(354 – 430)

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Did not the Father and the Son also move over the waters?  If we think of this as movement in space, as a body moves, we cannot say that even the Holy Spirit moved in this sense.  But if we think of it as Divinity, changeless and supreme, moving over all that is mutable, then the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit moved over the waters.  Why, then, does Genesis speak only of your Holy Spirit?  Why is it only in that case that the Spirit is mentioned as if the Spirit were in a particular place, which of course is not a place at all?  We are also told of him alone that he is ‘your free gift’ (Acts 8:20).  It is in your Gift that we find our rest.  It is in him that we enjoy you.  The place where we find rest is the right one for us.  To it we are raised by love.  To it your Spirit lifts us up, lowly creatures as we are, from ‘the gate of death’.  It is in goodness of will that we find our peace.

A body inclines by its own weight towards the place that is fitting for it.  Weight does not always tend towards the lowest place, but the one which suits it best, for though a stone falls, flame rises.  Each thing acts according to its weight, finding its right level.  If oil is poured into water, it rises to the surface, but if water is poured on to oil, it sinks below the oil.  This happens because each acts according to its weight, finding its right level.  When things are displaced, they are always on the move until they come to rest where they are meant to be.  In my case, love is the weight by which I act.  To whatever place I go, I am drawn to it by love.  By your Gift, the Holy Spirit, we are set aflame and borne aloft, and the fire within us carries us upward. ‘Our hearts are set on an upward journey’ (Ps 83:6 [84:5]), as we sing the ‘song of ascents’ (Ps 119:33 [120:34]).  It is your fire, your good fire, that sets us aflame and carries us upward.  For our journey leads us upward to the peace of the heavenly Jerusalem.
                                                   (Confessions, 13, 9)

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In their many different idioms the classical spiritual writers have attempted to throw light on the eternal question of union with God. 
Every month we give you a brief passage from a spiritual classic.