So-called spiritual gurus of every age promote techniques by which a person becomes “spiritual.” Contrast this to the perennial wisdom of Saint Francis. One acquires the Holy Spirit, says holy Francis, not by techniques but by simple consistency in penance, prayer, alms, purity, and charity. Such persons will gain the Holy Spirit “permanently.” Is this not that for which we long? Here are Saint Francis’ words on the subject:
Furthermore, let us produce worthy fruits of penance. Let us also love our neighbors as ourselves. Let us have charity and humility. Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin. Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive to every human being for God’s sake. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it to the end. He will permanently dwell in them. They will be the Father’s children who do his work. They are the spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
St Margaret Mary Alacoque once asked which saint besides the Immaculate Mary in Heaven was the closest and most devoted to the Sacred Heart of Christ our Lord. God revealed that it was Saint Francis. St Maximilian Kolbe concluded from this that Francis is the closest to the Sacred Heart because he is the saint most like the Blessed Virgin Mary. My suspicion is that this is so because Mary is the humblest creature ever created and Saint Francis also sought this special gift of humilty.
Immaculate Conception, pray for us.