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The Spirit of God is a wild thing

Do I believe in the Holy Spirit? You bet I do. Nothing else makes sense. Either the Spirit of God who created us is with us still, either the presence of Christ who is the Way abides in us in spirit, or the God of Creation and the Redeemer of souls has never been with us at all. God’s Spirit does not abandon us, if God is really God.

If we are to understand emerging consciousness as a manifestation of the Spirit of God alive in the land, then never has an age seen revelation, consciousness, and wisdom working more clearly than in this one. The signs of new awareness of the human relationship to God are everywhere, in all nations, in all peoples. The Holy Spirit has spoken through married couples and professional personnel about birth control, for instance. The Holy Spirit has spoken through women—and other eminent theologians, theological societies and male scripture scholars as well—about the ordination of women. The Holy Spirit has spoken through laity and bishops and multiple rites of the church alike about the ordination of married men. But no one listens. The Holy Spirit in people of good will is a voice crying in the wilderness, rejected, ignored, and reviled. One element of the church determines the voice of the Spirit and does so, it seems, by refusing to listen to its other manifestations.

God the Creator and Jesus the Way—always with us on the one hand, but never with us on the other—would move humanity, the early Church was sure, by means of the promptings and presence of the Spirit of God who created us and who lives among us and is in us still. Holy Spirit was not a disembodied ghost, not an immaterial being. On the contrary. The Spirit embodied the life force of the universe, the power of God, the animating energy present in all things and captured by none. Because of the Spirit, Jesus was not gone and God was not distant, and the life force around us bore it proof. The Spirit was the restless urge to life in us leading life on to its ultimate.

The Spirit of God moves us to new heights of understanding, to new types of witness, to new dimensions of life needed in the here and now. The static dies under the impulse of the Spirit of a creating God. We do not live in the past. We are not blind beggars on a dark road groping our separate ways toward God. There is a magnet in each of us, a gift for God, that repels deceit and impels us toward good. The gifts are mutual, mitered to fit into one another for strength and surety.

We are, in other words, in the most refreshingly trite, most obviously astounding way, all in this together—equally adult, equally full members, equally responsible for the church. Nor does any one dimension of the church, then, have a monopoly on insight, on grace, on the promptings of God in this place at this time. The Spirit of God is a wild thing, breathing where it will, moving as it pleases, settling on women and men alike.

                         —from In Search of Belief (Liguori/Triumph), by Joan Chittister