Monday, April 18, 2005

The power of the spirit

Michael Novak explains the role of the Holy Spirit in the conclave: [via Open Book]

And so, when Catholics speak of the "Holy Spirit" playing a role in the conclave, don't try to imagine a puppeteer pulling strings. The better image is that of the novelist, creating free, living, breathing, conflicted characters who make choices, and in doing so tell with these choices a magnificent story of liberty. The novelist who plays puppeteer convinces few readers that his characters are real. Real artistry lies in creating characters who are free, and who act from within the depths of their own liberty. So it is with the Artistry of the Holy Spirit in the theater of the conclaves down the centuries — a free God, Who chooses to be honored by the flawed efforts of free humans to respond to Him in their own liberty.
I addition, check out the comments on the Open Book post. In particlar, see Neil's comment (also posted at Catholic Sensibility [sorry no permalinks -- scroll to April 16]). When we pray that the Cardinals receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, we ask
"that they share in nothing less than the fellowship in love of the Holy Trinity even as they deliberate in the Sistine Chapel of the Apostolic Palace. We ask God that this happens as they receive the “fullness” of the Spirit through deciding to lead lives marked by a Christlike purity and generosity. We ask that, “led by the Spirit,” their vote proclaims good news to the poor and oppressed and that it expresses a hope for redemption with all of creation. We ask that they experience intense joy through the stirrings of the Spirit. This is more than praying for a magical force or for simple sincerity. But nothing is impossible for God."
As you can probably tell, I am fascinated by the interplay between the Holy Spirit and free will. The papal selection process has brought this dichotomy to our collective attention, but it is evident in our daily lives. In particular I think about our path to parenthood and wonder if all of the delays are some sort of message. Is God telling us that this is not what we should be doing?

For now, I am confident that we are doing the right thing. The right thing for us, the right thing for the children, and the right thing morally. We have thought about it, prayed about it, and talked to others about it. We have done our due diligence, now it is time to trust God. Right?

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