30 October 2015

In the throne room of heaven, where is the Holy Spirit?

With their vibrant colors, playfulness, and blatant disregard for proportion, the illuminations found in the medieval manuscripts always delight my imagination and my desire for beauty.

Earlier today, while perusing my Twitter feed, I saw just such an image shared by Robert Miller in preparation for the celebrations of All Saints Day:

MS 18850 f. 275r

The illumination, of course, depicts the multitude of the Saints before the throne of God, where we see depicted God the Father and God the Son. The image is charming, but it left me what seemed an obvious question: Where is God the Holy Spirit?

As I pondered this question, it occurred to me that the answer is as obvious as the question itself: the Holy Spirit is within the hearts of the Saints.

Saint Paul instructs us to "guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within you" (II Timothy 1:14). What is more, he also tells us that in Christ, God "has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee" (II Corinthians 1:22).

The Holy Spirit took up his dwelling within our hearts on the day of our baptism into Christ Jesus, and his presence within us was strengthened through the sacrament of Confirmation. This is why Saint Paul also rhetorically asks, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body" (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

The men and women whose faithful witness we sill soon celebrate are those who followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit dwelling within them and strove daily to glorify God in all things by keeping free of sin. By the aid of their powerful their intercession, may we, too, glorify God in all things and so join them before the throne of God.

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