- Written by Fr. Wiseman Op
“Do you not know that the holy disciples had more sense and knowledge of Him after the Master departed than before? Because they so delighted themselves in His humanity that they did not seek any more. But after His presence was parted, they gave themselves to understanding and knowing His goodness. And therefore First Truth said, ‘It is necessary that I go, otherwise the Paraclete would not come to you.’ So I say to you, there is need that I left you, in order that you give yourselves to seek God in truth and not with a means. I tell you that you will have better than before, entering within yourselves to ponder the words and the doctrine which were given you. In this way you will receive the plentitude of grace through that grace of God.” St. Catherine of Siena, Letter 164 to Monna Melina and other women who missed her presence.
“Then He promises that they will be instructed by the coming of the Holy Spirit, who will teach them all truth. For since the Holy Spirit is from Truth, it is appropriate that the Spirit teach the truth, and make those He teaches like the one who sent Him. He says, all the truth, that is, the truth of the faith. He will teach them to have a better understanding of this truth in this life, and a fullness of understanding in eternal life, where we will know as we are known (cf 1 Cor 13:12)… (2102)
Now He excludes a difficulty which could have arisen. If the Holy Spirit will teach them, it seems that He is greater than Christ. This is not true, because the Spirit will teach them by the power of the Father and the Son, for He will not speak from Himself, but from Me, because He will be from Me. Just as the Son does not act from Himself but from the Father, so the Holy Spirit, because He is from another, that is, from the Father and the Son, will not speak from Himself, but whatever He will hear by receiving knowledge as well as His essence from eternity, He will speak, not in a bodily way but by enlightening your minds from within: ‘I will bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her’ (Hos 2:14); ‘Let me hear what God the Lord will speak’ (Ps 85:8) (2103).
Since the Holy Spirit hears from eternity, why does he say He will hear? We should say to this that eternity includes all time. Consequently, the Holy Spirit, who hears from all eternity, is said to hear in the present, in the past, and in the future… (2104).
St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, Part II, trans. James A. Weisheipl, O.P. and Fabian Larcher, O.P. (Petersham, MA: St. Bede Publications), 443-444.
- Written by Fr. Wiseman Op
“And My Word wished to say this when He said, 'I will send My Paraclete, who will reproach the world for injustice and false judgment.' Then it was reproached when I sent the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. There are three reproaches. The one was given when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, as was said. Fortified by My power, illuminated by the wisdom of My beloved Son, they all received everything in the fullness of the holy Spirit. Then the Holy Spirit, who is one with Me and with My Son, reproached the world, through the mouth of the disciples, with the teaching of My Truth. These and all the others who are descended from them, following the truth, which they understand through them, reproach the world. This is that continuous reproach which I made to the world with the means of the holy Scripture and of My servants, placing the Holy Spirit on their tongues to proclaim the truth, just as the devil sets himself upon the mouth of his servants… This is that gentle reproach set continually through the way described, through the tremendous affection of love which I have for the salvation of souls.” St. Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, 35-36.
“But could not Christ have sent the Holy Spirit while He was still living in the flesh? He could have, because even at His baptism the holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove and never left Him. Indeed, from the instant of His conception He received the Spirit without measure. But Christ did not choose to give the Spirit to His disciples while He was still living …
First, they were not prepared, for carnal love is contrary to the Holy Spirit, since the Spirit is spiritual love. Now the disciples were affected by a certain carnal love for the human nature of Christ, without yet being elevated to a spiritual love of His divinity. And so they were not yet ready for the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, Christ did not give them the Spirit then because of the characteristic of divine help, which is to be especially present in times of need… Now as long as Christ was with them, He was all the help they needed. But when He left they were exposed to many tribulations, and so another consoler and helper was very quickly given them… (2088).
The Macedonians… say that the Holy Spirit is a creature and the minister of the Father and the Son. But if this were true, the coming of the Holy Spirit would not have been a sufficient consolation to the Apostles for Christ’s leaving them. It would be like the departure of a king, where the substitution for him of one of his ministers would not be a sufficient consolation. Thus, because the Holy Spirit is equal to the Son, our Lord consoles them by promising that the Spirit will come… (2089)
The Son left as far as concerns His bodily presence, but He came invisibly together with the Holy Spirit… (2090).
