As we approach Pentecost, let us reflect on some of the beautiful posts given to us on the Holy Spirit by Tony Mullen, who died a couple months ago from a heart attack. I followed his blog, DIVINE ANTIDOTE, and learned much about the FLAME OF LOVE DEVOTION approved by the Church. Tony was the National Director—a faithful, devoted, loving, and holy man. I miss him; we did correspond a little. Tony followed this blog just as I followed his; he was always enthusiastically supportive. I post here a series of talks on the Holy Spirit which he gave us before Pentecost in 2016. The articles altogether are long, but select topics of your choice–Tony’s reflections are rich and knowledgeable.
The Reign of the Holy Spirit in Us and in the World
Posted on April 17, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
I will begin reposting the entire series on the Holy Spirit, since His Reign in the New Pentecost is the ultimate purpose of the Triumph of Mary. While The Trinity seeks to have each person in the world now understand the Truth of the Father’s Plan for the salvation of humanity in Jesus Christ, as well as Mary’s role as our true Spiritual Mother (and thus Unique Cooperator in our Salvation, Mediatrix of All Grace and special Advocate), the ultimate reality will be the Reign of the Holy Spirit in each person who cooperates. Therefore, the pressing need to know and desire the Holy Spirit as a Person and all His Gifts, Virtues, Charisms and Beatitudes.
Our Lord explained the power of the Holy Spirit to Elizabeth Kindelmann and the role He must play as a Person in our lives in order to become Holy as God is Holy (as far as possible in this life): “The Holy Spirit whom you invoke frequently will take possession of your soul.” Elizabeth responded with these insights: “With His enlightened words, Jesus poured out the wonderful Grace of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Power, and the wonderful Light of the Holy Spirit enlightened my soul….While The Lord poured out His Spirit in my soul, I felt the Holy Spirit breathe upon me a different level of Grace, so I could overcome all temptations.” The Lord made very clear to Elizabeth the need to understand the role of the Holy Spirit as a Divine Person with whom we must have a relationship in order to grow in holiness, and the Church has always insisted on appropriating our sanctification to the Holy Spirit.
Our Saint Pope John Paul II explained how the Trinity is now pointing us clearly to the urgent need for a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, which so few have today. He wrote: “Whereas sin, by rejecting love, has caused the ‘suffering’ of men which in some way has affected the whole of creation, the Holy Spirit will enter into human and cosmic suffering with a new outpouring of love, which will redeem the world.” Blessed Pope Paul VI stated: “The breath-giving influence of the Spirit has come to awaken latent forces within the Church, to stir up forgotten charisms and to infuse that sense of vitality and joy which in every epoch of history marks the Church itself as youthful and up-to-date, ready and happy again to proclaim its eternal message to the modern age…..we are living in a privileged moment of the Spirit in the Church. People everywhere are trying to know Him better as He is revealed in scripture. They are happy to place themselves under His inspiration. They gather around Him; they want to be guided by Him.”
Dr. Alan Shreck of Franciscan University has this exceptional insight for us: ” Some Catholics do not find any particular joy or power for living in their Faith, and certainly do not have much, if any, motivation to tell others about it. And then there are probably many more Catholics, who do find strength and meaning in their Faith, but wonder or wish there were something more to strengthen or truly change their lives. The Church has the answer for these people…ask for the Holy Spirit! Pray for the Holy Spirit to come into your life! For those already baptized into Christ, this prayer is for a renewed or a fresh personal outpouring of the Holy Spirit. “Charisms”–the various gifts of the Holy Spirit that St. Paul describes–accompany this renewal in the Holy Spirit…However, the primary Grace of that movement is a “release” or renewal of the fundamental action of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life–enabling one to know God personally in Jesus Christ and to receive greater power to live as a Christian daily, in service, witness, prayer and action.” This is indeed the central element of the Flame of Love Grace…to know the Holy Spirit as a Person and the power He has to sanctify us through the death of Jesus Christ for the glory of the Father and by the intercession of our Mother chosen by the Trinity to be the perfect model for us and the Mediatrix of this Grace!
Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida was given special insights by God into the coming Reign of the Holy Spirit: “Once transformation into Jesus is brought about in a soul, the Holy Spirit also becomes the spirit of the creature raised to a more or less higher degree according to the intensity and amplitude of transformation, which strictly depends upon the growth of the soul in virtue. The Holy Spirit absorbs the creature’s spirit in the course of the transformation and fills it with this so pure love which is Himself. Then, it is with this same Love that the creature loves the Divine Word, that is, with the same Love with which the Father loves Him, with absolute Love. Loving with the Holy Spirit is the grace of graces….I desire that this last epoch of the Church be consecrated in a very special way to this Holy Spirit who ever operates out of Love…It is His turn, it is His epoch, it is the triumph of Love in My Church, in the whole universe.”
Our Lord raised up Elizabeth Kindelmann to demonstrate to us that a lay person, with no education nor training in the spiritual life, overwhelmed with family duties and with no money, could become holy….simply by His Grace poured out through His Mother…and by our desire and sacrifice, which two elements are possible to every person on earth with none excepted. Therefore our Lord wanted to make absolutely clear that the Call to Holiness through the Gospel and the Church, is not only possible, it is our duty! Anyone can achieve it through Grace, who simply desires it and perseveres through the Sacraments, prayer and fasting! The Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Grace is a component of God’s Divine Mercy, in order to make our sanctification more secure, more effective and to occur in a much shorter period of time than previously possible…it is a pure Gift of Love…God is Love! Consecration to Jesus through Mary has always been seen as the shortest and most effective route to God (and now we have an explicit confirmation from God though His Church, which has been approved after years of careful study with other Bishops, by a faithful Prince of the Church in Cardinal Peter Erdo, the Archbishop of Budapest, Hungary).
Our Lord made this exact point on all being called to holiness explicitly clear to Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida: “I did not choose (just) saints to tell them: ‘Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.’ I addressed Myself to all men, to the good and to the evil. All without exception are obliged to sanctify themselves.”
Let us recommit today that we will accept all of this Grace simply out of love for Him who desired to Love us first and who accepted such a brutal and humbling death for our sins…by calling upon our Mother to pour out more of God’s Grace and Gifts of the Holy Spirit upon us! Fiat!
Understanding Who the Holy Spirit is and His Role in our Soul and our Sanctification
Posted on April 21, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
The quote from St. Teresa of Avila is one of the most important we will ever read. The Holy Spirit sanctifies us, but if we do not truly know Him as a Person, how can the process of sanctification occur?
