The most brilliant memory I have of the Holy Spirit is the Pentecost I experienced - it was an
experience like no other. On that June 1 Sunday about 20 years ago, St. Pius X Church in Tucson, AZ, was brimming with red. Red flowers, red clothing, red banners. As the liturgical readings about the Spirit were being proclaimed, the sound of blowing wind swirled about the church. I felt "caught up" in the movement of the Spirit that morning in that church. Since then, I have come to understand that every day can be a Pentecost if we raise our awareness to the Spirit among us.
Sometimes people think of the Spirit as abstract and unknowable. Yet the Apostle Paul reminds us that when we cry "'Abba! Father! it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God..." (Romans 8: 15-16) As children, then, we are all one family. Today we happily celebrated the Spirit again, this Trinity Sunday, closing our annual Benedictine retreat. Once again, the Spirit appeared almost visibly at St Scholastica Monastery in Boerne, Texas, where we renewed our annual commitment as
. Our family of fellow Oblates - Methodist, Catholic, Lutheran, and others - who try to follow the ancient monastic Rule of Benedict: Ora et Labora, that is, praying Holy Scripture in a spirit of hospitality and accepting everyone we meet as Christ.
I wonder when we all, Oblates and children of God, arrive at the Pearly Gates, will the ticket-taker ask, "Methodist?" "Catholic?" "Lutheran?" and usher us into differ rooms? Then the dinner bell rings and will we dine at one table or will there be table markers separating us into denominations? The Spirit I have come to know will simply say, "Welcome to the Heavenly Banquet." And there we will sit with our dear Abba Father and his son Jesus Christ. Of course, the Spirit will be there. As the Spirit is always here with us now.