Malankara World Journal Pentecost Special
Volume 4 No. 222 June 5, 2014
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
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The concept of Trinity is difficult to understand; but it is the cornerstone of Christian Faith. Malankara World has an infocenter specifically devoted to Trinity. You can find it here:
The title "holy," applied to the Spirit of God, does not only denote that he is holy in his own nature, but that he makes us so; that he is the great fountain of holiness to his church; the Spirit from whence flows all the grace and virtue, by which the stains of guilt are cleansed, and we are renewed in all holy dispositions, and again bear the image of our Creator. Great reason, therefore, there was for the Apostle to give this solemn charge concerning it, and the highest obligation lies upon us all to consider it with the deepest attention; which that we may the more effectually do, I shall inquire, I. In what sense the Spirit of God is said to be grieved at the sins of men: II. By what kind of sin he is more especially grieved. III. I shall endeavor to show the force of the Apostle's argument against grieving the Holy Spirit, - "By whom we are sealed to the day of redemption."
This Sunday in Church - Pentecost
Lectionary Period: Kyomtho Easter) to Koodosh Eetho
The concept of Trinity is difficult to understand; but it is the cornerstone of Christian Faith. Malankara World has an infocenter specifically devoted to Trinity. You can find it here:
You can also learn more
about Pentecost, Holy Spirit and the Birthday of the Church in our
Malankara World Journal Specials on Pentecost
This Week's Features
O Comforter, Holy Spirit, Who, in the likeness of
by Pope FrancisDear brothers and sisters, good day! Today I want to focus on the action that the Holy Spirit accomplishes in guiding the Church and each one of us to the Truth. Jesus says to his disciples: the Holy Spirit, "he will guide you to all truth" (Jn 16:13), he himself being "the Spirit of truth" (cf. Jn 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). We live in an age rather skeptical of truth. Benedict XVI has spoken many times of relativism, that is, the tendency to believe that nothing is definitive, and think that the truth is given by consent or by what we want. The question arises: does "the" truth really exist? What is "the" truth? Can we know it? Can we find it? Here I am reminded of the question of the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate when Jesus reveals the profound meaning of his mission: "What is truth?" (Jn 18,37.38). Pilate does not understand that "the" Truth is in front of him, he cannot see in Jesus the face of the truth, which is the face of God. Yet, Jesus is just that: the Truth, which, in the fullness of time, "became flesh" (Jn 1,1.14), came among us so that we may know it. You cannot grab the truth as if it were an object; you encounter it. It is not a possession, it is an encounter with a Person. But who helps us recognize that Jesus is "the" Word of truth, the only begotten Son of God the Father? St. Paul teaches that "no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the holy Spirit" (1 Cor 12:3). It is the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Risen Christ, that helps us recognize the Truth. Jesus calls him the "Paraclete", meaning "the one who comes to our aid," who is by our side to support us in this journey of knowledge, and at the Last Supper, Jesus assures his disciples that the Holy Spirit will teach them all things , reminding them of his words (cf. Jn 14:26). What is then the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the life of the Church to guide us to the truth? First of all, remind and imprint on the hearts of believers the words that Jesus said, and precisely through these words, God's law - as the prophets of the Old Testament had announced - is inscribed in our hearts and becomes within us a principle of evaluation in our choices and of guidance in our daily actions, it becomes a principle of life. Ezekiel's great prophecy is realized: "I will sprinkle clean water over you to make you clean; from all your impurities and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. ÖI will put my spirit within you so that you walk in my statutes, observe my ordinances, and keep them" (36:25-27). Indeed, our actions are born from deep within: it is the heart that needs to be converted to God, and the Holy Spirit transforms it if we open ourselves to Him. The Holy Spirit, then, as Jesus promises, guides us "into all truth" (Jn 16:13). He leads us not only to an encounter with Jesus, the fullness of Truth, but guides us "into" the Truth. That is, he helps us enter into a deeper communion with Jesus himself, gifting us knowledge of the things of God. We cannot achieve this on our own strengths. If God does not enlightens us interiorly, our being Christians will be superficial. The Tradition of the Church affirms that the Spirit of truth acts in our hearts, provoking that "sense of faith" (sensus fidei), through which the People of God, under the guidance of the Magisterium, adheres unwaveringly to the faith given once and for all to the saints, penetrates it more deeply with right thinking, and applies it more fully in its life. Let's ask ourselves:
Are we open to the Holy Spirit?
Do I pray to him to enlighten me, to make me more sensitive to the things of God? And this is a prayer we need to pray every day, every day:
Holy Spirit,But I would like to ask a question to all of you: How many of you pray every day to the Holy Spirit?
Eh, a few of you I bet, eh! Well, a few, few, a few, but we realize this wish of Jesus, pray every day for the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to Jesus We think of Mary who "kept all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Lk 2,19.51). The reception of the words and the truths of faith so that they become life, is realized and grows under the action of the Holy Spirit. In this sense, we must learn from Mary, reliving her "yes", her total availability to receive the Son of God in her life, and who from that moment was transformed. Through the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son come to dwell in us.
Do we live in God and of God?
Are our life really animated by God?