Elizabeth Kindelmann prayed this prayer: “Spirit of understanding, of strength, of wisdom, descend upon me and take possession of me.” Our Lord told Elizabeth that he wanted all to have this exceptionally close relationship with the Holy Spirit: “I will pour out upon all of you My extraordinary graces.”
Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen (“Divine Intimacy”) reminds us: “Because the Holy Spirit is the effusion of divine love, He is called ‘Spirit’, according to the Latin sense of the word, which means air, respiration, the vital breath…It is in this sense that the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity is called the ‘Spirit of the Father and Son’… that is the ‘breath’ of divine love… Let us invoke the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love, so that He may come to enkindle in our hearts the flame of Charity. “ (Note how similar this language is to Elizabeth Kindelmann’s messages).
Father Gabriel goes on to explain the Church’s teaching: “This, the work of sanctification, which is a work of love, is especially attributed to the Holy Spirit, who is the breath of divine love.” Father Gabriel then makes a critical point that we must understand and contemplate in Sacred Scripture: “The Holy Spirit is often called the “Spirit of Christ”… We know … that the Divine Paraclete, with the Father and Son, dwells in every soul that is in the state of grace…and the higher degree of grace He finds in the soul, the greater His delight … This is why the Holy Spirit took such great complacency in the soul of the Blessed Virgin … yet the grace possessed by Mary was but a pale reflection of the grace which filled the soul of Jesus, grace which theologians call “infinite”… the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ and dwells in Him as in His divine temple… When we speak of Christ, however, we do not speak of Him as God only, but also, and especially, as Man, that is, the Incarnate Word. In this sense… it can be said that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ.”
Why is it so important to understand this? Because we must realize that we can not imitate Christ Jesus, we can not become holy as we must, unless we understand the critical importance of how we become holy. It is only through the Holy Spirit (first by Baptism and then by Confirmation) and by continuing to receive His Grace in ever increasing amounts (while avoiding any serious sin or habitual venial sin that we refuse to give up) that we become holy. Most Catholics have only a vague understanding of the Holy Spirit, and sadly some Catholics believe that those who do have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit are a little wacky or subject to emotionalism with no basis in the Church. Oh, how Satan has blinded us! Nothing could be further from the Truth, and all we need to do is read the Catechism and the Church documents to see the need for a loving, personal relationship with the Holy Spirit! Without knowing and desiring a mature, intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, we cannot be as holy as God desires for us.
Father Gabriel continues: “The Holy Spirit was in Christ completely, but the Father wanted to draw our attention to how Jesus perfectly fulfilled the will of the Father. St. John describes the Baptism of Jesus when the Holy Spirit “descended in a bodily shape, as a dove upon Him,” and then St. John adds: “Jesus, being full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the desert.” Father Gabriel explains: “This is an explicit statement of the immeasurable plentitude with which the Holy Spirit dwelt in the soul of Jesus; without doubt, this plentitude existed from the first moment of the Savior’s life, but God wished to make it sensibly manifest in the time of His baptism. It is also a striking example of the unceasing operation of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ soul, inspiring all His actions and guiding Him to the accomplishment of His redemptive mission.”
So, because Jesus has a human soul due to His human nature (in His divinity He is Pure Spirit), the Holy Spirit filled His soul completely, and this is the goal of each of us who seeks to fulfill our duty of holiness. We must constantly desire and call upon the Holy Spirit and seek every opportunity for Grace in the Sacraments and through prayer and acts of charity; so that the Holy Spirit will inspire all our thoughts, emotions, words and actions, just as He did the human nature of Jesus. We must understand, recognize and acknowledge the Holy Spirit present in our soul as a Divine Person if we are to advance in our duty of holiness. We must speak with Him daily and develop an intimate relationship of love with Him.
Father Gabriel asks us to contemplate a critical insight: … “If the Holy Spirit’s role is to sanctify us, why do we not all become saints? … (Because) He respects our liberty … He will not act … unless we give Him free access. It is an example of the great principle in which St. Teresa (of Avila) liked to insist: ‘God does not force anyone, He takes what we give Him; but He does not give Himself wholly to us, until we give ourselves wholly to Him.’ “
This is why the life of Elizabeth Kindelmann is so valuable. She clearly has shown us this example of what it looks like day to day to give ourselves completely to the Spirit of Christ, in a family situation with all the normal duties of a family. However, her example is one of suffering and the Cross. Father Gabriel explicitly reminds us that Elizabeth is not an exception: “Jesus is Jesus the Crucified; therefore there can be no conformity to Him except by the Cross … yes, conformity to Jesus Crucified has more value and importance than all mystical graces! … The more we share in the Cross, the more (the Holy Spirit can mold us) … to resemble Him and cooperate in the work of redemption.”
Our Lord told Elizabeth over and over that this is our purpose: “to cooperate in the work of redemption.” We cannot cooperate completely unless we give ourselves completely to the Holy Spirit as Elizabeth did. Let us read and learn everything we can about the Holy Spirit. A terrific resource is “Your Life in the Holy Spirit” by Alan Schreck. Let us write down this truth and look at it every day: “God will not give Himself wholly to us, until we give ourselves wholly to Him.” Let us pray each day with Elizabeth: “Holy Spirit descend upon me and take possession of me”.
Without the Holy Spirit We Accomplish Little in Ourselves and Others
Posted on April 27, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
This insight on the Holy Spirit is one of the most important we can ever possibly learn and a Grace that if begged for consistently and perseveringly, will radically draw us closer into the Divine union for which we were created even here on earth.
Once when Elizabeth Kindelmann (www.flameoflove.us) was speaking with a very intelligent person, who did not understand the messages of Jesus and Mary about the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Elizabeth stated: “I frequently pray using the Blessed Virgin’s words, and I ask the Holy Spirit to enkindle light in those who have heard the messages.” She then added this key insight: “I felt that what I said (to that person) did not come from my natural powers.”
This is a critical piece of Wisdom that we must be convicted of and seek to meditate on now and until we believe we have absorbed this Wisdom through our daily mental prayer. The Wisdom flows directly from one of the most important insights in all of Holy Scripture:
“No one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the (power of) the Holy Spirit!”
