Thursday, May 14, 2015

The convincing power of the Holy Spirit ...

The convincing of sin is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

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.

St. John Paul II wrote:

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."  -Dominum et vivicantem

The convincing power of the Holy Spirit ...

Denuding, stripping away all that we cling to, making us even poorer -  is his gift.

A particularly important kind of denudation, through which the Holy Spirit prepares us for his 'decent,' is the process of stripping us of the false image we have of ourselves and freeing us from living a falsehood.  In the Gospel, St. John relates the promise of Christ to us that the Paraclete - the Holy Spirit - will convince the world about sin when he comes.  Thus one of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to convince us of our sin, therefore bestowing upon us the grace of humility.  This is the fundamental grace of the Holy Spirit. - Fr. Tadeuz Dajczer

"If the Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can call evil by its name, it does so only in order to demonstrate that evil can be overcome if we open ourselves to 'love for God to the point of contempt for self. This is the fruit of Divine Mercy...'" - John Paul II, Memory and Identity

Holy Spirit, inspire me.
Love of God consume me.
Along the true road, lead me.
Mary, my good mother, look down upon me.
With Jesus, bless me.
From all evil, all illusion, all danger, preserve me. 
- Bl. Mary of Jesus Crucified, OCD


Mother of God, Unexpected Joy, pray for us.

The icon was originally painted to commemorate the conversion of a sinner.  As he was at the point of committing a grievous sin, the man actually prayed to the Virgin to assist him to accomplish his deed.  The Mother of God appeared to him, demonstrating her disdain, and pointing to the wounds on the hands and feet of the Divine Child in her arms, which opened and bled, the Blessed Virgin admonished the sinful man and explained that every time someone chooses to commit grave sin, the wounds begin to torment Christ. Fearful of the divine wrath, the man prayed for forgiveness and began to lead righteous life. 

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