How many things do I put before God? Dear brothers and sisters, we need to let ourselves be imbued with the light of the Holy Spirit, so that He introduces us into the Truth of God, who is the only Lord of our lives. In this Year of Faith let us ask ourselves if we have actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and the truths of faith more, by reading and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the Catechism, steadily approaching the Sacraments. But at the same time let us ask ourselves what steps we are taking so that the faith directs our whole existence. Do not be a 'part-time' Christian, at certain moments, in certain circumstances, in certain choices, be Christian at all times! The truth of Christ, that the Holy Spirit teaches us and gives us, always and forever involves our daily lives. Let us invoke him more often, to guide us on the path of Christ's disciples. English summary: Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis on the Creed, we have been considering the person and work of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus calls "the Spirit of Truth" (cf. Jn 16:13). In an age skeptical of truth, we believe not only that truth exists, but that it is found through faith in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God. The Holy Spirit brings us to Jesus; he guides the whole Church into the fullness of truth. As the "Paraclete", the Helper sent by the Risen Lord, he reminds us of Christ's words and convinces us of their saving truth. As the source of our new life in Christ, he awakens in our hearts that supernatural "sense of the faith" by which we hold fast to God's word, come to a deeper understanding of its meaning, and apply it in our daily lives. Let us ask ourselves: am I truly open, like the Virgin Mary, to the power of the Holy Spirit? Even now, with the Father and the Son, the Spirit dwells in our hearts. Let us ask him to guide us into all truth and to help us grow in friendship with Christ through daily prayer, reading of the Scriptures and the celebration of the sacraments. Greeting: As the Church prepares to celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, I pray that his gifts of wisdom, joy and peace will accompany you and your families along the path of authentic Christian discipleship. God bless you all! Source: General Audience Catechesis given by Pope Francis on Wednesday May 15, 2013 (Wed before Pentecost) Vatican Radio Translation.
Scripture: John 16:1-15; Acts 1:1-4, 14; 2:1-47 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:1-4: The Jewish Pentecost In Jewish liturgy Pentecost was the feast that celebrated the giving of the covenant at Sinai. It recalled both Godís covenant with Israel as well as the giving of the Ten Commandments. A mighty wind and fire swept the slopes of Sinai evoking the awesomeness of the occasion. The wind represented the breath of God as the source of all life. The fire symbolized Godís glory that manifested his presence to his people. The Jewish Pentecost took place fifty days after Passover. The Christian Pentecost Fifty days after the Christian Passover (Christís death and resurrection) the Christian Pentecost occurred in the Upper Room. Led by Mary, the apostles and disciples, numbering 120 people, had completed nine days of prayer for the coming of the Spirit. The Upper Room became like a new Sinai. Once again the mighty breath of God and the fire of his presence swept through the communion of believers. The Holy Spirit confirmed them as the Christian community and manifested the Church. The Spirit filled them with enthusiasm, a term that means ďthe God within.Ē They began speaking in tongues (glossalalia) a language phenomenon that sometimes accompanies profound spiritual experiences. Armed with the fire of the Spirit, and with ecstatic speech on their lips, they flowed out of the Upper Room into the square below where pilgrims from over fifteen nations had assembled for the religious observance. The extraordinary joy of those who had just been filled with the Holy Spirit affected the pilgrims. In wonder, the crowd vibrated happily with the contagious enthusiasm and excitement of the Spirit-filled community. They identified with the language miracle. There was a fleeting moment when these representatives of the nations of the earth paused from their strife and profound community took place. The artists of the Middle Ages loved to contrast the babbling and divided mob of Babel ís Tower to the loving, linguistically united community in the square at Pentecost. The arrogance of Babel is replaced by the humility of Pentecost where God is all in all. After the first glow of unity subsided, the skeptical soul reappeared. "And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, 'What does this mean?' But others mocking said, 'They are filled with new wine' "(Acts 2:12 -13)Ö. Reflection The Pentecost narrative is a revelation of the Holy Spirit. It is also the action of the Spirit revealing and manifesting the Church. While this is the formal introduction of the presence, person, and power of the Spirit in Scripture, it is necessary to point out that the Spirit has been living and active from the start of God's plan for salvation. The Holy Spirit is involved in the plan of salvation from the beginning just as much as the Father and the Son. The Spirit is really God. The Spirit is consubstantial with the Father and the Son and is inseparable from them (cf. Catechism, 689). The Spirit has the same "substance" or divine nature as they do. The Spirit has the same mission as the Son in the cause of salvation. When the Father sends the Son He also sends the Spirit to save us from sin and give us divine life. The word Spirit comes from the Hebrew ruah, which means breath, air, wind. The Spirit is Godís breath, filling us with divine life, purifying our souls, sustaining our immortality until we love what God loves, do what God wants of us until this earthly part of us glows with divine fire. Scripture calls the Spirit the paraclete, meaning our advocate and consoler. Jesus asked the Father to send us the Spirit to remind us of what Jesus taught and guide us into truth. On Easter night Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to the apostles, breathing into them the third Person of the Trinity. From that moment on the mission of Jesus and the Spirit becomes the mission of the Church. The revelation of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is also the Spirit's public manifestation of the Church. Tradition uses many images to illustrate the Spirit's actions. 1 Water, signifying the Spiritís saving action at baptism. 2. Oil and Seal, by which the Spirit anoints us at confirmation. 3. Fire, by which the Spirit transforms us into Christ. 4. Cloud, the shining glory that led Israel in the desert, dwelt on the Ark of the Covenant, overshadowed Mary at the Annunciation, and was present at Christís baptism and transfiguration. The cloud image emphasizes how the Spirit helps us experience the effective Divine presence. Pentecost Sunday "And when the days of Pentecost were drawing to a close, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as of fire, which settled upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak" (Acts 2, 1-4). Pentecost (Whitsunday), with Christmas and Easter, ranks among the great feasts of Christianity. It commemorates not only the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and Disciples, but also the fruits and effects of that event: the completion of the work of redemption, the fullness of grace for the Church and its children, and the gift of faith for all nations.
Pentecost After Jesus had ascended to heaven from Mt. Olivet, the apostles and disciples returned to the Holy City. They remained together in the Upper Room or Cenacle, the place where Jesus had appeared to them and which may well be called the first Christian church. About a hundred and twenty persons were assembled there. They chose Matthias as an apostle in place of the unhappy Judas; they prayed and waited for the Paraclete. Ten days had passed, it was Sunday, the seventh Sunday after the resurrection. At about nine o'clock in the morning, as they were together praying fervently, the Holy Spirit descended upon them. Note how all the great theophanies in Christ's life occurred during the course of prayer. After His baptism, for instance, when Jesus was praying the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove; likewise, it was during prayer at night that the transfiguration took place on Tabor. Surely too it was while Mary was praying that Gabriel delivered his message, and the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. Pentecost followed precedent. The small community of Christians had prepared themselves through prayer for the coming of the Paraclete. The same is true at Mass today, every day; through prayer we ready our souls for the advent of the Spirit. The descent upon the apostles was internal and invisible in nature although accompanied by certain visible phenomena. There came a mighty roar, like the onrush of a violent wind. It came suddenly, from heaven; but unlike storms that strike a structure from without, this one penetrated and filled the room where the disciples were gathered. Therefore it was not a natural wind, it was a miracle peculiar to the occasion. A second visible sign consisted in tongues of fire that descended upon each one present. These fiery tongues gave visible evidence that the Holy Spirit had descended upon them. Today at Mass, particularly at holy Communion, the power of the Holy Spirit will come down upon us; fiery tongues will not be seen, but invisible tongues of fire will not be absent. There was still another external manifestation of the Holy Spirit; the apostles and disciples were enabled to speak various languages. After the roar of the wind many of Jerusalem's pilgrims hurried to the Cenacle. Pentecost was one of the three festivals which obliged all Jews to be present in Jerusalem. Jews from distant lands, and Jewish converts from paganism too, attended these feasts. As a result, a colorful crowd speaking a variety of languages surrounded the house. Now the apostles, who so shortly before had hid in fear behind locked doors, came forth and courageously walked among the multitude speaking to each in his native tongue. It was indeed amazing! Galileans, and multilingual? But the malicious too were present; they had the answer. Nothing marvelous at all! Those Galileans were simply drunk, and their drunken babble sounded like a foreign language! Peter showed no hesitation in answering the charge. None of their number, he said, were intoxicated; it was but nine o'clock in the morning, and at that hour men usually are sober. What the multitude saw was, in fact, the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy: In those days (of the Messiah), God will pour forth His Spirit upon men and they will prophesy. . . . Then the apostle pointed his words more directly against the accusers: they had killed Jesus, had nailed Him to the Cross; but God had awakened Him and after His departure to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit. The pilgrims who had heard Peter give this first pentecostal sermon "were pierced to the heart and said: Brethren, what shall we do? But Peter said to them: Repent and be baptized; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Three thousand responded. One final question: why the miracle of tongues? In answer, recall the story regarding the tower of Babel. Puffed up by pride, men attempted to build a tower that would touch the heavens. To punish their sin, God confused their speech. Sin causes confusion and division. Now Christ came to gather all men into His Church and thereby to unite them to Himself. This should result in creating but one family of nations again. To this blessed state the miracle of tongues points. Yes, even we as individuals have a gift of tongues which all men can understand. It is the gift of love infused into us by the Holy Spirit. Love unites, love is a common language, by means of love we can speak to all nations. - The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch Prayer: Almighty and ever-living God, you fulfilled the Easter promise by sending us your Holy Spirit. May that Spirit unite the races and nations on earth to proclaim your glory. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Glory to the Lord, the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the
invisible Father and takes from the adorable Son; Who
performs all that He wills and works all things by His
might power; Who, from ancient times, spoke by the
prophets the things to come and the mysteries; Who, at
last, proclaimed by the apostles the hidden secrets and the
concealed knowledge, Who, in the likeness of fiery
tongues, descended in holiness upon them and filled them
completely with wisdom and understanding. Source: Syriac Orthodox Church - Pentecost Liturgy, Third service
O God, the Comforter, the Sanctifier of Churches, the
Perfector of all the divine ministries, the Giver of
priesthood, the Performer of baptism, the Consecrator of
the Sacraments, and the Absolver of sins. The Spirit, Who
searches in the depths of thoughts, Who declares hidden
things, who proclaims things to come, and Who performs
marvelous miracles. The Holy Spirit, Who is the receiver
and not the giver, Perfector and not needing to be
perfected; who declares but cannot Himself be expressed
in words; the Sanctifier Who needs no sanctification, the
deifying, who has no need to be deified. The Spirit, Who
moves of His own accord; the Spirit Who possess His own
authority and power; the spirit Who is glorified in His own
glory; the spirit Who is exalted in His supreme site of
dignity; the Spirit, Who is light and the giver of light. The
Spirit of grace and the Fount of goodness. The upright
Spirit; the majestic Spirit, the Spirit Who is Lord, the
Spirit, the Spirit of Sonship, the Spirit of truth, the Spirit
wisdom, the Spirit of understanding, the Spirit of
knowledge. The Spirit of Piety, the Spirit Who prepares
temples for Himself, the Spirit Who guides, the Spirit Who
operates as He wills, and wills as it is meet, the Spirit, who,
distributes gifts to everyone. The Spirit of consolation, the
Spirit of royalty, the Spirit of mighty deeds, the Spirit of
