The opening verse of this Sunday's second reading from St. Paul's letter to the Christians in Rome (believed by the majority of scholars to have been written between 55 and 57 AD) is one of the more liberating statements in the New Testament.
The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. (Romans 8:26)
How many of us struggle to pray? How many of us find it challenging to engage our invisible God? I do! St. Paul mercifully reminds us that prayer is a super-natural act. It is not like eating or walking or talking or even feeling for someone. It does not and will not come easy. How liberating to know.
To engage our invisible God, we need assistance. Assistance is provided. We have been endowed with three gifts that enable us to be in relationship with God: faith, hope and love. These gifts ennoble and dispose our hearts and minds to God. But, even so, even as we believe, hope and love, we need God. In a particular way, the Holy Spirit assists us. The Holy Spirit moves us such that there are times even when we pray without fully realizing it. The Holy Spirit is lifting our tired, discouraged hearts to God: "the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God" (Romans 8:27).How liberating to experience.
And so, we rejoice, and we engage our invisible God, believing two most wonderful truths, namely that: 1. "all things work together for good for those who love God" (Romans 8:28) and 2. nothing "will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:39). How liberating.
Yours in Christ,
From the desk of the Rector