*BEST OF DTB #189* The Catholic Defender: Pentecost

Posted by John Benko - May 19th, 2013

Pentecost, the Greek name for “Fiftieth Day“! It takes place 50 days from Easter! In Hebrew,(חג השבועות Hag haShavuot or Shevuot known as “the Feast of Weeks.” Pentecost also marks the 1980th birthday of the Catholic Faith. Some might say Ascension Thursday is the birth of the Papacy, regardless, this is when we were sent out by the coming of the Holy Spirit!

This was the event the Lord called for his Apostles and disciples to wait in Jerusalem. This was the event that would change the world forever.

In the Old Testament, the work of the Holy Spirit was shown through powerful signs and wonders among the Israelites.

“So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. Gathering seventy elders of the people, he had them stand around the tent. The Lord then came down in the cloud and spoke to him. Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses, he bestowed it on the seventy elders; and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied.
Now two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp. They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent; yet the spirit came to rest on them also, and they prophesied in the camp. So, when a young man quickly told Moses, Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses aide, said, “Moses, my lord, stop them”. But Moses answered him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets? Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all”(Numbers 11:24-29)!

Think of what Moses just said, “Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all”? The Lord had this in mind all along. This was why Jesus instructed the Apostles to wait upon the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.

This would become the first Novena of the Catholic Church as they awaited for the glory of the Lord. Unlike the Old Testament when the Spirit of God would come upon the Lord’s people through His Ministers, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit 24/7.

“When he reached Lehi, and the Philistines came shouting to meet him, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him (Samson): the ropes around his arms became as flax that is consumed by fire and his bonds melted away from his hands. Near him was the fresh jawbone of an ass; he reached out, grasped it, and with it killed a thousand men. Samson cried out to the Lord, “You have granted this great victory by the hand of your servant. Must I now die of thirst or fall into the hands of the uncircumcised? Then God split the cavity in Lehi, and water issued from it, which Samson drank till his spirit returned and revived” (Judges 15:14-19).

The New Testament, Jesus states, “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name–he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you”(John 14:25-26).

John 16:13 Jesus says, “But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you”.

Jesus Said he would build his Church and the Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus through his Catholic Church.

The Holy Spirit declares the truth to the people of God. This is important because many false prophets have come and they give the Holy Spirit credit for their interpretations and opinions. That is dangerous and the Catholic believer must be aware of this.

With Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (50 days after the Resurrection of the Lord), we have seen the glory of the Lord.

The Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and Disciples along with Mother Mary, in the form of tongues of fire.

The Holy Spirit filled them all as they spoke in different tongues to the people. As the Holy Spirit scattered the people building the Tower of Babel with diverse languages (Genesis 11:7-9), the Lord was bringing the people to the Church through languages (Acts 2:5-12).

With the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost, the Catholic Church is enabled by the Lord to accomplish his will to take the gospel to all the nations. Praise the name of the Lord! Veni Creator Spiritus!


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*BEST OF DTB #50* The Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom

Posted by John Benko - January 21st, 2011

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are Seven: Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Fortitude, Counsel, Piety and fear of the Lord. I am asking the other writers here at Deeper Truth Blog to help me in explaining them. Just pick one and run with it! I have decided to start with Wisdom.

Wisdom, I believe is, is exemplified in the other 6, because Wisdom holds them in balance. All of the other 6 are connected to Wisdom, in some way. In fact, the Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom (Psalm 111:10).

Wisdom is that paragon virtue that allows someone to see clearly through all of the haze. When God asked Salomon to choose a gift , Salomon chose Wisdom. A wise choice (irony intended).

We live in a world where Wisdom has never been more needed and has never been in shorter supply. Wisdom is not simply the accumulation of information. Some people are very intelligent but lack the ability to efficiently process the vast amounts of information they possess. An over appreciation for one’s own intellect is a very dangerous thing.

In fact, some of the wisest people that have ever lived were viewed as intellectual lightweights by their own generations. The world is not impressed with Wisdom because Wisdom isn’t flashy.
In this world, appearances are what matter and people are drawn less by the substance of a speaker than by the power of his oration, less by the intrinsic value of a person than by their physical appearance and less by the solitude of a peaceful heart than by the lure of money and gold.

Wisdom sees all these things in their real value and understands that what the soul truly desires for eternity is infinitely more valuable than what tantalizes the eyes for a moment.

Here are certain things that I believe prevent people from progressing in Wisdom (other than the obvious- not asking for it).

Fear of the Lord.
The best place to start is the beginning and, as I mentioned earlier, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. That fear should be a healthy fear, not an irrational one. One should not imagine God as a mean old man who simply cannot wait to strike you down the minute you make a mistake. Yet, one should also be mindful that God is God. His Justice and Sovereignty are mitigated by His overflowing love and mercy but not eliminated by them. The wise man constantly forms His mind to the knowledge that he stands ever in God’s presence and that God- not men- will be his judge. When caught in the crossfire of two supervisors with conflicting instructions, you would cede to the higher authority, right? After all, obeying the higher authority will save you from being fired by the lower one but not the other way around.

Likewise, the Bible tells us that we are foolish if we disregard the fear of God- for any reason!

Matthew 10:28

28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Perspective
So many times, we base our decisions on what we see right now, without consideration of the possible long term implications of our decisions. This is true both of reward and of consequence. Sin is often nothing more than choosing what we want now at the expense of what we really want.

Wisdom enables us to see the true value in all things rather than be dazzled by the shine of the moment, or become despondent over our present trials. In essence, Wisdom is a demonstration of faith in the fact that God alone knows and understands us perfectly and sees what we have experienced, are experiencing and will experience. Having this knowledge, we can be wise enough to know that His will is always the best choice regardless of the situation.

Wisdom allows us to discern and discernment is the path to truth. Wisdom is not suspension of knowledge, rather, it is the correct use of knowledge. It is not in always knowing the answer, that makes us succeed in life. It is in knowing who has the answers and being obedient.

Realizing that no earthly joy is worth the pains of hell and that no earthly pain is too much a price for the joys of heaven is what separates the wise man from the fool. The fool learns too late that when this life ends, eternity begins. The fool is preoccupied what what this world can give him and that causes him endless anxiety. The wise man’s mind is at peace.

Wisdom recognizes the paradoxical fact that one who seeks only his own happiness will never posses it while he who seeks to please God and deny himself, will find life.


Matthew 16
24* Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? 27

Preparation.

The Bible tells us that the wise man builds his house on the rock.


Matthew 7
24* “Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; 25 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; 27 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.”

It is not that the wise man enjoys the storm, or doesn’t hope it passes over. It is just that it is the foolish man sings and dances and fails to prepare, even as he is being warned that the storm is coming. An unfortunate, but very literal example of this occurred in 1969, when 24 people decided to have a party even as a Category 5 hurricane closed in on them.

Introspection and humility

It is Wisdom that allows a man to take an honest inventory of himself and make the needed course changes to his life. The wise man uses his experience to become a better person and lead others to a better life.

A healthy skepticism

Finding the balance between gullibility and cynicism is a key to wisdom. Learning that what sounds too good to be true, often is and learning to train one’s instincts are important. However, one must be on guard against reading motives from innocent actions.

In closing, Wisdom is the ability to see the world as it really is. It is the eyes that let us detect spin, see through empty promises and reduce the complexities of life into simple choices of right and wrong. Wisdom allows us to see Satan’s trickery even when masked behind the good intentions of friends.


Matthew 16

21* * From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23* But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance * to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.”

May we all pray for this gift.


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