Sunday, May 15, 2005

veni sancte spiritus!

In this business, as any exorcist worth his salt can tell you, you get used to spirits of the unclean variety. Nasty stuff, but it makes for great movies.

Today, however, we celebrate Pentecost Sunday. That fateful day on which the Holy Spirit, the inner spirit of Christ Himself, filled the hearts and minds of his followers and initiated the great evangelizing mission of the community of believers.

Perhaps no topic is as difficult to wrap our minds around in the study of theology as the Holy Spirit... a reality we either tend to reduce to tongues and healing and emotional experiences of all kinds, or we simply choose to ignore.

Who is, then, the Holy Spirit?

"...the divine Father is actually the inexhaustible, externally flowing source of the divinity, but yet in such a way that in his paternal act of generation he keeps nothing of the divinity back for himself, nothing that he has not always entrusted to the Son, which is why the Son, as the perfectly responding image of the Father, likewise can keep nothing back for himself that he does not gratefully and willingly offer back to the Father. Precisely in this mutual lack of holding anything back in their 'for-one-another' does the starting point for our understanding of the Holy Spirit rest..."

Von Balthasar. You gotta love the guy.