Shortly after he was diagnosed with lung cancer, I visited John on a Sunday in Advent bringing him communion. I brought with me a copy of the Scripture lessons appointed for that Sunday and I read that passage from First Thessalonians, the same one that John later chose to have read at this service.
After communion, John talked about the lesson and the phrase that prodded his imagination: Quench not the spirit.
"You would think," he reflected. "that the goal of the spiritual life would be the opposite: to quench the spirit, satisfying our hunger and longing for God, but no, Saint Paul seems to be telling us that our thirst of God should never be slaked for it is the very means by which we are drawn to God."
Monday, February 2, 2009
"Quench Not The Spirit"
Coverage of John Updike's funeral at St. John's Episcopal Church in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts includes this excerpt from the homily by the Rev. Wendel W. Meyer, the late novelist's parish priest: