Holy spirit

On Hope and the Holy Spirit | Catholic National Register

“Be worthy of the flame that consumes you.” —Paul Claudel

When a word is spoken, does something happen? Take the word hope, for example. When you hear it, is something calculated? In other words, will it mean extra-mental reality in your mind, or is it just sound and spelling? Samuel Johnson, in his famous dictionary of 1755, recalls that words are like the daughters of the earth: they only designate things. But these same things are like the sons of heaven, beyond which we don’t need to go. Now aside from the obvious sexism that poor Dr Johnson might not have been aware of, he was clearly on to something. And in this little word hope, it seems to me, we have the most exquisite application of the point, especially in the wake of Pentecost.

Let’s start with this datum, which is that it’s never the sound or spelling of the word you cling to when you hear the word. Words, after all, only mean; they don’t save. Rather, it is the saving reality that the word points to that we find ourselves clinging to, even as it reaches depths that we can no more analyze than we can climb the heights to which it aspires. It is in the very nature of hope that it will always go beyond the reach of those who reach it. Or, to put it a little differently, the outcome of my hope is not up to me. It depends on an Other, in whom I have fully entrusted myself.

When God tells us, according to the words of the prophet Jeremiah: “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (31: 3), what can this mean other than the fact that God, having taken so much? of pity for our nothingness, really took the trouble to make us exist; and then, from moment to moment, prevents us from falling back into nothingness. Hope is therefore not something I do, but rather the awareness that another is doing it for me, and on this rock I found everything I have.

Very precisely, then, on whom does this weight of hope rest? The answer is simple: Jesus Christ, who, in the only prayer he has given us, anchors everything to the Father, who is the primordial and supreme source from which all good must come. “Give us today our daily bread, “we ask. This is the perfect prayer of supplication, ideal for those who have nothing yet, assuming the outstretched arms of the beggar, yearn for more. And Christ, before his return to the Father, made two promises who would precisely and forever fulfill that hope, that holy desire that we have that ignites the human heart more than any rocket fuel to launch satellites into deep space. “I’m going to prepare a place for you … so that where I am you will be too(John 14: 3). Followed by: “I will not leave you orphans(John 14:18).

Here are two wonderfully explicit promises, one for eternity, the other for time. Two sublime and unspeakable gifts, lavished on those he loved to the last: the gift of eternal life, and the ability to endure even this life. Both, of course, entrusted to the treasury of the Holy Church, the very Bride of Christ, whose keys reveal all the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven.

It is worth recalling the story here. May Christ, before taking leave of the world, endeavor to assure his disciples that he is not content to throw their lives and their fortunes to the four winds. Instead, he tells them that they and the Church, and all of its members until the end of time, will be guided and shaped through this great and frightening sea of ​​history by a very special wind, to namely, the breath of the Spirit of God, which brings unwavering comfort and guidance to the pilgrim people of God. “I am with you always,” says the Lord, “until the end of the world”.

And what is the shape of this to be with you take? It is of course the Third Person of the Holy Trinity who, from all eternity, sucks the very love of the Father and of the Son, then transmitting it to all those who are attached to Christ. “If we imagine the Father”, writes Saint Bernard in his Commentary on the Song of Songs (“The masterpiece of the Holy Spirit”, he calls it), “giving the kiss, and the Son receiving it, the Holy Spirit will be the kiss himself”. May he then grant to the world in the all-consuming event brought about by the great fire of Pentecost.

Who then is the Spirit? He is the very presence of God among and in us, even though he remains effortless, eternally transcendent for us. Who descends into the gap between heaven and history, in order to enable us – the Father’s own children, redeemed by the blood of his Son – to ensure a safe return to God. The Holy Spirit, “the inseparable companion”, notes Saint Basil the Great, of Jesus on earth, offers us this same companion today. You can’t imagine a best friend.