"The Spirit and the Bride say 'Come!'"
Or rather, reflections on the feast of Pentecost.
One little gem that Blessed John Paul II wrote/issued is the encyclical, On the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World: Dominum et Vivificantem. It is a wonderful work, wherein the Holy Father refers constantly to the documents of Vatican II - which helps us understand the important role the council played in helping to define Church teaching in the modern world.
The emphasis on 'the convincing power of the Holy Spirit' is a favorite source of meditation for me, it is part of my deepest prayer. It is the Holy Spirit who convinces us and the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgement. How essential this action is, not just once, in a sort of baptism of the Spirit, or confirmation, but ongoing: deep calling unto deep, drawing us deeper into the mystery of the Trinity; the abyss of mercy and love, calling to the abyss of sin and misery, convicting the soul in an embrace of the merciful love of Christ crucified. Things I can't put into words because I have no higher degrees in theology, no skill in writing, but they are things that one can know, without knowing as it were - experientially - in and through prayer and sacred reading.
Excerpts from the Holy Father's encyclical:
Conversion requires convincing of sin; it includes the interior judgment of the conscience, and this, being a proof of the action of the Spirit of truth in man's inmost being, becomes at the same time a new beginning of the bestowal of grace and love: "Receive the Holy Spirit."118 Thus in this "convincing concerning sin" we discover a double gift: the gift of the truth of conscience and the gift of the certainty of redemption. The Spirit of truth is the Counselor.
The Holy Spirit, who in the words of Jesus "convinces concerning sin," is the love of the Father and the Son, and as such is the Trinitarian gift, and at the same time the eternal source of every divine giving of gifts to creatures.
The Council rightly sees sin as a factor of alienation which weighs heavily on man's personal and social life. But at the same time it never tires of reminding us of the possibility of victory.
45. The Spirit of truth, who "convinces the world concerning sin," comes into contact with that laborious effort on the part of the human conscience which the Conciliar texts speak of so graphically. This laborious effort of conscience also determines the paths of human conversion: turning one's back on sin, in order to restore truth and love in man's very heart. We know that recognizing evil in ourselves sometimes demands a great effort. We know that conscience not only commands and forbids but also Judges in the light of interior dictates and prohibitions. It is also the source of remorse: man suffers interiorly because of the evil he has committed. Is not this suffering, as it were, a distant echo of that "repentance at having created man" which in anthropomorphic language the Sacred Book attributes to God? Is it not an echo of that "reprobation" which is interiorized in the "heart" of the Trinity and by virtue of the eternal love is translated into the suffering of the Cross, into Christ's obedience unto death? When the Spirit of truth permits the human conscience to share in that suffering, the suffering of the conscience becomes particularly profound, but also particularly salvific. Then, by means of an act of perfect contrition, the authentic conversion of the heart is accomplished: this is the evangelical "metanoia."
The laborious effort of the human heart, the laborious effort of the conscience in which this "metanoia," or conversion, takes place, is a reflection of that process whereby reprobation is transformed into salvific love, a love which is capable of suffering. The hidden giver of this saving power is the Holy Spirit: he whom the Church calls "the light of consciences" penetrates and fills "the depths of the human heart."176 - Dominum et vivicantem
All of creation labors and is in travail...
O Holy Spirit, enlighten, guide,
strengthen and console me.
Tell me what I ought to do,
and command me to do it.
I promise to be submissive in everything you ask of me.
I promise to accept whatever you permit to befall me,
only show me what is your will.
I will run in the way of your commands,
because you give freedom to my heart!
We cannot obtain freedom of spirit when we make accommodations for evil.
Image: Our Lady as she appeared to St. Catherine Laboure. The Immaculate Conception is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mediatrix of all Graces. 'O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for those who do not, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to you.'