Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Unction of Goodness and kindness

jesus baptism

A parishioner painted this the-eyes-follow-you-everywhere portrait of Jesus as He would be just after His baptism by John in the Jordan. Note the reference of Mt 3:17. Note the angels ready to serve Him in the desert after the 40 days and nights of fasting. Note the crucifixion with the Father holding His Son, and then the burial (in the folds of the garments below the neck).

In fact, to fulfill all righteousness as Jesus set about showing us mercy founded on justice by being Himself baptized, even while being the innocent Divine Son of God, He took on the death we deserve because of original sin, effectively saying to our Heavenly Father that He, Jesus, should be treated as if He had enslaved everyone in sin from Adam until the last man is conceived, and should therefore be punished with the death we deserve for actually enslaving each other in sin, deserving to be put to death much like the charioteers and soldiers of Pharaoh were drowned in the Red Sea for having merely enslaved the children of Abraham unto physical labor for so many centuries.

The goodness and kindness of Jesus as He takes on His Passion and Death… A face which is peaceful as is right for the Prince of the Most Profound Peace. He’s the One I follow.

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When the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit radiate from earthen vessels

Holy Spirit Saint Peter Window

Today’s Gospel from John 14:15-21 — Jesus said to his disciples:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

Jesus doesn’t say: “Manifest the fruits of the Holy Spirit!” No. You know why? Because those come about naturally, as it were, when we are tabernacles of the Holy Spirit, so, O.K., we can learn about all the fruits, love them, assent to them, but it’s really stupid to try to bring them about on our own as if we ourselves were the Holy Spirit. Rejoice in the fruits of the Holy Spirit, but don’t put the cart before the horse.

Jesus doesn’t say: “Give yourselves the gifts of the Holy Spirit!” Although you would think He did say that the way some people think that they can go about acquiring those gifts if only they are really smart and prudent and whatever all without the Holy Spirit. No. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit are gifts, and like any otherwise gratia gratis data (grace freely given) such as the gift of tongues or the gift of prophesy, cannot be practiced because, you know, they are a gift. They flow naturally, as it were, when we are tabernacles of the Holy Spirit. We can learn about them, love them, assent to them, but it’s really stupid to try to bring them about on our own as if ourselves were the Holy Spirit. Rejoice in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but don’t put the cart before the horse.

Jesus did say that the Holy Spirit would teach us all things, everything that He taught us, and Jesus also gave us the way to be available to the workings of the Holy Spirit. We are, with the Holy Spirit, to set about keeping the commandments. Then we find that that is impossible for us on our own and, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, we are to assent to dying to ourselves, crucified to the world, to live only for Christ Jesus. And this battle ground is the field of action of the Holy Spirit who sets about forming us into the image of Jesus, making us members of the Body of Christ. And in all that mayhem of the battle, that is when we see the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit shine. The horse is keeping the commandments with the grace of the Holy Spirit; the cart is the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Living the fruits and gifts are hugely encouraging for us to keep the commandments, yes, but they come from the Holy Spirit.

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Jesus baptizing with the Holy Spirit?

Holy Spirit Saint Peter Window

John’s Baptism in the river Jordan called to mind the soldiers of Pharaoh getting drowned in the Red Sea as they pursued the Israelites. Those soldiers deserved to be drowned for unjustly enslaving the Israelites in physical labor. When everyone went down to the river Jordan confessing their sins and getting smashed down under the water by John to symbolize the death they deserved for having enslaved each other in sin, this was an occasion to have a humble and contrite heart, and was thus a baptism that was an occasion for the remission of sin. When Jesus was baptized, He wasn’t saying he was a sinner, but that, as the innocent Son of God, he was playing the part of the worst sinner of all, the One who enslaved all people of all time in sin, from Adam until the last man is conceived. He was thus saying to his heavenly Father: “Treat me as being guilty, as being worthy of death.” Right after that baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon him and our heavenly Father spoke thunderously: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” But straight after that, Jesus said that he longed for the baptism for which he came, that of his own blood, by which he would fulfill what he did in the baptism of John by taking on the guilt of all our sins. By standing in our stead, the innocent for the guilty, he would have the right in his own justice to have mercy on us: “Father forgive them,” he now commanded from the cross. He wants to give us as a gift to our heavenly Father in heaven.

