19 May 2018

This Week Letter – May 20, 2018

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Dear Parishioners and Friends,

The truth about the Holy Spirit developed slowly. In its formation, there was no shortage of errors. The nature of the Holy Spirit was not explained properly until the Council of Nicaea (325) and the Council of Constantinople (381), both of which stated that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son and with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified. We disregard here the controversy with the Church of the East (filioque – according to which the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father). St. Athanasius says that through the Holy Spirit God took on flesh so that man might put on the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is our Sanctifier. It is He who causes the grace of God, in other words, Christ Himself to reside in us. It is through Him that Jesus was conceived in Mary’s womb. It is also He who, so to speak, opens our hearts and souls to Christ. Jesus fills us, heals and transforms us, through the very power of the Holy Spirit. Theology states that not only our soul is sanctified by the Holy Spirit but also our body, hence the Mass for healing in some charismatic movements is always directed toward the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit also sanctifies, in other words consecrates, the offering of bread and wine which becomes the Body and Blood of the Lord (this Eucharistic prayer is called epiclesis). The Holy Spirit is a prisoner of love, of relative unity. It is He who unites Father and Son – with Him they are One. The Holy Spirit also unites us; therefore, almost every liturgical prayer ends with the invocation: In the unity of the Holy Spirit. The inspiration of the Holy Spirit, precedes our thoughts and words, brings new understanding, opens our mind to the truth of God, revives our desire for good, helps us pray, and finally bestows on us His seven gifts which are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, fear of God and piety. St. Paul speaks of the fruits of the Holy Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22). So the man who responds to the actions of the Holy Spirit simply becomes holy, happier, more mature.

The church also teaches about the so-called cosmic actions of the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit shapes the social order in an international context, He builds peace and forms our global community. Note that John Paul II was in possession of this knowledge when he spoke in Warsaw’s Victory Square in 1979 “Let your Spirit descend and renew the face of the earth … this earth”.  We know that the Holy Father’s words 38 years ago were prophetic. Poland has undergone a unique path of reform and change.  Let the cry of our Holy Father John Paul II still  be relevant today and let  the Holy Spirit descend upon us.  May the Spirit also renew our beloved America, for the many close to the heart of Poland and the whole world.

I encourage everyone to pray often to the Holy Spirit.  Let us make popular again this prayer which once we learned by heart in our religion classes: “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and You will renew the face of the earth. O, God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of your faithful, grant us by the same Spirit to be truly wise and ever rejoice in His holy consolation. Through Christ, our Lord, Amen” In the Holy Spirit, I pray for the graduates of the Polish School of Saint M. Kolbe, who on Friday and Saturday participated in a beautiful graduation ceremony. God Bless!