The Soul of Jesus
Presence of God – O Jesus, permit me to contemplate Your soul, the chosen temple of the Holy Spirit, and grant that, following Your example, I, too, may become a temple worthy of Him.
Although grace was created equally by the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, without any difference or distinction, its diffusion in souls is usually attributed especially to the Third Person, the Holy Spirit, to whom everything that concerns the work of sanctification is referred by appropriation. In this sense the tremendous gift of grace which filled the soul of Jesus must be attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit. The soul of Jesus possesses every supernatural gift because “the Holy Spirit dwells in Christ with such plenitude of grace that no greater plenitude can be imagined” (Mystici Corporis). This plenitude of grace, which is a created gift, corresponds to the plenitude of the Holy Spirit, who is the uncreated Gift. Jesus, the only One who “received this Spirit in an unlimited degree” (Mystici Corporis), has received from Him the immense capital of grace which permits Him to merit it for all of us.
The soul of Jesus is uniquely beautiful, holy, intimately united to the divinity, and all this to such a degree that the Holy Spirit “takes delight in abiding in it as His chosen temple” (Mystici Corporis). He dwells in it with such plenitude and sovereignty that He inspires, directs, and guides all the actions of Jesus, and that is why the Holy Spirit “is correctly called the Spirit of Christ or the Spirit of the Son” (Mystici Corporis).
The Gospel tells us several times that Jesus “acted under the influence of the Holy Spirit” (cf. Luke 4:1). This happened, not under certain special conditions, but always; the sacred soul of Jesus was not moved by any other impulse, by any spirit other than the Holy Spirit.
O Jesus, You are so rich, so divine, and so all-powerful that Your gifts are not limited to created things, however sublime they may be, but reach their culmination in the uncreated Gift, in the gift of the Holy Spirit.
It is conformable with Your dignity as God-Man, O Lord Jesus, that the Spirit of Love, the substantial Love which proceeds from the Father and the Son, should be Your Spirit. But that You have wished to give me, a poor creature, this divine Spirit, is a mystery so sublime that I am lost in it. I can only understand, O my dear Redeemer, that I owe this Gift to You!
What return shall I make You, O Jesus, for Your infinite Gift? Oh! if I could at least live and act in such a way that Your Spirit, the Holy Spirit, would find in my soul a temple not too unworthy of Him!
I know that Your Spirit dwells within me, because You have given Him to me. Yet, He cannot fully possess me, nor lead me swiftly to sanctity, nor hasten my journey to God, because He often finds resistance in me instead of docility. O my Jesus, do not permit me to resist Your Spirit; do not let me grieve Him by my blindness and obduracy!
“O power of the eternal Father, come to my aid! Wisdom of the Son, illumine the eye of my intellect! Sweet clemency of the Holy Spirit, inflame my heart and unite it to Yourself. I confess, O sweet, eternal Goodness of God, that the mercy of the Holy Spirit and Your burning charity are trying to inflame my heart and unite it to You, together with the hearts of all rational creatures…. Burn with the fire of Your Spirit, consume and destroy, down to the very roots, all love and affection of the flesh, in the hearts of the new plants which You have deigned to graft onto the Mystical Body of Holy Church. Deign, O God, to carry us away from worldly affection into the garden of Your love, and create in us a new heart and a clear understanding of Your will, so that, despising the world, ourselves, and our pride, and filled with the true fervor of Your love … we may follow You for Yourself alone, in chaste purity and fervent charity!…
“O Holy Spirit, come into my heart; by Your power draw it to You, O God of truth; grant me charity with fear … warm me and inflame me with Your most sweet love” (St. Catherine of Siena).
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Art for this post on the soul of Jesus: St. Catherine of Siena, 1746, Giovanni Batista Tiepolo, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.