Signs, Wonders, and Faith … Saturday, February 2

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

A Rosary Meditation … The Third Glorious Mystery, the Decent of the Holy Spirit. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak of the wonderful works of God.” Acts 2:4, 11. Wouldn’t it have been great to have been there, to have been one of these followers of Jesus who were filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking, sharing with others the glorious truths of God? Well, good news. Nothings changed. Look at every instance in the Book of Acts, every time people were filled with the Spirit. One thing ALWAYS took place. Other things may or may not have happened to any given person or group, but ONE thing was a constant. They, the folks on the receiving end, had hands laid on them and prayer was a part of this. This is how the Holy Ghost is conferred, by the laying on of hands and prayer. Anything else is whatever it is, but this act of the imposition of hands and prayer is whats constant, whats primary, whats necessary. I said nothings changed, didn’t I? What happens at Confirmation? Among other things a person is touched by the bishop or one designated by him (there’s the laying on of hands) and they’re prayed for, the prayer being that the person receive the Holy Spirit. Is anything else necessary? No, if it were we’d have been given it or it would happen every time. If we look for thrills and chills we stand in danger of being in the same category as those folks Jesus talks about, Matthew 16:4, the ones more interested in a sign than in the Truth. If you’ve been Confirmed you’ve received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The proof is the Confirmation itself. Now the real question for each of us is what we’ve done with the Gift. Have we proclaimed Jesus, or have we let our Gift be dormant?

Today … St. Joan de Lestonnac. St. Joan de Lestonnac was born in Bordeaux, France, in 1556. She married at the age of seventeen. The happy marriage produced four children, but her husband died suddenly in 1597. After her children were raised, she entered the Cistercian monastery at Toulouse. Joan was forced to leave the Cistercians when she became afflicted with poor health. She returned to Bordeaux with the idea of forming a new congregation, and several young girls joined her as novices. They ministered to victims of a plague that struck Bordeaux, and they were determined to counteract the evils of heresy promulgated by Calvinism. Thus was formed the Congregation of the Religious of Notre Dame of Bordeaux. In 1608, Joan and her companions received the religious habit from the Archbishop of Bordeaux. Joan was elected superior in 1610, and many miracles occurred at her tomb. She was canonized in 1949 by Pope Pius XII. Her feast day is February 2. It doesn’t look like she sought after signs. She obviously sought after Jesus and God’s will. And, like those filled with God’s Spirit at Pentecost, she proclaimed the wonders of God.

Think … Thomas looked for proof. He saw the proof. Jesus said that those who didn’t see and believed anyway were blessed. John 20:29. Its better to look for God than it is to look for signs. With any sign there’s always a possibility of the doubters question mark or the believers dilemma after the sign ceases. When you look for God, and when you really find Him, doubt melts away and no sign is necessary.

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4 Comments

  1. “If we look for thrills and chills we stand in danger of being in the same category as those folks Jesus talks about, Matthew 16:4, the ones more interested in a sign than in the Truth.”

    Amen to that!!

    Everyone has his own way of making sense of things, I suppose, but when I think about the early disciples being filled with the Holy Spirit I don’t think about tongues of fire, or one like a bird descending from heaven, or the capacity to speak foreign languages. I think about the evidence they demonstrated that they had repented.

    Some people think repentance is all about renouncing some particular sin or the other that has been dodging you. That’s repentance, no doubt about it; but there’s something that’s even more comprehensive: that is, a full-hearted change of life’s purpose. No longer, “my will be done” only “Thy will be done.”

    We know that there are wonders in this wonderful world. Things happen every day that defy explanation, miraculous things, awe inspiring things; but, in the final analysis, you can’t satisfy your spiritual hunger, your thirst for Eternal Life, by witnessing signs.

    Jesus said, “This sign alone I will give you, and that is the sign of Jonah.” Naturally, this prophesy was fulfilled when he rose after spending three days in the tomb. There’s yet another sign of Jonah, a sign described in the third chapter of the book, and that is the sign of repentance. I’ve written about this sign here: http://reflectionsofacatholicchristian.wordpress.com/2009/12/08/when-eyes-are-opened/

    Peace,

    Paul

    • Well put, and thank you for these thoughts. Amen and amen. šŸ™‚

  2. May I have your permission to post this URL to a comment I’m writing about the Third Glorious Mystery?

    Paul

    • Please feel free. šŸ™‚ God bless.


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