Holy Spirit

image of Remembrance Day parade in Enniskillen bomb 1987 from bbc.co.uk
What exactly is a ‘Spirit’?I remember once hearing a child of 11 being asked that question. It was a Holy Communion catechism class and she was meant to give the answer that the class had been told the previous week. The only problem was that she had not been there the previous week, so she had to make it up. She said: “The spirit is the bit of you that lives on after all is rest is dead and gone.”I thought that was pretty good on the spur of the moment.As you may be...
The Sea and the Sun with a profile of a woman
In his novel 'The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne', Brian Moore tells this story. Judith Hearne is a gifted woman, healthy, attractive, competent, comfortable financially, in good relationships with her family and friends. She is loved and respected.There is one problem.  She is approaching midlife, is unmarried and without children.  She is conscious that her biological clock is running down.  Hence, without fully grasping the situation, Judith becomes desperate....
          The single, most often quoted line from Pope Francis perhaps,  is his reply to a question he was asked vis-à-vis the morality of a particularly sensitive issue: ‘Who am I to judge?’  This remark might seem evasive or less-than-serious.  In fact it is on safe ground.  Jesus says that ‘God did not send the Son into the world to condemn it, (but so that the world might be saved through him).’ John 3.17That doesn’t mean...
A Child's Baptism on Flickr by Joe Green
'Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.'What does it mean to be “baptised in the Holy Spirit”?Well, if you ask a theologian, they’ll tell you that it is just simply what it is to be a Christian – to have one’s entire life imbued with the Holy Spirit not just in the next Life, but in this one – to have the Holy Spirit live...
A helping hand at during the London Marathon
Just recently, I met a priest who had run a marathon. I’ll call him Tony. For anyone who doesn’t know, the Marathon is a running race of 26 and one-third miles. And it is very different to most races – for three reasons.First, because it’s a lot longer than most races.And second, because most of the contestants don’t actually want to win it: the very great majority are happy just to get through it in one piece.And third - and this is the bit I didn't understand...
Praying MAGiS particpant via MagisBrasil on Flickr.
‘When we no longer know how to pray, the Spirit in us groans too deep for words, prays through us.’ Saint Paul assures us that there is deep prayer happening inside us beyond our conscious awareness and independent of our deliberate efforts.   It is our innate desire, forever somewhat frustrated, making itself felt through our bodies and souls, silently begging to be fulfilled.All life has powerful inner pressures and is not easily thwarted. It shows in the example of...
Events for May at the Mount Street Jesuit CentreOur Faith in the Holy SpiritTuesdays 21 and 28 May, 7:30-9 pm, led by Fr Dominic Robinson SJ. These 2 talks will introduce and explore various understandings of the Holy Spirit in the Christian tradition. The following topics will be covered:The Holy Spirit in Scripture and Catholic TeachingThe Holy Spirit in Orthodox and Pentecostal theology The Holy Spirit, Prayer and the LiturgyLiving the Gospel Today – In the Way of St...
Rebrandt, Return of the Prodigal Son
Angels rejoice over one repentant sinner.'  We can hear certain words or phrases so often they can lose their effect.  Earlier generations may have been happy with that kind of expression - like 'Lord Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me a miserable sinner.'  But today people even question the reality of sin;  they wonder if the psychologists and sociologists haven't put sin out of business.   It may be that a scientific age has to go through a phase of rejecting anything that cannot be...
The Holy Spirit
After the Council of Trent in the Sixteenth Century, little changed theologically until the dawn of the 20th century. Catholics felt safe where they were. Then, just over a hundred years ago, Catholics throughout Europe began to move forward, spiritually, theologically and liturgically.They received severe opposition from Rome.  Around the start of the Twentieth Century an excessive conservatism stifled the spirit  of renewal,  but it would later be encouraged by John XXIII Meanwhile,...