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June 1992

One Spirit was given to us all to drink. (1 Cor. 12:13)

Here Paul is speaking about the 'charisms', the spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit had brought into being among the Christians at Corinth for the service and the building up of the whole community. It is clear, however, that before being the source of these gifts, which are to do with activities, the Holy Spirit is the source of all the inner graces, the gifts of sanctification, whose purpose is to make us children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus, uniting us in such a way as to form one body with him. In this text, Paul makes us understand quite clearly that the Holy Spirit is the source of all Christian life and the builder of the unity of the Church in all its aspects.

One Spirit was given to us all to drink.

The Holy Spirit is, first of all, the source of the divine light that enables us to penetrate and savour the word of Jesus and lets the Word itself live in us in all its fullness. It is he who attracts, fascinates and transforms us through this word. It is he who gives us deep inner conviction and makes us hold fast to Jesus the Truth. In a particularly beautiful passage, Paul says that it is the Holy Spirit who makes us share in the very mind of Jesus (1 Cor. 2:16).

But above all else, the Holy Spirit gives us new strength. It is he who enables us to put the words and commandments of Jesus into practice, even those which at times seem impossible. It is he who gives us strength to resist temptation, to go against the trend and to start again always. It is he who makes us able to love as Jesus loves.

One Spirit was given to us all to drink.

The Holy Spirit is inner freedom, joy and fullness. He is ardour, courage, freshness, continual newness. He is the source of life, of spiritual fruitfulness, of marvellous works and activities undertaken for the good of humanity. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of harmony, of true peace, of fellowship and unity amongst brothers and sisters.

One Spirit was given to us all to drink.

How shall we live the Word of Life this month? There are different ways. Through prayer, offered with even more care, we will invite the Holy Spirit to come into our hearts. We will be more careful to listen to his voice within us and act upon it, for this is the way he enlightens us and encourages us to put into practice the words of Jesus, the commandment of mutual love and practical service of our brothers and sisters. In a particular way he urges us to be builders of peace and unity wherever we find ourselves.

But this month let's resolve above all to embrace more readily the difficulties and trials we meet, keeping in mind that it is particularly through difficulties accepted in union with Jesus, that is to say through the cross of Christ, that the light and strength of the Holy Spirit pour forth. This is the 'secret' which allows us, as this Word of Life says, to drink of the Holy Spirit, so that the Spirit may become, as Jesus says, a spring of living water within us (cf. John 4, 14).

Chiara Lubich

 

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