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Chapter 59

Spiritual Power

 

O God most high!
Immeasurable love!
Fire eternal!
You illumine the human spirit.
To the extent that the soul lives in you,
you devour whatever she possesses
that is hateful to you,
and you warm her
with the Spirit of your love.
—St. Catherine of Siena

 

 

Pentecost Sunday is the culmination of a long spiritual journey.  The Apostles needed to be prepared to safely receive the new divine wine of God’s infinite love in full measure.  Otherwise, they would have lost everything through spiritual pride, vanity, or weak and sinful sensuality.  When they were ready, the Holy Spirit descended upon them with spiritual fire, peaceful power, inspired wisdom and true love.

First, they needed humility, “for apart from me you can do nothing,” as Christ had taught them. (John 15:5)  Then, they needed to be strengthened against sins of the flesh, for “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt. 26:41)  Finally, they needed to be freed from all self-seeking until they could faithfully say, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you (more than all else).” (John 21:15-17)  By following Christ, Peter and the Apostles grew in humility, purity, and true love until they were ready to receive from above the perfect power of Pentecost Sunday.  Here, they were freed from slavish fear, for “perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18)

They were filled with spiritual wisdom and became like innocent children.  As the power of pride and sensuality subsided, they were made strong and stable in the Holy Spirit, “for power is made perfect in weakness” and “when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10)  They were freed from every evil by becoming so little that not even the devil could find them.  Like a drop of water lost in the vast Ocean, they became lost to themselves, but found profound peace and spiritual joy, the fullness of Life and True Love in Jesus Christ, for “whoever has the Son has life.” (1 John 5:12)  They were set completely free to be utterly dependent on God Almighty, for “the victory that overcomes the world is our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

 

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