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The Life-Giving Spirit

"It is the Spirit that gives life," said Jesus in the Gospel of John.

In this retreat we will rest and breathe in the Spirit that gives life. — We want to let it "quiet us," fill us, and bring us to both silence and laughter. — We will offer ourselves to be changed — to learn what we did not know — to perceive what we had not noticed — to pay attention and sensitively intuit — and to be open and filled with the Spirit of Life and Love.

Looking at our world, we will offer to receive that guidance which will help us to be part of God's salvation wherever it reaches out: to nature, in relationships, and in self-understanding. We will be open to the Spirit's call, to being different, if necessary — to claim courage and act on it — and to move where changes need to be made. And we shall move in perceptive walking and in joyful dancing and in looking forward with plans for the days to come.

John's gospel tells us that Jesus explained God in three words to the woman at the well. He said: "God is Spirit." That same author also wrote a letter in which he explained: "God is love." These, the two shortest definitions of God in the New Testament, contain the most important information about God and life. Yet they are so simple! Love is a spirit. How else can it be defined? And God, as known by Jesus, is a God of love. God then, is the Spirit of Love, Love that created the world, Love which saves, and Love which inspires, comforts, strengthens, and leads us on.

We have long paid attention to the concept that "God is love." But we have frequently forgotten or perhaps never even noticed that Jesus taught: "God is Spirit."

That loving Spirit is our life! It is that Spirit which calls us into eternity.

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To the Woman at the Well Jesus declared: "God is Spirit" (John 4:24) i.e. One whose being pervades all that is. God is not an entity, limited for eternity to a throne. It is God's Spirit that is the life of all life, including mine. We live INSIDE God, AND God lives inside us, seeking to be known.

- Brame
 
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