Blessed Pope Paul VI in his masterful encyclical on Sharing the Gospel Message, teaches this truth: “The Holy Spirit is the principal agent of evangelization; it is He who impels each individual to proclaim the Gospel, and it is He who in the depths of consciences causes the Word of Salvation to be accepted and understood…” It is “He alone (who) stirs up the new creation(within)…Through the Holy Spirit, the Gospel penetrates to the heart of the world…The most perfect preparation of the evangelizer has no effect without the Holy Spirit.” St. Pope John Paul II echoed this truth in “Mission of the Redeemer”: “It is not possible to bear witness to Christ without reflecting His Image, which is made alive in us by Grace and the power of the Holy Spirit….He (the Holy Spirit) is the principal agent of Mission…It is the Holy Spirit who opens people’s hearts so that they can believe in Christ and ‘confess Him’…”
What this means simply is we can NOT accomplish anything beyond very, very limited human accomplishments without the Holy Spirit working through and in us (and even that tiny amount is a Grace)! All changes of heart, all repentance of rebellion/sin and conversion to the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ, happen only by the Divine power and action of the Holy Spirit! Even the inclination for us to share the Faith and the Gospel Message is a gift which comes only from the Holy Spirit!
If we have not been as successful as we had hoped or wanted with our family, our parish, our country in bringing them to Christ and His Life, is it not due to our failure (most likely an inadvertent but still real failure) to know and execute this Truth: we can do nothing without the power of the Holy Spirit? Would it be reasonable to presume that we can not have the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us, if we do not know the Holy Spirit as a Person, and further to have a mature and intimate relationship with the Love between the Father and the Son? How can we develop such a personal relationship, if we do not spend the time to get to know the Person and talk (pray) with Him daily, and many times a day? We should greatly desire to get to know him, especially since He dwells in our soul always….as long as we are in a state of Grace.
The cause of our blindness is Satan, the world and our fleshly, inordinate desires. But the root cause flowing from these three opponents is that we have failed to release the Graces, the sharing in the Divine Life, from the First Sacrament of Baptism and the further Graces of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation. These Sacraments are critical to overcome Satan, the world and our flesh and in our ability to know and have the Holy Spirit working in and through us to produce supernatural results in all our efforts for Christ.
Virtually all Catholics were baptized as infants and confirmed at 12 years of age or so and we have never made a conscious and definitive choice to know and accept the Graces of our Baptism and Confirmation and thus have them released so they are working constantly in our souls. So, this is the critical step/choice we must make through prayer and spending time to get to know all we can about the Holy Spirit and His role in Sanctifying us. One can not be holy/sanctified without the Divine Gifts, Charisms and Virtues of the Sanctifier!
In fact, one can not truly know, love and work for Jesus Christ if they do not know the Holy Spirit! One can believe in Jesus Christ (which as many as one third of the world claim and many of these would also claim they love Jesus), but not truly know and love Him without the Holy Spirit! St. Paul makes this very clear in Acts 19: 1-6: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed (in Jesus Christ)?” Do we have other evidence of this reality? We do. The Holy Spirit tells us in Sacred Scripture that there is one test, if we want to be certain to know if we love Jesus and Jesus Himself stated it: “If you love Me, you will keep My Commandments.” The vast majority of Catholics do not keep the third Commandment: “Keep Holy the Sabbath,” by worshiping God in Spirit and Truth at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which He instituted as a perpetual memorial of His ultimate Sacrifice for our salvation. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us we must obey this and all Commandments. Thus, the Holy Spirit is absent (in fact driven out of the soul completely if the sin qualifies as mortal which this sin normally would) and the person can not truly know and love Jesus Christ, because he is not keeping His Commandments.
Let us close by reminding ourselves of how little we can do unless we take the words of our Popes seriously! Let us especially focus on these words of Blessed Pope Paul VI in his masterful encyclical on Sharing the Gospel Message: “The Holy Spirit is the principal agent of evangelization; it is He who impels each individual to proclaim the Gospel, and it is He who in the depths of consciences causes the Word of Salvation to be accepted and understood…” It is “He alone (who) stirs up the new creation (within)…Through the Holy Spirit, the Gospel penetrates to the heart of the world…The most perfect preparation of the evangelizer has no effect without the Holy Spirit.”
So, like Elizabeth Kindelmann, we must pray each day and spend real time to get to know all we can about the Sanctifier, the third Divine Person, the Gift of the Father and Son! Here is a short prayer that reflects what the Church teaches: “Holy Spirit, the Love between the Father and Son, I beg you to let me know you completely as a Person. I beg you to draw me to yourself in an intimate embrace and take possession of me. I beg you to release all the Graces of Baptism and Confirmation so I can imitate Jesus through all Your Gifts, Charisms and Virtues. I beg you to fill me with more and more Grace through worthy Holy Communions each day, through very frequent Confessions, and through daily prayer and meditation on the Passion and Death of my Savior Jesus Christ. I beg You, who guided Jesus in everything, be my guide today so that I may witness to Your Love in everyone I encounter today. Holy Spirit possess me completely as You did Mary my Mother.” Fiat!
The Holy Spirit is our Divine Friend/Understanding the Dove and the Paraclete
Posted on April 25, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
As we proceed in our quest to internalize all these insights on the Holy Spirit so that they are embedded in our thoughts, words and actions, we beg The Father and the Son to send us the Holy Spirit as our dearest Friend, so we may know His Presence deeply each moment.
Our Lord explained to Elizabeth Kindelmann (www.flameoflove.us) the power of the Holy Spirit to help us in every way to grow in holiness, especially in making decisions and in speaking or acting, since it is our emotions, thoughts, words and actions which must be controlled in order to become holy. On one particular occasion, when Elizabeth was about to encounter and speak with a priest in a very stressful situation, she stated: “…my whole body shook, but the Holy Spirit was helping me.” Note how she was aware of His Presence, despite the fact that she was so nervous that her body shook!
In growing into an intimate, personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, we must overcome two key problems that our frail human nature causes related to how to think and relate to the Holy Spirit. The first is to understand the image used of a dove. The Holy Spirit is not to be thought of as an animal nor a bird. The image was used by the God in Scripture along with many others (tongues of fire, wind, cloud, oil etc.) solely to help us associate certain properties or attributes which we appropriate to the Third Person in His role to sanctify us. St. John describes the Holy Spirit at the Baptism of Jesus as “like” a dove. Why did God choose this image in this context? There are important reasons to sear into our minds. It began at the flood at the time of Noah, the symbol or foreshadowing of Baptism, where sincere repentance and the water (the”living water” of God’s Grace or share in His Divine Life) save us from eternal death and make us children of God. God through Noah sent out a raven and a dove to see if the waters had receded. The raven, opposite to the dove in many ways, did not come back. The dove not only came back, but came back with an olive leaf in its mouth as a symbol of the peace and forgiveness which God’s Spirit brings when we are open to Him.
