Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Abiding Presence Of The Holy Ghost in the Soul, by Bede Jarrett, O.P. part 8. The Presence Common to the Whole Trinity.

Luca_Rossetti_Trinità_Chiesa_San_Gaudenzio_Ivrea

Luca Rossetti Trinità Chiesa San Gaudenzio Ivrea

1. So far it has been taken for granted that this indwelling is proper to the Holy Spirit, but it must now be added that indeed it is really an indwelling of the Blessed Trinity. It is true that very seldom does Scripture speak of the Three Persons as dwelling in the soul, still less of Their being given or sent. But every reason for which we attribute this to the Holy Ghost would hold equally well of the other Two Persons. By grace we are made partakers of God’s Divine nature; He comes to us as the object of our knowledge and our love. Why should we suppose that this Divine Presence applies directly only to the Spirit of God? The only reason, of course, is the impressive wording of the New Testament. But even here there are equally strong indications that more than the Holy Ghost is implied: “If any man will love Me he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him… . But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind whatsoever I shall have said to you.” Here, then, it is clearly stated that after Our Lord has died His teaching will be upheld by the Spirit, but that this indwelling will include also the abiding presence of Father and Son.

2. Why, then, is it repeated so often that the Holy Ghost is to be sent into our hearts, is to be given to us, is to dwell in our midst? It is for the same reason precisely that we allocate or attribute certain definite acts to the Blessed Persons of the Trinity so as the more easily to discern and appreciate the distinction between Them. In the Creed itself we attribute creation to God, the Father Almighty, though we know that Son and Spirit, also with the Father, called the world out of nothingness. Eternity is often, too, looked upon as peculiarly of the Father, though naturally it is common to the Trinity. Note how frequently in the liturgical prayers of the Church comes the expression, “O, Eternal Father.” So again to the Son we attribute Wisdom and Beauty, turning in our imagination to Him as the Word of God, the Figure of His substance, the brightness of His glory, and to the Holy Spirit we more often attribute God’s love and God’s joy. All these attributions are attempts to make that high mystery and the Three Persons of It alive and distinctive to the human spirit. It is not indeed wholly fancy, but it is the ever active reason endeavouring, for its own better understanding of sacred truths, to give some hint, or find some loophole, whence it shall not be overwhelmed with the greatness of its faith.

3. Consequently, it must be noted that this indwelling of the Spirit of God is not so absolutely and distinctly proper to God, the Holy Ghost, as the Incarnation is proper to God, the Son. There the Son, and He alone, became man. It was His personality alone to which was joined, in a substantial union, human nature. But in this present case there is no such unique connection between the soul and the Spirit of God, but it is rather the Ever Blessed Trinity itself that enters into occupation, and dwells in the heart. Of course that makes the wonder not less, but greater. To think that within the borders of my being is conducted the whole life of the Ever Blessed Three in One; that the Father is for ever knowing Himself in the Son, and that Father and Son are forever loving Themselves in the Spirit; that the power and eternity of the Father, whereby creation was called into being, and by whose fiat the visible world will one day break up and fall to pieces; that the wisdom and beauty of the Son, which catch the soul of man as in the meshes of a net, and drove generations of men to a wandering pilgrimage, at the peril of life, to rescue an empty tomb in the wild fury of a crusade; that the love of the Holy Spirit which completes the life of God, and was typified in the tongues of fire and the rush of a great wind at Pentecost; that the power and eternity of the Father, the wisdom and beauty of the Son, the love and joy of the Spirit, are for all time in my heart. O, what reverence for my human home of God, reverence alike for soul and body!