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Transformation by the Holy Spirit – symbolized by the fire. Fire transforms, fast and hard. Only safe when you aren’t close to it. Same for the HS.
We must be changed. Not just change for the sake of change. Not arbitrary or based on personal preference. CHANGED INTO CHRIST JESUS. *we don’t look like Jesus unless we are changed*
Blessed Cardinal Newman said it well: “To live is to change, and to live well is to have changed often.” Change and growth are the work of the Holy Spirit, guided by the Father’s hand. Jesus is the VINE, and the Father is vine-grower (the “husband-man” as in “husbandry”). And we are branches on that vine, a vine that is ever growing, changing, and finding new ways to bear fruit.
If we aren’t changing, then the Holy Spirit isn’t working in our lives – and it isn’t His fault but ours.
*caveat* Change can’t be measured by the standards of this world’s definition of success, etc. It always must be God’s standards, and we cannot forget how often God works below the radar or in ways that we don’t tend to focus our attention. Think of the Incarnation. God spoke to Mary, yes, but worked in quiet for 9 months, and then really for 30 years of hidden life as things were being prepared. God worked for centuries with the Jewish people preparing for Christ. God often works in quiet and under the radar in our souls, too. But eventually, just like every Spring, we will see life bursting forth, we should see fruit being borne. If that isn’t happening, then we must ask God to show us what we need to change, what we need to prune away or do different in our lives.
Ultimately, we must look for growth in our soul for an increase in the virtues. This is the concrete change of holiness that God will produce, first and foremost. Secondly, it will be in things outside of ourselves. Certainly in good works of charity for the building up of the Body of Christ (the Church) and the Kingdom of God. These are good fruits to keep our eyes open for.
All that change is summarized in one word: love. Love is the great revolution in a world of selfishness.
This isn’t just for us as individuals. As a priest, and as a parish staff, we are trying to be willing to let the Holy Spirit move and change and lead us to where the Lord wants to bear fruit.