Saturday, May 22, 2010

"What a skilled worker this Spirit is!"

(Holy Spirit Window, St. Paul's, Brookings, SD - the Spirit ignites even the earth tones of the Plains)

"What a skilled worker this Spirit is! There is no question of delay in learning what the Spirit teaches us. No sooner does the Spirit touch our minds in regard to anything than we are taught; the Spirit's very touch is teaching. The Spirit changes the human heart in a moment, filling it with light. Suddenly we are no longer what we were; suddenly we are something we never used to be.

Let us reflect on the condition in which the Spirit found the holy proclaimers of our faith on this day of Pentecost, and what became of them. There is no doubt that they remained in the upper room out of fear. Each of them knew only his native tongue, but as yet none of them had ventured to speak openly of Christ even in the language they knew. The Spirit came, taught them to speak in a variety of languages, and made them strong of heart by filling them with God's own strength. They began to speak openly of Christ, even in foreign languages, when formerly they were afraid to speak about him even in their own. Their hearts were on fire, and they disregarded the physical sufferings which they had formerly feared. They overcame their fear of physical pain out of love for their Creator. Formerly they had given way to their adversaries out of fear, but now they excercised authority over them. Since the Spirit lifted them to such a height, what can I say but that the Holy Spirit made the hearts of earthly people a heaven?"

Gregory the Great, The Crown of Redemption
Leinenweber translation


David Handy+ said...

Nice quote from Pope Gregory the Great. Very apt. Yes, the Holy Spirit is an incomparable worker of wonders.

As another Doctor of the Church said (St. Cyril of Jerusalem) about two centuries before Gregory, with reference to the epiclesis or invocation of the Spirit on the bread and wine, "whatever the Holy Spirit touches is transformed."

TLF+ said...

Been reading some thoughts from Cyril's catechetical lectures as noontime devotions. We really lose so much when we empty our liturgical spirituality of traditional meaning(revisionists) or dump it for ostensibly evangelical reasons (elements of AMiA).