More than 30 years ago while in pre-seminary formation, I was told a quote from a Russian Orthodox monk, who died in the nineteenth century, St Seraphim of Sarov (1754/1759-1833). The quote is – “the goal of the Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit.”
Seraphim goes on to say that like many people, he believed that Christianity is all about, attending church, living a good moral life, doing the right thing -maybe even growing in prayer. You know – the old adage that Catholic life is all about to pay, pray and obey.
Fr Richard Rohr ofm often draws from the writings of psychologist Ken Wilber, who speaks about it, in his book Integral Meditation, the Christian life is all about Cleaning Up, Growing Up, Waking Up and Showing Up. Except few people get past the first couple of goals. As a church, we have been very good at the first stage in our moral teaching to help people be aware of their need to clean up. We have become a little more aware of the need to grow up. But the experiences of waking up and showing up are where the Holy Spirit can really begin to impact upon our lives.
So, what would a Pentecost life look like?
First Reading ‡ Acts 2:1-11
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak different languages.
Responsorial ‡ Psalm 103:1.24.29-31.34
Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
Second Reading ‡ Romans 8:8-17
Everyone moved by the Spirit is a child of God.
Gospel ‡ John 14:15-16.23-26
The Holy Spirit will teach you everything