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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

Mary and New Outpourings of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit moves over the chaotic forces of this world to communicate the Word of the Father. This Eternal Meaning always brings order and peace so that the mystery of love might unfold. Friendship and fullness, joy and communion overflow wherever this creative power is unleashed. Even His first movement brings into darkness: light; and into emptiness: life. In all this, He never comes the same way twice and to miss the Breathe of God is to miss all that makes life worth living. If this Spirit is ever grieved, His mercy is only increased until all hostility is humbled. In this way, the Spirit of Truth breaths the Word into this passing world with ever new and astonishing effect. No matter the evil, God's purpose holds—the glory of the Trinity is given to us even in the most difficult and unlikely moment.

To bring peace to the world, the Holy Spirit set aflame the heart of a virgin in a new whirlwind of love never before unleashed. Such love had never been before because no one had ever welcomed love as fully as did she. She allowed herself to be overshadowed until the Giver of Life breathed into her a fullness of life. Divine Fire conceived Saving Mystery in her and through her, became manifest. Her being was lit with this love.

Such an outpouring of the Spirit was not despite her body and sexuality, but instead flowed into the very nuptial mystery of her whole humanity from highest heights to deepest depths. The very Holiness of God sanctified secrets of her womanhood that only God Himself knew were there, receiving all from her and giving all to her. Not only her spirit but her body burned with this Uncreated Gift. Thus, the Creator Spirit set Her womb ablaze with the Word until she bore Him forth into the world. Working through humanity, including this new relationship to Mary, reveals the fullness of how God wants to work in our lives even now. Wherever the Holy Spirit leads the Word, we confess that the Son of God is present to humanity through His humanity, and thus, through his Mother: the Virgin become Theotokos, the Daughter of Zion become Mother of God, the Handmaid become Queen of Peace.

This is the great mystery that plays out by a certain analogy in everyone who believes in her Son. The relationship of Mary to every new outpouring of the Holy Spirit helps us see how we are all caught together in a web of sanctified and newly established human relationships—because our humanity is in relation, personally implicating us in each other's lives, and the Gift of the Holy Spirit perfects this solidarity emerging in time, realizing it in the eternal love of the Holy Trinity.

To believe in the Lord Jesus Christ leads to a communion of humanity aflame in Holy Fire of the Father. Wherever this Furnace of Love descends, the Word Incarnate renews His whole saving mystery with power to enlarge our capacity for love and discrete enough to protect our integrity no matter how close we draw to God. Not just in spirit, but in our flesh and blood relationships, in the concrete particularities of life, in those nitty-gritty moments that seem so ordinary and inconvenient, in that single unnoticed decision to love without counting the cost. This is the hope of humanity—the humble "yes" to God that allows Him to give what He most yearns for us to have—His Uncreated Love dwelling in us, bringing us into a new unity more powerful than the sting of death.

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