a new energy and life to man. We love because of some beauty, goodness, or excellence that we see in others. We love, then, because of what is in them. It is their gifts that cause or ignite our love.
But God, who is the only cause, Himself creates excellences by love. We are not loved because we are good; we are good because we are loved, so that this indwelling itself fashions us after God's own heart. "It is the love of God," say St. Thomas, " that produces and creates goodness in things." The divine presence of God in the soul, then, effected by sanctifying grace, makes the soul more worthy a temple, more fit a home. God does not come to us because we are fit, but we are fit because God comes to us.
-excerpt taken from He Dwells In Our Souls by Bede Jarrett p 50
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Yes, I was there!
In fact, I died that day;
God vented all His wrath upon His own beloved Son
For He saw me in Him, the guilty one,
And so I died - in Him.
Were you there when He rose up from the dead?
Yes, I was there;
In fact, I rose that day -
For God has raised me up - I'm living now a life that's new
A life that now delights His will to do
For I'm alive - in Him.
Were you there when He sat upon His throne?
Yes, I was there.
In fact, I'm there with Him,
I am as near and dear to God as His beloved Son
He is in me, and I in Him - and we are one;
I'm seated there - in Him.
I Thessalonians 4: 16&17
I'll be there when He comes to claim His own;
Yes! I'll be there!
For I am one of His.
I'm waiting for the trumpet call, the shout of victory,
And I shall rise with all the saints to be
Forevermore with Him.
-taken from Mount Up With Wings by Joyce Hart, p 35
The Alabaster Box
She had an alabaster box
Of ointment, wondrous sweet;
She poured it, counting not the cost
Upon the Savior's feet.
She deemed Him worth of her best
And less she could not bring.
He'd saved her - lost and sold to sin -
She owed Him everything.
And May never cared to know
How dear the sacrifice;
Or that she might have gained, herself,
Had she obtained its price.
She only knew constraining love
Demanded that she yield
The greatest treasure that she owned
In alabaster sealed.
It's not a costly, rare perfume
The Lord expects of you;
But He would have a yielded heart,
And nothing less will do.
The alabaster box you own
That precious thing - so sweet
Cannot release its rare perfume
Till broken at His feet.
Then let us make the sacrifice
And know it's not too great;
The time is short, so break it now
Before it is too late.
-taken from Mount Up With Wings by Joyce Hart, p 12
"We know, according to the Bible, that the Spirit of God dwells within us, works there, prays without ceasing, sorrows, desires and asks for what we ourselves do not know enough to ask for; urges us, inspires us, speaks to us in the silence, suggests all truth to us, and so unites us to himself that we are no longer other than "one spirit with God."
"This is what faith teaches us. This is what the doctors farthest removed from the inner life cannot keep from recognizing. However, despite this knowledge, they tend always to suppose, in practice, that the outer life, or still more a certain insight into doctrine and reasoning, enlightens us within, and that it follows that it is our mind which acts by itself on this instruction. They do not count enough on the doctor within, who is the Holy Spirit, and who effects everything within us. He is the soul of our soul. We should not know how to form a thought nor a desire except through him. Alas, how great is our blindness! We act as though we were alone in this inner sanctuary. And on the contrary, God is there more intimately than are we ourselves."
-except taken from Fenelon's essay "The Word Within" p 155 of Christian Perfection (Colorado Heritage Series)
"God does not cease speaking, but the noise of the creatures without, and of our passions within, deafens us, and stops our hearing. We must silence every creature, we must silence ourselves, to hear in the deep hush of the whole soul, the ineffable voice of the spouse. We must bend our ear, because it is a gentle and delicate voice, only heard by those who no longer hear anything else.
