- Category: wisemanop
- Published Date
- Written by Fr. Wiseman Op
- Hits: 680
“We should imitate the conduct of the apostles, for they are described as ‘gathered together.’ This too is not without its mystery: for Christ came when they were united together, and the Holy Spirit descended on them when they were united together, because Christ and the Holy Spirit are present only to those who are gathered in charity: ‘For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them’” (Mt 18:20) (2527).
“Jesus makes them adequate for their task by giving them the Holy Spirit, ‘God, who has qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit’ (2 Cor 3:6). In this giving of the Spirit, He first grants them a sign of this gift, which is, that ‘He breathed on them.’ We see something like this in Genesis (2:7), when God ‘breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,’ of natural life, which the first man corrupted, but Christ repaired by giving the Holy Spirit; it was a sign of the Spirit…” (2538).
“The Spirit descended over the apostles the first time through a breath to indicate the proliferation of grace through the sacraments, whose ministers they were. Thus Christ said, ‘If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven’; “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Mt 28:19). The second time the Spirit descended upon them in tongues of fire to indicate the proliferation of grace through teaching; and so we read in Acts 2:4, that after they were filled with the Holy Spirit they began to speak” (2539).
“We see the fruit of the gift, ‘If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven.’ This forgiving of sins is a fitting effect of the Holy Spirit. This is so because the Holy Spirit is charity, love, and through the Holy Spirit love is given to us: ‘God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given us’ (Rom 5:5). Now it is only through love that sins are forgiven, for ‘Love covers all offenses’ (Prov 10:12); ‘Love covers a multitude of sins’” (1 Pt 4:8) (2541).
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), 538-539, 541.
“So you see that this love is not strong, rather whoever loves with this love, loves as Saint Peter, who before the Passion loved Christ sweetly, but he was not strong. Therefore he weakened at the time of the cross, But then, he departed himself from the love of sweetness, that is, after the coming of the Holy Spirit, he lost the fear and came to a strong love and was proved in the fire of many troubles. From where he came to the love of a son, he carried all with true patience, in fact he ran with him with the greatest joy, as if he was going to a wedding banquet and not to torments. And this was, because he was made a son. But if Peter had remained solely in the sweetness and in fear that he was in the Passion and after the Passion of Christ, he would not have come to such perfection of being a son and champion of the holy Church, a taster and eater of souls. But attend to the way that Peter took with the other disciples, through power to lose the servile fear and the love of consolations, and to receive the Holy Spirit, as he was promised by First Sweet Truth. The Scriptures say that they were shut in the house and they stayed there in vigil and in continuous prayers, and stayed ten days, and then the Holy Spirit came. Now this is the teaching we ought to take, along with every rational creature, that we close ourselves in the house, and stay in vigil and in continuous prayer, and stay ten days, and then we will receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, who, when He came, illumined them with truth, and they saw the secret of the immeasurable charity of the Word with the will of the Father, who did not wish other than our sanctification. The blood of this sweet and loving Word showed this to us, who returned to the disciples, that is, the fullness of the Holy Spirit coming. And He came with the power of the Father, with the wisdom of the Son, and with the piety and clemency of the Holy Spirit. So the truth of Christ is fulfilled, which He said to His disciples, ‘I will go and I will come back to you.’ Then He returned, because the Holy Spirit is not able to come without the Son and without the Father, because He was one with them. So He came, as I said, with the power which is appropriated to the Father, and with the wisdom which is appropriated to the Son, and with the benevolence and love which is appropriated to the Holy Spirit. Well the apostles show this because immediately through love they lost their fear. From which with true wisdom, they knew the truth, and with great power they went against the unbelievers, they threw to the earth their idols and they chased away the demons. This was not with the power of the world, nor with the strength of the body, but with the strength of the Spirit and the power of God, which through divine grace they had received."
St. Catherine of Siena, Letter 94.