Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary: The Pentecost


“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Acts 2:2-4

Sometimes a theological idea, liturgical theme, feast day, or simple teaching, has to “slow cook” in my mind and heart for quite a while. We are all a work in progress, aren’t we? The way I understood the sacrament of marriage, for instance, 23 yrs. ago, when I first said my vows, looks very different than how I understand it now. Because of experiences God has given me, insights, observing other marriages that have been around longer than my own, obstacles we have faced, joys we have experienced. It will look very different to me 20 more years from now for the same reason. 

We celebrated the feast of the Pentecost 2 Sundays ago. I have been thinking about it ever since. It is also the 3rd glorious mystery of the Rosary, right after the Resurrection, and the Ascension. I used to and even still sometimes, be tempted to expect some kind of “experience” on Pentecost. After all, the Holy Spirit is alive and working, is He not? and I am a baptized Christian, a follower of Christ, so couldn’t I experience maybe even just 1 “tongue of fire”? 🤔 

Don’t mistake me, I have had experiences, with the Holy Spirit. And I have felt His presence strongly, at certain moments of my life. But the day to day work of the Holy Spirit in me, is not usually “consumed with tongues of fire” or emotionally exhilarating ecstasies or visions (sorry to disappoint). 

It is a sloooow, refining, burn. 

It is the gentle but sometimes it hurts a little, stripping of my attachments- be they actual possessions and people, or personal ideals and principles, pride, vanity, and the like. It’s Him shining a flashlight in the dark areas of my heart, one corner at a time and whispering “it’s time for this to go, so you can make more room for me.” It’s the reminder to get back up and try again, say “I’m sorry”, die to self. over and over again, every day, until it slowly, starts to get a little easier. Then, He moves to the next room. 😄 And we begin to clean the house of my soul, little, by little by little. And I try not to look at the things we’ve left behind, and focus on what He places in front of me. 

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