Precarious Gifts of the Spirit | Sojourners

Precarious Gifts of the Spirit

Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle C

PRAYER IS MOSTLY not a matter of getting what we lack; rather, as Thomas Merton taught at the very end of his life, it’s a means to experience what we already possess.

None of the gifts of the Spirit—“love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23)—are fixed endowments. These are precarious resources, in the strict sense of the word “precarious,” which comes from the Latin precare, meaning “to pray.” These gifts must be rediscovered, relived, and newly explored, as we will in this Pentecost season.

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