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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

JPII and the Advocate

Even today, the Polish word "adwokat" stands for a defense attorney. Many English speakers know THE Advocate to be the Person of the Holy Spirit, even though the term has been all but removed from the courtroom. Besides being the "Lord and Giver of life" who is adored and glorified with the Father and the Son, He also speaks through the prophets and indeed comes to the aid of the accused to provide a defense.

In his letter on the Holy Spirit, Dominium et Vivificantem, St. John Paul II describes exactly who and what an advocate is: "he acts as Counselor, Intercessor, Advocate, especially when man, when humanity find themselves before the judgment of condemnation by that 'accuser' about whom the Book of Revelation says that 'he accuses them day and night before our God.' The Holy Spirit does not cease to be the guardian of hope in the human heart: the hope of all human creatures, and especially of those who 'have the first fruits of the Spirit' and 'wait for the redemption of their bodies' (#67)

Elijah was accused of killing the Baal prophets, and undermining king Ahab and queen Jezebel. Yet, the Holy Spirit vindicated the prophet before his accusers. The Holy Spirit "whispered" to Elijah at Mt. Carmel, speaking to him words of encouragement in the face of those who sought to kill him in return for his zeal. The Spirit came to the aid of his weakness...So too, when Karol Wojtyla was faced with accusations of global proportions, he trusted in the Holy Spirit to give him the words to speak. He trusted the Advocate to drive his entire pontifical message:

In a certain sense, my previous Encyclicals Redemptor Hominis and Dives in Misericordia took their origin and inspiration from this exhortation, celebrating as they do the event of our salvation accomplished in the Son, sent by the Father into the world "that the world might be saved through him" and "every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." From this exhortation now comes the present Encyclical on the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; with the Father and the Son he is adored and glorified: a divine Person, he is at the center of the Christian faith and is the source and dynamic power of the Church's renewal.(#2)

The Holy Spirit does not disappoint, though many doubted (even to this day) the message of Wojtyla concerning VCII, Communism/Socialism, Marriage and Celibacy, etc. Thankfully, the catechsim refers to the "Living Memory of the Church" being the Holy Spirit-Advocate who has preserved the writings of St. John Paul II (even in his own native Polish) so that there can be no doubt about his being inspired by the 3rd Person of the Trinity.

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