‘Spiritual puzzle’ reveals beautiful picture of GodBy: Fr. David J. Dohogne
On Sun., May 27, the Church officially brought to a close the Easter Season with the Solemnity of Pentecost. The liturgical celebration of Pentecost is a perfect time for us to reflect upon the power and presence of the Holy Spirit not only in the life of the Church, but also in our own individual lives. Sometimes it is easy for us to forget about the Holy Spirit and disregard His presence among us. Yet the Holy Spirit is quietly at work in many ways, especially through the Sacraments of our Catholic Faith.
Has the Holy Spirit sometimes become the “Forgotten Person” of the Holy Trinity? As Catholics, we may be tempted to associate the Holy Spirit more closely with the Charismatic or Pentecostal traditions and movements. But the Holy Spirit is 100 percent Catholic! We are called to have a deep devotion to the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. The next time you participate in the celebration of Mass, I invite you to listen closely to the words and prayers offered at the Liturgy of the Eucharist. You may be surprised to hear how often the Holy Spirit is mentioned and called upon throughout the Holy Eucharist. May the experience of Pentecost lead us to a more profound awareness of the Presence of the Holy Spirit among us as well as a greater appreciation of the work He accomplishes in our lives.
As we now enter into Ordinary Time in the Liturgical Year, the Church invites us to celebrate two additional Solemnities over the coming weeks. These Solemnities are at the heart and foundation of our Christian faith.
On Sun., June 3, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Our belief about God as the “Holy Trinity” is a uniquely-Christian belief among the world’s religions: one God, yet three distinct, divine, and unique individual Persons, all equal in majesty and glory, who together comprise and make up the “Godhead.” In our Christian tradition, we name these three Persons as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If you can’t completely comprehend, understand, or explain the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, you are in good company! Many of the saints struggled with questions and answers relating to the Trinity. If you come to a stumbling block regarding the Holy Trinity, follow the example of the saints and allow the gift of faith to lead you on!
The second solemnity we celebrate falls on Sun., June 10. It is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (traditionally known by its Latin name: “Corpus Christi”). This solemnity should hold a special place in the hearts and souls of all Catholics as we celebrate our belief that Christ is truly and fully present with us in the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist. Like the Holy Trinity, the Holy Eucharist is often referred to as a “Mystery” of our Faith. It does take great faith to believe that the Lord is present (Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity) in the Blessed Sacrament. When we read the sixth chapter of the Gospel of St. John, we hear that many of Jesus’ followers left Him when He proclaimed this teaching to them. They found this beautiful teaching “difficult” to accept. Sadly, many Catholics today are following the path of leaving the Church because they find many of Jesus’ teachings to be “difficult, and hard to accept”.
As we share in the life of the Holy Trinity in a profound way through the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist, let us pray for one another, especially those who have fallen away from the Church and the practice of their Catholic Faith for a variety of reasons. Our own faith can be an inspiration in helping others believe. May the Holy Spirit help us to be faithful witnesses to our Christian faith. The Holy Trinity and the Holy Eucharist are two important pieces of the “spiritual puzzle” which fit perfectly together and complete each other, revealing to us a beautiful picture of who God is and the love He has for us as His people!