Rodney Kissinger, S.J. has been a Jesuit for over 70 years and
a priest for over 59 years. His seasoned spirituality is the fruit
of more than 60 years of making and giving the Spiritual Exercises
in all of its formats to priests, religious and laity. It is presented
not in the jargon of academia but in a language that everyone
can understand. He is neither “old breed” nor “new
breed,” he is just “half breed.” Having studied
both the old theology and the new theology he is convinced that
the continuity is so great that you cannot understand the new
until you have mastered the old.
Feast of Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. For some 2,000
years now the Church has withstood the devastating ravages of time.
It has seen empires rise, flourish and then fall. It has withstood
diabolical attempts to destroy it from without and corrupting influences
from within. Through it all the permanence and the stability of
the Church stand out like a beacon in the night of a sin-darkened
wants all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. The
Good News Jesus came to reveal was meant not only for the people
of his day, but for people of all time. So while Jesus was personally
proclaiming the Good News to his contemporaries, he was preparing
a means by which his mission would be continued after he had returned
to his heavenly Father.
began by gathering together twelve men whom he called apostles.
He spent the night in prayer before he called them to “Come
follow me.” He taught them by word and example.
As an internship he sent them out two by two and gave them authority
to proclaim the Good News and cast out demons. He gave them specific
instructions about what to wear and what to do. When they returned
they were glowing with success. Jesus took them aside for debriefing
and further instructions.
he returned to his Father, he gave them their formal commission.
into the whole world; make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. And behold I
am with you always until the end of the ages.”
he told them to go to Jerusalem and wait until they received the
Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth that would remind them of all he
had commanded and remain with them forever. Then just as the human
body of Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit at the
Annunciation, so too the Mystical Body of Jesus, the Church, was
conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. And just
as the human Jesus lived his entire life under the inspiration of
the Holy Spirit, so too the Mystical Body of Jesus lives its entire
life under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It was by the power
of the Holy Spirit that the Gospel of Christ crucified, so incredible
and paradoxical in itself, so contrary to human nature and preached
by such simple, unlettered men conquered the known world in a few
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