I. What happened to the “Holy Ghost”? To our ears, the word “ghost” conjures up images of graveyards and Halloween. Although this understanding reflects the immaterial nature of God, it fails to capture a more descriptive quality that is found in the languages of the Bible. The word for “wind” or “breath” is ruah in Hebrew and pneuma in Greek. The Bible uses these terms to describe the activity of God in history. It is the “wind” or “breath” of God that sweeps over the waters at creation (Genesis 1:2), gives direction to the prophets (Micah 3:8), and descends upon Jesus at His baptism (Mark 1:10).
With the resurrection of Jesus, the Church came to see that this activity was the work of a distinct person of the Holy Trinity. This person was identified by the word for “wind” or “breath,” which in Latin was spiritus. Our English spirit comes from this root and can still be recognized in its original sense in such words as “inspiration”, “respiration” or “perspiration.”
Therefore, the decision to refer to the third person of the Trinity as “the Holy Spirit,” rather than as “the Holy Ghost” is not an arbitrary change. “Spirit” more closely reflects the biblical imagery, which actually describes the action of God as a “wind” or “breath” in our history. Happy Pentecost! Come, Holy Spirit!
II. A Living Language, an exhibition of more than 100 works of art by Brother Martin Erspamer, OSB, a monk of St. Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana, is featured at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, May 14 to July 24. A talk entitled “A Gallery Walk Through the Exhibition” with the artist is scheduled for 2:30pm (today) on Sunday, May 15. A nationally recognized liturgical artist, Erspamer has designed stained glass installations in dozens of Roman Catholic and Protestant churches across the country and is a frequent consultant for religious communities. Brother Martin was a designer for Emil Frei Stained Glass Studios, St. Louis, Missouri, the company whose Munich studio created the stained glass windows at the turn of the 20th century for the former St. Joseph Church in Owensboro. These windows are now owned by the Owensboro Museum of Fine Arts, which constructed a special wing in 1994 to permanently display the collection.
III. Cathedral Preschool 51 “Graduates”: we know that graduation means “beginning!” Indeed these four year olds “have the world by the tail on a downward swing” as they begin a new phase in their life! I dare say the 51 youngsters are better prepared, because they have been touched by the competent, creative, and caring hands of our Cathedral Pre-school team! Congratulations!
IV. Carmel Home is a magnificent blessing for our Diocese. On Thursday of this week the priests, along with Bishop Bill Medley, will gather with the priests who reside at the Carmel Home, including Bishop Emeritus John McRaith and those priests who live in the Cotton Apartments (behind Carmel Home). Prayer will be at 4:00pm followed by dinner at 5:30pm. Pray for our bishops and the priests and deacons of the Diocese.