Between Whitsun and St. John’s : Preparing for Saint John’s Tide 

A Contemplation by Michaël Merle

St. Johan’s tide is on Sunday 24 June this year (2023).

The first movement of growth in the plant is germination. The seed in the good earth absorbs moisture, strengthens its own inner force and bursts the seed coat. It makes room for itself with a force so great that in certain cases it pushes aside the surrounding soil. This pressing outwards so that the essence can emerge sets the plant on a course of unfolding that expresses the design and intention of the plant just as the Spirit would have it. The environmental factors: moisture, sunlight, clean air, nutrient rich soil, and so forth will have their influences but the essential nature will express itself. This is the working of the formative forces in the plant. This picture is true of our physical development but it is not the case with our spiritual unfolding. Here we have to be active in our engagement with the Spirit. Our co-operation in freedom with the grace of the Spirit means that our spiritual growth is dependent on our ability to respond (responsibility) in freedom to the grace of the Spirit in us and the power of Christ in us.

​Whitsun brings to consciousness the arrival of the Holy Spirit in us. The flames of fire on the heads of each apostle was absorbed by the apostle, so that the fire of the Spirit could now ray forth from the human heart. Our spiritual development is at once the working of the Spirit and the work of our engaged inner will. It may seem strange to us that after Whitsun we prepare for the festival of St John. The St John’s season reminds us of the work we have to do to co-operate with the action of the Spirit. St John’s essential message of a change of heart and mind, reminds us of our part in the development of our spiritual life. No grace is able to work without the heart being open. If we are closed off to the Spirit, hard-hearted, so to say, then the grace is only able to surround the heart and, we could imagine, lie in attendance, to be invited into the very essence of our being. The source of our force to allow the Spirit to take hold of us springs from freedom, which provides us with the possibility to hear what was introduced by St John:

“… a complete renewal of mind and heart in the thinking, feeling and willing of humankind.”

It is a very needed time that we now have between Whitsun and St. John’s to contemplate and prepare for the fuller realisation of the great new Mystery of the Spirit:

“I baptise you with water – giving you insights into the mysteries of the formative forces of humankind. He (the Christ) will baptise you with the fire of the Holy Spirit – sharing with you the mysteries of the I AM in the future fulfilment of time.”

The following words may be a good guide for the way we may take up our Christ-filled path in life, today and every day:

“Whatever may happen, whatever the next hour, the next day may bring me, if it is quite unknown to me, I cannot change it by anxiety. I shall expect it with complete inner calm, with perfect peace of mind. Through fear and anxiety our development is hindered. By our waves of fear we resist what wants to enter our soul from the future. To surrender to that which one calls divine wisdom in the events, to be certain that what will happen has to be, and that in some way it will also have its beneficial effects, to call forth this mood in words, in feelings and in ideas, that is the mood of the prayer of surrender. It belongs to that which we have to learn in our time: to live out of pure faith, without any outer security, trusting in the ever-present help of the spiritual beings. . Truly it cannot be done otherwise. So let us take our will into strong discipline, and let us seek the awakening from within every morning and every night.”

In the words of St Paul: “May God himself, the source of all peace, hallow your whole being. May your complete and undivided being: your spirit, your soul, and your body remain pure, at the coming in Spirit of Jesus Christ, our Lord” (1 Thessalonians 5: 23).

Click below for an interesting cosmic future perspective of St. John’s Tide, written by Helen Katsikas:

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