perfection, the Spirit of accomplishment, the Spirit Who
exceeds quality, the Spirit who is beyond quantity. The
Spirit who loves mankind, the Spirit Who fulfills the
prophets, the Spirit Who perfects the apostles, the Spirit,
Who fortifies the martyrs, the Spirit Who adorns the
temples, the Spirit Who pours forth doctrines on the
Teachers, the Spirit Who makes the simple wise. The
beneficent Spirit, the omnipotent Spirit, the Spirit by
Whom the Father is known, the Spirit by Whom the Son is
believed, the Spirit, Who alone is worshipped with the
Father and the Son, the Spirit Who possesses all the
Fatherís attributes except Fatherhood, the Spirit Who
owns all the Son's qualities other than birth and incarnation.
There everlasting Spirit, Who is not less in age than
the Father, the eternal Spirit, Who is not younger than the
Son, the Spirit Who has neither beginning nor end, and is
neither precedent to the Father nor more ancient than the
Son. We pray You, O God, the comforter Spirit, by this
sweet incense, beseeching the abundance of Your incomprehensible
richness, that even now You be pleased to
renew unto us Your divine gifts, and to rest upon us as
You did upon the holy disciples in the Upper Room,
divide among us Your heavenly presents, fill us with your
divine wisdom and with the doctrines of Your divine
mysteries, make us temples for the dwelling of Your glory,
grant us to drink to the full of the abundance of Your
grace, satisfy us with the sublime richness of Your bright
light, grant to us that we live to You and yield ourselves to
you that we may, in purity and holiness, worship You, O
God, the Comforter Spirit. Through You and by You we
worship the hidden Father, from whom You proceed, and
the Son of Whom You take, now and forever. Source: Syriac Orthodox Church - Pentecost Liturgy, Third service
On this holy day, the Comforter Holy Spirit descended and
was divided among the twelve in the likeness of fiery
tongues. Their minds were comforted and they went out
and preached to the creation the Triune Mystery, Father,
Son and Holy Spirit. The Comforter Holy Spirit came down to the innocent
company of the disciples. He taught them the Glorious
mystery in the tongues of all the nations and gave them
authority to forgive offenses and sins and to heel all
sicknesses in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of
the Holy Spirit. Ethro O Lord our God, the comforter Holy Spirit, Who, in the
likeness of fiery tongues, descended upon the holy
apostles and filled them with divine gifts. Fill us by Your
grace, with power, wisdom and holiness from you by this
smoke of incense which we offer unto You. Make us and
prove us to be worthy of the richness of Your gifts. We
offer glory and thanksgiving simultaneously to the Father
from Whom you proceed, and to the Only begotten, our
Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom You are known, now and
forever. Source: Syriac Orthodox Church - Pentecost Liturgy, Third service
By John Wesley
Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. - Ephesians 4:30There can be no point of greater importance to him who knows that it is the Holy Spirit which leads us into all truth and into all holiness, than to consider with what temper of soul we are to entertain his divine presence; so as not either to drive him from us, or to disappoint him of the gracious ends for which his abode with us is designed; which is not the amusement of our understanding, but the conversion and entire sanctification of our hearts and lives. These words of the Apostle contain a most serious and affectionate exhortation to this purpose. "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." The title "holy," applied to the Spirit of God, does not only denote that he is holy in his own nature, but that he makes us so; that he is the great fountain of holiness to his church; the Spirit from whence flows all the grace and virtue, by which the stains of guilt are cleansed, and we are renewed in all holy dispositions, and again bear the image of our Creator. Great reason, therefore, there was for the Apostle to give this solemn charge concerning it, and the highest obligation lies upon us all to consider it with the deepest attention; which that we may the more effectually do, I shall inquire,
I. In what sense the Spirit of God is said to be grieved at the sins of men: II. By what kind of sin he is more especially grieved. III. I shall endeavor to show the force of the Apostle's argument against grieving the Holy Spirit, - "By whom we are sealed to the day of redemption."-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I. I am, First, to inquire, in what sense the Spirit of God may be said to be grieved with the sins of men. There is not anything of what we properly call passion in God. But there is something of an infinitely higher kind: Some motions of his will, which are more strong and vigorous than can be conceived by men; and although they have not the nature of human passions, yet will answer the ends of them. By grief, therefore, we are to understand, a disposition in God's will, flowing at once from his boundless love to the persons of men, and his infinite abhorrence of their sins. And in this restrained sense it is here applied to the Spirit of God in the words of the Apostle. And the reasons for which it is peculiarly applied to him are, First, because he is more immediately present with us; Second, because our sins are so many contempts of this highest expression of his love, and disappoint the Holy Spirit in his last remedy; and, Third, because, by this ungrateful dealing, we provoke him to withdraw from us. 1. We are said to grieve the Holy Spirit by our sins, because of his immediate presence with us. They are more directly committed under his eye, and are, therefore, more highly offensive to him. He is pleased to look upon professing Christians as more peculiarly separated to his honour; nay, we are so closely united to him, that we are said to be "one spirit with him;" and, therefore, every sin which we now commit, besides its own proper guilt, carries in it a fresh and infinitely high provocation. "Know ye not your own selves," saith St. Paul, "that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost?" And how are they so, but by his inhabitation and intimate presence with our souls? When, therefore, we set up the idols of earthly inclinations in our hearts, (which are properly his altar) and bow down ourselves to serve those vicious passions which we ought to sacrifice to his will, -- this must needs be, in the highest degree, offensive and grievous to him. "For what concord is there between" the Holy Spirit "and Belial? or what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" 2. We grieve the Holy Spirit by our