February 2, 2012

The Ascent of the Holy Spirit

This is a little window at one of the places where I celebrate Mass regularly. I find it fascinating and like it very much.

The dove rises from the fire, a double image of the Holy Spirit. It's almost phoenix-like, isn't it? (Does one say, 'phoenician'?) Beneath the fire is the Holy Name 'IHS' and then the label: "Resurrection."

And yet, it's not an image of the Resurrection, but of the Holy Spirit. It reminds me that when we talk about, pray on, and find ourselves invited into the mysteries of the Resurrection, the accounts of the appearances of the Risen Lord to the apostolic generation, the various handings over of the Holy Spirit as they are recorded in the New Testament, it is actually quite difficult to know just how it is we are talking about different things.

The sacrifice of the Cross, the Lord's death and descent to the dead, the passing of his divine humanity into the new life beyond history but now erupted backwards into it, and the handing over of the Spirit who is the abiding presence of this Event among us and the animating principle of the Church, all of this is the one Paschal Mystery of Christ.


Anonymous said...

It is curious how the window is labeled Resurection, with a thick line Res in one pane and a thiner line for urrection separated into another pane;its as if the word Resurrection is purpously not written, but rather it is assembled by the viewer

Brother Charles said...

There are other windows arranged the same way. The most unfortunate is the one of the Assumption.