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Monday, January 24, 2000

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St. Francis de Sales

2 Samuel 5:1-7, 10
Psalm 89:20-22, 25-26
Mark 3:22-30

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intimacy or blasphemy?

"I give you My word, every sin will be forgiven mankind and all the blasphemies men utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven." —Mark 3:28-29

The Holy Spirit is pictured as a dove, a symbol of Israel (see Ps 74:19), re-creation (see Gn 8:11ff), love (e.g. Sg 5:2), and peace. The Holy Spirit knows the depths of God (1 Cor 2:11) and the depths of our hearts, from which He cries out "Abba" ("Father") (Gal 4:6). The Spirit dwells within our bodies as His temple (1 Cor 6:19) and is the Spirit of truth (e.g. Jn 14:17), that is, of true, faithful love. We can have a true, deep, tender, intimate relationship with the indwelling Holy Spirit.

On the other hand, we can refuse intimacy with the Spirit and abuse Him by blaspheming (Mk 3:29), grieving (Eph 4:30; Is 63:10), quenching (1 Thes 5:19), insulting (Heb 10:29), and "always opposing" Him (Acts 7:51). We can lie to the Spirit (Acts 5:3) and even evict Him from the temple of our bodies by "trashing" His temple through committing mortal sin.

In our relationship with the Holy Spirit, we tend to go to extremes — a docile tenderness and intimacy or a brutal, violent, blasphemous rejection. Let us stop our abuse of the Holy Spirit. Let us love the Spirit, Who is Love (see 1 Jn 4:16).

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, You are all the Love I will ever need. Teach me to love You.

Promise:  "David grew steadily more powerful, for the Lord of hosts was with him." —2 Sm 5:10

Praise:  St. Francis gave spiritual direction to St. Jane Frances de Chantal, who founded eighty-six convents in only thirty years.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999