Introductory Note:

What better way to “acknowledge the Lord in all our ways” than to open up space for the Holy Spirit to dwell within us—directing us, correcting us, strengthening us, showing us how to love?

The Incarnational Tradition has the aspect of cooperating with God so as to “let the power and life of God flow through us, [and] we become the person he created us to be and God becomes known to the world through us.” An infusion of the Holy Spirit will unite what was divided and bring harmony to discord.

Renovaré Team

Excerpt from A Spiritual Formation Workbook

[The] Holy Spir­it dwells in the chil­dren of God, and his pres­ence is nec­es­sary for us to prac­tice the Tra­di­tions. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly true of the Incar­na­tion­al Tradition.

As phys­i­cal beings we find it easy to focus on the mate­r­i­al — the things we can see and touch. We need food to live and we enjoy eat­ing. Our bod­ies get cold so we buy clothes. When we hit our thumb with a ham­mer, it hurts until we take a painkiller. Because we are sen­tient beings, every­thing we know about our­selves, oth­er peo­ple, and our world comes through our sens­es. We are mat­ter our­selves, so we per­ceive mat­ter easily. 

This presents a huge prob­lem when we start explor­ing the world of the spir­it. We can­not smell, taste, touch, see, or hear the spir­i­tu­al, so we hes­i­tate to believe it is real. We rel­e­gate it to a spe­cial cat­e­go­ry, a pigeon­hole,” allow­ing it out only on spe­cial holy” days or when we have a spe­cif­ic need (such as a need for phys­i­cal healing). 

The Holy Spir­it helps us over­come this dis­uni­ty by pro­mot­ing the har­mo­ny of the phys­i­cal and the spir­i­tu­al. At their cre­ation, Adam and Eve’s bod­ies and spir­its were in per­fect har­mo­ny. But at the fall, their bod­ies took charge and start­ed war­ring with their spir­its. The apos­tle Paul clear­ly describes this prob­lem when he exclaims, For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Rom. 7:15b). In his book Mir­a­cles, C. S. Lewis describes this con­di­tion as estrange­ment” and envi­sions a day when nature and Spir­it are ful­ly har­monised — when Spir­it rides nature so per­fect­ly that the two togeth­er make rather a Cen­taur than a mount­ed knight” (p. 161). 

The pri­ma­ry means that the Holy Spir­it uses to heal this estrange­ment is our prac­tice of the spir­i­tu­al dis­ci­plines. When we fast, we are telling our body that mat­ters of the spir­it are impor­tant. Serv­ing anoth­er per­son puts his or her needs ahead of ours. In sim­plic­i­ty we are freed from the tyran­ny of always get­ting our own way. Wor­ship reminds us that we are dust.” The spir­i­tu­al dis­ci­plines put our bod­ies in a place where God can work his good­ness into us and bring har­mo­ny into our lives.

And when our bod­ies and our spir­its start to come back into har­mo­ny, we do away with cat­e­gories. We eas­i­ly move between reli­gious and every­day activ­i­ties, treat­ing them as of equal val­ue because God is present in both. And all that we say, all that we do, all that we are becomes a means to make God’s pres­ence real to those around us. 

When our life is a seam­less gar­ment,” we are free to reveal God to the world. Whol­ly avail­able to God, we become his rep­re­sen­ta­tive, his emis­sary, and he does his work through us. Our mind becomes the mind of God help­ing his chil­dren under­stand his love. Our hands become the hands of Jesus nurs­ing the sick. Our voice becomes the voice of Christ pro­claim­ing the good news of the king­dom of God. Our arms become the arms of the Holy Spir­it lov­ing the sin­ner uncon­di­tion­al­ly. As we let the pow­er and life of God flow through us, we become the per­son he cre­at­ed us to be and God becomes known to the world through us. 

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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