St Luke Teaches about the Holy Spirit’s Powerful Actions,
and about the Holy Spirit’s Hidden Languages
St. Luke wrote both Luke’s Gospel and Acts of the Apostles. He is a skilled writer, and a deep co-worker with the Holy Spirit. And he was a supremely talented doctor, both for the physical and spiritual aspects of people. Paul himself refers to Luke as the Beloved Physician (Col 4:14).
This essay will focus on developments that lead to chapters 12 and 13 of the Acts of the Apostles, which constitute the hidden Spiritual center of this amazing Scripture by Luke. These chapters deal largely with St. Peter and St. Paul. Remarkably, these chapters give us direct teaching on how we can achieve a more intimate relationship, directly, with the Holy Spirit; and they give us trustworthy clues on the languages of the Spirit.
Saul/Paul and the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit awakened Paul on his journey to Damascus. And it was a rather rude awakening.
The Spirit of God knocked Paul off his horse, and blinded him. The ferocious zealot Saul had to be led by the hand to Damascus, where a Christian, Ananias, helped him along in his initial healing. This story is presented in Acts 9.
Twice later in Acts, Paul recounts this story of his conversion, with adjustments made to the story to better fit the contexts in which he is speaking. These adjustments to the original story also reflect Paul’s growing understanding of that event. In his later two retellings of his conversion experience, Paul is a much more proficient co-worker with the Holy Spirit, especially in the third and final account of the conversion narrative. He also, in one of his own letters (Galatians), describes the conversion event in a different way.
The story of Paul’s conversion is a prime example of the Holy Spirit erupting into someone’s life. Another example of the Holy Spirit powerfully intervening is when Philip is instantaneously transported from one locale to a faraway place (Acts 8:26-40). And another example is the Pentecost event itself.
However, in this part of the essay, I would like to address a much more subtle account of Paul’s working with the Holy Spirit, so that we can see some of the mechanics of Paul’s actual, real-life partnership with the Holy Spirit. Luke does a brilliant job of presenting this to us in Chapter 13 of his Acts of the Apostles.
Saul/Paul encounters a wicked magician, a sorcerer, and Paul powerfully defeats him.
As a result of this encounter, Paul converts a wonderful person to Christianity, Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul of this part of the island of Cyprus.
Two events happen in this story: Saul changes his name to Paul, and Saul/Paul achieves a victory over the false magician Bar-Jesus (thereby securing Sergius Paulus’ conversion). Are these two intertwined events connected? Yes, it seems they are. The Holy Spirit has woven these two events together in the fabric of the unfolding tapestry of the journey-story of our Faith.
Let us pause the account of Paul’s victory over Bar-Jesus to consider the change in Paul’s name:
In the middle of this episode, something highly Spiritual is happening. The Holy Spirit is ordering Saul to take the name of Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul, who is “a man of intelligence” and who “sought to hear the Word of God.” (Acts 13:7) Obviously, he is a good politician and a good creator of relationships and harmony among the many various groups of people that he must govern. The Holy Spirit is telling Paul to be like this, to be like this Roman official! Paul, who can be a fiery zealous defender of the faith, as when he was murdering Christians, must learn to become a bridge-builder between people of different ways. This would have been unthinkable to Paul in his earlier life, when he was known only as Saul. From this point on, however, his own name would be a reminder to him to be a positive communicator, and to take up sophrosune, the kind of wisdom that achieves good local goals, and which the Spirit sometimes likes us to foster. All the varieties of Wisdom are concerned with “making things work,” among other things.
So Saul changes his name at this point to Paul, after Paul the Roman proconsul. We are informed of this change of Paul’s name right in the middle of Paul’s dealings with Sergius Paulus and Bar-Jesus, the false prophet. Let us return now to this victory for the Faith:
A surprising facet of this vanquishing of Bar-Jesus is that the battle contains many features that are exact repetitions from the event of Paul’s own conversion.
Here is the text of Saul/Paul’s encounter with Bar-Jesus and Sergius Paulus. The highlighted elements of the story are the parts that echo Paul’s own conversion:
“So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the World of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the Word of God. But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) withstood them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith. But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord. (Acts 13:4-12)
Why are these identical elements here?
Here is my interpretation:
The Holy Spirit signaled Paul, right at the beginning of the encounter, that the Spirit wanted a repeat of Paul’s own conversion! The Holy Spirit is the one who struck Bar-Jesus blind, not Paul. Paul is being a Spiritual parrot, a spokesman, a Moses, for the Holy Spirit (of course, Paul is a great Apostle, some say the greatest)! Paul is following the still small hints that the Holy Spirit is giving to him, to great effect. Bar-Jesus is defeated, and Sergius Paulus happily joins the growing Body of Christ, the Church.
