Falling Fire

Pentecost is near. The Spirit is readying Paradise to empty its contents into the whole of creation; to mine the limitless Treasury burning in the risen Body of Jesus and expend Christ’s entirety (pleroma) on a humble group of Jews hidden in a locked room of Jerusalem. How marvelous that God always chooses to spend His riches on the poor and to be magnified in the lowly.

Two Pentecostal gifts for you today. First, there’s a powerful international initiative of prayer for the Spirit to come afresh on the Church with power on the eve of Pentecost. NOLA residents are invited especially to join in a marvelous prayer Vigil the eve of Pentecost at Divine Mercy Parish in Kenner, LA. Saturday evening from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Over 300 groups around the world have registered to host their own Vigil events on May 14, as well as over 250 people registered so far for the event in Kenner. See this video by Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR, whose hyperbole is turned to good effect:

Second, 11th century Byzantine saint, St Symeon the New Theologian, who is revered in the Eastern Church for his teaching on the Spirit, wrote a lovely prayer to the Spirit and a poetic reflection on the effects of His coming. The last lines, as Russian theologian Vladimir Lossky once said, should make all theologians exercise great reserve in claiming the title “theologian” or speaking of the mysteries of faith too easily. Fr Tom Hopko said that the world-class Orthodox liturgical theologian, Fr Alexander Schmemann, would quietly go into the chapel after teaching — usually late at night — and pray to be made worthy to speak of such mysteries. May all of us retain that sense of awe when we speak of God, and pray that we might experience for ourselves the mysteries we think and speak on. Come Holy Spirit!

St. Symeon:

Come true light
Come eternal life
Come hidden mystery
Come nameless treasure.
Come ineffable deed
Come inconceivable person
Come endless bliss
Come un-setting sun
Come untarnishing crown
Come purple of our great King and God
Come crystal belt studded with gems
Come unapproachable sandal
Come royal purple and right hand of the King
Come you whom my poor soul has longed for, and longs for still
I give you thanks that you have become one single spirit with me.

God heard my cries
And from unimaginable heights he stooped down
And looked upon me.
Once more he had pity on me and allowed me to see
The One who was invisible to all,
A much as human kind can bear.
Seeing him I was astounded,
Me who was locked up in my tiny house of bone,
All surrounded by darkness…
I saw him in the midst of my tiny house,
So quickly had he entered in, complete,
Uniting himself to me inexpressibly
Joining himself to me inexpressibly
Suffusing himself in me unconfusedly,
Just as fire can permeate iron,
Or light shine through crystal.
So it was he made me become like fire itself;
Revealing himself to me as Light.

What point is there in trying to explain all of this to you,
Or trying to make you understand it all?
If you yourself have not felt it by personal experience,
You will be unable to know it.

If you have not discerned that the eye of your mind has been opened,
And that it has seen the light;
If you have not perceived the sweetness of the Godhead;
If you have not been personally enlightened by the Holy Spirit;
If you have not sensed that your heart has been cleansed
And has shone with luminous reflections;
If, contrary to all expectation, you have not discovered the Christ within yourself;
If you have not been stupefied, at your vision of the divine beauty;
Then tell me – how is it that you dare to make any statement at all about God?

8 comments on “Falling Fire

  1. Michael says:

    Pentecost! A glorious time for our church and for our Lay Dominican Chapter. Our Chapter is named: Lay Dominicans del Espiritu Santo (Lay Dominicans of the Holy Spirit). We will have 2 of our members take Perpetual Promises at a special ceremony on the Feast of Pentecost.

    Thank you Dr. Neal for this post on the Holy Spirit.

    May you be richly blessed by His presence this weekend and always.

    Peace!

  2. WoopieCushion says:

    Oh St. Symeon! Pure Byzantine fire served from above every time he’s read!

  3. nos says:

    My dear dear dearest brother in CHRIST,,, May your new brothers in CHRIST be blessed with t h e same profound love of our HOLY THREE as you are + + + + + + tell St Catherine I said hello all my love my brother P.B.W.Y.A.A.

  4. trudymm says:

    Thank You, love the spirituality of those Holy Fathers. Come Holy Spirit Come! Falling fire help us climb out of our spiritual mire. Loosing a bit of sleep, but this is worth it!

