MEDITATIONS ON CHRISTIAN DOGMA. TREATISE II. 13. THE PROCESSION OF THE HOLY GHOST.
St. Francis Borgia, C
MEDITATIONS ON CHRISTIAN DOGMA.
TREATISE II. 13.
THE PROCESSION OF THE HOLY GHOST.
I. The Divine Father begetting the Son, equal to Himself and the Image of His glory, by an act of the intellect, is simultaneously moved to exercise His will in an act of infinite love towards this reflection of His perfections. The Son in return necessarily loves the Father with an equal and infinite love. This joint action is within the Godhead; it is God; and it constitutes a production, and a term which has personal consciousness of that love, and which is the Holy Ghost. Thus the Third Person proceeds from the First and Second together as from one principle or source of action, for they are one in will and in love. The Father eternally begets the Son having the same divinity and the same powers as Himself, and amongst these is included an equal power with Himself of being the principle of the Holy Ghost. It is this fact of producing the Holy Ghost which is the source of the reciprocal relations between the Son and Holy Ghost: without these relations there would be no distinction and They would not be different persons. The production of the Holy Ghost is the great glory of the Son with the Father, as the generation of the Son is the great glory of the Father. The propension of the will towards the supreme good is the completion of our activity as spiritual beings. So love is the accomplishment of the law; so love covers a multitude of sins.
II. Love must be indeed great when induced in a being whose capacity is infinite, by an object which is infinitely worthy and productive of love. Such is the love of the Divine Persons. It is one simple uncompounded act, but we may consider it as including the different forms of love as known to us. 1. The love of appreciation, by which the Divine Persons esteem and value each other infinitely and beyond everything, as being the Supreme Good. 2. The love of good-will, by which They desire each to the other all the praise, and joy, and glory which each merits, and which is contained in themselves. 3. The love of delight in each other, which is the highest hind of love, and the one most appropriate to God. This love was expressed by the Divine Father when He spoke from heaven concerning Our Lord and said, " This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. iii. 17). Exercise yourself towards each of the three Divine Persons in acts of love of each of these kinds. The love of delight is the source of spiritual joy, which is one of the fruits of the Holy Ghost. True religious ness is always joyful. Take care that this is the case with you. It will furnish an efficient test of your virtue.
III. The love in God which produces the Holy Ghost is a universal love of all that is good, so that it includes in itself God's love for His creatures. For the model and type of all goodness is some perfection existing in God; and therefore all creatures are present to the mind of God from all eternity, and are seen by Him with the internal act of intelligence of Himself that produces the Son. Corresponding to this is the act of the divine will, which loves all that is in the intellect of God, and therefore all that will be represented in creatures. This explains the infinite, the necessary, and yet the unexpected love which God manifests for all mankind in spite of their dements. At their worst they still bear some trace of their high origin which they cannot efface. God not only loves all men and all things, but He loves them, therefore, in the Holy Ghost. You should love the Holy Ghost as the source of all the good gifts of God in the work of creation. He is the fount of graces of all kinds as described in the Veni Sancte Spiritus. He communicates to us charity, joy, peace, patience, faith, modesty, etc. He is indeed our Paraclete and Comforter. Too late have you known Him; too late have you loved Him!
MEDITATIONS ON CHRISTIAN DOGMA BY THE RIGHT REV. JAMES BELLORD, D.D