Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Holy Spirit: Giver of Knowledge, Light, Inspiration, and Guidance

Today is the feast of Pentecost, the day Christians traditionally celebrate as the Holy Spirit-inspired birth of the church, i.e., the community that seeks to embody and continue the transforming mission of Jesus.

I celebrate Pentecost at The Wild Reed by sharing the beautiful image at right by Veronica Dimae and the following excerpt from Cletus Wessels' 2000 book, The Holy Web: Church and the New Universe Story.

In their different ways, both Cletus and Veronica focus on the key component of the Pentecost story, that being the Holy Spirit.


The Holy Spirit is the biblical way of explaining the power and presence of God within the life of the community, within the lives of individuals, and within the whole of creation. The Spirit is the inner source of energy, movement, and life. It is unpredictable and sometimes overwhelming. The Spirit gives knowledge, light, inspiration, and guidance; the Spirit is internal and relational, compassionate and loving. The Holy Spirit is eternal and unlimited, overpowering and life-giving, and it is the source of both diversity and freedom, as well as of unity and order.

The Spirit is ruah, a wind and a breath, present in creation, revelation, and salvation. Ruah is the wind hovering over the chaos of creation and the breath of life given to Adam (the earthling) (Gen. 1:1 and 2:7). According to Eduard Schweizer [in his book, The Holy Spirit], "everything within this universe is permeated by the spirit of God, which fills everything like a kind of electric current." The Holy Spirit is the driving force within the prophet, and it is the advocate, the spirit of truth who teaches, guides, and defends us. In the Spirit, God lives in the hearts of all people, inspiring them and calling them to action. The Holy Spirit is also the promise for the future and the source of new birth and a new creation. The psalmist says to God, "You send forth your Spirit, . . . and you renew the face of the earth" (Ps. 104:30). Schweizer tells us that "God gave his church the Holy Spirit as a foretaste and promise for all that was yet to come. . . . The Spirit is a liberating, reforming, and healing power in individual, social, and political life."

– Cletus Wessels
Excerpted from The Holy Web:
Church and the New Universe Story

p. 135

Above: With Cletus and our mutual friends Jeri and Kathleen at St. Albert the Great Catholic Church in south Minneapolis – February 2008. Sadly, Cletus died the following year from Alzheimer’s disease.

Related Off-site Link:
Pentecost: Holy Spirit Brings LGBTQ Visions – Kittredge Cherry (Q Spirit, June 4, 2017).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
A Pentecost Reflection by Elizabeth Johnson
Tongues and Souls on Fire
The Spirit and the Faithful
The Holy Spirit as Inclusive Community
Gospel Leadership
A Prayer for Pentecost
Strange Tongues

For more of Cletus Wessels at The Wild Reed, see:
The Holarchical Church: Not a Pyramid But a Web of Relationships
Relationship: The Crucial Factor in Sexual Morality
The Two Entwined Events of the Easter Experience
Resurrection in an Emerging Universe
Resurrection: A New Depth of Consciousness
Remembering Cletus Wessels, O.P. (1930-2009)

Image: Veronica Dimae.

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