    St. Symeon:
    SS=As=Come true light
    Tmm=Whose fire forever burns bright

    SS=Come eternal life
    tmm= And spare us from miserably living in strife

    Ss=Come hidden mystery
    Tmm= In no way, shape, or form a spiritual fantasy

    SS=Come nameless treasure.
    Tmm= Filled with your presence we experience so much pleasure

    SS=Come ineffable deed
    Tmm= Capable of meeting, be it small or large, our every spiritual need

    SS= Come inconceivable person
    Tmm= Leaving nothing in the end unfinished or undone

    SS=Come endless bliss
    tmm= An intimate experience, one sure to render us speechless

    SS=Come un-setting sun
    Tmm=Prepare us here and now for living in the kingdom

    SS=Come untarnishing crown
    tmm=Show us how to totally surrender which can turn our life 365 degrees around

    SS=Come purple of our great King and God
    tmm= Gloriously majestic, not a surprise appearance nor one that is odd

    SS=Come crystal belt studded with gems
    Tmm= Attentive to the praises we sing in blessed holy hymns

    SS=Come unapproachable sandal
    Tmm= Supply the strength so that what’s trying & difficult will be easy to handle

    SS=Come royal purple and right hand of the King
    tmm=Capable of making our hearts joyfully sing

    SS= Come you whom my poor soul has longed for, and longs for still
    Tmm=You alone can thoroughly satisfy & change not, because you can,we expect you forever will

    SS=I give you thanks that you have become one single spirit with me.
    Tmm=Freed to consume & be consumed, elated oh so happy as happy can be

    SS=God heard my cries And from unimaginable heights He stooped down And looked upon me.
    SS=Once more he had pity on me and allowed me to see

    SS=The One who was invisible to all,
    Tmm=Became very real as He sounded in my heart a very audible call

    SS=A much as human kind can bear. Seeing him I was astounded,
    Tmm=By swirling thoughts my mind was completely surrounded

    SS=Me who was locked up in my tiny house of bone, All surrounded by darkness…
    Tmm=Yet far from being listless

    SS=I saw him in the midst of my tiny house,
    Tmm=Me, He was quite able to rouse

    SS=So quickly had he entered in, complete, Uniting himself to me inexpressibly
    SS= Joining himself to me inexpressibly Suffusing himself in me unconfusedly,

    SS=Just as fire can permeate iron, Or light shine through crystal.
    Tmm=Totally mesmerizing can be the mystical

    SS=So it was he made me become like fire itself; Revealing himself to me as Light.
    Tmm= Dispelling the darkness that had no choice but to rapidly take flight

    SS=What point is there in trying to explain all of this to you,Or trying to make you understand it all?
    Tmm= Can an Infant scale a brick wall?

    SS=If you yourself have not felt it by personal experience,You will be unable to know it.
    Tmm=It’s like when something isn’t just right, you can’t force it, because it just won’t fit

    SS=If you have not discerned that the eye of your mind has been opened, And that it has seen the light;
    Tmm= How deficient you are in possessing valuable insight

    SS= If you have not perceived the sweetness of the Godhead;
    Tmm=It’s like you’re sleepwalking, or operating spiritually half dead

    SS= If you have not been personally enlightened by the Holy Spirit;
    Tmm=What’s needed is not a secret

    SS= If you have not sensed that your heart has been cleansed And has shone with luminous reflections;
    Tmm= There is a definite break and weakening in your divine intimate connections

    SS=If, contrary to all expectation, you have not discovered the Christ within yourself;
    Tmm=And see Him more as a trophy to possess & admired on a shelf

    SS= If you have not been stupefied, at your vision of the divine beauty;
    tmm= And think only in terms of what is your duty

    SS=Then tell me – how is it that you dare to make any statement at all about God?
    tmm=It’s liken to someone speaking with his head buried in the sod

    There will B times when we’ll get ourselves in a big mess
    Da remedy is 2 repent, waste no time in going 2 confess
    Jesus will not spurn a contrite and humble heart
    Where we leave off, now cleansed we get a fresh start
    \😇/
    |
    / \ http://gigapostolate.weebly.com/ tmm/PTL

    • Hyperbole even seems to fail me, tmm. Amazing.

      By swirling thoughts my mind was completely surrounded
      Can an Infant scale a brick wall?
      It’s liken to someone speaking with his head buried in the sod

      You really GET it.
      Thank you for your consistent amplification of what is already beautiful.
      May the joy of the Spirit fill you!

      • trudymm says:

        Thank you for all of your inspiring posts. Blessed be God, the others provide the gigantic wind gust, then what follows is my gentle little breeze. Very grateful it registers on your radar. In this year of mercy as we prepare to celebrate our church birthday, may it be the year where a fresh outpouring of the gifts & fruit of the Holy Spirit so transform your normal atmosphere. My prayer is that you & yours (all of God’s people) be launched into a new spiritual stratosphere.

        There will be times when we’ll get ourselves in a big mess
        The remedy is 2 repent, so waste no time in going 2 confess
        Jesus will not spurn a contrite and humble heart
        Where we left off, now cleansed we get a fresh start
        \☀/
        | http://gigapostolate.weebly.com/ / \ tmm/PTL

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