Thursday, 5 June 2014


The schooner –for me that sturdy sailing ship summed up the island life of the W. Indies, where I had worked as a Dominican priest. For generations their people had used the schooner to travel and transport goods between the islands. Whenever I returned to visit my brother, Peter, in Grenada I told him about my longing to sail on a schooner. That, I was convinced, would help me to enter the spirit of the W. Indies.

Imagine my joy, my excitement when Peter told me he had arranged for us to sail by schooner from the West Indian island of Grenada to Carriacou. With the wind in our hair, and the sail noisily flapping we glided, sometimes bounced, raced across and through the rising, falling waves. A force we could feel on our cheeks, but not see, was carrying us across the waves!

The driving force of the wind in our sails …what a powerful, exciting image of the wonder of Pentecost! There the rushing wind suggests the Spirit’s hidden energy, giving the disciples the courage and strength to start preaching the Good News in a hostile world. Empowered by the Spirit, the ship of the Church could weather any storm and carry us to the heavenly harbour of the Kingdom of God. And far from being mere passengers, we are all members of the crew. The Spirit has given each of us a special job to do. "All hands on deck!" That’s the call to us Christians.

The title ‘Holy Spirit’ not only suggests wind power, but also the breath of God’s life. Through baptism we are born from above, of water and the Holy Spirit. We become alive in Christ, and share in the saving power of His death and resurrection. As God’s children we receive a God-given vitality, a dynamism drawing us freely ever more intimately into the life and happiness of the Blessed Trinity.

At Pentecost the Holy Spirit gave the apostles the eloquece and courage to proclaim the Good News in a way that was understood by people speaking a variey of foreign languages. The way the Holy Spirit continues to assist us both in receiving and handing on the Good News can be dramatically expressed in the simple act of breathing in and out. Through the Spirit we breath in the Good News. Then the Spirit assists us in breathing out the Good News as we share it with others. In other words, the Holy Spirit is at work at every stage of breathing in and then breathing out the Good News. Obviously, if we don’t breath in the Good News we will have nothing to breath out!

On the feast of Pentecost we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit as the great communicator. Through the gift of the Spirit God shares His life with us. Through the Spirit of Truth the Good News preached by Christ is handed on to the Church, and through her to the world. The Vatican Council has allowed the refreshing breath of the Holy Spirit to blow through the Church and renew her. Now we have no excuse for allowing the Holy Spirit to become the ‘forgotten person’ of the Blessed Trinity!

With the wind in our sails, and the breath of the Spirit in our lungs let us head for the heavenly harbour, and as we do so proclaim the Good News with the invitation, "All Aboard!"
Isidore O.P.






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