My dear Brothers and sisters in Christ
Today it is a time to look at the Mystery of the Holy Spirit
The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, and their mutual love is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity – The Holy Spirit. Love is always creative. The Holy Spirit is the Father’s love for the Son and the love of the Son for the Father.
I will use two images again here to show the mystery of God’s life. The rose bush has a root deeply hidden in the ground. Stems and leaves grow from it, and a flower appears on them. We can say that the Father, whom no one has ever seen, is like a hidden root. The Son reveals the Father and is like a bush visible above the earth. Everyone knows that if the bush grows, it must have a root. However, the Holy Spirit is the flower. I believe in the Father, in the Son and in the Holy Spirit. We say that the Holy Spirit comes from the Father and the Son, or from the Father through the Son. The flower grew from the root and from the stem or from the root through the stalk.
For a few centuries, a polemic has been going on; which of these concepts is more correct, whether ‘the Holy Spirit comes from the Father and from the Son’ or ‘from the Father through the Son’. Both are correct, although the Orthodox Church rejects the origin of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, and accepts only from the Father through the Son.
We can say a lot about the Son of God because He became a man. He became like us. In contrast, the Holy Spirit is difficult for us to contemplate – a secret. If no one can express in words the beauty of the flower that our eyes are looking at, how can we talk about the beauty and mystery of the Holy Spirit? He is untranslatable in human language.
The second picture. Man was created in God’s image. It is an image of God because he can love. When two young people meet each other with mutual love, a new reality appears between them. It is love. This love wants to be embodied, wants to have a concrete dimension. If this meeting takes place in a marriage, then that love will give birth to a child. It will embody the love of lovers. In God, between the Father and the Son, there is also such creative love and it is the Holy Spirit. Between people there may be the possibility of love, which enriches each person. Love is a new, higher, most perfect creative form of life. In God, the Holy Spirit is the fruit of the mutual love of the Father and the Son.
We touch the ideal of community here. If God were one person, He would be an egoist, He would have to love himself. If there were only two people, we would have to deal with egoism in two, each one would love the other and it would be very comfortable. He would be happy that he could make love in the other. This can be seen in marriages that have given up the idea of a new life in a child. Such spouses may very well arrange their lives, but their love is actually stunted. Such people in later years are usually unfortunate. If there were four persons in God, there would be a possibility of division and then two groups would be created. So the ideal is the Trinity of Persons.
What is the basic difficulty of speaking about the Holy Spirit? Now, if we can say so, Father and Son have their face in our experience. We know what it means to be a father and what it means to be a son. This approach is personal. If we say ‘ghost’, ‘spirit’, then this word is not associated with anything, it is something completely elusive to us. The spirit has no personal dimension for us, and this is a great difficulty. Nevertheless God, revealing himself to man, wanted to pay attention to two things. Christ, as the Son of God, reveals to us the Father as if externally. The Spirit, on the other hand, gives us the hidden, discreet action of God. He is like in the background. We recognize its activity after its effects.
In this situation, the Holy Scriptures, want to express the mystery of the Holy Spirit, using some symbols.
The first symbol of the Holy Spirit is the fire that descends on the Apostles in the Upper Room on the day of the Pentecost. Fire, like the heat in the furnace, cleanses, burns in the world that which God does not like. He separates gold from everything that is not. The fire heats, that is, creates a heat-generating body that is so much needed for life. Fire enlightens and light is also needed for life. The Holy Spirit, therefore, cleanses us, warms us and enlightens us.
The second symbol is a gust of wind. Christ says: ‘The wind blows where it pleases; you can hear its sound, you cannot tell where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ (John 3, 8). The symbolism of the wind shows the mystery of God’s action. No one can predict the work of the Holy Spirit. He breathes where he wants. Many of us have for sure experienced the Holy Spirit many times, although we cannot express it. We only know that God’s power worked. We recognize the action of the Spirit in this breath only after its effects. A powerful blow of the wind can overthrow a man, as the action of the Holy Spirit overthrew St. Paul near Damascus. It may be a gentle wind, like the one that the prophet Elijah experienced on the holy mountain.
This symbolism of breath, however, has a special meaning when hearing the voice. Sounds come to our ear on the basis of vibrations of the air. It is a wave of the breeze that is imperceptible to other parts of the body, which comes to the ear. If these hits are properly read and understood by us, the whole environment speaks to us. The Holy Spirit is the word of God, addressed to every man. His breathing must be well understood. The wisdom of the man is precisely to read God’s word without error, which reaches the ear of our heart
The third symbol of the Holy Spirit is the dove. The Holy Spirit, like a dove, descends to Jesus during His baptism in the river Jordan. This symbol already appears in the Book of Genesis. We meet a dove for the first time at the flood. Noah, knowing that the ark had settled on the hard ground, let go the dove, and returning, it brought him a branch of an olive tree in its beak. Even atheists use this symbol, identifying a dove as a sign The dove is the personification of gentleness and peace. In the Book of Genesis, a dove appears as a sign of God’s reconciliation with the earth that has been cursed by him because of sin. This sign is the symbol of reconciliation and peace. The Holy Spirit comes to reconcile us, to bring us peace, and to creatively unite people in a unique way.
With love and prayers and asking for yours, Fr. Marcin