The dove also represents the Holy Spirit’s main Attributes. First, whiteness for purity and holiness. Second, gentleness as the dove is so gentle that it will not retaliate but cries out as the Spirit does within us with “groans” of love. Finally, love…especially in the form of caring caresses and words. A dove often strokes its children and coos at them more than most any other creature. So, when we think of the Holy Spirit, we think of Purity, Gentleness/Meekness and Loving tenderness all leading to Peace with God and our neighbor! So, when we see the image of a dove, we should immediately think of these attributes appropriated to the Holy Spirit within us as our Great Sanctifier leading us to imitate Jesus in His Purity, Meekness and Love. The Holy Spirt has a very special role in convicting us of our sin, especially the hidden sin, which we must come to see, acknowledge and give up with His help so we may indeed be Pure!
The next element is to understand the word Paraclete. This word does not mean dove or bird. It actually means one who stands beside us as a wise counselor especially in matters of extreme importance (our salvation and sanctification!). The Holy Spirit will come to our aid in all circumstances and decisions as we call upon Him each day and grow in our relationship with Him. Slowing down and asking for His Counsel is a critical habit we must develop through prayer. Most Catholics spend virtually no time speaking with and praying to the Holy Spirit, but this a necessary part of our duty of holiness. If we think of our soul as a true temple…a magnificent structure of God…and that the Holy Spirit dwells there each moment we are in a state of Grace…we can begin to see the need to acknowledge Him as a Person and speak with Him! How can we have a divine guest, our greatest friend, in our soul constantly and ignore Him? Would that not be the height of impoliteness or lack of charity now that we know the Truth!
Dr. Alan Shreck has this wise advice: “Our conversations with the Holy Spirit do not have to be lengthy or involved. As well as expressing the beautiful formal prayers of the Church to the Holy Spirit, we may simply use short ‘aspirations’ such as ‘Come Holy Spirit’ or ‘Holy Spirit guide me and give me Wisdom’…”. The Holy Spirit is the one who best teaches us to pray, so let us ask Him…”Holy Spirit teach me to pray as You desire,”…since St. Paul reminds us in Romans 8: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deeps for words.”
Let us commit through God’s Divine Mercy to read all we can about the Holy Spirit and apply this to our quest with Elizabeth to be transformed into Christ through His Spirit so we can fully participate in the “work of Redemption.” How? By suffering, especially fasting from food or something else, with Jesus and offered together with His merits, for the salvation of as many souls as He will permit; and for His consolation that there are those who will love Him as Elizabeth did…through pain as He Himself experienced out of Love…until He makes the pain a joy now and forever. Our dear Mother is there each day in our Rosary to help us grow in our relationship with the Holy Spirit, her Spouse. Let us consciously ask her in our Rosary intentions to accelerate this process through the “Extraordinary Grace” God has given her to pour out on us at this time in salvation history! Fiat!
The Joy of the Holy Spirit Must Be in You and Your Joy Will be Complete
Posted on May 1, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
Knowing we forget the vast majority of what we read, especially as more time goes by, we seek to put into practice with God’s Grace the most important elements of Union with the Trinity, which flow from our Baptism, Confirmation and the Grace of the other Sacraments and the Signal Graces God wills to send us now: the Joy of a dramatic increase in the three Virtues of Faith, Hope and Love. These three virtues correspond to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and are designed by God to produce the repentance/conversion of our heart and our will such that we rejoice always! This Joy is a Gift and should then cause us to smile as much as possible and radiate our thanksgiving and love, because of the Joy of the Holy Spirit within us…the Love between the Father and the Son! Our subtle pride often causes us problems with others, especially when we seek to prove our opinion or to value it more highly than others. God instead wills that we submit ourselves as He did to the opinions of others, unless they are demonstrably false or evil, and to always seek the advice of a wise spiritual director when there is any disagreement among an established Group of Catholics working for the good of the Church.
Our Lord taught Elizabeth Kindelmann: “Be My servant! Be always joyful! Every day that you serve Me must be a feast!…Wherever you go, let others feel that you partake every day in the Heavenly Banquet!”
This is admittedly one of the hardest concepts for us to grasp and implement in our daily life until we obtain all the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but especially the Gift of Wisdom. Obtaining the actual joy of God is the goal that our Lord has stated for us in John 15:11. So, how do we begin this process, this spiritual journey to the Fruit of Joy in the Holy Spirit!
The first step is to “put on the mind of Christ” by consecrating ourselves to Jesus through Mary and committing our entire life to the imitation of Christ by the imitation of the one who perfectly did so…His Mother and our Mother, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. The single greatest insight here is we must commit to give up all sinfulness and worldly interests which hold us back from advancing in holiness. Only the Holy Spirit can convict us of these unrepented sins and the sins to which we are currently blinded! The daily living of one’s Consecration is the perfect path to Joy, because as the great St. Louis de Montfort reminds us: “When the Holy Spirit finds Mary in a soul, He flies to it. He enters therein (in a more abundant and effective way to release the Grace of Baptism and Confirmation) and communicates Himself to that soul with such abundance ( since He is Joy).” The best source for living the Imitation of Christ each day, through and in Mary’s Immaculate Heart and under her Mantle, is the small, classic book by Fr. Emil Neubert called “My Ideal Jesus Son of Mary”. Obtain a copy and read from it every day for the rest of your life.
The second step is to be devoted to a deep, personal relationship with the Holy Spirit that includes intimate prayer to Him each day for all the Gifts, Virtues and Charisms, which produces the Fruits, especially the two foundational ones of Love and Joy! A perfect short prayer is : “Come Holy Spirit and possess me completely by the power of the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Obtain a copy of “The Sanctifier” by the Servant of God Archbishop Luis Martinez or “Your Life in the Holy Spirit” by Alan Schreck. Read from them every day. They can be an excellent source of meditation every day, as mental prayer is a necessary element of advancing in our journey to possess the Joy of the Holy Spirit! Without daily mental prayer, we will not advance far at all.
The third step is the daily practice of the will. Joy is a choice we make with God’s Grace. It does not depend upon emotion nor does it require positive thoughts. We will often experience distaste and suffering, but The Lord teaches us to “Rejoice always, again I say Rejoice!” This choice must be based in our unshakeable Faith that every single thing that God causes or permits to happen to us is for our greater spiritual good; the conversion and salvation of our soul and the souls of many others; and our greater eternal reward and glory! If you are not completely convinced of this, pray for the Gifts of Knowledge and Understanding! Obtain a copy of the classic on this knowledge by Father de Caussade entitled: “Self Abandonment to Divine Providence”. Daily prayer to the Holy Spirit and the knowledge in this book can overcome this great impediment that almost all of us have in the Journey: not truly knowing and then believing with unshakeable Faith that everything that happens to us is caused or permitted by God for our greater spiritual glory of all eternity!
