Category Archives: Acts

The language of love

JESUS MAFA. Pentecost, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved May 20, 2018]. Original source: Librairie de l’Emmanuel

The language of God’s Holy Spirit is love. Whomever I speak with, wherever they’re from, no matter how different they seem from me: we all understand the spoken and unspoken language of love, compassion, and acceptance.

May the language I choose always express God’s Spirit of love and compassion.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Acts 2:4-6

Compassion fruit

I have had the experience of trying to join a group, but no one welcomed me because I was new to the area, an unknown, someone who might not be a good fit.

With the Lord to nurture me, compassion is the fruit that grows from times of rejection: compassion for the stranger, the newcomer, the misfit, the one who is different, the one—like me—who is a child of God.

When Saul arrived in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. Acts 9:26

Gifts of the Spirit

Ed de Guzman Pentecost gouache on special paper, 2014

Ed de Guzman
Pentecost
gouache on special paper, 2014

Today the wind is a bit wild. I think the Holy Spirit is visiting and, I hope, blessing me with the gifts of the Spirit.

Here’s how the Loyola Press describes those gifts:

Wisdom helps us recognize the importance of others and the importance of keeping God central in our lives.

Understanding is the ability to comprehend the meaning of God’s message.

Knowledge is the ability to think about and explore God’s revelation, and also to recognize there are mysteries of faith beyond us.

Counsel is the ability to see the best way to follow God’s plan when we have choices that relate to him.

Fortitude is the courage to do what one knows is right.

Piety helps us pray to God in true devotion.

Fear of the Lord is the feeling of amazement before God, who is all-present, and whose friendship we do not want to lose.

And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Acts 2:2-4

A force of nature

A force of Nature

A force of Nature

Wind and fire are forces of nature that command our attention. The Holy Spirit is a force of God’s nature that demands our attention.

The Holy Spirit pushes us, compels us, directs us, and sets us on fire to imitate Jesus. The Holy Spirit fuels our passion for justice, our desire to forgive, our impulse to reach out with compassion, and our commitment to love.

Be swept away by the wind. Feel the heat of the fire. Trust the movement of the Spirit in your life.

And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:2-4a