February 1st, 2006

rose window

Just a note

The Holy Spirit is not a commodity to be dispensed by licensed representatives (the clergy). The Holy Spirit is sovereign; he uses the clergy and the whole Church of Jesus as his instrument, but he does so freely, and not by necessity.

This does not mean that there is no established order within the Church, for the Spirit of God is a spirit of order, not of confusion. Nor can he be used to justify personal freedom at the expense of the common good; as Dame Julian of Norwich said to the troublesome Margery Kempe, "The Holy Ghost never moveth a thing against charity, for he is all charity."

But it does mean that tautological arguments about the means of grace and authority within the Church are rather beside the point. We do not control him; rather, "the Lord is the Spirit," and ought to control us.