Such things as are hidden I learned, and such as are plain; for Wisdom,
the artificer of all, taught me. For in her is a spirit intelligent, holy,
unique, manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, certain, not baneful,
loving the good, keen, unhampered, beneficient, kindly, firm secure,
tranquil, all-powerful, all-seeing, and pervading all spirits, though
they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.
This time of year we are bringing some things to a close for the season – our academic institutions, for instance – and entering into the more relaxed season of summer. The men who have been studying for the priesthood for so many years are finishing their studies and we will soon celebrate their ordination. We take time to pause and celebrate the lives of our Jubilarians. The season of Easter is similarly drawing to a close with Pentecost. How do we name the Holy Spirit whose presence is felt in all these activities? How do we continue to be converted to God at the core of our being? How do we become persons of the Holy Spirit?
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion and she penetrates and
pervades all things by reason of her purity. For she is an aura of the
might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty…For she
is the refulgence of eternal light, the spotless mirror of the power of
God, the image of his goodness.
Bernard of Clairvaux called the Holy Spirit the kiss of God. St. Hildegarde saw the Holy Spirit as the “breast-plate of life, girdle of beautiful energy.” The Nicene Creed refers to the Spirit as the Lord and Giver of Life. Other images are found in the Litany of the Holy Spirit: Consuming Fire, Burning Love, Author of All Good. The Curé of Ars saw the Spirit “Like a mother leading by the hand her child.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer considered the Spirit to be the “Pledge of the abiding presence of Jesus.”
And she, who is one, can do all things, and renews everything
while herself perduring; and passing into holy souls from age to age,
she produces friends of God and prophets. For there is nought
God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom. For she is fairer
than the sun and surpasses every constellation of the stars. Compared
to light, she takes precedence; for that, indeed, night supplants, but
wickedness prevails not over Wisdom. Indeed, she reaches from end to
end mightily and governs all things well
Wisdom 7: 21-8:1
How do we name the Spirit? Are we willing to surrender ourselves to the Spirit, receiving the grace of encouragement to become utterly enthralled with God through Jesus? Do we allow ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit? Do we allow ourselves to live in God’s love and allow that love to live in us? When we do, we become something more. We become people conformed to the image of Christ. Ignatius understood this and provided us with the tools to stir up our love of God to the point of being enthralled through the Exercises.