The Spirit of Love (Holy Spirit Part 5)

 

Fr. Frank Pavone

 
  5/25/1998
  St. Paul calls God the Father the one "who did not spare his own Son, but handed him over for us all" (Rom.8:32). Handed him over, that is, to the agony and disgrace of crucifixion between two thieves.

How can it be? How can the Father hand his Son over to that?

Because the Father inspired in the Son such great love. That is how St. Thomas Aquinas answered the question. The Lord indeed had said, "Greater love than this no one has, than to lay down his life for his friends" (Jn. 15:13).

The love which exists between the Father and the Son, and is poured out on us, is a Person, the Holy Spirit. He is Love.

"Love" is the most misused, abused, and confused word in the English language. We use it for a lot of good things, and for a few evil things as well. But in the Word of God we find its authentic meaning: "The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us" (1 Jn. 3:16). The Holy Spirit is visible not only on Pentecost. In a very real sense, He becomes visible in the crucifixion, because the kind of love He inspires is the love that gives unto the point of death. Thus, the Letter to the Hebrews states, "Christ, through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God" (Heb. 9:14).

In the laws of the Old Testament, offerings were consumed by fire. In the eternal offering of Christ, the fire is the Holy Spirit.

But that same Holy Spirit is given to us. The second half of 1 John 3:16 states, "so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." That's what love does. It gives itself away, and that is why it is the opposite of abortion. Love

says, "I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person." Abortion says, "I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself." That turns the cross upside down and runs in the opposite direction of the Holy Spirit.

The love which gives itself away also unites. The Holy Spirit is the bond between the Father and the Son, and the one who unites the Church. "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body...and we were all given to drink of one Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:13). The Holy Spirit unites; abortion divides. You can't divide the human family more effectively than by introducing conflict between a mother and the child within her womb. Those who work with post-abortion counseling know the numerous other divisions abortion introduces within families and in the soul of those who have abortions.

I have read and written a lot of words about abortion over the years. But there are no words that can be said well enough, loud enough, or often enough to bring this tragedy to an end. That will happen only when, through the eternal Spirit, we too lay down our lives for our preborn brothers and sisters.

Part One: The Holy Spirit and Abortion

Part Two: Creator Blest 

Part Three: The Spirit of Truth

Part Four: The Advocate