Notice another layer of harmony and parallels: Bar-Jesus has two names, including the name ‘Elymas’, and after this episode, Paul will have two names. When the Holy Spirit is teaching us, there are often multiple lessons in a single event.
The Holy Spirit had indicated to Paul that this encounter with Bar-Jesus was going to be like Paul’s initial encounter the Spirit. So Paul, forewarned by the Spirit, was able to make the bold prediction that the magician would be struck blind. And he knew what to talk about in general, because he merely had to rehearse the pertinent points from his own conversion experience. The result is that Sergius Paulus, the proconsul, is brought into the Faith. Also, there is the possibility that Bar-Jesus himself, like Paul, would join the Faith after his own conversion experience.
This story does not illustrate new powers that belong to Paul.
Rather, the story illustrates the power of the Holy Spirit, and how an experienced co-worker with the Holy Spirit can help to incarnate the Spirit’s plan in salvific, powerful ways on earth.
A question: What are the clues, and what are the languages, by which Paul knew what the Spirit was going to do? Could it have to do with the name of the magician, which is “Bar-Jesus?”
Peter/Simon and the Holy Spirit
One day Jesus walked into Simon’s house and cured his mother-in-law. This is recounted in Luke 4:38-41.
Soon after this, Simon says to Jesus, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” (Luke 5:8) The context for Simon’s statement is this: Having already gotten Peter’s attention by entering his house and curing his mother-in-law, when people wanted to hear the Word of God, Jesus went and got into Peter’s boat. He told him to set out “into the deep.” And the haul taken in by the fishermen was enormous. As the great catch of fish was being recovered from the deep, as it was rising up into sight, as the shimmering net full of fish was being hauled up into the light of day, Peter felt himself and his entire past being squarely placed before the eye of the Holy Spirit. Like the normally hidden fish being hauled up, Peter was naked and visible to the Lord.
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
There are 8 people who bear the name ‘Simon’, or ‘Symeon’, in Luke-Acts.
Each time we hear the name, we are invited to connect the context to Peter himself.
Nor is Jesus done discussing Peter’s past. At the house of Simon the Pharisee, Jesus, knowing Simon’s interior thought, announces out loud, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” (Lk 7:40) He says this while, or just after, he has been anointed by a woman, who barged into the dinner and bodily anointed Jesus. Now by this slightly later stage in the Gospel, Peter had spent more time with Jesus, and would have known that something was going on between himself and Jesus in the words that Jesus was saying to ‘Simon’ at this moment. Peter’s attention was riveted on Jesus’ words; and he was especially focused, because there is a woman in the same room anointing the body of Jesus. Peter was all ear at this point.
Simon responds, “Speak, Teacher.”
Jesus presents the story of the two debtors, both of whom have been forgiven. But then, in a line with echoes to the Prophet Daniel’s story of Suzanna and the two evil judges, Jesus stings Simon with a deep question:
“Do you see this woman?”
He continues, “I entered your house . . . .” (Luke 7:44).
The walls come tumbling down. Peter is left facing the truth again. It is probable that the great St. Peter, once at least, perhaps plural times in his youth, had taken advantage of a young lady. At least one of these women adored Peter, and would do anything for him. The woman who was anointing Jesus with the oil was also weeping profusely.
The Holy Spirit loves multi-tasking; or, to say it better, the Holy Spirit loves a plethora of meaning, a multiplicity of significances, in events and words. Jesus is good at doing this. So while he’s publicly discussing things like human connection and neighborly kindness with Simon the Pharisee (he’s ‘Simon the leper’ in the other Gospels), he is privately giving St. Peter’s conscience a frontal kick, privately, in public.
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
Peter will not get off that easily. No, the Holy Spirit will supervise the ongoing and lengthy (by human standards) rehabilitation of Peter’s soul.
And Peter cannot leave Jesus now. He’s stuck to him. The good student is getting used to receiving major and minor corrections from his Teacher. Recall that after Jesus’ long tirade in the synagogue at Capernaum in the latter part of John 6, when people are abandoning him, he asks if the disciples will leave him too. Peter responds, “Who else can we go to?! You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
Jesus frequently employs this multi-tasking in his words. There are broad messages that are meant for everyone, and there are messages for individual hearers. All in the same word. This is also an image of the Body of Christ. Words that partake in truth partake in the Unity of God’s Creation, and in the unity of all human persons in the Body of Christ. So words of truth, which Jesus speaks, reach many human beings and penetrate all levels of reality.
