To be honest, I wrote this series because I wanted to clarify many things for myself. Another reason for writing was that friends requested that I do so. We are all familiar with the phrase "A life without reflection is a life not worth living". When we reflect, we are given insights. There are so many ways of looking at things, so many ways of understanding, so many levels of association. The one thing that has greatly motivated me over the years, in my writing, and Retreats, was a conviction that the Message was really very simple. It is a simple message for complicated people.
I gave a talk recently to a group, and, at the end of my talk, a man of seventy-four years of age, turned to his daughter and said "It's really very simple, isn't it? I hope that we remember that". The remark was relayed to me, and it was the highlight of my night, because I knew the man quite well, and I was thrilled that he captured the core message of what I was trying to get across. These insights are nothing more than that. I do not claim any 'insider' information on God, or things of God. I present these because they genuinely did help me, and I offer them to you in the hope that they help you also.
As it happens, chapters 8 to 14 are the seven themes that comprise the Life in the Spirit Seminars. I did not set out with this in mind, but I don't believe it is by accident that they should follow in such sequence. Some people might find these useful as a sort of do-it-yourself kit that leads to a greater openness to the Spirit. This could and should appeal to all colours and shades of Christian believers, because there is nothing couched in Charismatic language, and ideas and suggestions are deliberately kept simple and straightforward.
An insight is but a doorway that leads into a much vaster space. It is through reflection on the insight that I can personalise it, and it begins to speak directly to me. This, of course, is the Spirit at work, doing what He does best, i.e., 'telling you all about me, and reminding you of all I said to you', to quote Jesus. In his recent publication, our Holy Father brings us back to one simple truth: Jesus is the Son of God. He is not just a messenger from God, someone who came to tell us about God, or to call us back to God. When we see Jesus, we see God, and when we hear Jesus, we hear God speaking to us.
An insight that helps bring me into a more personal relationship with Jesus, and helps deepen my awareness of the centrality of his message, is, indeed, a very special grace. These insights have been special graces for me, for which I will be eternally grateful. I express my gratitude to God by a strong desire to share these with others, in the hope that they, too, might experience some of the joy. I am grateful, gentle reader, for the privilege of sharing these riches with you. Let us pray for one another on our journey home to the Garden.