The final step is to smile as often as possible! The Carmelite Sister Mary Angelica of Jesus had this insight from the Holy Spirit for us: “The good Lord makes me find joy everywhere….I try always to smile, for I know that every smile contrary to our natural inclination is in wonderful harmony with the desires of the Heart of Jesus.”
So, what are we to do when we invariably fall in the Journey and start to experience fear, unease and discouragement and want to complain to others. St. Paul gives us the only answer: “Do not be anxious about anything. But in everything, through prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God.” We must immediately release our burdens of thought and our negative emotions to God and “cast our burdens” upon Him for direction. He will respond if we trust Him completely. In fact, He tells all the saints how sad He chooses to become when we don’t cast our burdens upon Him! This is what it practically means to “abide in Him”. The Lord wants to live His life again in you!
Our Lord confirmed this Truth to St. Faustina: “You will give Me pleasure if you hand over to me all your troubles and griefs. I shall heap upon you treasures of My Grace…Oh how much I am hurt by a soul’s distrust! Such a soul professes that I am Holy and Just, but does not believe that I am Mercy and does not trust in My Goodness!.. Oh how that wounds My Heart!”
So, let us smile at everyone today and always, but especially at the Holy Spirit in our soul! Fiat!
A Divine Insight of the Holy Spirit: Two Sanctifiers Are Necessary
Posted on May 3, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
When we realize that the Apostles despite having been Baptized, despite receiving the Eucharist, despite engaging in daily prayer and acts of Charity, did not become fearless warriors for Jesus Christ until after receiving the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we likewise must resolve to beg for the Holy Spirit as they did………with Mary. It was the spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ, who led them during that time to properly receive this great Gift of the Love between the Father and the Son, so that the Holy Spirit finally and completely changed their lives to imitate Christ the way Mary did. Why would it be different for us?
Elizabeth Kindelmann explained how God poured out a powerful stream of Grace into her soul. She stated: “He poured out the wonderful Grace of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Power, and the wonderful light of the Holy Spirit enlightened my soul.”
We have discussed previously in this Series on the Holy Spirit that part of the reason that the Graces from our Baptism and Confirmation have not been fully released is our failure to know and love the Holy Spirit the way we should. While we have heard, even many times before, the role of the Holy Spirit, most of us must admit with God’s Grace that we have little studied nor spent time getting to know Him. Few of us have an intimate, loving relationship with the Holy Spirit as a Person, who lives in our soul and has the Virtues, Gifts, and Charisms waiting to bestow on us for our Sanctification and to help build the Kingdom of God. Even the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Love given at our Baptism are smothered over time if we do not come to know and love the Holy Spirit! We must in all humility accept the truth of God’s Word in Scripture which states: it is only the Holy Spirit who fully reveals the knowledge of the Father and Son; and only The Holy Spirit can bring us into a loving relationship with Each such that we can be the praise of the Glory of the Father by being transformed into the Son.
Here are the two key insights from Scripture that should convict us and unveil why we progress so little despite our best human intentions: “No one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit,” and “No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him.” So, we must admit that the Holy Spirit is the One who must fully reveal the Son and the Father to us, but how can this happen if we do not truly know the Holy Spirit and have an intimate relationship each day, each moment, with Him?
The Servant of God, Archbishop Luis Martinez, has written a masterpiece on the Holy Spirit entitled, “The Sanctifier”. He describes in great but understandable detail the role of the Holy Spirit in our soul and in our day to day life. Since God is Love, and to Love is to give, God the Father and God the Son give the Love between Them to us through Baptism and then strengthened again through Confirmation and then a continuing share in Their Divine Life through the Most Blessed Sacrament, the other Sacraments, Prayer and our acts of Charity. The Holy Spirit lives in us (assuming we are in a state of Grace) not only to possess us, but to be possessed by us! The Holy Spirit is ours…as pure unmerited Gift! He is the First Gift! We have the Divine Life within us! But without our cooperation through a constant, loving disposition (desire and effort), we cannot release His Love and Gifts into our souls to truly know the Father and Son. The Holy Spirit groans because His Love is unrequited and He can NOT perform His appropriated role of fully revealing the Father and the Son. Sadly, we are not willing to sell all and buy the field with the Treasure…the Pearl of Rare Price! We stand next to the woman at the well and listen as we hear: if you but knew the Gift of God!
So, because the Holy Spirit is so little known, and forgotten by those who do know Him, the Father wanting us to know and glorify Him through the Son, has raised up Exemplars like Elizabeth Kindelmann, Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, St. Hannibal di Francia, and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, as well as the Renewal or Pentecost Movement within the Church, so that we can know, desire and love the Holy Spirit as a Person, in order to truly know the Son and the Father!
Archbishop Martinez was given this powerful insight…an insight coming from something simple we have heard thousands of times….and it is such a powerful insight that hopefully it will change our life from this moment forward! Jesus, the Incarnate Word, was conceived by the Holy Spirit through the Virgin Mary. He explains: “That is the way Jesus is always conceived. This is the way He is reproduced in souls. He is always the fruit of Heaven and Earth…Two Sanctifiers are necessary to souls: the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, for they are the only ones who reproduce Christ.” Think about this! Ponder this! This is God pouring out His Wisdom and Love for us in this insight! We cannot glorify the Father without being transformed into the Son! But we cannot be transformed into the Son without a loving, intimate relationship with both Mary and the Hoy Spirit!
Now, they do sanctify in different ways. The Holy Spirit sanctifies by His Essence, because He is God, who is Infinite Sanctity. The Virgin Mary is the perfect cooperator, the indispensable instrument chosen by God for His Plan. She perfectly models the Holy Spirit and demonstrates it is possible for us, because she was a human being like us though free from sin from her conception by His Grace! But the Mother wants to give what she has and God wants/needs to Give new Gifts!
So, what does this practically mean to us? We must have both the Holy Spirit and Mary in our daily life to perfectly form Jesus within us for the Glory of the Father. Thus, those in the Renewal Movement who reject, ignore or downplay Mary will never progress as God desires! Similarly, those in the Marian Movement who reject, ignore or downplay the Holy Spirit will never progress as God desires! Mary and the Holy Spirit can and will lead us into the life of Jesus Crucified where His Sacred Heart beats in the Most Blessed Sacrament so we can perfectly fulfill the Will of the Father and be a praise of His Glory…so we can be a perfect copy and truly say: It is no longer I who live, it is Christ who lives in me.
