Are We Fit to Receive the Spirit? Do We Cooperate with His Gifts and Grace?
We exist because God willed us into existence. We have life because of Him, and the awesome gift of His grace is free, but it is our responsibility to cooperate with that grace.Someone can fill your car up with gas, but if the engine is not working properly and you don't start the car and drive to your destination, what good is the fuel?
I often think of the many times I have not cooperated with God's grace, and in particular, how I allowed the grace received in the sacrament of Confirmation to lay dormant for years before cooperating with it. Unfortunately this happens with so many who receive the sacrament of Confirmation.
St. Basil the Great says the following in his work, On the Holy Spirit. "All that live virtually desire him, as they are watered by his inspiration and assisted toward their proper and natural end. . . He is the source of holiness, an intellectual light for every rational power's discovery of truth, supplying clarity, so to say through himself. . . He fills all things with power, but only those who are worthy participate in him. He is not participated in all at once but shares his energy in "proportion to faith" (Rom12:6). . . He is present as a whole to each and wholly present everywhere. . . He is like a sunbeam whose grace is present to the one who enjoys him as if he were present to such a one alone, and still he illuminates land and sea and is mixed with the air. . . Just so, indeed, the Spirit is present to each one who is fit to receive him, as if he were present to him alone, and still he sends out grace that is complete and sufficient for all. The things that participate in him enjoy him to the extent that their nature allows, not to the extent that his power allows."