(Looking ahead, when Jesus is getting whipped and flogged and mocked at the high priest’s house, Peter denied him three times in the late night. What did Jesus do in the middle of the ruckus? “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.” Not only is he reminding him of his current failure of loyalty towards Jesus, he’s reminding him of Peter’s nightly actions of years earlier. He gently touched the memory of the rock, and the rock wept.
This is another instance of Jesus communicating on multiple levels at once.)
When the Holy Spirit breaks into our lives to heal us, it may take longer than we think it will.
Did Peter really take advantage of a/some young ladies? He was a born leader, and probably strong and handsome.
A Revolution at the middle of Luke’s Gospel
In Luke 12, Jesus is again shifting verbal gears, sometimes talking to the multitudes, and sometimes talking directly, secretly, to his first disciple, Peter:
“Let you loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will put on his apron and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third [recall the three cock crows later in the Gospel], and finds them so, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have been awake and would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Lk 12:35-40)
Peter is pissed. He has by this time heard so many of the layered meanings of Jesus’ words, and has been tagged and mocked so many times by them, that now he has had enough and is going to respond in like manner to the Teacher: “Peter said, ‘Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?’” (Lk 7:41) Interpreted: Peter is asking Jesus how long Jesus is going to take target practice at Peter’s past foibles.
Jesus lowers the boom.
“And the Lord said, ‘Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over the household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions. [Jesus has just complimented Peter, and set him up for what follows:] But if that servant says to himself, “My master is delayed in coming,” and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful’.”
Peter is thunderstruck. In response to Peter’s challenge, Jesus dug deeper yet, redoubling his attack on Peter’s past.
Then Jesus, shifting gears yet again, moves into a very subtle mockery of Peter, saying, “And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him much will be required; and of him to whom they have committed much they will demand the more.” (Luke 12:47-48)
[The school of the Holy Spirit takes longer than we think. A friend of mine once said: “Learning Chinese is easy. The first 20 years are the hardest.”
But today, perhaps the Holy Spirit is teaching us in new ways, in ways that children can begin to pick up if they have the right teachers. This will help the children to grow up into more potent, integrated, and happier human beings.]
Then Jesus brushes aside the major airstrikes-to-the-conscience that he has called down upon Peter, by zooming out to a big picture of reality; but then he circles back around and hits Peter yet again:
“I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! For henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” (Lk 7:49-53)
This diatribe from Jesus is also a description of the damage that interpersonal betrayals, such as the one/several that Peter committed, can have on persons, families, and communities.
There is a lot in this passage, including some math lessons; numbers are a major part of the languages of the Holy Spirit. Numbers are powerful and invisible. They don’t appear in nature per se, but they help us to order reality, and to communicate with each other, building community. Jesus sometimes gives the disciples math lessons, such as when he’s quizzing them about how many baskets of bread were left over after the miracles of the loaves, when the disciples were feeling consternated at having brought no bread with them in the boat (see Mark 8:13-21).
So Jesus has been teaching Peter about the multiple levels of the meaning of holy words. And some of this meaning has been Peter’s sins in his past. This concludes this round of Jesus’ feng-shui on Peter’s soul. Jesus has revisited this sensitive area of Peter’s past multiple times in these chapters. This latest barrage has been quite difficult for the fisherman.
Peter is silent for the next 6 chapters. Not a peep. (It’s the longest spell of silence from Peter in the four Gospels.)
Much later, Jesus’ Passion and Crucifixion are largely about Peter.
They’re about all of us.
Later in his life, Peter would happily be crucified for the Church of Jesus, for the Body of Christ. In fact, he’d insist to be crucified upside-down, so as to give primacy of place to the Lord.
But the night of the Crucifixion of Jesus, Peter was not yet integrated, not yet healed, not yet whole, not yet in a smooth state of flow with the Holy Spirit.
He failed Jesus that night. And his failures toward Jesus are precisely related to failures in his own past.
Let’s review the person of Peter on the night of the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus:
Peter is stuck in between.
He cannot leave Jesus and the high priest’s house, but he does not go too close to the action, either.
Warms himself at the fire.
There’s a woman, a maid, there.
He warms himself at the fire.
This is Biblicalese. This is the language of life, the language of the deep moves of the Holy Spirit in the middle of your and my and Peter’s life.
The woman at the gate, the figure of power here, is forcing Peter!
The roles have been reversed! Peter is getting pushed around by a woman, and this woman is going to force him to be untrue!
Jesus’ crucifixion is to heal Peter, and to heal all of us.
