The Spirit of Truth
"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth..." (Jn 16:13).
We continue our journey during the Octave of Pentecost by considering through the conferences of a Carthusian monk what it means to call the Holy Spirit the 'Spirit of truth':
"The Paraclete is called the Spirit of Truth because he is the Spirit of Christ, who, himself, is the Truth. Certainly, Christ revealed everything, he opened his heart to his disciples: 'I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father' (Jn 15:15). But they are unable to understand, to 'bear' it, says the Gospel, employing a word used most often in the context of the Passion (19:17). Why are they unable to understand? Are they not intelligent enough or sufficiently cultured? No, for the wise of this world did not recognise the wisdom of God revealed in the Cross of Jesus; to human intelligence, it is foolishness (1 Cor 1:18-31)...
The wisdom of God so transcends what we can imagine, that it can only be received by the humble in spirit who open themselves in total simplicity to the divine light, that is to say, to the light brought by Christ...
The truth that Jesus reveals is the manifestation of the intimate life of God, a participation in the knowledge of the Father. It is not an 'objective' truth which remains outside us, like a scientific datum about material realities, but a reciprocal knowledge between persons which demands an intimate and transforming encounter. This knowledge is only realised in love, the gift of oneself. But the depth of contact is determined by what we are, and what we are is infinitely below what God is. That is why the disciples are unable to bear that truth. They are not equal to it. We are not equal to it. That truth demands too much of us: a participation in a mystery that frightens and disorientates us. Our heart is too small. We do not understand, because we do not want to understand, because we do not love enough.
God has to transform us, has to give us a principle of knowledge and love that would be at his level. But there is none, except his own knowledge and his own love, his Word and his Spirit. The Word of God has revealed him in the objectivity of a human nature and a human life. That was only for a short period of time. It will be up to the Spirit who dwells in our hearts to introduce us from within into that knowledge, and to enable us to live according to the mind of God and the spirit of Christ.
The thoughts of God 'no one comprehends... except the Spirit of God', he who 'searches everything, even the depths of God.' And it is that Spirit that we have received, 'the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God' (1 Cor 2:12). 'We have the mind of Christ' (1 Cor 2:16) says St Paul, as if it were the equivalent of having the Spirit of God."
"Grant, we beseech You, O Lord, that the power of the Holy Spirit may abide in us; may it mercifully cleanse our hearts, and defend us from all danger."