Thursday, August 26, 2021



                    Be hidden. Be a light to your neighbour’s feet. [1]

Here at first blush the Most Holy Spirit has given two seemingly contradictory words: hidden and light. Yet they are not. At it’s most basic hiddenness ensures the brightness of our light and that very light is what wraps us in hiddenness.

Jesus teaches us about the importance of being hidden. Two examples: …..when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you……..when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you. [Mt.6:6 & 17,18]

To be hidden is not the same thing as to hide, neither is going into a room alone to pray in secret the same thing as hiding: to hide means to conceal; to be in secret is to keep something from being observed by others.

It is the false self, the ‘look at me’ self, the needy self we are asked by the Holy Spirit to keep hidden. Such self focused things are like a dirty window which keeps sunlight out, the warmth of lights from inside at night from easing the darkness for those passing by.

When it comes to windows in a building or the home we live it, cleaning the windows inside and out in spring to remove the grim accumulated over the winter to let in the bright, warming light of the sun, is a common practice.

Our hearts and souls need to be so transformed by the Holy Spirit that the fire-light of Christ permeates more deeply and that light then pours out from our being so brilliantly anyone who looks at us is transfixed by the light, just as people walking by a home where the lights are burning are more conscious of the light than of the clear glass of the windows.

To become that clear glass cannot be done by our own efforts, it is the work of the Divine Guest of our souls, the Most Holy Spirit. Yes our cooperation with Him is required and the process can be painful for the false self fights tooth and nail not to be diminished, not to be scrubbed away. Indeed, no matter what it costs that false self wants to survive!

Transformation by the Holy Spirit enables us to be Christocentric and like Christ focused on others, loving as Christ loves everyone without counting the cost.

Teaching about the Holy Spirit Archbishop Martinez writes: The intimate life with the Holy Spirit is, in reality, love…..To love Love is to live with Him, it is to allow ourself to be possessed by Him, it is to impregnate ourself with His divine fire and to let ourself be consumed by it. [2]

Gold only becomes precious and brilliant until, as from ancient times to this very day, it is purified by fire. The fire of the Most Holy Spirit, burning more brightly and intensely than even the fire of the sun, purifies us of the false self we tend to present to the world making us radiant! True this is a lifelong process of purification for the false self resists and wants to survive, hence since the false self, the unpurified self has many layers the Holy Spirit, if we say yes to Him, tirelessly purifies deeper and deeper until the real self becomes more and more visible, and we radiate the Light of Christ which gleams from us with the brilliance of all the suns in the universe.

To be truly “a light to our neighbours’ feet” we must also ask the Holy Spirit to grant us radiant fullness of faith, truth, charity, for we dwell at a time in history when the darkness of relativism is as solid as rock.

While solid rock is impenetrable by ordinary light, the Light of Christ makes the rock of the darkness of these days in the human family as permeable as the gossamer of a spider’s web.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. [Mt. 5:14-16] Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” [Jn. 8:12]

If we constantly ask the Holy Spirit to enable us to burn ever more brightly with the Light of Christ poured into us at Baptism, then this light becomes as brilliant as sunlight which hides starlight. Christ’s Light will keep us hidden, because being a light means not to be noticed, rather it is Christ who is seen.

To be a light to our neighbours’ feet means also to preach the Gospel with our lives, so needed as Abbot Nault stresses: ……we urgently need to announce the Good News of salvation joyfully….If whole sectors of our Christian civilization seem to be falling, it is because it is time to get to work and facilitate the action of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth and charity, so as to touch hearts and accomplish his work. Of course, the Lord is the one who brings about conversions, but he also willed to have need of us to announce him and to witness to him. [3]



[2] THE SANCTIFIER, Most Rev. Luis M. Martinez, p. 30; St. Paul Editions 1982; italics are mine

[3] THE NOONDAY DEVIL, by Jean-Charles Nault, O.S.B., p. 200; Ignatius Press, 2015


© 2021 Fr. Arthur Joseph