Daily Thought For January 8, 2017
A Whole New Way Of Living Comes Through The Grace Of Pentecost
The new law, which is the Holy Spirit, comes into operation through love. Love, then is not merely the sum of all the law and the prophets, but very much more: love is their complete fulfillment and the achievement of their whole purpose. Only those who love, truly carry out the law, for only in love can the law be fulfilled. Ezekiel ascribes to the gift of the new heart and the Spirit the capacity to put the law of God into practice (see Ezek 36:27).
Love itself is also a “law” that is, a directive principle, that urges us to battle against the flesh and to do or not to do certain things. Love, however does not urge by constraint of threats or sanctions as the old law had done and as every written law and directive imposed from without still does, but rather by attraction. Filial love, and not servile fear, is the mainspring of all Christian living and doing.
If the precepts of the law are put into practice because of fear of punishment rather than because of love and justice, those under the law act in a servile way, and not freely, and that is why the precepts are often not put into practice...On the other hand, when faith is at work through love, it begins to make us take pleasure in the law of God in the very depths of our being. (St. Augustine The Spirit and the Letter, 14.26)
At the deepest level of the human heart a radical change takes place. If before we tended to look at God with a suspicious and unfriendly eye, as a slave would look on his owner, we now look to him as an ally, a friend, our Father, and on our lips is the spontaneous cry of recognition, “Abba! Father! (Romans 8:15). The Christian’s entire way of acting is changed; it is truly “deified” because it is now moved by the Holy Spirit: “All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God” (Romans 8:14). God intends the Christian life to be lived that way, in the Holy Spirit, directed by the principle of spontaneity and freedom. It is the life of those who are “in love.”
We have seen how a whole new vision of the Christian life comes to light as we dwell on the theme of the Holy Spirit as “light.” We begin by seeking to be cleansed of our passions (especially of impurity), because they darken the mind and place obstacles in the way of our receiving the light of the Paraclete. Once the inward eye has been made clean, we not only become able to contemplate God, but we also become “transparent”: God’s light is able to shine through us, as a crystal glows when it reflects the light of the sun that falls upon it. The life of prayer and discipline becomes fruitful, and the work we do on ourselves redounds to the benefit of others.
from Come Creator Spirit by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa p. 260-261.