“Souls that are truly poor and desirous of serving God should place their trust in the coming of the Holy Spirit within them believing that, finding no resistance in them, He will give them the disposition necessary to accomplish the holy will of God which should be their only preoccupation. In order to be in a state of receptivity, the soul must imitate the obedience of the Apostles by freely confessing its powerlessness and by detaching itself completely from all creatures and even from God Himself, insofar as the senses are concerned, because the Son of God, who prepared His Apostles to receive the Holy Spirit, did so by depriving them of His divine presence at His Ascension. The Holy Spirit, upon entering souls that are so disposed, will certainly remove any obstacle to His divine operations by the ardor of His love. He will establish the laws of holy charity by endowing them with the strength to accomplish tasks beyond their human powers so long as they remain in a state of total detachment. The love which we are obliged to bring to God must be so pure that, when we receive His most particular graces, we must hope for nothing other than the glory of His Son. Our Lord taught us this in the person of His Apostles to whom He had promised to send His Holy Spirit when He assured them that He would thereby be glorified.” (A 25)
Meditation of Saint Louise at the end of her life, when she developed her own spirituality centered on the Holy Spirit and on pure love.
- The Ascension of the Lord gives us the idea that Jesus ascended into heaven materially. However, it is a popular way of expressing a mystery: that Jesus is God and is seated at the right hand of the Father. That is why the Evangelists put the Ascension on the very day of the Resurrection, indicating that the exaltation of Jesus to the Father’s right is inseparable from his resurrection and is completed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the community of the disciples is shaped in the ascension of Jesus, as the prophetic community that inherits the Spirit of Jesus to continue his mission.
- The Ascension contains several ideas. The first is the glorification of Christ, emphasizing that the glorification of the incarnated Christ is also the glorification of humanity. The second is the tension toward heavenly goods: Heaven exists and is not on earth, it is in God, true happiness is only found in God. That is why a life submerged in earthly realities without worrying about the heavenly does not go with a glorified Head of the Church. And third, the glorification of the Head is hope that we too will be glorified and help us to explain that the Church grows by the energies that come from Christ: the preaching of the Apostles, the sacramental action, the grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- With the Ascension, the cycle of the Incarnation culminates in a certain way, and the cycle of the Holy Spirit starts with three themes: the Spirit, gift of glorified Christ, the mystery of the Church, the work of evangelization that the Spirit impulses. The function of the Spirit in the Church is not to succeed or supplant Christ, but to “carry out His work in the world.” It is for the Spirit to secure the invisible and everlasting presence of Christ and his work, bearing witness to Christ.
Questions for dialogue:
- Are you aware of the presence of the Spirit of Jesus within you?
- Do you commit yourself to a change of life, according to what the Spirit of God asks of you at every moment and through human mediations: individual prayer, personal project, reflection on experiences and encouraging each other?
Benito Martínez, C.M.
Tags: Benito Martinez, Louise de Marillac