Each day this week at leading up to Pentecost Sunday, we invite you to meditate on an excerpt from Saint Cyril of Jerusalem's writings on the Holy Spirit. All of the excerpts are available below. We hope these short meditations will help you prepare for the mystery of the Descent of the Holy Spirit that we will celebrate on Sunday!
Who is Saint Cyril of Jerusalem you might ask?
Cyril was a distinguished theologian of the early 300s. He is was declared a "Doctor" of the Church, which means he is honored for contributing tremendously to Theology and our understanding of the mystery of the Holy Trinity and the Church. His writings for the instruction of catechumens (those preparing for Baptism) are filled with rich theology and tell of the love and mercy of Almighty God. As an early Church Father, he was actively engaged in preaching the truth and fighting against heresies (false, erroneous doctrines) to protect the integrity of our faith and Catholic doctrine.
Read more about Saint Cyril and his contributions in beautifully articulating our faith here: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-cyril-of-jerusalem/
"The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of living water, welling up into eternal life. This is a new kind of water, a living, leaping water, welling up for those who are worthy. But why did Christ call the grace of the Spirit water? Because all things are dependent on water; plants and animals have their origin in water. Water comes down from heaven as rain, and although it is always the same in itself, it produces many different effects, one in the palm tree, another in the vine, and so on throughout the whole of creation. It does not come down, now as one thing, now as another, but while remaining essentially the same, it adapts itself to the needs of every creature that receives it."
"In the same way the Holy Spirit, whose nature is always the same, simple and indivisible, apportions grace to each man as he wills. Like a dry tree which puts forth shoots when watered, the soul bears the fruit of holiness when repentance has made it worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit. Although the Spirit never changes, the effects of this action, by the will of God and in the name of Christ, are both many and marvelous."
"The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one man’s self-control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches another to fast and lead a life of asceticism, makes another oblivious to the needs of the body, trains another for martyrdom. His action is different in different people, but the Spirit himself is always the same. In each person, Scripture says, the Spirit reveals his presence in a particular way for the common good."
"The Spirit comes gently and makes himself known by his fragrance. He is not felt as a burden, for he is light, very light. Rays of light and knowledge stream before him as he approaches. The Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend and protector to save, to heal, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen, to console. The Spirit comes to enlighten the mind first of the one who receives him, and then, through him, the minds of others as well."
"As light strikes the eyes of a man who comes out of darkness into the sunshine and enables him to see clearly things he could not discern before, so light floods the soul of the man counted worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit and enables him to see things beyond the range of human vision, things hitherto undreamed of."
(Excerpts are taken from Cat. 16, De Spiritu Sancto 1, 11-12.16:
PG 33, 931-935. 939-942 by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop)
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and enkindle in them the fire of your love.
V. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And you shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray:
O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.