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Libermann and the Holy Spirit

Meeting the Holy Spirit
In the Writings of
Father Francis Libermann, C.S.Sp.


 Original Texts Collected and Translated by Fr. Francis X. Malinowski C.S.Sp.

Fr. Malinowski, C.S.Sp, introduces his collection of Fr. Libermann's writing by reminding us that "Libermann's genius anticipated the conviction emerging in the Church today that the Spirit breathes not just in chapels and churches, but in the streets, in human beings. Daily living becomes the extended chapel, in which prayer and daily life are intimately joined. His doctrine on the Holy Spirit as the architect and builder of the spiritual life is simple: in prayer and apostolic life we rely on the Holy Spirit in everything, always. The Spirit does the rest."

These inspirational sayings from the heart of Fr. Francis Libermann are presented according to theme. The first theme, "It is the Spirit who gives life," invites us to a radical trust in the presence and operation of God's gentle Spirit in our lives.

Theme One: It is the Spirit who gives life

I choose to empty myself of all that is not God

"Dear friend, don't be astonished that I insist on that so much, for I think and I am totally convinced
that to be perfect we must be absolutely empty of all that is not God. The Holy Spirit knocks at every
instant at the door of our heart, we ardently desire that He enter and by this desire we open up the door to Him. But how can He enter if He does not find any room there, if He finds the heart which ought to belong so much to Him filled with enemy affections? He has to stay outside. He has the inconceivable goodness to wait until he finds a small place and in the measure that we get rid of these miserable affections. The more the Holy Spirit has entered into our heart, the stronger we become to chase away little by little the enemies of God who have taken hold there. That is why it is essential that we aid the divine Spirit in putting them outside. For without our firm will He will not force them out alone. Pray ardently and use every strength He has given us to aid Him accomplish this work."

I allow the Spirit to lead me

".. we should try, as much as it is in us, to follow in our actions only the unique movement of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us', in the manner, as our profound weakness permits it to us, as the Holy Spirit acts in our actions, principally in our interior actions."

The Spirit brings me to God

"Pay attention to this: see the Holy Spirit dwelling in person in the depth of your soul, by the power of our Lord. It is He who urges you to give yourself fully to God. He would like to act but you bind His arms and legs by your indecisiveness and fears. See the love with which He pushes you and you prevent Him from acting! Give Him the liberty and you will see the great things He will bring about in you."

The Spirit is always at work in me

"If you establish your soul in God, in all peace, sweetness and suavity, the rest will be easily done. For the Spirit of Our Lord acting in you, in the midst of peace, sweetness, calm and interior docility of your heart, will not fail to form you according to the good pleasure of this Father and well-beloved Lord Jesus."

Little by Little

Little by little, one no longer acts on one's own. It is the Holy Spirit of our Lord who then does everything in us, and gradually we acquire a supernatural force in all our conduct. Nothing checks us and our actions are actions of virtue and wholly divine, because there is nothing there of our own and the Spirit of our Lord along executes them in us, or at least in great part.

It is the Lord who sanctifies

The divine Master does what he wants and what is pleasing to him with those that his heavely Father has given to him. He loses not one of them, but places them all in his holy love and sanctifies them by the divine grace of his Holy Spirit.

May the Spirit be all life, movement and existence in your soul

May the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ fill your soul, may he govern and direct it according to the unique good pleasure of God! May he establish and strengthen in it the power and perfections of our good and very dear Master! May he be all life, movement and existence in your soul, in order that Jesus appear in it alone before his Father, in the state where he desires to appear before him and in him.

Abandon yourself to the Spirit of Jesus

Watch yourself, peacefully and sweetly, however, and in abandonment to the Spirit of Jesus who wishes to do everything in you.
I had formed great hopes because I saw that the Holy Spirit was beginning to breathe in your dear soul. I do not doubt that he will finish his work by this sickness ehich is not unto death, it is surely unto life.

May Jesus be all things in you

May Jesus be all things in you, may his Holy Spirit be the unique life of your soul. Always go your way or rather let yourself be led by your divine guide who resides in the center of your soul.