sins, because they are so many contempts of the highest expression of his love, and disappoint him in his last remedy whereby he is pleased to endeavour our recovery. And thus every sin we now commit is done in despite of all his powerful assistances, in defiance of his reproofs, -- an ungrateful return for infinite loving kindness! As the Holy Spirit is the immediate minister of God's will upon earth, and transacts all the great affairs of the Church of Christ, -- if while he pours out the riches of his grace upon us, be finds them all unsuccessful, no wonder if he appeals to all the world, in the words of the Prophet, against our ingratitude: "And now, O ye men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?" These, and many more such, which we meet with in the Holy Scriptures, are the highest expressions of the deepest concern; such as imply the utmost unwillingness to deal severely even with those whom yet, by all the wise methods of his grace, he could not reform. The Holy Spirit here represents himself as one who would be glad to spare sinners if he could; and therefore we may be sure it is grievous to him that by their sins they will not suffer him. For men thus to disappoint the Holy Spirit of Love, -- for that too is his peculiar title, -- to make him thus wait that he may be gracious, and pay attendance on us through our whole course of folly and vanity, and to stand by, and be a witness of our stubbornness, with the importunate offers of infinite kindness in his hands, -- is a practice of such a nature that no gracious mind can hear the thoughts of it. It is an argument of God's unbounded mercy, that he is pleased to express, that he is only grieved at it; that his indignation does not flame out against those who are thus basely ungrateful, and consume them in a moment. It was such ingratitude as this in the Jews, after numberless experiences of his extraordinary mercies towards them, that made infinite love, at last, turn in bitterness to reward them according to their doings; as we find the account given by the Prophets, in the most affecting and lively manner. And surely, considering the much greater obligations he hath laid on us, who enjoy the highest privileges, we may be sure that our sinful and untoward behaviour will, at last, be as great as the mercies we have abused. There is no doubt but God observes all the sons of men, and his wrath abides on every worker of iniquity. But it is the unfaithful professor who has known his pardoning love, that grieves his Holy Spirit; which implies a peculiar baseness in our sins. A man may be provoked, indeed, by the wrongs of his enemy; but he is properly grieved by the offences of his friend. And, therefore, besides our other obligations, our very near relation to God, as being his friends and children, would, if we had a spark of gratitude in our souls, be a powerful restraint upon us, in preserving us from evil. 3. But if arguments of this kind are not strong enough to keep us from grieving our best Friend, the Holy Spirit of God, let us consider, that, by this ungrateful conduct, we shall provoke him to withdraw from us. The truth of this, almost all who have ever tasted of the good gifts of the Holy Spirit must have experienced. It is to be hoped that we have had, some time or other, so lively a sense of his holy influence upon us, as that when we have been so unhappy as to offend him, we could easily perceive the change in our souls, in that darkness, distress, and despondency which more especially follow the commission of wilful and presumptuous sins. At those seasons, the blessed Spirit retired and concealed his presence from us, we were justly left to a sense of our own wretchedness and misery, till we humbled ourselves before the Lord, and by deep repentance and active faith obtained a return of divine mercy and peace. And the more frequently we offend him, the more we weaken his influences in our souls. For frequent breaches will necessarily occasion estrangement between us; and it is impossible that our intercourse with him can be cordial, when it is disturbed by repeated interruptions. So a man will forgive his friend a great many imprudences, and some wilful transgresions; but to find him frequently affronting him, all his kindness will wear off by degrees; and the warmth of his affection, even towards him who had the greatest share of it, will die away; as he cannot but think that such a one does not any longer either desire or deserve to maintain a friendship with him. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- II. I come now to consider by what kinds of sin the Holy Spirit is more especially grieved. These sins are, in general, such as either at first wholly disappoint his grace of its due effect upon our souls, or are afterwards directly contrary to his gracious and merciful assistances. Of the former sort, I shall only mention, at present, inconsiderateness; of the latter, sins of presumption. The First I shall mention, as being more especially grievous to the Holy Spirit, is inconsiderateness and inadvertence to his holy motions within us. There is a particular frame and temper of soul, a sobriety of mind, without which the Spirit of God will not concur in the purifying of our hearts. It is in our power, through his preventing and assisting grace, to prepare this in ourselves; and he expects we should, this being the foundation of all his after-works. Now, this consists in preserving our minds in a cool and serious disposition, in regulating and calming our affections, and calling in and checking the inordinate pursuits of our passions after the vanities and pleasures of this world; the doing of which is of such importance, that the very reason why men profit so little under the most powerful means, is, that they do not look enough within themselves, they do not observe and watch the discords and imperfections of their own spirit nor attend with care to the directions and remedies which the Holy Spirit is always ready to suggest. Men are generally lost in the hurry of life, in the business or pleasures of it, and seem to think that their regeneration, their new nature, will spring and grow up within them, with as little care and thought of their own as their bodies were conceived and have attained their full strength and stature; whereas, there is nothing more certain than that the Holy Spirit will not purify our nature, unless we carefully attend to his motions, which are lost upon us while, in the Prophet's language, we "scatter away our time," -- while we squander away our thoughts upon unnecessary things, and leave our spiritual improvement, the one thing needful, quite unthought of and neglected. There are many persons who, in the main of their lives, are regular in