In today’s meditation and those of the next few days, we will leave the usual framework of biblical texts and devote ourselves to a theme of the spiritual life.
In my fourth so-called Balta-Lelija letter, in which I would like to give people help for the spiritual struggle, I talk about the path of holiness. Since we Christians are all called to this path, which comes up again and again in my daily meditations or in the spiritual teaching on my YouTube channel[i], I would like to use and deepen excerpts from this letter in the next few days. It is helpful if we have some knowledge about the way of inner transformation, the conversion of heart, in order to understand how God wants to transform those who entrust themselves completely to Him.
After a serious conversion, which consists of serving God with the freedom of my will and turning away from all ways that could offend our heavenly Father, it is a matter of the transformation of our heart. Not only my will should be completely ready to serve God, but also our heart should be attached to God in love, so that He becomes the “great love” of our life. We should follow this love as do those angels who have remained faithful to the Lord. They carry out the will of God gladly, fully and immediately!
In classical spiritual teaching, one speaks of the path of purification, the path of illumination and the path of unification, which the believer has to pass.
A saint from Switzerland, Nicholas of Flüe (Switzerland- *1417 †1487) summarised this path very well in a prayer.
My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you. (The path of purification)
My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you. (The path of illumination)
My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to give my all to you. (The path of unification)
Let us first turn to the path of purification:
Here we have to clear up some prejudices.
Unfortunately, many people are wrongly afraid of such a path and are sometimes not at all willing to let God lead them through such purifications and to cooperate accordingly. They do not understand that this necessary purification is nothing other than an action of God’s love and even feel threatened or deprived of their freedom. But how could our loving Father threaten us or deprive us of our freedom when Jesus testifies to us: “if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free” (Jn 8:36)?
Perhaps the following explanation will help us to better understand:
The inner transformation of the human being happens through the work of the Holy Spirit. He, the love between Father and Son, is poured into our heart (cf. Rom 5:5) and now spreads its supernatural light. The following now happens in the human being:
a) Love attracts man. Since man is created, redeemed and completed by love, he wants to unite himself with it.
b) Love encounters everything in us that has not yet responded to this love of God: that which is dark and ossified, that which is not yet properly alive, that which is disorderly bound to itself and to this world. In short: everything that now needs to be awakened and liberated by this love.
The Holy Spirit beckons us to follow his invitation to get to know Him better and to free ourselves from all that stands in the way of the unfolding of this love between Him and us. Since He does not force us, but respects our ability to make the right decisions and to follow them, the human being is now asked to participate in this process of detachment.
First he must recognise what still prevents him from being able to respond fully to God’s love.
The gaze falls first on the sphere of the senses.
If I am willing, the Lord will make me see which areas bind me too strongly to the realm of my senses, which ones are overweight, which passions still dominate me, which dependencies and attachments still bind me tightly.
In cooperation with the Holy Spirit, in order to consciously carry out the first purifications, we enter the realm of asceticism.