A Catholic Monthly Magazine

The Creative Spirit

Fr Bernard Carney sm

Fr Bernard Carney sm

August can be a bitter month with the weather at its coldest. Flu can be wide-spread and mood levels at their lowest.

Nature seems to have an antidote for this malaise. It is called Spring. And the signals come with the odd good day and the blooming of flowers and blossoming of fruit trees.

I am reminded of a couple of lines from Gerard Manley Hopkin’s poem ‘God’s Grandeur.’ Having mentioned various aspects of human wretchedness Hopkins then says

“And for all this nature is never spent,

There lives the dearest freshness deep        down things;”

We have not long celebrated the feast of Pentecost and we move into what the Church calls ‘Ordinary Time.’ With the creative Spirit to help us the times can be anything but ordinary.

Pope Francis is about to take a major step in setting the course of the Church.  He has called a gathering of bishops for the month of October. The purpose of the synod is to review the Catholic Church’s teaching on family life.  Already the Pope has gathered points of view from the world wide Church. Given the divergent opinions already expressed, the Holy Spirit’s creativity will be heavily relied upon.

Closer to home, there is an election in the offing and no doubt issues are emerging. There is room here for the Creative Spirit to bring a government that is going to be guided by policies that are good for everybody and not just a few.

On the world scene the trouble spots in the Middle East and elsewhere invite some creative diplomacy which will bring peace to families who need it most.

Just as the season of spring lifts the spirits so does the Spirit bring hope. God did not create humankind for misery. His intention was that we should live happy and fulfilled lives. The gift that the Spirit brings is one of optimism and one that starts in the heart of every family.

In his Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis has some timely advice, (101) “Let us ask the Lord to help us understand the Law of Love. How good it is to love one another in spite of everything … Yet St. Paul’s exhortation is directed to each of us: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom 12:21)

Forgiveness and generosity of spirit are springboards to new growth and a hope that brings fulfilment.

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