Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By F. K. Bartels

6/11/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Let us this Pentecost enter fully and devoutly into a life of intimacy with the Holy Spirit

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost, that day on which the Holy Spirit appeared to the apostles in the Upper Room as tongues of fire and came to rest on each one of them (Acts 2:3). "[The Holy Spirit] is going to accomplish a divine work in us; to trace in our hearts the living image of Jesus, that image which we must bear in order to enter into the eternal mansions" -- Archbishop Luis Martinez

The gift of the Spirit at Pentecost

The gift of the Spirit at Pentecost


By F. K. Bartels

Catholic Online (

6/11/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pentecost, Holy Spirit, Catholic Church, Liturgy of Pentecost, Spirit of Truth, fullness of truth, F. K. Bartels

GLADE PARK, CO (Catholic Online) -- This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost, that day on which the Holy Spirit appeared to the apostles in the Upper Room as tongues of fire and came to rest on each one of them (Acts 2:3). The Catechism of The Catholic Church explains that fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit's actions (696). Indeed, the infusion of the Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to plunge bravely ahead into the midst of a world filled with severe and even murderous opposition.

When Jesus Christ promised to send the Advocate to the apostles, he assured them that the Spirit of truth would guide them into all truth (John 16:13). This gift of the Spirit was given to the Church as a means of sanctifying her not only on Pentecost but for all eternity: "The Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost to sanctify the Church unceasingly, and thus enable believers to have access to the Father through Christ in the one Spirit" (Lumen Gentium 4). On that day the Church "was openly displayed to the crowds and the spread of the Gospel among the nations, through preaching, was begun" (CCC 767).

On Pentecost the Church receives the mission, supported by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, of proclaiming and establishing the Kingdom of Christ; she then becomes "on earth the seed and the beginning of that kingdom" (LG 5). The Church is thus established as the sacrament of salvation, a visible and spiritual community of faith, hope and charity founded and sustained by Christ, through which the Risen Lord communicates truth and grace to all men (cf. CCC 771).

It is the Holy Spirit who reveals Christ, "the way and the truth and the life" (John 14:6); and it is that same Spirit who is the Spirit of truth, since he proceeds from the Father and the Son as from one principle, the origin and source of truth. It is the Holy Spirit who awakens in us the life of faith, and who, according to the Father's plan, draws us into mother Church whose life-blood flowed forth from our Lord's pierced side on the cross. Simply, the Holy Spirit calls us to access the fullness of truth held within the Church, fall in love with it, and live immersed in its beauty throughout our entire existence.

Truth Impoverished

However, truth is a concept which is often misunderstood in contemporary Christendom: there is often a perplexing and frustrating lack of concern for the fullness of truth, for unity of faith and morals, and for that oneness which the very name Christian implies. How often is Christ's own ardent prayer for oneness (John 17:21) overlooked, dismissed, or forgotten; how frequently is the notion of personal infallibility adamantly held; and how numerous are those who live as if the Magisterium -- in which we indeed hear the word of God -- were an intrusion on the Gospel.

We often wonder: "What has happened?" While the situation is complex, it nevertheless is as if Pentecost has, for many, lost its meaning. There are, of course, nominal Catholics and other Christians who are heavily influenced by the incessant undertow of radical secularism, relativism, and religious indifferentism found in the West. It is not unlike choking on pollution. Therefore some posit that the lackadaisical attitude so often displayed by Christians is simply the product of an inescapable secular conditioning which begins during childhood and continues right on through public school and college, establishing itself quite firmly as adults immerse themselves in the often empty yet demanding world of business.

However, while it is true that Christians are often affected by the negative influences of society, it is incorrect to think that they are incapable of breaking free from them. For God has given us the Advocate who unceasingly reaches out to us, who desires to carry us along on the wind of his love, and who constantly moves us delicately toward Christ. Thus each and every one of us is provided with the grace necessary to turn away from the evils often found in the world, set our gaze upon our Savior, and begin our journey of salvation. 

The Spirit of Truth Invites Us To A New Life

The Spirit of truth unceasingly calls us to respond to his grace, to open our hearts to his transformative, regenerative and healing love, which empowers us to live fully the sacramental life of the Gospel, and which grants us new eyes with which to see. If we will but turn to the Holy Spirit in prayer, give him his due attention as the Person of unspeakable importance that he is, relinquishing self in abandonment to the Advocate, we will begin to understand -- a new world will slowly yet steadily unfold before us. It is the Spirit of truth who reveals Christ to every Christian, and it is through the Catholic Church that Christ communicates his truth and grace to all men.

In response to the impulse of the Spirit of truth, who instills in us a thirst for the fullness of truth, thousands of Anglicans and others are journeying into full communion with the Catholic Church. This journey begins with God's grace, flourishes in recognition of the continuity of faith and morals found in the Catholic Church, and is actualized in taking concrete steps to enter into full communion with mother Church. That the Spirit of truth seeks to lead us into the fullness of truth rather than simply partial truth is all about Love. If it can be said that the importance of love is infinite, the same can be said of truth; for love and truth do not exist in isolation, but rather together as aspects of the one God.

We begin to glimpse the importance of truth and oneness when we meditate upon the Holy Trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who are all one God in substance, and whose life is one of existential unity and love, each giving infinitely of Self to the Other. The Holy Trinity is the foundation of the Christian faith and the source of all truth. This Truth is an undivided and indivisible Truth, it is an inviolable Oneness of power and glory which is the cause of all that is visible and invisible. It can hardly seem possible that Christians would not fall in love with truth, thirst for it, and seek it out always and everywhere.

