READ: John 14:16-21, 26-27
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you….I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him … These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” – John 14:16-21, 26-27
Before me, the weaver was about her craft. With her hands she fed the yarn and passed the shuttle, back and forth, in interlocking rows of color, the weft passing through the warp, tamped into place by the loom as she worked it with her feet. It was if the weaver were playing a mighty church organ, but instead of notes made of sound, she played with notes of multicolored yarn. She worked with a certain and sure rhythm, creating a pattern of cloth, forming before my eyes, line by line by line, row by row by row. And as I watched the weaver work I began to think of the gift Christ gave to us at the close of His earthly days, the gift of His Spirit, the means by which the cloth of His Life would continue to be woven after He had gone on.
The poet, T,S, Eliot, has a line in one of his poems, an image which comes to mind. He speaks of … “weaving the wind.” Weaving the wind … the Holy Spirit is likened to the wind and the Holy Spirit is likened to the breath. When Jesus was about to depart, He promised His disciples that He would send to them and now to us a Holy Spirit – a Holy Wind or a Holy Breath. And that Spirit, that Wind, that Breath, would continue to teach the disciples the Way, Truth and the Life, the Christian understanding that would need more time than allowed by the brief thirty-three years Jesus had on this earth. Through the weft of His Divine Spirit being passed back an forth through the warp of our human souls, the cloth of God’s Way, Truth, and Life would continue to be woven. In Christ, our lives are as cloth woven with both threads divine and threads human.
I do believe this to be true and to be the way of spiritual formation for the Christian disciple. By way of each day’s spiritual practice, the divine and the human are woven together into one cloth named Christ-likeness. Each day, we read Scripture, and when we do the Scripture becomes woven into our souls. Each day, we spend time in prayer, and the prayerful moments become woven into our souls. Each day, we do servant’s work on His behalf, and His compassion become woven into our souls. Each day, we confess and forgive, and the divine mercy we experience and the divine mercy we express become woven into our souls. And all the while … the Spirit of God is also being woven into the fabric of human history and human community..
Today at Greyfriars’ Abbey, a playful breeze is romping about the fields, a youthful wind, a just=after-Easter kind of wind. For a reason quite unknown, I took a few moments to breathe into my life that playful wind. In that deep, long breath I caught the faint scent of bread baking in the Abbey bakery and I caught the faint scent of the pine forest not far from here. In some small way, I suppose, the wind became part of me and this divine moment was woven into my human existence.
Weft and warp, divine and human, together they become as Christ.
Brother Anthony of the Cross
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