Saturday, May 16, 2015

Come, Holy Spirit: Samson

When the Holy Spirit comes, He is seldom visible; usually we can only see the results of His presence.

From the Via Latina Catacomb
So Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother. When he turned aside to the vineyards of Timnah, a young lion came roaring out toward him. But the spirit of the LORD rushed upon Samson, and he tore the lion apart barehanded, as one tears a young goat. Judges 14:5-6

Detail from Madonna with St. Dominic, St. George, and the Founder of the Church, Jan van Eyck
This grisaille image is only a small part of a painting which you have probably seen a time or two. It shows up on Christmas cards. Samson is on the right-hand arm of Mary's chair.

 Madonna with St. Dominic, St. George, and the Founder of the Church, Jan van Eyck
When I started this I told myself, "ONE picture per post." I don't know why I lie to myself this way.

Samson Fighting the Philistines, Via Latina Catacomb
When he reached Lehi, and the Philistines came shouting to meet him, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon him: the ropes around his arms became like flax that is consumed by fire, and his bonds melted away from his hands. Coming upon the fresh jawbone of an ass, he reached out, grasped it, and with it killed a thousand men. Judges 15:14-15
Now, when you think about it, you might not just want to run out there and kill a lion or a thousand men. Neither of these stories makes me particularly anxious to invoke the Holy Spirit, but then there's the principle that,
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17,
 I have to think about what it is that I can learn from these scriptures. One thing is obvious, and that is that the Holy Spirit is not to be taken lightly. There is real power at work here.
Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all things that can offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen. Prayer from Day 2 of Novena to the Holy Spirit.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you again for the en COR age ment -
    "Come, O Holy Comforter, . . . Grant that I may have a part in [these] gifts . . . "