“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance…” (Acts 2: 1-4)
There is much to be said, and internalized, and lived, on the basis of this great event in our common history, celebrated today, of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, and through them on all of us. But I would just like to comment on the “sound” (ἦχος) in which He chose to descend, “like the rush of a mighty wind.” – Wind, of all things! For most of us who are not...
“Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13: 8-13)
But what about unrequited love? Or some other unhappy, or ambivalent, or misunderstood-in-some-way love? Is the Apostle also talking about the “messy“ cases of human love?
“In your patience possess/acquire your souls.” (Lk 21: 19)
What is patience? It is the power to wait. In Greek the word “patience,” ὑπομονή, literally means a “remaining behind”; a holding out, while awaiting someone or something – regardless, I might add, whether one knows who/what that someone or something is.
I must “acquire” my soul, my very life, our Lord tells me, through patience. That is to say, I become alive to God, responsive to God, and am able to grow in Him, through a willingness to await whatever He sends next, amidst the ambivalences and “not yets” of my here and now. “Hence,” writes the inimitable Hans Urs von Balthasar, “the importance of patience in the New Testament, which becomes the basic constituent of Christianity, more central even than humility: the power to wait,...