The Day of the Holy Spirit
19 June 1989
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
We are today keeping the Feast of the Holy Spirit. What do us know about Him? We have heard wonderful words yesterday; but when we think of Him, of the name He is given in the Gospel, that which is translated in English ‘The Comforter’, in other translations ‘The Advocate’ – Who is He? He is the one Who is the Comforter, indeed the One Who consoles us from our separation from Christ, Who consoles us who are like orphans who long to be with Christ our God, our Saviour, and who know that as long as we are in the flesh – and this is the word of Saint Paul – we are separated from Him. But for Him to be our comforter, to be our consolation, we must first of all be aware of the fact that we a r e separated; and this is the first question that we must ask ourselves: are we aware of it? Or do we live in the delusion that we are in God, and God in us, and that nothing more is needed. H o w m u c h m o r e is needed!
He is also the One, Who – as the Comforter – gives us strength, strength to live despite the separation, strength to stand (fast) and to be the doers of the way, the fulfiller of the commandments of God, the One Who can give us vigour of soul, determination, power to do it. But this again, only if we turn to Him and say, Come! And abide in us! Cleanse us! Be not only our Comforter but our strength.
And lastly, He is the One Who gives us, already now, the joy of knowing how close we are despite what seems to be an infinite distance between God and us, the One Who, in unutterable groanings speaks to God from the depths of our being; the One, Who because we are Christ’s own people, His brothers, His sisters in humanity – and these are His own words – that we are the children of the Father. The joy of this, the wonder of this, the dignity of this! Indeed also, the responsibility of this.
And if we think of our world which is to such a great extent alien to God, He is already the beginning of eternal life; His presence is a decisive event; He beats against the rocks like the sea, He breaks resistances; He is the joy of eternity, knocking at our door, forcing Himself into our lives, reminding us of God, of Christ our Saviour, of our greatness and dignity before God, and that all things are possible in the power of Christ Who sustains us.
Let us therefore responsibly and gratefully keep this Feast; and may the Spirit of God, Who came in tongues of fire upon the Apostles come to us either, indeed, like a fire that sets us aglow and makes us to burn like a Burning Bush or touch us like a still little voice which the Prophet heard, in the wilderness in which God was, in His quiet humility, in His surrender to us, in His love for us.