Not at that moment, but in the days following the Crucifixion, Peter would most poignantly recall the much earlier time(s) he persuaded/cajoled/pushed a young lady, when he was cold, and wanted to “warm himself” with some human fire.
The Holy Spirit can be sharper than a steel scalpel in the Spirit’s surgery on us, surgery which is always for the best. As Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews says, “The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any two-edged sword . . .” Perhaps this young lady at the Passion looked like someone from Peter’s past.
In Matthew’s Gospel, there are two maids who accuse Peter.
In Mark’s Gospel, one maid accuses him twice, and chases him out of the courtyard area.
In John’s Gospel, there is one maid whom is twice referred to as “the maid who kept the door.” (John 18:16-17) This theme of a maid who keeps the door for Peter will return in Acts of the Apostles.
Back to Luke’s Gospel:
The cock crows the third time.
Jesus turns. He looks at Peter from amid his Passion. (Only Luke’s Gospel has this.)
Peter’s conscience is crucified, enlarged, so that it can handle more Reality, be healed, and receive more realms of the Holy Spirit. But Peter doesn’t know all this yet. He just knows that the surgery hurts. He’s shocked, stunned, sickened, disgusted at himself, and knows his sin, his weakness.
Peter goes outside and weeps.
Peter in the Acts of the Apostles
A flooding tide of good humor courses throughout Acts.
At the beginning of Acts, there is the Pentecost. The Holy Spirit transforms the waiting, uncertain, scared disciples. They were wondering what the overabundance of goodness and the shock of the Resurrection were all about. It’s a lot for the first Christians to take in and to integrate.
Then the Holy Spirit comes to them. And the folks who had been huddling in the Upper Room suddenly become a bunch of holy pinballs bouncing, careening, and flying all over the Easter Mediterranean, healing and teaching and Baptizing and founding Churches.
The swelling tide of good humor is spreading.
Peter is now a dynamic leader and preacher, capable of leading humanity by his appropriation of the Word of God and the power and Wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
And his own personal training will continue, despite his already now being firmly established and proven as a leader.
He’s arrested and imprisoned. An angel breaks him out of jail. (There are at least 3 jailbreaks, all committed by the Holy Spirit, in Acts.)
Here is some of the amazing story of Chapter 12 of Acts:
Herod the king persecuted the Church and killed James the brother of John. He then arrested Peter, and was planning to try him publicly after the feast of the Passover. “So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the Church.” (Acts 12:5)
Peter was guarded by four shifts of four soldiers. He slept between two soldiers and was bound by two chains. (There are mystical Realities underneath these numbers, and the two chains are related to the Red Line of Hope, to be treated in a forthcoming essay.) The fact that he’s sleeping between soldiers, however, is related to the topic of his life that we have been discussing, regarding a woman/women he may have slept with years earlier. And there were sentries before the door who were guarding the prison. Then an angel of the Lord appears, and a light shines in his cell. The angel whacks Peter’s side, waking him. It seems that nobody else notices what’s happening. The angel tells him to “Get up quickly.” Then the chains fall off his hands. Following this, the angel issues two different sets of instructions to Peter to dress himself, to put on his clothes: “And the angel said to him, ‘Dress yourself and put on your sandals’. And he did so. And he said to him, ‘Wrap your cloak around you and follow me’.” (Acts 12:8) Recall that in John 21, Peter clothes himself after working practically naked all night fishing. With both Paul and Peter, their lives become open books, visible to all, Gospels of the Kingdom of God. Perhaps this happens with all of our lives.
Jumping ahead in the nighttime rescue story: “When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened to them of its own accord, and they went out and passed on through one street; and immediately the angel left him.” (Acts 12:10)
What happens next is fascinating:
“When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, and where many were gathered together and were praying. And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and told that Peter was standing at the gate.” (Acts 12:12-14)
Recall that in all 4 Gospels, young maids challenge Peter during Jesus’ Passion, and force him to lie against his will. In John’s Gospel, the maid is also the portress, the keeper of the door! And before encountering this portress in John’s Gospel, Peter must wait outside, at the door! (John 18:16)
So we see that Peter has gone in the night to the house of trusted friend, a fellow Christian of the Way.
Yet he meets a reflection of the young lady at the fire who was keeping the gate during Jesus’ Passion!
This time, she has a name. Her name is Rhoda. She’s a maid, and she is at the house where he goes, and she goes to answer the door when he knocks.
She is absolutely overjoyed to hear him! But she forgets to open the door for him!
