to Dr. Ed Peters on his appointment to the Apostolic Signatura. Here is the post on his blog.
Where did the past seven weeks go? It doesn’t seem like almost two months since Easter Sunday.
Pentecost Sunday has two focal points: the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and the birth of the Church. You could say it’s the Church’s feast day.
Whatever else this day brings, it always reminds me of the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are described in Isaiah 11:2-3a:
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is listed in Galatians 5:22-23:
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
The gifts – wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, fear of the Lord and what is sometimes translated as piety – help each of us do what God has given us to do by seeing a situation as God sees, not as man sees, or with strength that goes beyond what normally could be expected.
As for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, there’s an old saying to be careful what you pray for. When you pray for patience, you will suddenly find yourself in all sorts of situation that tries your patience until you find that what used to be frustrating, you can now bear with patience.
Much more could be said about Pentecost Sunday, but I always come back to the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit.
What a week to miss most of the news: Pope Benedict’s XVI’s visit to Fatima with corollary prayers and homilies, comments on clerical sex abuse, the mainstream media’s continued lop-sided – and sometimes inaccurate – coverage, the annual discussion about Ascension Thursday moved to Sunday. Then there is the ongoing concern about friendly fire among orthodox Catholics.
No links today and not even many thoughts to share. My attention and energy are mostly with my mother, who is not well. I am reminded again how her lack of catechesis pre-dates Vatican II and that indeed, there was a need for reform of some aspects of the pre-conciliar Church.
The past two months have taught me that it’s not possible to have a reasoned discussion with some. Lack of transparency, forceful arguments, and hardball tactics not don’t change some of the local dynamics but do reinforce the status quo. That’s probably a bit ambiguous, but there isn’t the listening for clarification.
But as always, I trust that God works through all circumstances.
When this month’s issue of Restoration arrived, I did a double take at the front page headline: Under the Mantle of Our Lady of Combermere. The similarity reminded me of why I chose this blog’s title.
Like many Catholic media, this month’s issue of Restoration is dedicated to Mary. There is a particular focus on Our Lady of Combermere and all she has been to the Madonna House community because June 8 will mark the 50th anniversary of the blessing of the statue of Our Lady of Combermere.
The statue itself has quite a story, which is recounted in this month’s issue. I hope that story will be included in the online articles posted from each issue. In the meantime, the lead article, “Under the Mantle of Our Lady of Combermere” is posted. In it, Fr. David May describes the Madonna House community’s desire to live out what I think of as one of their charisms: “ordinary life lived in extraordinary union with the Son of God in every day existence.”
It is particularly apt on this Mother’s Day when so much of mothering is the everyday: make sure kids are dressed and fed, have done their homework, or chauffered to various activities. It is a day when both families blessed with times of joy and/or touched by heartbreak can look to Mary our mother.
I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This is about as clear as you can get.