Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Spirit of Love

Today's reflection by an anonymous Carthusian monk, given as conferences to novices, beautifully describes the Holy Spirit as the kiss of love between the Father and the Son. Thus the Church says in the words of Solomon's Song: "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine" (Song of Songs 1:2). Truly on Pentecost, Holy Mother Church has been kissed by her Divine Spouse and in this Octave of Pentecost, she basks still in the afterglow of that kiss, inebriated with the new wine of the Spirit:

"We know that in the divine life it is from the reciprocal love of the Father and the Son that the Spirit proceeds. We readily call him the Spirit of love. It is he who pours out the love of God in our hearts (Romans 5:5). How is he also the principle of light, of truth? Precisely because he is Love. By giving us the Spirit, the Father gives us what is most intimate in himself, he gives us his heart. And it is only because his heart is in us that we can understand something of his love, of what he is. 'Love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows Gods. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.' (1 Jn 4:7-8).

Christ is the human face of God's love. 'Whoever has seen me has seen the Father' (Jn 14:9). The Spirit is his heart. He enters into us, he creates in us a love like his own, and having become 'perfect' like the Father, we love with his love.

'No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us his Spirit' (1 Jn 4:12-13).

The Spirit does not bring us a new revelation. Everything has been given in Christ. The Spirit 'will take what is mine and declare it to you' (Jn 16:14). But the mystery of Christ is a mystery of love and only love is capable, by transforming us progressively into itself, of giving us entry into it. That is meaning of the age of the Church, of the age of worship in Spirit and in truth (Jn 4:23); it is the meaning of our vocation and of prayer...

Only the heart inhabited by Love, become Love, can know God.

Those who love one another aspire to be one. By their love they live in each other. Love transports the lover into his beloved's heart.

That affective ecstasy by its nature tends to become a real unity. Lovers seek actually to transmit their respective lives to each other and to fuse them in one single life. The kiss is a definite expression of that aspiration. The fusion of breaths signifies the fusion of lives and hearts, but cannot be realised, for in human beings the breath, although the vehicle of life, is not life itself.

In God, the kiss of love between the Father and the Son is not the expression of an aspiration, but the fruit of a perfect union. The Father and the Son are one in their single nature. The impetus of love of one towards the other is so total that it achieves the gift of their whole heart, of their whole being, of one to the other. This ecstatic gift, bearer of the divine nature, 'materialises' as the bond and pledge of the love of the Father and the Son: it is the Holy Spirit, 'the flame that shoots forth from a furnace of infinite love' (Scheeben).

Just as inevitably, his presence in our hearts creates love. Inversely, all the love there is in the universe, every desire for unity, every act of charity and tenderness, even if obscured and only partly true, every aspiration towards communion which is secretly at work, even in inanimate creation, all that is dependent on the heartbeat of him who is love. The heart of being - its ultimate secret - is love. One day all will be love.

The Holy Spirit is like an immense wave of energy which traverses the entire universe, an ebb and flow: creative love born of the Father through the Son, sanctifying love, returning to the Father through Christ, bringing everything to its consummation."
(From Advent to Pentecost, pp187-189)

Let us pray:

"May the Holy Comforter, who proceeds from You, enlighten our minds, we beseech You, O Lord, and lead us into all truth, even as Your Son has promised."


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