Gedanken zum Tag 3. Juni

Contemplating the truth of Pentecost


“I am I because you are you …” are the opening words of a little video message I sent to family and friends on Pentecost. They are taken from a longer poem of the Kotzker Rebbe, (1787 – 1859), a Hasidic rabbi and leader. They matched very well the background music, the “Veni Creator” … : “Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, visit your people’s hearts …” So that they would be able to see.

On the same day, Muslim friends from a Brussels’ solidarity project, sent wishes to the Christian members of the group. And inspired to one of them the following answer : “Thank you so much … Different religious festivals have been celebrated elsewhere than in our usual places of worship this year – Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, the Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, the Jewish Passover, … I dare to hope that this situation has helped us understand even better the meaning of the universal message of the One God : peace, compassion and Love, which our world is so much in need of.”

Corona has changed our lives. Maybe in depth. It has provoked both moments of terrible suffering and loneliness, but also deepened the sense and even the feeling of togetherness – from a distance 😊. It might have given us the clear view Thomas Merton describes as contemplation : “Contemplation is the highest expression of man’s intellectual and spiritual life. It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive. It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent, and infinitely abundant source. Contemplation is above all, awareness of the reality of that source. It knows the Source, obscurely, inexplicably, but with a certitude that goes beyond reason and beyond simple faith… It is a more profound depth of faith, a knowledge too deep to be grasped in images, in words, or even in clear concepts… Contemplation is no pain-killer… It is a terrible breaking and burning of idols, a purification of the sanctuary, so that no graven thing may occupy the place that God has commanded to be left empty: the centre, the existential altar which simple ‘is.’” (Thomas Merton, “New Seeds of Contemplation”)

Let’s hope and pray the Holy Spirit will keep burning in our hearts and clearing our eyes so that we would be able to contemplate the truth of Pentecost, being fully aware.


Rozemarijn Vanwijnsberghe