Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Come Holy Spirit

At men's prayer group this morning we read Sunday's scripture, discussed it briefly, and broke into small groups for discussion of the Holy Spirit and God's love. The first thing that happened was the discussion was "hijacked" to a discussion of the death penalty. On reflection, I offer a bow to the ladies who should have no surprise that a group of men failed miserably to discuss love in a personal context, and chose instead to discuss a "safe" topic that was not germaine. Almost comforting to live out the stereotype!

Pentecost Sunday presents two optional Gospel readings. The first from John is the giving of the Holy Spirit to the apostles for the forgivness of sins (Jn 20:19-23; sacrament of reconciliation/penance). The second contains several adominitions; if we keep His ommandments, which come from His Father, He will send the Holy Spirit, the indwelling of the Holy Trinity, and the Holy Spirit will teach all. (Jn 14: 15-16, 23b-26; there's a lot packed in there!).

On reflecting on this this morning's discussion, it occured to me that "small group discussions" on love invariably seem to focus on the aspects of human love which we all live; love of our family, of our neighbor. These are the places we live out life and certainly practice love as informed by our faith. It strikes me as interesting that this sort of discussion usually focuses on the horizontal dimension, leaving out the verticle dimension, the love we return to God directly, which is, after all, the greatest commandment. curious... try it; start a discussion about love, and see where the discussion goes.

Here are a couple audio tracks to help contemplate Love as it exists in the inner life of the Most Holy Trinity, to which we have been invited.

Veni, sancte spiritus

by Göran Wretling (2003)
and by William Byrd (1607) (audio requires free Rhapsody player) score

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