Friday, June 04, 2004

Re: Musings on the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit

The following is an e-mail I recently received from my on-line friend Jean. I'm posting it here on the Theodicy blog, because her words about happiness and transformation are right on the mark.

In the near future I will be posting a link to Jacob Needleman's book, A Sense of the Cosmos, in the "Book" sidebar which you can find on the righthand side of the screen.

Hello Ron!

Thank you for your kind words. I really thought your observations about prayer as active listening were right on the mark!

I finished reading Needleman's A Sense of the Cosmos the other day, and thought it was wonderful. In fact, I liked it so much I sent a copy to my astrophysicist friend in Budapest, and he loved it! Thanks for the great recommendation, Ron.

Needleman got into a discussion about happiness that I've been thinking over. When you boil it all down, every human person makes a choice of life orientation. There are really only two choices: happiness, or transformation. I got to thinking that happiness can never be a goal in itself, for happiness is always a by-product of something else. So if one fixes one's intent on making "happiness" a direct goal, this is really an exercise in futility; for "the goal post will ever keep on moving." Thus one will never be happy: The goal is ever beyond our grasp.

Transformation is the complete opposite. For it can be a direct goal, with the help of the Holy Spirit -- via prayerful invocation, listening prayer, meditation and contemplation. Interestingly enough, transformation is the only route to true happiness; for there is no genuine human happiness or self-realization outside of the Holy Spirit, which brings us to our Lord Jesus Christ and unites us with Him in Spirit.

Just some thoughts that have occurred to me recently, partly under the influence of your beautiful essay on the Holy Spirit.

Don't be too much of a stranger, Ron -- you'll be missed! Have a wonderful summer -- but please do look in on us every now and then.

In the peace and love of Christ,


The "essay" Jean is refering to is my article Twelve Theses of the Holy Spirit.

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