I wrote about the Holy Spirit yesterday, and last night in bed praying I think I finally understood something.

For Spinoza passion is very bad. In Spinoza’s system it means passivity, being controlled by outside forces, forces that you don’t control and probably are not even aware of.

So far I’ve been more or less of the same opinion — and consequently very suspicious when I hear Christians talk about passion and what a good thing it is.

Surely to try and follow Jesus, to try and be like him, you need to be wide awake and conscious of how you act.

But the passion that these Christians are talking about isn’t an ordinary passion, like a passion for collecting stamps or eating or wearing frilly knickers under your business suit.

This passion is modelled on Christ’s Passion, when Jesus gave himself up to the powers pulling him to the cross. The Christian wish for passion is a wish to abandon oneself fully to the Holy Spirit, to be swept away entirely.

The image that brought all this to me was the apple falling from the tree, completely abandoned to the force of gravity pulling it to earth.

It’s an image that helped me get to sleep too: abandon myself, fall like an apple into sleep, into God’s care.

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  1. Breath | Luke 7:39

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