their conversation, and observe the means of improvement, and attend upon the holy sacrament with exactness; who yet, in the intervals of their duties, give too great liberty to their thoughts, affections, and discourse: They seem to adjourn the great business of salvation to the next hour of devotion. If these professors lose so much in their spiritual estate for want of adjusting and balancing their accounts, what then must we think of those who scarce ever bestow a serious thought upon their eternal welfare? Surely there is not any temper of mind less a friend to the spirit of religion, than a thoughtless and inconsiderate one, that, by a natural succession of strong and vain affections shuts out everything useful from their souls, till, at length, they are overtaken by a fatal lethargy; they lose sight of all danger, and become insensible of divine convictions; and, in consequence, quite disappoint all the blessed means of restoration. If, therefore, we measure the Holy Spirit's concern at the sins of men by the degrees of his disappointment, we may conclude, that there is no state of mind that grieves him more, unless that of actual wickedness. Presumptuous sins are, indeed, in the highest manner offensive to the Holy Spirit of God. They are instances of open enmity against him, and have all the guilt of open rebellion. The wilful sinner is not ignorant or surprised, but knowingly fights against God's express commandment, and the lively, full, and present conviction of his own mind and conscience; so that this is the very standard of iniquity. And all other kinds of sins are more or less heinous, as they are nearer or farther off from sins of this dreadful nature; inasmuch as these imply the greatest opposition to God's will, contempt of his mercy, and defiance of his justice. This, if any thing can, doubtless, must so grieve him as to make him wholly withdraw his gracious presence. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- III. I come now to show the force of the Apostle's argument against grieving the Holy Spirit, -- Because we "are sealed to the day of redemption." By "the day of redemption" may be meant, either the time of our leaving these bodies at death, or, of our taking them again at the general resurrection. Though here it probably means the latter; in which sense the Apostle uses the word in another place: "Waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our bodies." And to this day of redemption we are sealed by the Holy Spirit these three ways: --
1. By receiving his real stamp upon our souls; by being made the partakers of the divine nature. 2. By receiving him as a mark of God's property; as a sign that we belong to Christ. And, 3. As an earnest and assurance to our own spirits, that we have a title to eternal happiness.And, First, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of God, by our receiving his real stamp upon our souls; being made the partakers of the divine nature, and "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." This is, indeed, the design of his dwelling in us, to heal our disordered souls, and to restore that image of his upon our nature, which is so defaced by our original and actual corruptions. And until our spirits are, in some measure, thus renewed, we can have no communion with him. For "if we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not tell the truth." But by the renewal of our minds in the image of Him that created us, we are still more capable of his influences; and by means of a daily intercourse with him, we are more and more transformed into his likeness, till we are satisfied with it. This likeness to God, this conformity of our will and affections to his will, is, properly speaking, holiness; and to produce this in us, is the proper end and design of all the influences of the Holy Spirit. By means of his presence with us, we receive from him a great fullness of holy virtues; we take such features of resemblance in our spirits as correspond to his original perfections. And thus we are sealed by him, in the first sense, by way of preparation for our day of redemption. And since we are so, and our new nature thus grows up under the same power of his hands, what do we, when we grieve him by our sins, but undo and destroy his work? We frustrate his designs by breaking down the fences which he had been trying to raise against the overflowings of corruption; so that, at last, we entirely defeat all his gracious measures for our salvation. 2. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption, as a sign of God's property in us, and as a mark that we belong to Christ. And this is, by his appointment, the condition and security of that future happiness, into which he will admit none but those who have received the Spirit of his Son into their hearts. But in whomsoever he finds this mark and character, when he shall come to judge the world, these will he take to himself, and will not suffer the destroyer to hurt them. To this very purpose the Prophet Malachi, speaking of those who feared God, says, "They shall be mine, saith the Lord, in the day when I make up my jewels;" -- that is to say, when I set my seal and mark upon them; -- "and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." Now, if the Holy Spirit be the sign, the seal, and the security of our salvation, then, by grieving him by our sins, we break up this seal with our own hands, we cancel our firmest security, and, as much as in us lies, reverse our own title to eternal life. Besides this, the Holy Spirit within us is the security of our salvation; he is likewise an earnest of it, and assures our spirits that we have a title to eternal happiness. "The Spirit of God beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God." And in order that this inward testimony may be lively and permanent, it is absolutely necessary to attend carefully to the secret operation of the Holy Spirit within us; who, by infusing his holy consolations into our souls, by enlivening our drooping spirits, and giving us a quick relish of his promises, raises bright and joyous sensations in us, and gives a man, beforehand, a taste of the bliss to which he is going. In this sense, God is said, by the Apostle to the Corinthians, to have "sealed us, and to have given the earnest of his Spirit in our hearts;" and that earnest, not only by way of confirmation of our title to happiness, but as an actual part of that reward at present, the fullness of which we expect hereafter. Source: Sermon 138. Written in the year 1733 (text from the 1872 edition - Thomas Jackson, editor)
by Mother Mectilde du Saint-SacrementThe Holy Spirit is the fruit of the coming of the Son of God into the world,
the fruit of His sufferings and of His labours.
