Yesterday's first reading for Masses around the world lingers in this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit's mind--for it is the prayer the hermit has prayed for awhile: to have God's Mind replace mine.
St. Paul writes of the process of how man thinks and how the Spirit thinks. From 1 Corinthians 2:10b-16:
"Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.
Among men, who knows what pertains to the man
except his spirit that is within?
Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world
but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom,
but with words taught by the Spirit,
describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.
"Now the natural man does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God,
for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it,
because it is judged spiritually.
The one who is spiritual, however, can judge everything
but is not subject to judgment by anyone.
"For 'who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?'
But we have the mind of Christ."
My tired mind has to question the next-to-last line; I must ponder and lazily turn to quick, internet research. St. Paul is quoting from Isaiah 40:13: "Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD, or instruct the LORD as his counselor?"
Perhaps I am making the point more difficult than it is, now that I see it as Isaiah's pointing out--perhaps a rhetorical question--that we, of course, prior to Christ's coming could not know or fathom the mind of God, nor could we be so foolishly daring to try to counsel God.
But with faith and having the Holy Spirit given us, we don't so much "know" the mind of God from an outer position. We "have" the mind of Christ from His being within us: His Real Presence--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Perhaps it is a matter, again, of faith--and also of access. In my own "seeking" (trying to God-pivot from the more flagrantly fleeing term and connotation of "escape"), I may be over-thinking matters with my mind--my mind--when it is actually Christ's mind in me; or rather, my mind is in His Real Presence as I am in His Real Presence within, where He has His Abode.
It is a matter that I seemingly endlessly must God-pivot, even in that perspective: God Is; His Real Presence Is, and I am within Him. Being a mortal "self", I so often think from the perspective of His being in me rather than my being in Him.
Furthermore, it is not just Him but in actuality is the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit of which I am in His Real Presence. And at times I consider it Their Real Presence even though I can kind of grasp the Three-in-One, of Three Persons in One Being: God.
(I had just a thought, also, of the hermitage guest, Sunday before last. The guest could not use the term "God" due to, according to the guest, being brought up Catholic. There were negative thoughts and feelings, evidently. At that point of conversation, we settled on the term "Spirit" to which he approved for discussion purposes. Such aversions to speaking of "God" as the Holy Name of the Source of All Energy and Beingness (or Creator or the many names--Yahweh, etc.), makes pondering Scripture quite obscured, I think.)
Anyway, St. Paul points out that we have not been given the spirit of the world but rather have within us the Spirit who is from God.
(I wonder if one who disagrees with speaking of and naming "God" as a Person of the Holy Trinity, has simply rejected the Spirit who is from God by virtue of not recognizing "God"? Does that type of human being have not then, the Spirit? I rather think that the hermitage guest has been given the Spirit but has the Spirit in a closet, so to speak--lights off, door locked and boarded over. And, some of the effects are from hallucinogenic drug use over time. Yet it seems to me that someone who desires spiritual conversation and who has great concern for the earth and people on the earth--even if distorted with dope-affected paranoias and extreme notions of food consumption--at least has not burned the house down, closet and all.)
I am quite interested in the truth, however, of St. Paul comparing the "natural man" to those of us who are "spiritual"--who have received the Spirit who is from God. (Note this distinction: the Spirit "who is from God" compared to spirits from whatever else--and that may be part of the hermitage guest's dilemma and condition--spirit/s not from God but from earth elements, spirits of darkness, or whatever other spirits we might identify by their not being from God.)
The natural man seems to be those who do not believe in what pertains to the Spirit of God. There we have it--the Spirit must be from and of God in order to qualify us as spiritual and not "natural". I think we each may know natural men and women (and some children, too, in families of natural parents).
My earthly spouse was such--grounded in things of earth and not interested in matters of God nor of the Spirit. A parting letter contained the dismay and dislike of my spiritual aspects--even said specifically could not "understand my mysticism", a term which at the time I was unfamiliar with, and the dictionary definition did not much enlighten me, either.
Regardless, St. Paul explains much truth and wisdom in a few lines of Living Word. What pertains to the Spirit of God would be difficult if not impossible to understand to those who do not have the Spirit in them or who have Him boarded up, closed off, or ejected from the body, mind, heart, and soul.
Those of us who have received the Spirit from God--which depends very much upon us not only receiving but recognizing, holding fast, nurturing, treasuring, worshipping in effect--cannot be judged by those who are not spiritual. They simply are on a different wavelength of values, thought, knowledge, understanding, perception, desire, love, and being.
Those who are spiritual can judge--and by this we may consider judge in the "discernment" category of judging. We can sift through thoughts, words, conversation, beliefs, actions, and intentions of others as well as ourselves.
It seems a first-step (and perhaps only step for these purposes) of judging to sift and sort between those who are natural men and women (and can be children, too) and those who are spiritual. After that delineation, there really is not much point in judging further, or getting distracted by discerning yet more of those who are not spiritual. Pray for them.
Well, I must don a dust mask and prepare to cut out a door header and move it up to accommodate the amount of height that I had to raise the bathroom floor when I leveled it. I had framed the doorway prior to realizing how terribly slanted the floor and without adding in the various layers of plywood sub-flooring, cement board, and tile. I've had no door for a long time; and it is time now to make the adjustments necessary and hang the door.
It has never bothered me to not have a door for the bathroom. Yet when the cabinet installer was here, I left the hermitage when he mentioned he would like to use the facilities. Doors do have a good purpose; we can close off and open up, both. The Spirit from God we must never close off--not if we want to have the mind of Christ!
I am re-considering my prayer, asking God to replace my mind with His Mind. I grasp that I already have His Mind. I think the issue is, such as I was shown a couple weeks ago during Mass, that I have cluttered the space within the soul and indeed within His Abode He has made for me to be in Him. I have but to shift the perception and to grasp His Mind Is--that I have His Mind. And then to see and perceive and to live from His Mind's View.
There is truly little point in spending time and energy thinking about natural men and women's ways of thinking, perceiving, living--other than to pray that they might, too, have Christ's mind at some point. Besides that great desire and hope, they will not understand nor accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, which means, if we are living in His Real Presence, they are unlikely to understand or accept us.
They may get caught up in judging us, which can lead to persecuting or being disturbed by us. So be it. But for us to judge others beyond the simple stage or phase of sifting and sorting between those who have received and accept and live in His Real Presence and those who do not--well, it is unnecessary to be distracted from our seeking to live as spiritual beings who have the mind of Christ. We do not abandon our prayers but leave off from being trapped likewise.
And that mind always loves, yes, but His Mind does not get ensnared by those who reject and do not seek to understand Him as He Is.
In re-reading the above Scriptural selection, I find more and more to ponder! Only by and through the Spirit of God are we able to comprehend anything of God or to begin to grasp Christ's mind, or that we have His mind! We know we have Christ's mind when such as His Living Word keeps speaking to us and explaining Itself in varying ways of illumination and delight!