I love the prayer “Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.”
More and more, this prayer resonates with me. For so long, Silvio and I were merely surviving. Much of the time we could barely function. We were brought face to face with how weak we were and how desperately we needed God even just to get through this life. We were constantly being melted and molded through suffering. Melted and molded.
And then suddenly, He started filling us. First He brought us to a place we could do ministry, live our passions, live in a church with space outside to breathe and thrive. And I thought that was enough, that it was the greatest gift. But He was not done! He kept giving us so much goodness, bringing good community our way, filling us with Himself, filling us with His healing–and the more He fills us the more I know He’ll keep going. He’ll keep filling us and using us! Life with Him, especially together as a married couple, has been exhilarating lately. The more we enter into times of praise of Him, the more He fills us. And the more He helps us to understand what beautifully overwhelming, huge things He wants to do in this ministry and in the whole Church, through us and through every other Christian. This is so much bigger than simple, regular ups and downs. Yes, those come all through life. The ride He is taking us on transcends that. He is doing great things and they will continue to get greater and greater. “Come further up, come further in.”
This morning I read this by Fr. Jacques Philippe: “These three aspects of the spiritual life–the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious outpourings of the Holy Spirit–recall the image of the fire and the log used by St. John of the Cross. When fire approaches the log it first lights it up and warms it. That corresponds to a joyful mystery. We are warmed by the love of God revealed to us. When the fire comes closer, the wood begins to blacken, smoke, smell bad, and give out tar and other unpleasant substances. This is the sorrowful outpouring: the soul has the painful experience of its own wretchedness. This phase lasts until the purifying fire has completed its work and the soul is totally transformed into a fire of love. Here is the glorious outpouring, in which the soul is strengthened in charity, the fire Jesus came to kindle on earth. The lesson of this imagery is very optimistic: we should not fear the times when we feel crushed by our wretchedness. We should abandon ourselves trustingly to God, sure that sooner or later wretchedness will be transformed into burning charity. St. Therese of Lisieux wrote to her sister, Marie du Sacre-Coeur: ‘Let us keep far from everything that shines, let’s love our littleness…then we will be poor in spirit, and Jesus will come and look for us. However far away we are, he will transform us into flames of love.'”
As the Holy Spirit works so gloriously in our lives, we need to cooperate by staying little children, depending on Abba for everything just as much as we did when all we could see was our wretchedness, remembering that everything that happens is the Holy Spirit’s work–NOT ours–and praising Yahweh constantly. Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him and stay with Him constantly.