Friday, December 26, 2008


Fr. O was over just before Christmas and he passed along a comment by Fr. Groeschel as to why Catholics do not seem to pray to the Holy Spirit as much as to the other two persons of the Blessed Trinity or the Trinity as a whole. He suggests that the symbolism of the Holy Spirit is a difficult one two grasp. Until you have a relationship with the Holy Spirit praying to a dove or a flame of fire. For early artists the depictions of God the Father posed a similar problem. They were reluctant to paint God the Father. Who could paint the unseen God? Jesus was made flesh and so appear in the world, not so the Father. So exactly what is there to paint?

So many artists chose not to. Instead they painted the hands of God. That seemed an easier concept to capture. Rather than having to create a face for our God from the prayers of faith and Scripture it get the idea of the “hand of God” or “the right hand of God” which of course make the life of inventive artists much easier. So you might see, for example, a hand extending from the heavens which is the creating hand of God the Father. At my first parish there was a depiction of the Garden of Eden and a hand extending from the heavens and pointing toward the egress accompanied by the flaming sword of expulsion as a motivator which of course was the Father kicking His wayward children out of the garden.

Sometimes the hand stands alone usually with three fingers extended and behind it the nimbus or halo reserved for depictions of the Trinity alone (having three red or gold rays of light.) Rarely the hand is seen holding something and I have read reports of but never have seen a picture of the hand holding people to suggest His protection and favor.

Hands express much more than we might at first assume and that is not just for people who talk with their hands a lot. They are used in our liturgies quite extensively and their position and what they touch mean quite a bit. But that will have to wait until next week.


MJ said...

I,probably being the odd one(now there's a shock), pray more to the Holy Spirit than the other two persons of the Blessed Trinity.
I've had to many things happen in my life that make me wonder how did any of the circumstances come together. I don't believe in coincidences, it's the Holy Spirit!

Michelle said...

I love St. Thomas Aquinas' prayer before studies - which is addressed to the Holy Spirit - and use it before I sit down to write, hoping for "abundant grace in expressing myself"...

LuisLiviaLuisa said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2009!

I invite you to listen a special Christmas episode of my podcast “Lev├íntate y Sal a Caminar”

28 minutes of Christmas carols in many languages, meditations and more…


Luisa Veyan S.
You can listen it in:

Paolo Padrini said...

I'd like to offer this story on my application that brings the prayer on iPhone.
I believe that prayer is Christian and Catholic from spreading. You wonder why you can publish the news and if you can spread it to your friends on the blog.


fr. Paolo Padrini

Sacred texts: Vatican embraces iTunes prayer book
5 days ago
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is endorsing new technology that brings the book of daily prayers used by priests straight onto iPhones.
The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications is embracing the iBreviary, an iTunes application created by a technologically savvy Italian priest, the Rev. Paolo Padrini, and an Italian Web designer.
The application includes the Breviary prayer book — in Italian, English, Spanish, French and Latin and, in the near future, Portuguese and German. Another section includes the prayers of the daily Mass, and a third contains various other prayers.
After a free trial period in which the iBreviary was downloaded approximately 10,000 times in Italy, an official version was released earlier this month, Padrini said.
The application costs euro0.79 ($1.10), while upgrades will be free. Padrini's proceeds are going to charity.
Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications, praised the new application Monday, saying the Church "is learning to use the new technologies primarily as a tool or as a mean of evangelizing, as a way of being able to share its own message with the world."
Pope Benedict XVI, a classical music lover who was reportedly given an iPod in 2006, has sought to reach out to young people through new media. During last summer's World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, he sent out mobile phone text messages citing scripture to thousands of registered pilgrims — signed with the tagline "BXVI."

Anonymous said...

I find it very helpful to pray to the Holy Spirit not only for my own needs, but for the needs of others. What a better way to gain wisdom and understanding in difficult life experiences.

Mary B