How do we put "flesh" on the concept of a spirit, especially the HOLY Spirit? The gospel writers help us with this. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to the Apostles & to Mary as "tongues of fire" which hovered over their heads. Fire can be strong. Think of the raging fires we've heard recently in Canada, destroying homes & making people rush to another safe place. But fire can be small and gentle too. Today we light the paschal candle one last time to mark the end of the Easter Season. A candle has a small, gentle flame.
The Hoy Spirit, we are told, came upon the Apostles like a "strong, driving wind." Again we've heard recently of the forces of nature that have produced tornados in Texas that have destroyed many properties. But then Jesus "breathes" on the Apostles in the Gospel. Think of the breath of a baby or of a puppy: soft, gentle.
Finally, the Holy Spirit was represented by the Irish as a wild goose! They are loud, can bite, and always go in flocks to increase their power. But the gospels speak of the Spirit as being more like a gentle dove, peaceful. The Holy Spirit is both powerful and gentle. We need both from the Spirit. We need the Spirit to give us courage, conviction, & strength. But we also need the Spirit to show us peace, gentleness & guidance. What do you need from the Holy Spirit today?