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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus says that the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in Christ’s name, will teach his disciples everything. The Holy Spirit is the love shared by the Father and the Son. We have access to this holy heart of God only because the Father sent the Son into the world, into our dysfunction, even to the limits of godforsakenness—and thereby gathered all of the world into the dynamism of the divine life.

Those who live in Christ are not outside of God as petitioners or supplicants; rather, they are in God as friends, sharers in the Spirit. And this spiritual life is what gives us knowledge of God—a knowledge, if you will, from within.

When the great masters of the Christian way speak of knowing God, they do not use the term in its distanced, analytical sense; they use it in the biblical sense, implying knowledge by way of personal intimacy. This is why St. Bernard of Clairvaux, for one, insists that initiates in the spiritual life know God not simply through books and lectures but through experience, the way one friend knows another. That knowledge is what the Holy Spirit facilitates.