Inexpressible Groanings

Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God’s will.
(Romans 8:26-27)

Scripture Study

8:26 the Spirit helps us: When distress makes prayer difficult, the Spirit makes our groaning and sighing (8:23) an impassioned prayer to the Father (CCC 2729–31, 2739).

8:27 intercedes for the saints: The same is said of the Son in 8:34. Both the Son and the Spirit request from the Father what we need, not necessarily what we want. The will of God for our life is the determining factor.

Scripture Reflection

In this passage Paul’s discussion of the role of the Spirit in Christian life comes to its climax. The third testimony to the new life and glorious destiny of Christians is borne by the Spirit itself. Human aspirations risk being inefficacious because of the natural weakness of the flesh dominated by sin and subject to death, but the Spirit aids by its intercession, transcending the weak human condition. Without the aid of the Spirit, even the prayer of justified and reconciled Christians can fail. Even in their intimate life with God Christians are weak, and as a remedy for this weakness the Spirit intervenes with assistance.

– Joseph A. Fitzmyer S.J.

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.