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Chapter 10

“The Water of Life”

 

Since love grows within you,
so beauty grows.
For love is the beauty of the soul.
—St. Augustine

 

 

Then he (the angel) brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east.  ‘This water flows east toward the Arabah, down to the plains of the desert, and flowing into the sea, the salt waters, it makes them wholesome, for wherever this water goes it brings health, and life teems wherever the river flows.’” (Ezekiel 47:1,8-9)

After our spiritual conversion, God begins to heal our heart and soul, our mind, memory and emotions.  The spiritual flow of grace into our soul makes us more “wholesome” and healthy.  Over time, “all the soul’s infirmities are brought to light; they are set before its eyes (by the Holy Spirit) to be felt and healed.” (St. John of the Cross)  These “infirmities” include, not only, our moral faults and failures, but also, mental and emotional wounds.  As these obstacles are removed and healed, we can begin to live life to the full, growing humanly and spiritually like never before.  (Even those with mental illness will experience new freedom and healing from a spiritual conversion, provided their malady is being treated properly.)

The river of spiritual life flows from the wounded side of Christ, the right side of the temple facing east.  Within us, this inflow of grace, begins as a trickle, but grows to a torrent as we go through the stages of the spiritual life, deeper and deeper into “the water of life” that heals and purifies the lower and higher parts of our human nature. (Rev. 22:1)  “Wherever this water goes it brings health,” and everything good grows.  Only evil and sin are drowned out, washed away, and mortified.  The sultry life of sin within us is made fresh and clean by the river that flows from “the altar” in heaven and on earth. (Ezekiel 47:1)  From the death and resurrection of Christ flow the Holy Eucharist and the forgiveness of sin, especially in the Sacrament of Confession.  “Their fruit shall be for food, and their leaves for medicine.” (Ezekiel 47:12)  The “tree of life,” Jesus Christ, feeds and fulfills, heals and restores our human and spiritual life, both sides of the river, with the fruit of His merits and the medicine of His mercy, with His human and divine natures. (Rev. 22:2)   When we begin to see and understand the spiritual life, the life of Christ, our heart expands.  “They feast on the rich food of your house, and you give them to drink from the torrent of your delights.  For with you is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light.” (Psalms 36:8-9)

 

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