‘The Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God’. These words are from our New Testament reading for today.
St John Henry Newman wrote, as a meditation on the Paraclete, an extended prayer, of which this is a part: ‘O my dear Lord, how merciful Thou hast been to me. When I was young, Thou didst put into my heart a special devotion to Thee. Thou hast taken me up in my youth, and in my age Thou wilt not forsake me. Not for my merit, but from Thy free and bountiful love Thou didst put good resolutions into me when I was young, and didst turn me to Thee. Thou wilt never forsake me. I do earnestly trust so—never certainly without fearful provocation on my part. Yet I trust and pray, that Thou wilt keep me from that provocation. O keep me from the provocation of lukewarmness and sloth. O my dear Lord, lead me forward from strength to strength, gently, sweetly, tenderly, lovingly, powerfully, effectually, remembering my fretfulness and feebleness, till Thou bringest me into Thy heaven’.
That Holy Spirit of whom St Paul writes so majestically as ‘searching the things of God’, is the same Holy Spirit to whom Newman’s prayer is addressed. It is a prayer we can easily make our own. In doing so, may God bless you richly.