Sunday Reflection (Pentecost), June 8, 2014: Unleashing the Fire of the Holy Spirit



This weekend is the celebration of Pentecost, which marks the end of the Easter Season. The readings can be found here.  The coming of the Holy Spirit is often represented by tongues of fire.  Fire was also prominent for Teilhard de Chardin, ranging from his famous quote on harnessing the energies of love to the deeply mystical Mass on the World.

Today’s reflection is a composite of quotes from multiple sources.  The first is from courtesy of Patricia Datchuck Sánchez, courtesy of National Catholic Reporter:

 “The day will come,” said Teilhard de Chardin, “when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.” In a sense the annual feast of Pentecost is another opportunity, placed in the path of the believer, for discovering and participating in the ever-present fire which is God’s love. Pentecost rounds out and climaxes the Easter event. All that we have remembered and celebrated, viz., Jesus’ saving death, his resurrection and ascension to glory, all of these sacred events took place so that the Holy Spirit might be unleashed upon the world.” — Patricia Datchuck Sánchez

The remaining reflection quotes are from multiple sources (three recent popes, two recent saints, Teilhard de Chardin and Elizabeth Johnson) courtesy of Center of Concern:

The Church herself will never cease putting questions, trusting in the help of the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth. — St. John Paul II

Nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see. On the contrary, everything is sacred. –– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Globalization has humanity poised between two poles. On the one hand, there is a growing of interconnectedness and interdependency between peoples even when culturally speaking – they are far apart. This new situation offers the potential for enhancing a sense of global solidarity and shared responsibility for the land, we cannot deny that the rapid changes occurring in our world also present some disturbing signs of fragmentation and a retreat into individualism. …. a faithful witness to the Gospel is as urgent as ever. Christians are challenged to give a clear account of the hope that they hold (cf. 1 Pet 3:15). — Pope Benedict XVI

May Christ inflame the desires of all people to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong. Through Christ’s power and inspiration may all peoples welcome each other to their hearts as brothers and sisters, and may the peace they long for ever flower and ever reign among them. — St. John XXIII

Finding one’s own voice, however, haltingly, imparts the power of the Spirit crying out. The boldness to hear the claim of conscience and follow its deep impulses even in the face of loss; the courage to taste righteous anger and allow it to motivate critical resistance to evil; the willingness to utter the prophetic word compassion into the ambiguity of the world. — Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ

Additional Reflections:

Living Space
Creighton Online Ministries


About William Ockham

I am a father of two with eclectic interests in theology, philosophy and sports. I chose the pseudonym William Ockham in honor of his contributions to philosophy, specifically Occam's Razor, and its contributions to modern scientific theory. My blog ( explores Ignatian Spirituality and the intersection of faith, science and reason through the life and writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (pictured above).
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9 Responses to Sunday Reflection (Pentecost), June 8, 2014: Unleashing the Fire of the Holy Spirit

  1. Lynda says:

    Thank you for these powerful quotes on which to reflect. I believe that we often miss the importance of the celebration of Pentecost. We overlook the power of the Holy Spirit, the member of the Trinity, who came to accompany us on our journey of life.

    • Well said Lynda. This is one of my favorite Feasts of the Year. On my good days, I can feel the presence of the Spirit moving within me and throughout the world.

      W. Ockham

  2. Funny, I was just trading emails with a friend on the power of globalization in terms of connectedness. Loved this piece.

  3. Thank you very much for this exceptional entry.

  4. Ruthanne Grant says:

    In this journey of life, I am at the place (again) of realizing the Oneness of all creation. Division is ego. (Reading Willigis Jäger again). This morning’s reading breathes Life into my soul. Love your site.

    • Ruthanne:

      Thank you for your kind words and for the mention of Willigis Jäger. I have not yet read him but he is on my way too long “to-read” list and your comment moved him to the top. Is there any particular work of his that you recommend starting with?

      Hope you have a great Sunday!

      W. Ockham

  5. Pingback: Pentecost: Unleashing the fire of the Holy Spirit | Teilhard Project

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