Monday, May 28, 2012

The Spirit of Holines

If we want to know about the Holy Spirit St Luke gives us a clue . he tells us the Apostles gather for prayer with Mary.
So scripture directs us to her, "the Spirit's Spouse", she who conceived the God-Man in her womb by being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. All she did, all she was, was under the shadow of the Holy Spirit, from her Immaculate Conception to her Glorious Assumption, and all in between, her suckling, her mothering of Jesus, her showing him forth to the shepherd and Magi, her hiding him in Egypt, her finding him in the Temple, her following him in his mission, her faithfulness at the Cross, where her own heart is pierced by a sword. She is as Pope John Paul reminds us is the first and foremost, the most faithful of her sons disciples. She indeed is a Temple of the Holy Spirit, a vine, a tree, bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in all fullness.
In Luke's first volume, the Gospel, she has a key role; in John's Gospel at her urging the water of the Old Testament is turned into the glorious new wine of the New and Eternal Covenant. Therefore in Luke's second volume the Acts of Apostles, her presence at Pentecost is no accident. The first volume deals with Jesus being "sent" the second volume with the Apostles being "sent".

In Mary we see exactly what the Holy Spirit is about, it is about Holiness.

Besides Mary we see in the Saints the work of the Holy Spirit, no wonder the most ancient and until recently the most widely used of the Eucharistic Prayers, indeed in most places the only one, the Roman Canon lists twenty four saints by name. In their lives and deaths we see the action of the Holy Spirit, his presence in the Church. In their lives we see the the sevenfold fruit of the Holy Spirit which is simple "Holiness" closeness
to God and their lives we see the multi-various gifts of the same Spirit in their wondrous ability to reveal him in so many ways; in fidelity in facing horrific deaths, in the love of the poor and the outcast, in missionary zeal, in desiring simplicity, in service of the Church, in acts of mercy.
Like the divided tongues of divine fire the Saints are sent into world, so that the whole world might hear in the own language, in their own age, in their own culture the Glorious words of the Gospel of Christ but more than that, so in that in the lives of the Holy Ones they might actually see the face of Christ.
We have received the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Sanctity to enable us the fulfil our own mission: to be Saints!


umblepie said...

Thank you for this encouraging post Father.

FrBT said...

As I have said on several occassions in my posts:(sorry this is long Father)

Mary, The Immaculate Conception is the most beautiful example of how the Holy Spirit works and the results of the works of the Holy Spirit.
Several times I have read in Catholic newspapers, known Catholic journalists, say that Pentecost is where Our Blessed Lady first received the Holy Spirit.

This is not true of course, and I sometimes shake my head in despair on the very low levels of understanding theology by priests and nuns.

The Immaculate Conception, Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ,The Spouse of The Holy Spirit, became enriched and blessed by the Holy Spirit at the time of her conception in St Anna's womb.

Born without the taint of original sin. Born perfectly beautiful in every way. Born and graced by the Holy Spirit to complete a role so special that only She could do this.

I suggest that after The Ascension Of Our Blessed Lord, the disciples felt close to Our Blessed Lady, seeing Jesus in her. In the ways She walked and talked in the familiar manerisms that were known only between the closest members of family and friends.
They needed someone to bind them together and protect them until the time was right. To reassure them, to console them, to give them peace and love.

Staying together with The Mother of God was the correct thing to do in the circumstances. That option is open to each and everyone one of us also.


Fr Ray Blake said...

I think the family aspect of the early Church is worth exploring, what exactly was meant by "Son behold your Mother, Woman behold your Son". What part did it play outside of John's theology, the intimacy of the Act community seem to suggest a family life, and in that communion, familiarity, with the BVM.

Julianne said...

Beautifully put. It brought to mind the reading in the Office of readings last week that talked about the Holy Spirit being like rain, falling on plants and bringing forth different fruit in each one.

FrBT said...

Fr Ray

My suggestion to your question would be that Our Blessed Lord gave us his Holy Mother as our Mother for all eternity and also the Mother of the Church.

A community in which ever part of the world ought to have the centre of it being the Church or in family life 'the Mother'.

Also, Our Blessed Lady was at that time given humanity as Her children by the Son of God.

This then brought about Her position as the Mother of all, the new Eve.

Jesus Christ refered to John as 'son', making John the child of the BVM and indeed John accepting her as his Mother.
Naturally, John being the disciple that the Lord favoured the most, the safety of His widowed and vunerable Holy Mother could only been assured by the most trusted of those present at the foot of the Cross, amoung the other family members.

It is the giving, receiving and accepting of the Lord's words that is the most important.

Thank you for your comments.


Anonymous said...

I've just read this aloud to myself and it is, indeed, beautifully put. Thankyou.
[Valerie, NZ]

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