And John of Avila recommends we imitate the apostles in their longing and desire for the Holy Ghost, since the incarnate Jesus was no longer with them. We must ask, "Comforter of my soul! Come, console me!"
"The first requirement for the coming of the Holy Ghost in our souls is that we should be aware of His power, and that we should believe that He can accomplish marvels. However sad a soul may be, He is sufficient to console it; however worthless, He can make it valuable; however lukewarm, He an fire it; however weak, He can strengthen it; however lacking in piety, He can inflame it with ardent devotion. What is the way to bring the Holly Ghost to us? It is to be aware of His might."
"The second requirement for the Holy Ghost to be willing to come into our hearts (so that we may not be rejected or found wanting) is to have the will to receive Him as our guest, sincerely and anxiously to desire His coming....Be devoted and faithful in the service of Jesus Christ and in your hopes for the coming of the Holy Ghost, and have no dealings with evil and meanness, because the consolation of the Spirit is very gentle. Very little will hinder its coming and it does not take pleasure in the things of this world."
"The Holy Ghost is jealous. Do not think He is not exacting. 'I am the Lord,' said God to Moses. So that you may understand, brethren, that if you are fond of your confessor, however holy he may be, or of the preacher who gives you good advice and consoles you, the Holy Ghost will not come until you have renounced an excessive love of human beings. The Holy Ghost wishes to be alone with you....'But Father, he is a saint, and guides me along the road to God, and encourages me when I am in difficulties.' Jesus Christ was holier* and even He hindered the coming of the Holy Ghost. The servant of God, the confessor and the preacher should not stand in the way of the Holy Ghost, who should be a staircase up which you can climb to God. Love--even innocent love--will stand in the way....What you love...let it be for God and in God...."
St. John of Avila continues in this sermon to describe and explain the passion and death of Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice He made on earth as a means to lead us to union with Him--with God, the Trinity, His Real Presence--beyond this earth but yet while we exist on this earth. It is all progression, and yes, we learn of Jesus and by Jesus, and this is but one more phase of what He teaches, what He lived and died and ascended into so that we would progress also through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. "Since then, through the merits of Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost gives Himself to us, do not cease to ask for Him and to desire Him ardently! Dedicate yourself to Him who willc ome to your soul and you will receive great consolation and no one will succeed in taking Him from you. Prepare your dwelling-place!..."
It isn't that we diminish Jesus Christ in teachings. It is that we allow Christ to lead us beyond the temporal aspects of dependency. This is how Jesus can become fragmented, isolated out in our spiritual lives, such as I have tried to give examples even from my own single-minded focus and devotion for quite awhile, having come from a Protestant background that perhaps more so emphasizes Jesus alone. But to know Jesus is to know God, as Jesus is God and came to earth to save us...and to lead us further than we had been able to grasp with our confusions in the temporal. Part of the mission was to not only suffer and die but necessarily to introduce us to the Holy Spirit, lead us to that stairway to heaven, possible now, through passing beyond the temporal to the spiritual in a very real way.
And, it is not a matter of fragmenting the Holy Spirit, either, to a single-minded focus, relegating the spiritual to a temporal mold, or of phenomenon. Later, also, St. John of Avila explains how necessary is this movement of being led by Jesus in progression, and that nothing much more can be fulfilled in the spiritual life without expanding our bodies, minds, hearts and spirits to the indwelling of the Trinity, and he repeats it will not happen without the Holy Ghost being truly alive in us and us in Him.
Perhaps this is also why the temporal aspects that can be quite distracting and ugly, and are all the more upsetting. The obstacles such as simply wanting to be able to sit during Mass on a chair that my temporal body can endure, or of being caused physical harm by someone who did not want to research or gain insights from a professional who knows of states that can occur in the progression of the soul--must be removed. That is also why reading this first sermon of our next Doctor of the Church struck me to the core in letting go a spiritual director, even though there is great fondness and appreciation for him. But we must love God in God, and be willing to abandon imbalanced devotion. We must not deny any of the Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity total temporal and spiritual access to our souls. Begin with the Mass and the fullness therein; then live a total awareness of His Real Presence in all moments.
Citations from: John of Avila. The Holy Ghost. 1959. Dublin: Scepter, pp. 9-28.