So, let us commit today to do three things every day: beg the Father and Son for the Holy Spirit; learn all we can by reading and hearing all we can about the Holy Spirit; and pray with Mary to the Holy Spirit each day in a loving personal way and acknowledge Him in our soul throughout the day with a loving smile and frequent aspirations to know and love Him better… so He will reveal the Father and Son fully to us! Fiat!
The Holy Spirit Within: the Life of Continuous Presence and Love
Posted on May 5, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
One of the great blessings bestowed on Elizabeth Kindelmann (and the goal of our life in Christ on earth) was the continuous contact with the Son for the glory of the Father through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit within her, which she corresponded to in a heroic way. Most of us struggle to remain in loving contact with the Trinity at all during the day outside our normal prayer time. The great insight from God’s Word through St. Paul is that we can and should be “praying continuously” and not just at formal prayer time or during Mass or religious events. So how exactly do we do this? How do we achieve this main goal of the spiritual life…this life of intimate, Divine Love we have been called to from all eternity?
We have learned in this series on the Holy Spirit that it is only through the Holy Spirit that we can achieve this or any part of our Sanctification….our duty to Love as He loves us! This Gift of Gifts happens only if we know and desire the Extraordinary Grace given to us at Baptism and Confirmation and we beg each day as often as possible that this Grace be released within us; and if we are faithful to learn all we can about the Person of the Holy Spirit; and if we pray through His Spouse, our Mother, each day as often as we can to know Him as she knows Him, as our Greatest Friend dwelling in our soul in order to achieve an intimate, loving relationship with Him for the Glory of the Father by becoming Jesus Crucified!
Our master guide, Fr Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene, has this insight for us to ponder: “A soul who longs for a life of intimacy with God is not satisfied to limit relations with Him to the time of (formal) prayer, but tries to extend (these times) throughout the day…if God is always with us, why can we not be always in contact with Him?”
Fr. Gabriel explains that there are two ways to be in continual contact with The Trinity: the mind and the heart. While the mind will grow tired and usually can not be occupied with two things at once (duty and God), our heart can indeed be focused solely on God through our will and our desire. He states: “Since supernatural love does not consist in sentiment (emotion), but in an intimate orientation of the will toward God, we know that turning (to God) is possible, even during the performance of duties which absorb all of our attention. The will can strengthen this orientation of itself toward God precisely by the desire to fulfill each duty for love of Him, to please Him and give Him glory.”
St. Augustine confirms this Truth: “Prayer is nothing but desire of the heart; if your desire is continuous, your prayer is continuous. Do you wish never to cease praying? Then never cease desiring.”
In the classic work on this critical insight into loving God as He loves us (“The Practice of the Presence of God”), Brother Lawrence teaches us: “Let (us) then think of God as much as possible so that we will become accustomed to this little but holy exercise. No one will notice it and nothing is easier to repeat often during the day than these little acts of interior adoration.”
Brother Lawrence confirms what all the great masters of the spiritual life teach us: “We need only to recognize God intimately present with us, to address ourselves to Him every moment (that we can with our mind and then with our desire as our mind becomes occupied), that we beg His assistance for knowing His Will in things (that we are unsure of), and for rightly performing those which we plainly see He requires of us, offering them to Him before we do them, and giving Him thanks when we have done them.”
With daily prayer and consistent practice, we will find ourselves coming to that realization that “we can do nothing without Him”; and we will indeed start to call upon Him before every decision and action, and then to thank Him afterwards no matter the outcome from our viewpoint….for all happens for His glory and the salvation of souls! One of the great short prayers to make a habit before all duties, decisions and actions is: “Spirit of Love, in union with my Mother and Your Spouse, I enter into the Divine Will and place all in your hands.” As we finish the duty, action or after making a decision, we can pray: “Spirit of Love, in union with my Mother and Your Spouse, I give thanks and place all in your hands.” We can envision Jesus doing the act or making the decision within us (this assumes we are in a state of Grace and have an informed conscience) and thus He can achieve His purpose of living again through us for the glory of the Father by the folly of the Cross!
Let us rejoice and praise The Holy Spirit continuously knowing that our desire, the desire of our heart fixed forever on the Trinity alone, will allow us to pray and love continuously when our mind becomes occupied! Fiat!
Nine Days of Prayer for the Gifts: Come Holy Spirit!
Posted on May 6, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
As we prepare for the great Feast of Pentecost, we will pray together for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. The first day of prayer with Mary in our “upper room with others close to her” will remind us of the utter need we have for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Most Catholics have never seriously studied or pondered them, which is part of the reason they have not yet fully blossomed in us. So, for the next 7 days of the Novena, we will examine each Gift and then on the last day, we will examine the result expected or the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Let us pray as a united “Family of Spiritual Beggars” for the Gifts as part of the Church’s oldest Novena.
Archbishop Luis Martinez had another analogy for us to consider the Gifts and how they allow the Holy Spirit to act in all our faculties: “Science has produced amazing equipment that enables us to pick up invisible waves and to hear what is said or sung in any part of the world. Anyone who has a receiving set can pick up these mysterious waves that carry sounds from the most distant places. In somewhat the same way, we may consider the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as Divine receivers for picking up the inspirations of the Holy Spirit….so one who is without the Gifts of the Holy Spirit will not be able to pick up these Divine inspirations….Naturally, the comparison is incomplete. With this invention of modern science, one can only hear. By these Divine receptors, we receive not only light and teaching of the Holy Spirit, but also His movements in such a way that under their influence we accomplish in the spiritual order the best and most perfect acts….’For whoever is led by the Spirit of God, is a child of God’…From these considerations, we can reach a very wonderful conclusion: if the Holy Spirit moves us and our acts are performed under His influence, those acts truly have a Divine character.”
What this practically means for us is that by knowing, desiring and praying daily for the Gifts, our duty to become holy will be accelerated, and if we persevere, we will accomplish our PURPOSE! When we are completely surrendered to the Holy Spirit, the Gifts become supernatural instincts, which cause us to think, judge and act in all as our Lord would. The Flame of Love Grace of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is God’s gratuitous Love poured out to make this process more secure and cause it to happen much more quickly than ever before! Why would we fail to know, desire and accept this Grace? Would it not be complete folly on our part? Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
The Gifts: Fear of The Lord
Posted on May 6, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
This Gift is considered the lowest or foundational Gift of the Holy Spirit. However, it is important to understand that is does not mean servile or fear of punishment….this fear is not rooted in Charity and is therefore not a Gift of the Holy Spirit. The Gift of Fear means the filial or childlike fear of offending or displeasing God and being separated from Him as Love. One who loves completely fears separation from his Great Love…God. This is the fear that is a Gift of the Holy Spirit.
