REFLECTION: Pentecost today PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 June 2014 14:28

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

To be sure, Pentecost which celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit is not an event in the past that at best is merely to beremembered if we care. It continues to take place up to now.

In the first place, every liturgical celebration is not just a commemoration of something that happened in the past. It is the making present of what took place in the past, since the subject of the celebration is Jesus Christ who is God and man. As God he is eternal. Nothing in him or in his action is simply swallowed in the past.

And that’s also because, to put it bluntly, the Holy Spirit is the very life of the whole world, the whole creation. He can never withdraw from the universe no matter how much we ignore him, or worse, deny his presence and ever abiding action on all of us.

Nothing exists, nothing can be real and true if the Holy Spirit is not first of all in the very core of its being. No one can do good, no one can believe in God if he is not animated in some way by the Holy Spirit.

What we should rather do is to sharpen our sensitivity to the indispensable role of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the world. Even more, we, as God’s image and likeness and adopted children of his through his grace, should in fact try our best to cooperate with him.

Among all God’s creatures, we are the ones expected to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as closely as possible. That’s due to our spiritual nature which, through our intelligence and will, enables us to enter into intimate communion with him.

We are meant to share our life with the Holy Spirit. We need to hammer this truth of our faith more insistently these days, since the ignorance and indifference to the Holy Spirit is widespread and prevalent.

There’s, first of all, some awkwardness with the idea of living with the Holy Spirit, for the obvious reason that we are dealing with a supernatural reality that requires more than just our natural powers.

But if we really come down to it, there’s actually no problem with dealing with supernatural realities, since God in the Holy Spirit always adapts himself to our conditions and circumstances.

This truth is best illustrated with the mystery of the Incarnation, that is, God becomes man, or better said, God assumes human nature without leaving or diluting his divine nature.

The supernatural life of God with which we are meant to share does not suppress our nature. Rather the supernatural purifies and strengthens our nature that has been dirtied and weakened by sin, then elevates it.

For his part, God gives us in abundance everything that we need to live the supernatural life with him. He gives us first of all faith, hope and charity. They are called theological virtues, since they have God as source and end. They are not man-made virtues.

Then the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are poured on us—wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. These further refine and facilitate the workings of the theological virtues.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit produces twelve fruits that precisely indicate the Holy Spirit is in us. These are charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continence and chastity.

On our part, we should predispose ourselves to receive all these by being docile always to the working of the Holy Spirit. This would include having recourse to the sacraments, developing a life of prayer and continuing formation, and loving the cross, since following Christ involves the cross always as he himself told us clearly.

We should not be afraid to go through this formula. And a beautiful and useful prayer can be the one composed by St. Josemaria Escriva. It says:

“Come, O holy Spirit! / Enlighten my mind to know your commands; / strengthen my heart against the snares of the enemy; / inflame my will... / I have heard your voice, / and I don’t want to harden myself and resist, / saying, ‘Later..., tomorrow.’

“Nunc coepi! Now I begin! / In case there is no tomorrow for me. / O Spirit of truth and wisdom / Spirit of understanding and counsel, / Spirit of joy and peace! / I want whatever you want, I want because you want, I want however you want, I want whenever you want. / Amen.”

Then be amazed at how the Holy Spirit works in our life!