Pass It On #22
Living Stream of Grace: The Holy Spirit
by Catherine Doherty
The Spirit of God unites us. He is the living stream of grace which circulates through the Sacraments and brings new life everywhere. The Holy Spirit is the creative breath by which the world is impelled toward perfection.
For the Spirit, the divine Consoler, has come to us as He came to the apostles and gives us inward light. He was sent to help them to grasp the mysteries revealed by Jesus. He does the same for us. Thanks to the Holy Spirit we are now dwelling in God's light that purifies us from darkness. He gives us knowledge and taste for the things of God. We receive a light that discloses a new world to us.
But the Holy Spirit has come to cast fire on earth! Our hearts are transformed if we receive Him with an open heart. He infuses a burning love and charity in we who receive him. For Christ desired that the lives of Christians would set people's hearts on fire. That is why the Spirit came at Pentecost in the shape of tongues of fire.
The first preaching of the apostles was but the beginning of a missionary work which was to know no limit and no halt until the end of time. People of all races, of every country and of every generation are drawn into it. And so are we.
"I have come so that they may have life more abundantly," Christ said. The love of God is poured out all over the earth. His Spirit is diffused everywhere. The heavens are open. The desert of our earth is once more made fruitful by that water which is the source of all life.
To enter into life we must be born again of water and the Holy Spirit in Baptism. The wellsprings of the Holy Spirit reach everywhere. We come forth from the womb of the water in baptism as adopted children of God, reborn to divine life.
Pentecost is a feast of Confirmation, in which God completes his work by giving strength to the world He has renewed. For we have life and we have it more abundantly.
The Lord breathed his Spirit over the whole earth. Pentecost is the time of fullness, the fiftieth day. Pentecost, the day which comes after seven-times-seven days since Easter, brings us the message that God's work is now completed. We have his Body, his Spirit, his love, his life!
Truly God has given himself to us in fullness. Together we form the Church, the new creation, ultimate and free. We are destined to be called to heaven. Let us rejoice in this feast and incarnate its fruits into our lives.
The Spirit who on Pentecost creates the Church is the Spirit who at the beginning of time created the world. If we have recourse to Him constantly, He will continue his work in us and we will become like tongues of fire that, falling on the earth, will renew it.
The action of the Holy Spirit in each one of us needs attentiveness to be perceived, yet without him we can do nothing. The "New Law" of Love, the words of Christ, have not been written on tablets of stone but engraved on our hearts. It is the Holy Spirit who inwardly, interiorly makes us understand the words of the Gospel and reveals to us all the demands of charity.
May the Lord clean our hearts in the light of the Holy Spirit, by the fire of Love! It burns away all that is selfish, all that stands in the way of our loving God and each other. Let us not be afraid to allow the fire of the Holy Spirit to enter our hearts and burn away their dross!
Adapted from Season of Mercy: Lent and Easter by Catherine Doherty
Inflamed by Love: Meditations for Spiritual Pilgrims
by Jean Fox
In the introduction to Inflamed by Love Jean Fox writes, "A page of history turned on September 11, 2001. Another era began, the outline of which is still dim. Our hope for the future rests secure in Jesus Christ." She then shows from Sacred Scripture, the writings of Catherine Doherty, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and real-life experience why that hope is not misplaced — and how Jesus will sustain you in every detail of your life also, if only you let go of your fears and trust fully in him. Click here for more information.