“Everything’s being ripped apart! Deconstructed,” I complained to my mentor Terry. “The police are under attack. The church is bleeding with scandal. Politicians proclaim the moral high ground, but use their power for personal gain. The media is biased. Culture wars are rampant. Schools are being used for social re-engineering.”
“Rant on.” Terry said with a patient smile on his face.
“Professional sports and Hollywood have abandoned entertainment for the gods of political correctness. Big Tech and corporations are trying to dictate who’s right and what’s wrong. Everyone’s jockeying for power like a bunch of kids playing king of the mountain. I don’t know who’s in charge anymore!”
“You know, this happens every five hundred years,” Terry replied.
“I just read a couple of good books on that subject,” Terry said. “Check out Jon Sweeney’s The Age of the Spirit and Phyllis Tickle’s The Great Emergence. According to them, every five hundred years society goes through enormous upheaval. The turmoil affects every part of the culture: economics, politics, intellectual life, social structures, cultural norms, and religious perceptions. These semi-millennial uproars shake a nation’s core values.”
Terry took a deep breath and held it for a few seconds. “We’re smack dab during that five-hundred-year period of chaos,” he continued. “And every half a millennium raises the same questions:
‘Who’s in charge? Who or what’s the source of authority?’”
“That sounds scary. So, God’s still in charge, right?” I asked.
“Of course. God created everything and is active in the unfolding of the Universe. All we need to do to understand the current disorder is to step back, listen, discern, and figure out what God’s up to. And the best way to do that is to look at God’s on-going relationship with creation.”
God’s Deepest Desire
According to the historic writings of Italian theologian and monk Joachim of Fiore, God’s deepest desire is to enter an intimate relationship with us individually and as a community. He wants to guide us with Divine Wisdom so we can create more love in the world and be happy. It’s what every good parent wants for their loved ones. To do that, God’s relationship with us has evolved over time through the three faces of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Age of the Father
Initially, God revealed himself to humanity as God the Father. He spoke directly to the prophets and other wise men and women. They then shared God’s wisdom and guidance with the community. He gave us the Ten Commandments as Universal Truths to show us how to live in harmony with each other.
But, we followed a bunch of false gods and idols. We didn’t listen to the Father. We grumbled, walked away, and wandered aimlessly in the desert.
The Age of the Son
All right. Let’s try another way to reveal myself, God decided. So, he sent his son in human form. Jesus was supposed to seal the deal between God and humanity by showing us how to live the law of love: love God, yourself, and others. Jesus went about doing good, and God the Father was with him. He modeled perfect love and forgiveness.
But we didn’t understand Jesus’ ways. We were threatened by the power of his love. We decided we were in charge, and sentenced Jesus to death.
The Age of the Spirit
Being the ever-patient and loving Divine Parent, God turned the other cheek and sent the Holy Spirit. The Creator placed the Spirit of love and wisdom directly into our hearts like an inner compass to guide and remind us we are loved.
“That’s the Age we’re living in,” Terry said. “This is the Age of the Spirit.”
“Wow! How do we know where and how the Spirit is guiding us?” I asked.
“You look to the signs of the times. You discern with other wisdom-seekers where the Spirit of Love is at work in the hearts and souls of men and women as they endeavor to listen and follow the Divine—the One who’s in charge of all Creation.”
What’s the Spirit Up To?
Terry then gave his best guess as to how he believes the Spirit is at work in our current world.
The following are the signs we’re experiencing—the ones we can look to as the fingerprints of God’s Divine Guidance.
This is the Age of the Spirit
We’re in the era in which God has placed the Divine Spirit into our hearts so the Creator can directly communicate with us. Some call it the Great Spirit, Karma, Divine Love, the Source of Our Being. Whatever you call it, however you describe it, it points to this Universal Truth: an Infinite Being loves and guides us with unconditional love and wisdom—and we can connect with this Being.
God’s Inviting Us to Seek Silence
The clamor of the world draws us to seek inner quiet. The Spirit invites us to stillness, to calm the mind’s chatter, since, as Mother Teresa says, the language of God is silence. The growing surge of meditation, contemplation, retreats, nature walks, mindfulness—much of which Thomas Merton and Father Thomas Keating reintroduced to our Western culture—is evidence that God invites us to quell the noise of the world with the regular practice of daily time to be still so we can listen to God’s gentle voice of love and wisdom.
The Pandemic Is the Great Pause
God didn’t cause the pandemic. People did. Yet in his infinite love, God has used the pandemic to invite us to slow down, reassess our priorities, and return home—not just to our physical homes—but to the Home of our hearts—our souls.
The Universal Church Is Unfolding
While our physical churches closed due to the pandemic, the virtual church expanded through technology. Spiritual online workshops and worship services emerged in abundance, connecting people throughout the world. This blending of faith traditions and cultures has allowed people to share their experiences of God and learn about the Divine from each other. The Spirit is moving all over the world. We are coming to understand we are One in the Spirit of Divine Love.
False gods Cannot Save Us
Politics, big government, sports, Hollywood, news media, and Big Tech have become the false gods of idol worship. These cannot save us. They only try to manipulate and hang onto worldly power. The wind and water still know God’s name. And if we seek the Divine, his wisdom and guidance will lead us out of this desert time.
We Are Co-Creators With God
However we understand or name the Divine—God is the source of our inner strength and guidance individually and as a community. On the soccer field of life, the Creator is the head coach and we’re the players. With the Divine Coach’s wisdom, we play like champions. Without it, we’ll still be wandering aimlessly in the desert five hundred years from now.
God Is With Us. Are We With God?
With God as our partner, we’re called to build the kingdom of love. That’s our mission statement.
God promised he’d be with us always. The question is, are we with him? Who’s in charge here?
As Christians throughout the world celebrate Pentecost this week, perhaps we’re being reminded this is the Age of the Holy Spirit. And the way out of this desert time is to learn how to listen, and be guided by the Spirit’s Wisdom.
What’s Divine Flow?
Next week’s Simple Wisdom reflection will take a deeper look at God’s Playbook to discover a pathway that allow us to live in the Holy Spirit’s Divine Flow.
—brian j plachta
Sign up for the next Free Finding Flow Webinar:
IS THIS THE AGE OF THE SPIRIT?
A Finding Flow—Simple
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Eastern US Time)
- How do I make sense of the chaos in the world right now?
- Is it part of the upheaval that occurs every five hundred years?
- Is this the “Age of the Spirit?”
- If so, what’s God’s Spirit up to, and how do I find hope in the midst of these difficult times?
During the webinar you’ll discover:
- How God’s Spirit is inviting us to grow through the disorder we’re encountering.
- Why the era we’re in is the “Age of the Spirit.”
- How God’s deepest desire to love and guide us is unfolding as we discern the Spirit’s movement.
- A pathway you can follow to live in the Spirit’s Divine Flow.