The Restless Spirit, Again

St. Paul urges us, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” This is never an easy walk. The Spirit goes where it wills. That is its nature. It seeks out what is new, different, excitingly dangerous, taking risks to be true to itself, always challenging whatever affects us to grow us to maturity. The Spirit is the playful play of futurity, daring to release from lingering the things that surreptitiously bondage us to what is merely time. The Spirit is the foe of time, of the reasonableness of quotidian accidents whose aspirations to divine will or named tragedy inevitably fail. Spirit remains spirit only as the untamed, the radical uprooting of all anchorage, the absolute freedom to will itself multitudes of divergences from the normal. Spirit has no norm, resists norming, as norming breeds settled and conditioned definitions that seek to set the frame for freedom as community. Spirit is that capacity to offer to a dispirited world love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. All of these survive only where absolute freedom prevails. Absolute freedom is freedom that has been absolved from its temptation to surrender to the vicissitudes of time, the urge to be other than itself, the Eternal Presence that sustains the community of faith. Because only the Absolute can absolve, can grant authority to absolve, Spirit grants a reckless, restlessness to community without which there is neither liberty nor redemption, “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.” Spirit is fullness, here, there, everywhere pervading where the human stands and takes a stand. Spirit is the transcending futurity that invites what is next and proximate to become, linger, pass. Spirit brings about what comes to pass, so that in its passing it creates a clearing for the new to dawn. Spirit is the dawning of what is new and needs to be told for the first time. Spirit is the human story, still unfolding, spreading across the expanse of soul into tomorrow.

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