"O, how rare it is that the soul is sufficiently stilled to let God speak! The least murmur of our foolish wishes, the least murmur of self-interest, confuses the message of the Spirit of God. We do hear him speaking and asking for something, but we have no idea of what he is saying and often we are as glad not to guess. The least reservation, the least consideration of self, the least fear of hearing too clearly that God is asking for more than we want to give him, any of these will disturb the word within. Need we then wonder, that so many people, even pious people, but still pleasure loving, full of foolish desires, of false wisdom, of complacency, cannot hear; and consider this inner world the imagination of fanatics?"
-except taken from Fenelon's essay "The Word Within" p 156 of Christian Perfection
"O Word, O Eternal and all-powerful Word of the Father, it is you who speaks in the depth of our souls! The word, which went forth from the mouth of the Savior during the days of his mortal life, would not have had so great a virtue, nor would it have produced so much fruit in the earth, had it not been inspired by that word of life which is the Word itself For this reason St. Peter said, "To whom should be go? You have the words of eternal life." Thus it is not only the outer law of the Gospel which God shows us within the light of reason and of faith, it is his spirit which is speaking, which is touching us, which is operating in us and which is quickening us. In fact it is this spirit which does in us and with us all that we do of good, just as it is our soul which gives life to our body and guides its movements."
-except taken from Fenelon's essay "The Word Within" p 156-7 of Christian Perfection
"Can anyone doubt that God acts directly in our souls? Can anyone doubt that he only acts there to make us die to ourselves? Can we doubt that God, after having taken away the coarser passions, attacks all the subtle reversions of self-love within us, especially in the souls which have given themselves up generously and without the reserve to the spirit of grace? The more he wants to purify us, the more he tries us within. The world has no eyes to see these trials, nor ears to hear them, but the world is blind. Its wisdom is only death. It cannot be compatible with the spirit of truth. "It is only the Spirit of God," as the Apostle said, "who can penetrate the depths of God himself."
-except taken from Fenelon's essay "The Word Within" p 163 of Christian Perfection
"Holy Spirit, divine Consoler, I adore You as my true God, with God the Father and God the Son. I adore You and unite myself to the adoration You receive from the angels and saints.
"O Giver of all supernatural gifts, I beg You to visit me with Your grace and Your love and to grant me the gift of holy fear, so that it may act on me as a check to prevent me from falling back into my past sins, for which I beg pardon.
"Grant me the gift of piety, so that I may serve You for the future with increased fervor, follow with more promptness Your holy inspirations, and observe Your divine precepts with greater fidelity.
"Grant me the gift of knowledge, so that I may know the things of God and, enlightened by Your holy teaching, may walk, without deviation, in the path of eternal salvation.
"Grant me the gift of fortitude, so that I may overcome courageously all the assaults of the devil, and all the dangers of this world which threaten the salvation of my soul.
"Grant me the gift of counsel, so that I may choose what is more conducive to my spiritual advancement and may discover the wiles and snares of the tempter.
"Grant me the gift of understanding so that I may apprehend the divine mysteries and by contemplation of heavenly things detach my thoughts and affections from the vain things of this miserable world.
"Grant me the gift of wisdom so that I may rightly direct all my actions, referring them to God as my last end' so that, having love Him and served Him in this life, I may have the happiness of possessing Him eternally in the next. Amen"
-prayer of Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Come, O Creator Spirit blest,
And in our souls take up Thy rest;
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
Great Paraclete, to Thee we cry,
O highest gift of God most high!
O font of life! O fire of love!
And sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts art known,
The finger of God's hand we own;
The promise of the Father, Thou!
Who dost the tongue with power endow.
Kindle our senses from above,
And make our hearts o'erflow with love;
With patience firm and virtue high
The weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
And grant us Thy true peace instead;
So shall we not, with Thee for guide,
Turn from the path of life aside.
O may Thy grace on us bestow
The Father and the Son to know,
And Thee through endless times confessed
Of both the eternal Spirit blest.
All glory while the ages run
Be to the Father and the Son
Who rose from death; the same to Thee,
O Holy Ghost, eternally. Amen
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