Jesus' Mercy Changes Me, We and the World

Deeper than Words: Living the Apostles’ Creed

The GGCC Men’s Group is currently reading and discussing the book, Deeper than Words: Living the Apostles’ Creed, by Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Catholic monk of the Benedictine Order.  In the book, Brother David walks us through each clause of the Apostles’ Creed, asking a few basic questions, such as What does this really mean?, How do we know this is so? Why make such a point of this? and sharing personal reflections.  The book is well named, because much of what is presented is “Deeper than Words”, calling for real contemplation.  I would like to share just a short excerpt from the book that I find meaningful, and invite you to think about exploring this resource as well.

“Conceived by the Holy Spirit”  p 67

How do we know this is so?  The Holy Spirit as the awe-inspiring power of life and of love is a reality with which every human being is familiar, whatever name we give to it.  SPIRIT is the very aliveness of our life.  This holds true for every one of us.  We differ only by the degree to which we open ourselves to this power.  Fear tends to block and close our access to “life in fullness” (John 10:10) for which Jesus Christ stands. Life is always a gradual process, however, and we must respect the pace of its movement.  The seed needs time to grow.  If we patiently cultivate courage and openness, we will become more and more aware of the SPIRIT within us that allows us to know God, love God and thrive in God, because this power quickens our intellect, our will and our emotions.

There is also a way in which we can make sense of the idea that Jesus Christ was CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.  We can think of his life as conceived in the mind of God similar to the way the hero of a story is conceived in the storyteller’s mind.  A poetic understanding of this sort comes much closer to the mind-set of the Gospel writers than to the literalism of later interpreters.  It has well been said that we must choose between taking the Gospels seriously or literally.  If we read them with a sense for poetry, we will not be able to dodge their serious challenge.  We will be moved by the strength and tenderness, the revolutionary fervor and fervent pacifism of the towering figure of Jesus alive with the very Life-breath of God.  Then all that I best in us will be stirred not only by his example, but by the stirring of his very SPIRIT within us.  Yes, this SPIRIT is in us all; it is the very life of our life.  For all this unfolding reality in us and around us is a story of love, CONCEIVED by God in the SPIRIT of love.

Loving God,

Thank you for placing your Spirit in each of us.  Stir us with the Spirit’s presence so that we might truly experience the abundant life that Jesus came to bring to us.    Amen

Dave Erickson-Pearson