Power made perfect in infirmity

What is a more powerful expression of the power of the Holy Spirit than His work in our personal lives, especially in our areas of weakness?  This Sunday’s poem is by Mother Mary Francis about that very thing.

A Scriptural Commentary

“For power is made perfect in infirmity” (2 Corinthians 12.9)

Predictable Your power, God,
Who shake the heavens into thunderous roar
And split the skies with lightning at Your glance.

You gaze at oceans and they leap
To speak response in crash of waves
And then subside in wonder at Your feet.

Only to think on seed need You
To see a thousand forests rise to praise You,
Hear treble of small blossoms find their voice.

Wave of Your raised almighty hand’s
Enough to call the sun to rise or set,
To light the sky-dome with ten million stars.

Never will skies impediment Your power
Nor oceans strain Your energies, nor earth
Challenge Your might, stand stubborn before Your gaze.

I do applaud Your power, God.
How effortless Your cosmic sovereignty!
Your easy might is something to admire.

Power is wondrous for no need
Of labor, power issued without threat.
But shall unthreatened power be best praise

Of You, O God? Could greater be
Praise of Your laboring omnipotence
To bend a stubborn heart, to tame a will?

I weep to see You strain to win
So small a prize, tense to achieve
Your purpose, and with all the odds against You.

O God, dear God, what wondrous might
Is Yours displayed in me!
Your power made perfect in my infirmity!

Envoi:  Take, God, the scope I bring You
For play of power. See!
And my own power found at last
In my infirmity.

The Holy Spirit, the Innkeeper

A few more quotes from Come Creator Spirit:

‘a humble and contrite heart’ is the place of rest, a kind of paradise on earth, the place to which God feels most drawn (see Is 66.1-2).  We human beings cannot offer God any sacrifice more pleasing, more acceptable to God than a contrite heart (Ps 51.19).  And what is there to stop us burning with desire to have God fine, every time God visits us, this secret place, this place of rest, that God loves so much.

. . . there is a connection between the Spirit and hope is as close as the connection between the Spirit and love.

Iranaeus says that the Holy Spirit is the “innkeeper” to whom the Good Samaritan, Christ, entrusts wounded humanity, asking the Spirit to take care of it.

The Gift of God

If you haven’t read Fr. Cantalamessa’s book, Come, Creator Spirit, I would be so bold as to say you must.  I’ve read it twice and will most certainly read it again at least once.  Some quotes to entice you:

[quoting Thomas Aquinas]”The first gift we give to someone we love is love itself, which makes us long for the good of that person.  Thus it is that love itself is the primary gift, in the strength of which we offer all other gifts that we are able to give.  And so it is that from the moment the Holy Spirit proceeds as love, he proceeds as the primary gift.”  From all of this it follows that the Holy Spirit by pouring the love of God into our hearts, infuses into us not only a virtue, even though it is the greatest of all the virtues, but pours his very own self into us.  The gift of God is the Giver himself.  We love God by means of God himself within us.

Coming to us, the Holy Spirit not only brings us the gift of God, but also God’s self-giving.

[Commenting on the likeness of the Holy Spirit to a “living fountain”] Water is something that always runs down, never up.  It is always trying to find the lowest place.  So it is with the Holy Spirit: the Spirit loves to visit and fill the lowly, the humble, those who know their own emptiness.

More to come . . .