The Spirit of Truth (Holy Spirit Part 3)

 

Fr. Frank Pavone

 
  4/27/1998
 

I have always found one of the most fascinating aspects of theology to be the study of the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. Each has its own characteristics. Each has its own ways of lifting us up and transforming our lives.

The gift of knowledge helps us to see created things for what they really are. Together with a knowledge of God, we need a proper knowledge of creation, so that we may neither despise it nor worship it.

How do I understand reality? How do I proceed, then, to treat the created realities around me?

The Holy Spirit gives us a proper understanding of creation because He is the Spirit of Truth. "But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth" (Jn. 16:13). He frees us from the lies we tell ourselves and each other. He frees us from the blindness which sin brings, a blindness that distorts our knowledge of God, creation, and our very selves.

Pope John Paul II has written of "how the value of life can today undergo a kind of 'eclipse'" (The Gospel of Life, #11), leading to such evils as abortion and euthanasia. We need the Spirit of Truth to lead us out of this eclipse.

The conviction that the child in the womb is not worthy of protection is not merely a statement about the child in the womb. It is a statement about all of us. It reflects a distorted answer to the fundamental question, "What is a human person?"

The Risen Christ proclaims in the Book of Revelation, "I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne"(Rev.3:21). We will not only worship before the throne of God. We will sit with Him on the throne! That is the destiny of the human person! The Spirit bears witness to the greatness of our destiny by crying out "Abba, Father!" within us. The Spirit enables us to see the greatness of our calling, and the greatness of the same call given to every human being, including those yet in the womb.

This confronts the lie of abortion, which throws human beings in the garbage. Such an action in itself contradicts the Gospel. How can one who believes that the ultimate destiny of human beings is in the heights of heaven allow such human beings to be thrown away as trash?

Abortion does not only break the fifth commandment, Thou shalt not kill. It breaks the eighth commandment, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. To speak of or treat a human being as less than human is to bear false witness, to lie about his/her dignity.

We need You, O Spirit of Truth! Visit your people, and open their eyes and hearts once again to the greatness of human dignity and the sanctity of every life! Guide individuals and nations to recognize and defend the true meaning of human life. Amen.