Archbishop Van Thuan, from Vietnam, in his famous book, Testimony of Hope mentions about an interview done many years ago with Cardinal Jean Marie Lustiger of Paris. The Journalist asked him,
“Do you believe in the existence of the devil?”
“Yes, I do.”
“But in an era of such tremendous progress in the fields of science and technology, you still believe in the existence of the devil?”
“Yes, I still believe.”
“Have you seen the devil?”
“Yes I have seen him.”
“At Dachau, at Auschwitz, at Bikenau!” At this point the journalist fell silent.
The Archbishop continued,
“If someone should ask me, ‘Have you seen the Holy Spirit?’ I too would respond without hesitation: ‘Yes, I have seen him.’
“In the Church, but also outside the Church.”
In the Bible, we find that God sought out men and women who were willing to let him use them to console, lead, and admonish his people. It was the Spirit of God who spoke through them. It was the Holy Spirit who called Jesus to life in the womb of the Virgin Mary, endorsed him as God’s beloved Son and guided him in his mission on earth. On Pentecost the Holy Spirit transformed fearful apostles into courageous witnesses of Christ.
In the world around us there are many happenings in which, the working of the evil spirit is more obvious than the Holy Spirit. But, in spite of the human failings and inadequacies, the Holy Spirit continues to guide the Church. The mere fact of her two thousand – year existence and the many saints of all eras and cultures are the visible proof of his presence.
Regarding the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church, Ignatius Hazim, the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch said:
Without the Holy Spirit, God is distant, Christ is in the past, the Gospel is a dead letter, the Church is a simple organization, authority is dominion, mission is propaganda, worship is the summoning of spirits, and Christian action the morality of slaves…But in him…the Risen Christ is here, the Gospel is the power of life, authority is a liberating service, mission is a Pentecost, liturgy is memorial and anticipation, human behavior is deified.
St. Augustine calls the Holy Spirit, “The quiet guest of our soul.” Anyone who wants to sense his presence must be quiet. The more receptive we are to the Holy Spirit in us, the more he becomes the master of our life and will bestow on us his charisms for the up building of the Church and instead of the works flesh, the fruits of the Spirit, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, will grow in us.
About the Author:
Fr. Binoy Puthusery, C.M. is a Vincentian priest belonging to the Southern Indian Province. He was ordained as priest on December 27, 2008 and soon after served as an assistant parish priest in Tanzania. In 2011, after two years of ministry, he was appointed as Spiritual Director to the Vincentian Sisters of Mercy, Mbinga Tanzania, where he still is today.