24th September

The Joy Of The Spirit

The fruit of the Spirit is.. joy. Galations 5: 22.

The expression on his face seemed so extra-ordinary. A light shone from within, illuminating his features. His whole being seemed enfolded in the grace of the Holy Spirit and raised above the earth.

He spoke to me about the heavenly joys of those who have a share in God’s glory. It was as though he himself was actually living all this at that very moment, partaking of this bliss and enabling me to live it with him. He seemed unable to find words to express what he was experiencing, so he ended: ‘O my joy, such bliss, such beatitude, I cannot describe it all!’
Anne Eropkine, describing her visit to Fr. Seraphim in 1830

When Cuthbert returned to the Farne Isle to lead the life of a hermit ‘he spent almost two months greatly rejoicing in his new found quiet’. Once he sent some visitors on their way with the injunction to cook the goose that was hanging in the visitors’s hut. They in fact left it there, having plenty of food, but then they found the weather turned against them and they could not sail for day after day. Eventually Cuthbert went over to their hut and explained ‘with unruffled mien and even with joyful words’ that their problems were caused by their failure to eat the goose as he had advised. They immediately cooked the goose, and the weather immediately became fair. They returned home with some feelings of shame because they had not taken Cuthbert’s words seriously, but with even greater feelings of joy, because they realised God took such good care of his servant Cuthbert that he even used the elements to give a gentle rebuke to those who took his words too lightly. They rejoiced because the Creator took such good care of themselves that he corrected them by means of a miracle.

Grant me the grace to appreciate your providence
to contemplate your glory
and to become part of creation’s song of joy