St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, Part II, trans. James A. Weisheipl, O.P. and Fabian Larcher, O.P. (Petersham, MA: St. Bede Publications), 436-437.
- Written by Fr. Wiseman Op
“My goodness seeing that in another way you would not be able to be drawn, I sent Him that He might be raised on high upon the wood of the cross, making of the cross an anvil where the son of the human race might be formed by drawing out death and restoring it to the life of grace. And so He drew everything to Himself by this way, to show the inexpressible love that He had for you because the human heart is always drawn by love. He could not show you greater love than to give His life for you. One is drawn then by the strength of love unless the foolish person resists in not letting himself be drawn” St. Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, 26.
“He says, Abide in My love, and you will do this if you keep My commandments, for this is the way you will abide in My love. Keeping the commandments is an effect of divine love, not only of the love by which we love, but also of the love by which God loves us. for from the fact that God loves us, He influences us and helps us to fulfill His commandments, which we cannot do without grace: 'In this is love, not that we love God but that He loved us first' [1 Jn 4:10] (2002).
He adds an example when He says, as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. For just as the love which the Father has for Him is the model or standard of Christ’s love for us, so Christ wants His obedience to be the model of our obedience. By saying this Christ shows that He abided in the Father’s love because in all things He kept the Father’s commandments. For He submitted to death: ‘He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on the cross’ (Phil 2:8); and refrained from all sin: ‘He committed no sin; no guile was found on His lips’ (1 Pt 2:22). These things are to be understood of Christ in His human nature: ‘He has not let Me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to Him’ (Jn 8:29). And so He says, I abide in His love, because there is nothing in Me, as a human being, opposed to His love (2003).
Now so they do not think He is urging them to keep His commandments for His own benefit and not for their benefit, He says, These things I have spoken to you, that you keep My commandments, for your own good, so that My joy may be in you. Now love is the cause of joy, for everyone takes joy in what he loves. But God loves Himself and creatures, especially rational creatures, to whom He grants an infinite good… Consequently, our Lord wants us to become sharers of His joy by our observing His commandments. He says, that My joy, the joy I take in My divinity and that of My Father, may be in you…" (2004). St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, Part II, trans. James A. Weisheipl, O.P. and Fabian Larcher, O.P. (Petersham, MA: St. Bede Publications), 397-398.
- Written by Fr. Wiseman Op
“So that in every thing, whether actually present or through teaching, He is the way and the truth and the life, which way is the bridge which leads you to the height of heaven. This is what He wished to say when he said, "I came from the Father and I return to the Father' and "I will come back to you.' That is to say, My Father sent Me to you and I am made your bridge that you escape from the river and be able to come to life. Then He says, 'I will come back to you. I will not leave you orphans but I will send you the Paraclete.' As if My Truth said, 'I will go to the Father and I will come back. That is, that the Holy Spirit coming, who is called Paraclete, He will show you more clearly and He will confirm in you Me, the way of truth, which is the teaching which I have given you. He said that He would return and He did return because the Holy Spirit did not come alone but He came with the power of Me, the Father, with the wisdom of the Son, and His own mercy of the Holy Spirit. You see then, that He returns not physically but with power, as I told you, strengthening the road of the teaching.” (Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, 29).
For the Father Himself loves you because you have loved me and have come to believe that I am from God (Jn 16:27): “The fact that we love God is a sign that He loves us, for our being able to love God is a gift from God: ‘God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us’ (Rom 5:5); ‘He who loves Me will be loved by My Father’ (Jn 14:21)… Our faith is due to God’s love for us, for ‘it is a gift of God’ (Eph 2:8). Now a gift is not given except through the love of the giver. To believe in and to love Christ insofar as He comes forth from God is a clear sign of one’s love for God, since that in which something is such is itself even more so. Therefore, when one loves Christ, who came forth from God, this love is particularly traced back to God the Father…” (2159). St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, Part II, trans. James A. Weisheipl, O.P. and Fabian Larcher, O.P. (Petersham, MA: St. Bede Publications), 465-466.