“The Holy Spirit will never give you stuff on a plate – you’ve got to work for it.
Your work is listening – taking the situation you’re in and holding it in courage, not being beaten down by it.
Your work is standing – holding things without being deflected by your own desires or the desires of other people round you. Then things work out just trough patience. How things alter we don’t know, but the situation alters.
There must be dialogue in patience and charity – then something seems to turn up that wasn’t there before.
We must take people as they are and where they are – not going too far ahead or too fast for them, but listening to their needs and supporting them in their following.
The Holy Spirit brings things new and old out of the treasure.
Intercessors bring the ‘deaf and dumb’ to Christ, that is their part.
Seek for points of unity and stand on those rather than on principles.
Have the patience that refuses to be pushed out; the patience that refuses to be disillusioned.
There must be dialogue – or there will be no development.”
(Fr Gilbert Shaw (1886-1967) was a barrister who became a priest and spiritual director. Towards the end of his life he was involved in the development of the contemplative life, for both women and men, and in particular with the Sisters of the Love of God, at Fairacres, Oxford, to whom the above homily was addressed.)