Friday, May 21, 2010

The Holy Spirit, sweet Guest of the Soul

In the encyclical 'Mystici Corporis' Pope Pius XII says 'the Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church', and because soul means 'principle of life', therefore, the divine Paraclete is the One who gives life to the Church. As the soul is the principle of life in the body, so the Holy Spirit is the principle of life in the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit was in Christ's soul to direct Him in accomplishment of His redemptive mission, because Jesus wished the Church to participate in it. Since the Church continues Christ's work, she needs the same impetus which guided His soul; she needs the Holy Spirit. Jesus merited His Spirit for us on the Cross; by His death, He atoned for all sin, the obstacle to the action of the Holy Spirit, and when He had ascended into heaven, He sent Him to the Apostles, who represented the whole Church. Now, seated in glory at the right hand of the Father, He intercedes continually for us, he is always sending the Holy Spirit to the Church, as He promised. The Holy Spirit operates in the Church, just as He once did in the blessed soul of Christ. He gives her impulse, moves her, and drives her to accomplish God's will, thus enabling her to fulfill His mission, the continuation down through the ages of the redemptive work of Christ. As we read in the encyclical Mystici Corporis, the Holy Spirit "is communicated to the Church abundantly, so that she herself and each one of her members may become, day by day, more like our Redeemer". Thus, the Holy Spirit exercises His influence not only in the Body of the Church, but also in each soul in which He dwells as the "sweet Guest". But if the Holy Spirit is an impulse of love that comes into us to sanctify us and bring us to God, why do we not all become saints? The Holy Spirit, with the Father and the Son, has created us free beings and he wishes us so; therefore, in coming to us, He respects our liberty and does no violence to it. He enters our soul and posses it only when we give Him free access. As St Teresa of Jesus liked to insists: "God does not force anyone, He takes what we give Him, but He does not give Himself wholly to us, until we give ourselves wholly to Him" (Way, 28). If our will would open the doors wide, the Holy Spirit would take us under His direction, and, with His help, we would become saints.

Let us pray with St John Eudes: "O Divine Spirit, I give myself entirely to You. Take possession of my soul. direct me in everything, and grant that I may live as a true child of God; grant that, born of You, I may totally belong to You, be totally possessed, animated, and directed by You"

credit: based on 'Divine Intimacy' meditaitons