In order for us to receive Him,
it was necessary that the Son of God suffer all His great sorrows;
moreover, had He not asked the Holy Spirit for us,
we would not have received Him. The Holy Spirit is, therefore, Godís Gift to us.
Like a powerful King who seeks among the good things of His kingdom,
what is most precious
to make of it a gift to the person dearest to him,
even so does the Eternal Father. Possessing nothing greater than His Holy Spirit,
He gives Him to men in recompense for the suffering of His Son.
This festival is, then, most important,
and so the entire Church disposes herself for it
with a very particular devotion. What then must one do in so as to to receive Him well
and partake of His fruits?
Two things are needed
to know how great a gift is the Holy Spirit
and what is needed to keep Him.
These will be the two points of my instruction
and the subject of your reflection. The Holy Spirit is, first of all, the light that illumines us in our darkness;
strength in our weakness;
fire in our coldness.
We know by experience how much we have need of all these things,
since we are so immersed in shadows
that we see not even a single ray of light,
and nearly always we know not
what we are doing and where we are going. So weak are we
that we are unable to carry out
even those things that we know God expects of us.
So cold are we towards God,
so little fervour do we have
and so low are our feelings.
that we are ashamed of ourselves. See then how great is our need to receive the Holy Spirit.
But what must we do to keep the Holy Spirit?
Listen to what the Apostle Saint Paul says:
"My brothers, above all else I pray you and recommend
that you be very attentive not to grieve the Holy Spirit." (Eph 4:30) And how can we grieve Him?
Let us listen to what He Himself says to the Spouse:
"Open to me, my sister,"
"Open to me my sister, my spouse." (Ct 5:2) The Holy Spirit is always at the door of our heart:
let us be very careful not to shut Him out,
because this grieves Him.
In the little time that remains
we must train ourselves
to have a great will
and ardent desires to receive Him;
this will be how we open the door to Him. But this is not enough.
It is necessary also to remove the obstacles
that may keep Him for entering. And how? By emptying ourselves of the spirit of the world
and of ourselves,
because two things opposed to each other
cannot subsist together;
that is that black can never become so white
as to have nothing of blackness left. So it is with us. Our soul will never be so bright
that all the blackness of sin will have gone out of it.
But we must empty ourselves
if we would be filled with the Holy Spirit;
in fact, he who would fill a vessel must empty it first. And finally,
what must we do to receive the fruits of the Holy Spirit
and have Him abide in us? Three things. The first is humility.
Our Lord, in fact, when He was asked on whom
He would make His Spirit rest,
answered, upon one who is humble.
Let us therefore abandon all the thoughts that turn to our own interests,
to our self-love, and to our own judgment;
this is necessary if the we want the Spirit to live in us. The second thing is a perfect submission to all that He wants of us. And the third; the one that is highest,
the most excellent, and unfailing,
is abandonment. If He wills that we be in health or in sickness,
we must will it;
in joy or in sorrow,
in labor or in rest,
in suffering or in enjoyment,
we must will it. In the end, we must necessarily burn with this fire of the Spirit
in this world here below,
so as not to burn eternally in the fire of hell.
Make your choice: It is God who has said it.
Let us not cease from asking Him [for the Holy Spirit]
also because God says that if a child asks his father for something,
this will never be refused him. And therefore, it is assured that we will be heard:
and it is this that I wish for you with all my heart.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Source: Translation of a conference for Pentecost by the Benedictine Mother Mectilde du Saint-Sacrement (1614-1698) Translated by Fr. Mark, Vultus Christi
Holy Spirit, come into my heart;
draw it to Thee by Thy power, O my God,
and grant me charity with filial fear. Preserve me, O ineffable Love, from every evil thought;
warm me, inflame me with Thy dear love,
and every pain will seem light to me. My Father, my sweet Lord, help me in all my actions.