Archbishop Martinez explains the importance of this Gift: “the Gift of Fear…makes us know our true value, and prevents that rebellion against God and that pride by which we believe ourselves to be better than we are. The Gift of Fear…by uniting us with God, makes us feel deeply our own deficiency….it is a supernatural effect which the Holy Spirit produces in souls so that we can look with horror at sin and thus cling with intensity to God.”
As we progress in love, this Gift produces a total detachment from the things of earth such that we can be poor in spirit, since nothing but love for God…the Holy Spirit…moves our faculties. We are the ready to sell all and “buy the field”…to be perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect, since Fear of The Lord is ultimately directed by Wisdom, which is rooted in Love.
The Gifts: Fortitude
Posted on May 7, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
Fortitude is a Virtue and a Gift. As a Virtue, Fortitude allows us to work hard, be courageous and to overcome real difficulties, much more so than those who do not possess this Virtue. However, as a Virtue, it functions according to the maximum measure of our human strength. The Virtue of Fortitude allows us to overcome many instances where we otherwise would be timid and fail without the Virtue, but as a Virtue, it does not allow us to achieve with assurance and boldness anything superior to our human strength. This is when the Gift of Fortitude is needed, because we come to recognize that the temptations of the devil, the flesh and the world are simply too much for us, and we must have the strength and courage of the Holy Spirit to finally overcome those aspects of ourselves, the temptations of satan and the world’s bad influence, which we simply cannot do on our own! We recognize after failing many times over many years that even with the Virtues, we simply have too much self-love, certain personality flaws and bad habits that prevent us from being a saint; but the Gift of Fortitude from the Holy Spirit allows us to say with St. Paul: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”
It is the Gift of Fortitude, which allows us to embrace suffering and find joy in suffering! This is not humanly possible! It is the Gift of Fortitude, which allows us to always be at peace, no matter what is happening around us! This is not humanly possible! We must be willing to stand firm in the Faith, even if it means being sent to prison or killed, as the martyrs for the Faith have done throughout history. This is not humanly possible! We have this Gift in our soul from our Baptism and strengthened further In Confirmation, but we must beg to release it and then beg to remain with the Gift each day by having a personal, intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit!
God is asking us now through Elizabeth Kindelmann, Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, St. Faustina and many other Exemplars to beg the Father and Son for the Holy Spirit and all His Virtues, Gifts, Charisms and Beatitudes each day throughout the day; to read all we can about The Holy Spirit; and to beg our Mother to pour out the Grace of the Flame of Love of her Immaculate Heart as an extraordinary Grace and help to know, desire and live intimately with the Holy Spirit in preparation for the approaching New Pentecost, the Reign of the Holy Spirit in the world!
The Gifts: Piety or Godliness
Posted on May 8, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
We learn from our guide Archbishop Luis Martinez in “The Sanctifier” that our spiritual life cannot be isolated. Even monks or contemplative sisters have duties toward others and to God, which are not precluded because they live mostly in solitude. Many of these duties are rooted in the Virtues of Charity and Justice, giving to God and our neighbors what is their due. With God, we have the duty to recognize Him as our Creator and Redeemer and to keep His Commandments. With regard to our parents, we have the duty to obey. With regard to those who do not have food or clothing, we have the duty to provide for them when we know we can and should. Virtues, as we have discussed, can only take us to the limit of our human strength. Only the Gift of Piety from the Holy Spirit can rightly order and fulfill all our duties toward God and others.
A child should love their Father unconditionally and have a deep childlike trust in Him and when God is recognized as our Father, we are even more obligated to love Him as much as possible as a human being can. The Gift of Piety allows us to fulfill all the duties we owe to God. The Virtue of religion allows us to know God as the Sovereign Being; the Gift of Piety sees Him as Father. The Gift allows us to complete all our duties toward God in a sweet, childlike manner and to fulfill our duties toward our family and neighbors with true love for all our fellow men. When we give someone their due, for example when we pay someone back who loaned us money and thank the person, this is the Virtue of Justice; with the Gift of Piety, we instead love the person as we love God, with agape love for sharing with us. The absolute surrender of ourselves to God where we put all in His Hands with complete trust, especially with regard to our willingness to suffer all to repair the sins against Him and for the salvation of other souls, comes from the Gift of Piety….so we can say with St. Paul: “But I will most gladly spend and be spent myself for your souls, even though loving you more, I be loved less.” (2 Cor 12:15)
The Gifts: Counsel
Posted on May 9, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
The Theological Virtue of Faith is our guide in this life for our thinking, since it allows us to trust in God as the Ultimate Authority…as Truth Itself. However, we need the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to move our intellect in order to have the Truth made Divinely manifest and shine in our intellect to know as God knows. The Gifts related to our intellect are Counsel, Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom. While they are related, there are important distinctions to know, desire and relish. These Gifts allow us to love God more than any learned person in the sciences…or the smartest person on earth with the highest IQ, since the intellect was created by God to ultimately know and love Him! With the Gifts of the intellect from the Holy Spirit, you become “God’s rocket scientist of Love”! You will give God more Glory than anyone with a keen intellect, simply because an intellect without the Gifts, is a lowly thing even when used to its maximum human potential!
The first intellectual Gift is Counsel, which directs the Gifts of Fear of The Lord, Fortitude and Piety. Normally we don’t notice our intellect working as most of our tasks are quite routine, but in difficult matters we deliberate about the lawfulness, the appropriateness and the value of what we are thinking about. Normally, we will use the Virtue of Prudence to judge what is the best course of action, especially if we are responsible for others as parent or superior. However, human life can be so complicated and difficult at times that we need the supernatural help of God through the Gift of Counsel, where the Holy Spirit becomes our guide to the decisions needed by giving us His Light. When we work under this Gift, we make quick, sure and bold decisions, because this is what the Holy Spirit wants in those circumstances! However, the Holy Spirit will also show us when to be silent and when not to act.
The number of decisions and acts we undertake each day are staggering, especially in talking with others without planning in what usually are spontaneous conversations. Here we must be especially careful and place ourselves under this Gift. If not, we will find ourselves quickly saying (gossip or uncharitable remarks) and even doing things which offend God! As we train our intellect with the Virtue of Prudence to speak less and listen more (an act of love), we will also notice the influence of the Holy Spirit from the Gift of Counsel as we respond in charity with what is needed for ourselves, for others and for the situation at hand, because the Holy Spirit will be responding for us. The great daily habit to employ is the prayer: “Holy Spirit I thank you for the Gifts. I place all in your hands, especially the decisions, words and acts of today and this moment. May they be done by You solely for Your Glory and as You Will.
