JETS OF OIL ON FLAME

NOW HERE’S A GOOD START TO MY WEEK.

Authentic Christian Spirituality begins not with a cold, calculated determination to acquire virtue after virtue, as an athlete acquires medal after medal, but with the full-blooded endeavour to facilitate the invasion of our lives by the same love that filled Christ. When the self-same Spirit that animated every thought, word, and deed of Jesus, begins to possess us, then the Spiritual Life has begun in earnest, and that same Spirit will gradually become the principle of all we say and do.”

“How do we start this whole process moving?” I suddenly interjected excitedly. “Where do we begin?” I was like a little boy all keyed up and ready to go. Peter had been busily squirting jets of oil on the flame that he had lit within me the previous day.

“We start,” said Peter, “by praying that we may be able to realise more fully that we are completely incapable of maintaining even a semblance of true and consistent Christian behaviour without the love of Christ. Unless we are transformed by Christ’s Spirit, unless we are sustained and strengthened by His love, we would have a moral breakdown, our spiritual life would simply collapse.

Peter Calvay, Hermit

Rayner Torkington, ofm, 1977

We’re both hearers and doers of the Word of God only by virtue of a continual and dynamic – “ever old and ever new”  but utterly contemporary – transformation by Christ’s Spirit. Seeing ourselves and our companions in the light of a Body being continually thus transformed is going to be a positive thing for us, isn’t it? Church being changed is surely Church breathing the breath of Christ’s Spirit … “till we cast [the] crowns [of our own self-importance] before thee, lost in wonder, love and praise”