The Holy Spirit brings harmony Print
Bishop Morlino's Column
Thursday, May. 23, 2013 -- 12:00 AM
This column is the bishop’s communication with the faithful of the Diocese of Madison. Any wider circulation reaches beyond the intention of the bishop.

Dear Friends

In his homily for Pentecost morning – which, of course had three points and which was focused upon the Holy Spirit — Pope Francis began by saying that he is very devoted to a particular Church Father who said that the Holy Spirit is, Himself, harmony. The Holy Spirit is, Himself, harmony. When we’re celebrating a Year of Faith and of the New Evangelization through beauty, what a beautiful image that is for the Holy Spirit — harmony.

It is the harmony that we hear so beautifully mirrored by well-prepared choirs singing good music. Harmony is pleasing to the ear and it lifts up the heart. Harmony has a particularly positive effect on people when they are disposed to it, because they themselves are harmonized in the first place. You can hear all the harmony you want, but if you yourself are not harmonized, it really doesn’t make any difference.

Many people are not harmonized

In our society and in our culture, many people are not harmonized. That’s why young people for example, can get used to the music that they listen to a lot of the time. Much of it is really not pleasing to the ear, but it’s an acquired taste, and it certainly resonates with those who are experiencing a great deal of un-harmonized angst in their daily lives.

This is why it appeals so easily to the young people — it resonates with the tremendous angst which teens are used to encountering anyway, but which is multiplied by our own culture. And so, the teens easily acquire a taste for it and become habituated to it, until anything else seems strange.

Harmony: a unified purpose

Harmony draws forth the natural reaction of pleasure from the ear of one who is harmonized. What does it mean to be harmonized? It means that mind and body, soul and body are working together for a unified purpose and speaking a unified truth. It means that my mind is not going in one direction and my body in the opposite direction. I’m not torn up and fragmented inside.

A good reason that so very many people in our country are on anti-depressants is in order to dull the pain of not being harmonized. Now, for a number there are certainly biological factors, but for others the difficulties they are encountering can also be rooted out by counseling, and by a prayerful life that seeks harmony.

It’s not necessarily the fault of these people, but it’s a fact that they’re not harmonized. And all of us are weak and all of us lack in harmony to greater and lesser degrees, but the truly harmonized person generally is at peace — not necessarily perfect in all they say or do, but the harmonized person is at peace, and real harmony is objectively pleasing.

Avoiding the mind-body split

The Holy Spirit is harmony in Himself! He’s for the holistic unification of the human being – mind and body, soul and body. The Holy Spirit speaks of our need to avoid the mind-body split, which is the temptation to which most American people tend to gravitate, with regard to their thinking on the human person.

The hermeneutic of a mind-body split is what leads people to say, “If I think something is true, then it’s true. Whatever is in my mind wins out. And when I encounter in the universe the natural law, which has an impact on my body and soul, that is to be set aside; all that matters is what I think.” By this way of thinking, life is one big “mindtrip” that always ends up reinforcing my ego. There can’t be any harmony there.

We don’t condemn people who live like that, we pray for them, but the Holy Spirit is calling us to the harmony which He is. The Holy Spirit is calling every woman and man to the harmony that is very pleasing to the eye of God, and that is a beautiful life — where the harmony of the individual reflects the harmony of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

So the Holy Spirit heals the division in the human person and among the human community. We strive, with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, toward harmony within our individual person, but we are also called to harmony among all people. This too is only possible with and in the Holy Spirit. It is a peace the world cannot give.

Confusion of meaning

The Holy Spirit heals what we called at the time of the Tower of Babel, the confusion of tongues. In our day we see this confusion of tongues played out profoundly as, even when we speak or understand similar languages, words don’t mean anything anymore. We have no harmony. We see that as the way that our culture operates.

What does “family” mean? Well, it all depends.

What does “marriage” mean? Well, it all depends.

And depending on what you mean by “marriage,” another new term can come into the language — “marriage equality.” There is marriage equality right now. Every human being has the same natural right to marry someone of the opposite sex; that’s what marriage is.

So one cannot talk really about “same-sex marriage,” because marriage is a union of a husband and a wife. If you’re going to talk about “same-sex marriage,” you might as well talk about a “bachelor who is married.” A “bachelor who is married” makes no sense ,just as “same-sex marriage” makes no sense. Marriage means husband and wife, man and woman. But words no longer mean anything anymore and thus we cannot have harmony among ourselves.

At the time of the Tower of Babel, God confused the tongues of the people because they were becoming too arrogant. Once their tongues were confused they couldn’t do anything. So He humbled them. The problem is that today our tongues are confused, but we’re not humbled — we celebrate our confusion. And the devil, whose soul purpose is to divide, and to cause disquiet and disharmony, celebrates his small victories. This is why we’re in trouble.

Come Holy Spirit

But, the Holy Spirit heals that confusion of tongues — the one who is harmony Himself. We are witnesses of this. We are witnesses of the healing of the individual, so that the individual becomes harmonized. We are witnesses of the healing of the confusion of tongues so that words actually mean things, reason works, and there is Truth. United in the Truth, together we are in harmony.

Our society believes that words don’t mean things — they change from paragraph to paragraph. In our society, reason doesn’t work — it’s been replaced by feelings. In our society there is no Truth. Our culture is at war with harmony itself — the Holy Spirit. The devil has his small victories, but, there can be no question as to who will ultimately win. And the victory which conquers this world of ours is our faith, which is the work of the Holy Spirit! No one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the power of the Holy Spirit!

So, our work is cut out for us and today we pray hard: “Come Holy Spirit, heal the confusion of tongues in the United States of America and in the world. Come Holy Spirit, heal the divisions in the United States of America and the world, and especially in the Church. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people, enkindle in us the fire of your divine love.”

Thank you for taking the time to read this. God Bless each one of you. Praised be Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother, Mary!