The humor of the Holy Spirit! The majesty and the precision! This is exactly how the Holy Spirit works in the “healing” part of our lives, when we are learning how to work with the Holy Spirit! The healing at once gently mocks and corrects our past sins, even while pointing to a bright and glorious future, which we cannot yet fully partake in.
The scene is joyful.
Even though Peter’s left standing out in the cold for a few comical moments.
Rhoda doesn’t open to him, but the Community does.
Jumping ahead in the story, Rhoda says to the community inside the house regarding this apparition of Peter at the gate: “It is his angel!”
Clearly we are dealing with an improved Peter, one who is far ahead of where he was several years earlier in his life.
But the Holy Spirit is a demanding teacher and doctor. When we left the story of his door-mediated encounter with Rhoda, she was engaged in a conversation with the community about Peter, while Peter himself was still out in the street, knocking at the door:
“But Peter continued knocking; and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. But motioning to them with his hand [he does the same thing in John’s Gospel at the Last Supper with John, the Beloved Disciple] to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison.” (Acts 12:16-17a.)
So even when Peter was being a super-apostle and was a powerful agent of the Holy Spirit, the good Spirit was still gently chiding him and reminding him of his past sin(s). The picture of the joyful Rhoda leaving him on the outside of the gate is poignant and revealing.
St. Peter perhaps knew no more sexual intimacy in his life. But that didn’t matter to him. He was on fire, no longer only with eros, but with divine eros and holy agape. He was in love with Creation, God, Community, Koinonia, the Mission, Humanity.
Peter, standing at the locked gate. Amazed. On fire with joy.
The divine plan is coming together.
This appearance of Peter nearby Rhoda the maid is his final solo appearance in the Acts of the Apostles, and in the Bible. He is a participant in the Council of Jerusalem, giving a brief comment there in Chapter 15 of Acts. In the last 13 chapters of the 28 chapters of Acts of the Apostles, Peter’s name does not appear. Paul becomes the main character for the rest of the book.
Peter and Paul both mention each other in their letters. Peter urges us to read all of Paul’s works, and to try to understand what they mean. Peter’s two letters are also deep instruction about how our human will grows and becomes beautifully joined with the Divine Will of God. This has a lot to do with the refinement and strengthening of the human Conscience. Which is vital to our getting to know the Holy Spirit better, and for our ability to work with the Holy Spirit.
Peter and Paul are extraordinarily different leaders and saints.
Luke’s version of St. Paul dominates the center and the 2nd half of Acts of the Apostles. Peter figures largely in Luke’s Gospel, and the first half and center of Acts of the Apostles; Luke also relies upon our knowledge of the appearances of Peter in the other 3 Gospels. This shared merging of texts, of Gospels, is also an image of the Body of Christ; in a similar way, the presence of certain people, and their particular names, was used effectively by the Holy Spirit to issue marching orders to St. Paul in Acts 13.
The 8 people named “Simon” in Luke’s writing indicate the fractured being of Peter, and how he was unified by Jesus and the Spirit. With Paul, 4 different people, Jesus—Paul—Jesus—Paul, extend the growth of humanity. To say it differently, Jesus knocks Paul off his horse, who helps correct the son-of-Jesus (Elymas the magician), which converts Sergius Paul. They are extending the growth of Love in humanity. The Body of Christ grows. As Paul says, we are all parts of each other.
Both Peter and Paul are presented by the Beloved Physician, St. Luke, as models of how we can enter into mature working relationships directly with the Holy Spirit. This is perhaps surprising. But this is exactly what Vatican II calls us to. Recall that Pope St. John XXIII, when he called for Vatican II to be convened, said that this era, now, today, will be a New Pentecost. This is a shocking statement. A New Pentecost implies 1) a new birth of the Church, and 2) a new immediacy of relationship with the Holy Spirit.
This new immediacy of relationship with the Holy Spirit appears in hidden ways, there for us to learn from, in the New Testament.
Some concluding questions:
What are the languages of the Holy Spirit?
How might the Holy Spirit be communicating with us today?
Is coincidence, and déjà vu, a part of this? (Someone once said “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”)
Let’s be aware of coincidence in our lives. Of statements, events, and visual views that have a particular Spiritual emphasis to them. What might they be inviting us to?
The realm of this coincidental activity includes interior thoughts or memories that we have within ourselves, thoughts which are reflected in external events in the world around us. What might such things mean for us?
Is there a system by which the Holy Spirit can gently enter our lives more directly, and teach us how to become closer friends with the Holy Spirit, and to become more empowered agents of the Holy Spirit in the world today?
If this is true, then our children have an immensely bright future that they can learn how to live in.