Personal Pentecost … Saturday, July 20

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded by angels, by Giaquinto, 1750s.

A Rosary Meditation … The Third Glorious Mystery, the Descent of the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit changes us! …  Let us trust in God’s work! With him we can do great things; he will give us the joy of being his disciples, his witnesses. Commit yourselves to great ideals, to the most important things. We Christians were not chosen by the Lord for little things; push onwards toward the highest principles. Stake your lives on noble ideals, my dear young people!” Pope Francis, April, 28, 2013.

You know, we, each of us, receive the Holy Spirit in a special and personal way at our Confirmation. The Spirit descends upon us and we are blessed with our own Pentecost. These things, His descent, our receiving, are the “givens” of Confirmation. The real question isn’t about what happens then, its about what happens next. Are we changed? Do we trust in God’s work? Do we believe that, with Him, we can do great things? Do we accept the joy He offers? Do we commit ourselves to great things or are we content with the mediocre? Pope Francis’ words, quoted above, ought to give us all reason to pause, to think, to question ourselves, and to pray. Pray for our own personal, ongoing Pentecost. 2,000 years ago the proof of Pentecost, the proof of having received the gift of the Holy Spirit, was changed lives. We might like to ask ourselves today about the manifestation of this Gift in our own lives, and what those lives offer proof of.

Today …

St. Elias

St. Elias

St. Elias was an Arab who was educated in an Egyptian monastery. He was driven from Egypt by monophysite Bishop Timothy the Cat of Alexandria for his Catholic orthodoxy. He went to Palestine, where he stayed for a time at St Euthymius’ laura, founded a monastery at Jericho, and was ordained. In 494 he was elected patriarch of Jerusalem. Although he had accepted Emperor Zeno‘s Henotikon of 482, which was condemned for its bias in favor of monophysitism, Elias remained loyal to Rome. In 512 the synod of Sidon supported Elias and his colleague, Bishop Flavian of Antioch, and the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon (451), though the synod had been summoned to denounce Chalcedon and to depose the two bishops, who strongly supported Chalcedon. Elias was exiled to Aila on the Red Sea in 513 when he refused to sign Emperor Anastasius I‘s formula supporting monophysitism and died there.

Think … Finally, may Christ inflame the desires of all people to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong. Through Christ’s power and inspiration may all peoples welcome each other to their hearts as brothers and sisters, and may the peace they long for ever flower and ever reign among them.” Pope John XXIII.