Jesus, love (St. Catherine of Siena).
by Joseph of Jesus and MaryCome Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come, enkindle the hearts of your faithful. Come Holy Spirit, come, we have received the body and blood of Jesus, fill us with His spirit, His purity and His goodness. Come Holy Spirit, come, penetrate with your light the deepest part of our souls, empower us with great faith, clothe us with your love and enlighten us with your wisdom. Come Holy Spirit, come, renew our minds and our hearts, make healthy our bodies and our souls. Come Holy Spirit, come, saturate us with your presence and sanctify us. Come Holy Spirit, come, make every beat of our hearts a song of praise, blessing, thanksgiving and glory to God. Come Holy Spirit, come, replace our cold hearts with living furnaces of burning love for God. Come Holy Spirit, come, make every cell of our bodies a holy altar of worship and service to God. Come Holy Spirit, come, let peace reign in our midst, the peace that Jesus has given us. Come Holy Spirit, come, make us aware of the living presence of God at all times. Come Holy Spirit, come, enlighten our minds with wisdom of the heart. Come Holy Spirit, come, prepare our souls as living tabernacles of the Holy Trinity. Come Holy Spirit, come, take over our lives: act in us, think in us, will in us, for the glory of God . Come Holy Spirit, come, increase our faith, hope and love, give us the grace to do always the will of God. Come Holy Spirit, come, teach us to open our hearts and our lives to the Will of God. Come Holy Spirit, come, make us keep the Word of God constantly. Come Holy Spirit, come, inspire us to be holy and perfect. Come Holy Spirit, come, teach us to surrender to God, remind us constantly to imitate Mary your worthy and beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come, pray for us at all times even if we don't understand it, praise God without ceasing, teach us to worship in spirit and in truth. Come Holy Spirit, come, Spirit of Jesus the Sun of Justice. Let your healing rays touch our hearts, our bodies and our souls and heal us of all wounds that prevent our perfect relationship with God . Come Holy Spirit, come, baptize us with your healing consuming fire of love. Come Holy Spirit, come, touch the hearts of all unbelievers and all sinners, convert them to Jesus, fill them with repentance and the spirit of conversion. Come Holy Spirit, come, enkindle the fire of worship and adoration in lukewarm souls. Come Holy Spirit, come, teach us to love one another as Jesus has loved us. Come Holy Spirit, come, fill us with your goodness, teach us to share and to be compassionate. Come Holy Spirit, come, anoint us with your purity, make us live holy lives for the glory of God. Come Holy Spirit, come, fill us with understanding, patience, faithfulness, trustfulness, mercy, self control, humility, kindness, charity, obedience, piety, surrender and joy. Come Holy Spirit, come, fill us with the Word of God. Come Holy Spirit, come, make us truly new creatures in Christ, help us to shine his light where there is darkness; to bring his peace and joy where there is unhappiness. Come Holy spirit ,come, Teach us to glorify Jesus by evangelizing and becoming his instruments of love. Come Holy Spirit, come, animate us with your holy presence. Fill your temples: take possession of our bodies, our souls, our minds and our wills; which we submit to you to glorify God. Come Holy Spirit, come, fill us with the Power of Faith. With the great Love of God. With holy Wisdom. With abundant Grace. With innocent Purity. With everlasting Peace and with the Light of God. Come Holy Spirit, come, dwell in us forever, with the Father and with the Son. Amen.
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
And in our souls take up your rest;
Come with your grace and heavenly aid
To fill the hearts which you have made. O Comforter, to you we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
And sweet anointing from above. You in your sevenfold gifts are known;
You, finger of God's hand we own;
You, promise of the Father, you
Who do the tongue with power imbue. Kindle our senses from above,
And make our hearts o'erflow with love;
With patience firm and virtue high
The weakness of our flesh supply. Far from us drive the foe we dread,
And grant us your peace instead;
So shall we not, with you for guide,
Turn from the path of life aside. Oh, may your grace on us bestow
The Father and the Son to know;
And you, through endless times confessed,
Of both the eternal Spirit blest. Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
With you, O holy Comforter,
Henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.
by Dr. Shila Mathew, MD., Food and Living Editor, Malankara World
1/2 cup butter or shortening (I prefer butter, just btw)
by Dr. Gary Chapman
Be still, and know that I am God.Having a quiet, patient spirit throughout the day is countercultural in our harried world, but its effects can be life changing for us as well as for others. People notice when we are patient with strangers in line, with our kids at the park, and with our co-workers in meetings, because it is so much more common to show impatience. A patient stillness in attitude, words, and behavior, even in the midst of stress, always stands out. Author Eugene Peterson reminds us how this kind of radical patience allows room for us to grow closer to others: "When we are noisy and when we are hurried, we are incapable of intimacy - deep, complex, personal relationships." While an anxious spirit on our part makes others feel more rushed and frustrated, a quiet spirit is likely to calm those around us, making loving interactions more possible. So not only does a patient spirit still the noise of the world so we can enjoy deeper peace, it also helps to still the noise in others' lives so we can enjoy one another more fully. Action Step When you feel yourself getting anxious or rushed during the day, remember the words "Be still," and focus on having a peaceful spirit instead of a harried one. About The Author: Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life. Source: Living Love Devotional
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