Meanwhile, John says that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. The fire is the very love of God who God is. The Holy Spirit makes us one with Jesus, who is the Head of the Body of Christ while the Holy Spirit forms us into being the members of the one Body of Christ. As the Holy Spirit introduces us to who we are in Christ Jesus, we see Jesus as the Standard of Truth and Goodness and Kindness and we then see ourselves by way of a comparison we could not previously make that we fall short of that Standard, and we are brought by the Holy Spirit to have a humble and contrite heart before the Divine Son of God, who in all his majesty lays down his life for us, standing in our stead. It is then that we make our way to Confession (as the people were doing at John’s baptism) and we receive sacramental absolution, being reconciled to God and all the other members of the mystical body of Christ simultaneously, getting the grace directly from Jesus, but by the words of the knucklehead priest (like this donkey priest) who, by his ordination, represents all other members of the Body of Christ. We then hear the absolution, which includes something about the Holy Spirit, that he was sent among us for the forgiveness of sin. That is how Jesus baptizes us in the Holy Spirit.

The gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit build on this baptism of the Holy Spirit. Other special gifts are totally secondary to all of this. The main thing is being one with the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, Jesus, King of kings, Lord of lords, Wonder Counselor, Prince of the Most Profound Peace, who will – do not be mistaken – come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, the very fire of God’s love, the fire of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Flores for the Immaculate Conception (Holy Spirit edition)

flores confirmation

Yesterday, as usual, involved hundreds of miles of travel, first bringing a parishioner who is poor and alone in this part of the world to the doctor (always far far away), and then chasing off to a Confirmation in a nearby parish (itself 100 miles round trip). It was edging toward 2:00 AM by the time I got home and after 3:00 by the time I got to bed. Up again at 5:00 for the day! Today promises to be just as busy. But I’m not tired. Why not?

There were a dozen confirmandi, all wearing roses the color of the fiery flames of Divine Charity Holy Spirit red, the color, of course, of the vestments for the Mass. As you might imagine, there were meetings afterward. Very wonderful indeed. The Holy Spirit was very evident at Holy Mass and very very evident at the meetings. Come Holy Spirit!

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Laudie-dog Drug-dog

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I’ve dealt with a lot of druggies in my day, and I must say that I never came across a druggie who was using drugs for “recreational use” or whom drugs made more mellow or laid back or just giggly and nothing more. Instead, there’s always anger, depression, escapism, and conformism and thus a pretending to be “cool” by way of subservience to the tyranny of relativism of the lowest common denominator of self-loathing (and therefore loathing of everything and everyone else). And, by the way, no… Laudie dog was not given any drugs for these pictures. She was yawning and stretching after a nap:

laudie drug dog 5

Laudie-dog is always happy to be Laudie-dog. And we should be happy to be Temples of the Holy Spirit with the peace and joy and gentleness and goodness and kindness and self-control that are given in abundance by the Holy Spirit. Trying to have all those things by our own determination would lead to a frustration that would put anyone on drugs. Receiving the same from the Holy Spirit is altogether different. Humble thanksgiving is where it’s at, always, without exception. Humble. Thanksgiving. Humble. Thanksgiving.

Speaking of drugs, the little towns of my parish are mired in them. There were drug houses on both sides of one of our churches. I just kept taking all the licence plate tag numbers of the customers continuously and obnoxiously, flashing my high-beams, all that, making it obvious what I was doing. That takes about a month or two if you’re on-site for the whole operation to move away. But I did it, meth-lab after meth-lab. They were really unhappy. Not very smart on my part, I suppose, but I have no time for for that kind of aggressive abuse of humanity. I’ve dealt with it all way too close to home for way too long a time. Am I willing to accompany druggies? Of course, but first, put the guns down and toss the drugs. While I don’t think that guns make anyone more violent, I do think that drugs open up that possibility. Drugs and guns don’t mix.

Laudie-dog’s teeth are her “guns” but they don’t make her more violent even when she’s finishing up taking the ol’ yawning drug (even though she looks a heck of a lot meaner):

laudie drug dog 6

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Pentecost in this little parish

Holy Spirit Saint Peter Window

Today, Pentecost, we had First Holy Communion. Extraordinary. The Holy Spirit sets us on fire with ardent love of Jesus, making us the members of His Mystical Body, bringing us through, with and in Jesus to be given as a gift by Jesus to our Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit forms us into being one with Jesus through the Sacraments. The Holy Spirit was sent to us for the forgiveness of sins. We receive the new breath of life (breath of the living ones) from Jesus when we receive Him worthily in Holy Communion, His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. The Holy Spirit keeps us living with sanctifying grace, the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity. Come, Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your love!

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