The Gifts: Knowledge
Posted on May 10, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
As part of our human nature, we have a capacity to know, which allows us to scrutinize with our intelle
ct, to probe into the depth of things and of beings and to recognize the amazing wonders God has created. In the supernatural order, we can know beyond these things with the “science of the saints”, which is a Gift of the Holy Spirit. Knowledge as a Gift allows us to know creatures and things in a Divine manner.
Human knowledge is discursive, which means it proceeds in a slow, methodical way through reasoning as it assembles facts and opinions and weighs them until it arrives at a systematic or complete whole of the concept. The Gift of Knowledge is intuitive. It gives immediate insight into the mysterious relationships between creatures and into the supernatural mystery of the relationship of all creatures and things to God. The Gift of knowledge allows us to realize that all things and creatures are nothing on their own and only have value because God created them for His purpose, which is to give Him Glory for all eternity in His Wisdom and Love for us and all things He has created. This Gift gives one the realization as King Solomon was given to know: all things are vanity. We are made for God alone and can never be fulfilled except in Him!
People and things almost always take us away from God. Other people, money, sex, drugs, alcohol, greed, power, pleasure, entertainment and laziness usually take up most of our time and attention. It is the Gift of Knowledge which allows us to finally see the vanity and uselessness of all these diversions and traps. The Gift also helps us to see the need for the dark night of the senses, which is required to purify us of all our inordinate inclinations and to love God properly. The Gift also allows us to see the Divine in each person and to love them only for God and in God, instead of for ourselves and our selfish motives.
In the perfection of the Gift of Knowledge is found complete detachment from things where we can indeed embrace true poverty of spirit and sell all to embrace only sacrifice and suffering as Christ did. This is anathema to human knowledge, so we know it must be Divine in origin…a Gift! Let us continue with the Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Gifts at http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/Pentecost/seven.htm. (Note: our ordering of the Gifts is different from those at the EWTN site, but the reminders will reinforce what we are learning.) Fiat!
The Gifts: Understanding
Posted on May 11, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
While related to The Gifts of Knowledge and Wisdom, the Gift of Understanding has a precise role: to penetrate in a divine way the information and intuition gained from the Gift of Knowledge. With Knowledge, we come to know the purpose for which we exist: to love and glorify God alone, and all only to see God in persons and creatures as a means to love Him. With Knowledge we come to know that all things are vanity and that in comparison to God we are nothingness, but we are still intimately loved and we must return that love. By contrast, the Gift of Understanding allows us to completely penetrate all we know from the Gift of Knowledge and to penetrate all these spiritual truths to reveal their depths in God the infinite. We learn to probe the few critical pieces of knowledge and savor them….to delight in them with joy…because we realize our end: eternal salvation and possession of God, who is Infinite Love for all eternity! So, Knowledge unveils the key eternal truths, while Understanding allows the deep penetration, savoring and joy of realizing what these truths bring if we remain faithful: intimate love though suffering and reparation with Him now in this life and eternal love with God forever in Heaven!
Archbishop Martinez asks us to contemplate this analogy: with the people we love and are closest to, we do not need for them to talk to know what is in their thoughts. The same way with the Gift of Understanding. When this Gift is operating, we see in our soul and understand His Love and our response to that love. When our Lord was speaking to Nicodemus, He showed the need for both Knowledge and Understanding: “If I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I speak to you of heavenly things?” (John 3:12)
Understanding is the key Gift needed in order to properly practice the prayer of contemplation, where God will raise souls to a singular and profound vision of God and the things of God. “How much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)
The Gift of Understanding allows us to more fully see God in the Blessed Sacrament as a Person with feelings, who is so alone! Understanding allows us to realize that all things work together for good for those who love God, and that He brings God out of the most evil things man has done. Understanding allows us to realize that all things are caused or permitted by God for our greater spiritual glory and thus we should NEVER be sad, but to ask and expect joy even in pain and suffering as God will transform it into joy if we but love….and ask!
All those who love have seen glimpses of God through the Gift of Understanding: the feeling and sense of love, wonder and awe at a beautiful Mass or First Communion; a heroic moment when someone risks their life for another and dies trying; an extraordinary sunset where God seems to be reaching and calling out to us with love. Have we not seen clearly in a flash something of God we never fully understood before? This is from the Gift of Understanding!
The Gifts: Wisdom
Posted on May 12, 2016 by Anthony Mullen
While The Gift of Knowledge allows us to know God and all persons and things in relation to Him, and Understanding allows us to penetrate them and realize their depth and cling to our purpose of eternal salvation and infinite Love, the Gift of Wisdom allows us to coordinate all the supernatural truths and Gifts and unify them in Love so we may become the image of Jesus Christ even in this life! Even with Understanding, we still do not have Christ perfectly formed within us, it requires the unification of all God’s Truths in Love, which is called Wisdom! It proceeds from “I Am Who Am”.
The Gift of Wisdom allows us to coordinate all the Truths about God and unifies them such that we can say with St. Paul: “For the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God!” (1 Corinthians 2:10) The soul now looks at all things with the great height and thought of the Supreme Cause and coordinates and unifies them in Love!
The Gift of Wisdom is reflected in St. Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all with faces unveiled, reflecting as in a mirror the glory of God, are being transformed into His very image from glory to glory, as through the Spirit of The Lord.” It is better to love God than to know Him, but it is best to know Him and to Love Him! This is the Gift of Wisdom. It comes forth from Charity and also leads back to Charity for the same reason we came forth from God who is Charity, and we all go back to Him who is Charity, although some go back and reject such Love! Wisdom prevents this eternal outcome of rejecting Charity!
The Gift of Wisdom allows us to know Love and give ourselves to Love as Love has been given completely to us! This means complete self-giving through the Cross for the Glory of the Father…a compete consummation! The Gift of Wisdom allows us to experience God as Love…..as Love Crucified! It is this EXPERIENCE of Love Crucified, which is the Gift of Wisdom and truly differentiates it from The Gift of Understanding. The Saints seemed mad to the point of folly with their self-abnegation, their recognition of their nothingness despite their holiness, and their willingness to suffer all things for Christ, because this is indeed madness to human wisdom! Therefore, we know it is Divine Wisdom….a Gift of the Holy Spirit!
Those who have the Gift of Wisdom are sublimely peaceful, since the Gift produces this Peace….”that Peace which surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7) These are the “children of God”, because Wisdom has made them sons and daughters and has engraved in them the perfect image that one can have on earth, the image of the Son of God Crucified!
Ultimately, Wisdom allows us to see, understand and relish the ultimate Truth: “That they may be one as we are one; I in them and You in Me; that they may be perfected as one.” (John 17:21)