Further, since God himself has revealed to the faithful this secret of his inner life, this Trinity of Persons whose embrace of supreme love and devotion is limitless, and whose attribute is Truth, it hardly seems possible that Christians could fail to quickly notice the supreme importance of truth and unity. Those who do notice, flock toward the truth and unity which shines forth with such brilliance in the Catholic Church; for it was the Holy Spirit who was given to the Church on Pentecost, who dwells within her "as in a temple," and who guides her "into the way of all truth" (LG 4; cf. John 16:13).

Catholics who, in response to the grace of the Holy Spirit, have abandoned themselves in love to Christ and his Church understand that the fullness of truth is an incomparable treasure through which they access the means to attain life, security and peace. For these Catholics, truth is not simply an abstract, malleable concept which is of little significance, but rather becomes their very life, for they recognize that the life they have received is from Truth Itself: God.

Abandonment To The Spirit

The experience of Pentecost is not lost to the past, but rather is a reality which continues to live on in the Church, for Christ does not revoke what he has promised: "I am with you always" (Matt. 28:20). On the day of Pentecost, Christ's Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (CCC 731), a gift of Love which is unceasing. The question remains: do we thirst for the Spirit's love with such ardent desire so as to abandon self and devoutly embrace the movements which he instills within our hearts?

Archbishop Luis Martinez wrote: "Sweet abandonment to all the movements of love is the characteristic mark of devotion to the Spirit. To love this divine Spirit is to let ourselves be taken along with him, as the feather is carried along by the wind; to let ourselves be possessed by him, as the dry branch is possessed by the fire that burns it; to let ourselves be animated by him, as the sensitive strings of a lyre take life from the artist's touch" (The Sanctifier 83). 

The Byzantine liturgy of Pentecost proclaims: "We have seen the true Light, we have received the heavenly Spirit, we have found the true faith: we adore the indivisible Trinity, who has saved us."


F. K. Bartels is a Catholic writer who knows his Catholic Faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever have. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit him also at


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Living Faith

'I HAVE GIVEN YOU FULL WARNING.' Dark Days - Did Pope Francis just predict the END OF THE WORLD? Watch

Image of

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis has invoked Mark, Chapter 13 as a warning that we may be approaching the end times. He suggested that what he has seen appears to fit the end times as described by Jesus. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis has warned that we could be in the ... continue reading

Unbelievable exorcisms: Why is everyone obsessed with them? Watch

Image of Sixty-eight percent of Americans believe in the presence of angels and demons (The Possession).


Despite the growing belief that religion is losing its influence, people continue to firmly believe in the necessity for exorcisms. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to a Pew Research Survey, 68 percent of Americans believe angels and demons exist on Earth. ... continue reading

Come together this Thanksgiving with a beautiful prayer Watch

Image of Each year thousands of families celebrate Thanksgiving, but make the food their priority. This year, make God and all He has given us your priority.


Each year, millions of people across the United States rush to grocery stores and prepare to visit their families in celebration of Thanksgiving. Visiting loved ones and enjoying a specially prepared meal are both wonderful parts of celebrating, but don't forget to ... continue reading

Pope Francis: Jesus is weeping over a WORLD AT WAR

Image of Pope Francis mourns a world at war.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has made it clear, Jesus is weeping over a world at war. It has become obvious that this is a time of extreme danger for all people around the globe. No population is safe from terror. The threats aren't just from terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al ... continue reading

Oxford to begin study of Catholic relics. Here are 5 macabre relics people venerate from around the world Watch

Image of The skull of St. Thomas Aquinas.


The veneration of relics in the Catholic Church has been one of the most debated practices in the faith. While such veneration is actually common in the human experience -even Communists did it with the body of Lenin, the veneration of relics in the Church is the ... continue reading

Nine bishops, one abbot, dine and dialogue with peace activists Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops' fall assembly in Baltimore, several bishops and one abbot, decided to skip dinner at the downtown Marriott Waterfront hotel, and walked several blocks to an inner city parish to share a simple meal with about 30 peace ... continue reading

Woman turns her cancer over to Jesus Christ - survives, thrives Watch

Image of Heather King shares her struggles in her new memoir,

By Mary Rezac, CNA/EWTN News

Heather King never cared much for doctors. Los Angeles, CA (CNA) - It's an attitude she partly inherited from her mother, "who classified ginger ale as a medicine, considered Novocain a snobbish extravagance" and somehow managed to avoid a visit to the doctor's office ... continue reading

Top 5 ways to find joy Watch

Image of Find happiness in spite of the darkness.


It is easy to fall prey to depression and sadness with everything that has been going on in the world these days. The trick to maintaining a positive attitude and living in the joy God has for us is as easy as following five simple steps. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Want to lose the War on Christmas? Surrender Advent Watch

Image of What millions of Christians do a day after expressing thanks for what they already have.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Want to lose the War on Christmas? Surrender Advent. We Christians have gone out of our minds, arguing about Starbucks cups and greeters who (correctly) say "Happy Holidays" in place of "Merry Christmas." In all the bustle of the season, we have forgotten that Advent ... continue reading

The one easy thing you can do everyday that will profit your faith

Image of Reading Catholic Online every day can provide you with the Catholic outlook on the world you need.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is one thing you can do every day that will profit you in many ways. It requires no work and the most minimal effort. It will inform you, inspire you, and ignite your passions. That thing is to visit Catholic Online every day. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading

All Living Faith News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Opium, heroin or cocaine: What drug is YOUR country known for?
  • Prayer For Faith HD Video
  • Pope Francis does the unthinkable following emotional tragedy in ...
  • 'Body lifted from the ground': Young Central American woman dies ...
  • St. Eligius: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • Parents' Prayer For Their Children HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 10:9-18
9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:18-22
18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 30th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew
November 30: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a ... Read More