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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana








After the Resurrection, Christ is said to have breathed on his apostles and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit…" Then much later on He would send them the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

St. Thomas describes these as the two acts of the Holy Spirit. In the first breathing, the disciples received the power to love their neighbors and on Pentecost they received the power to love God.

The first act is from the earth; the second is from heaven. No one can love God unless God gives him the power from above.

When Christ breathed on His disciples, He gave the power to love neighbor. We must love our neighbor to love God. Love of neighbor must be motivated by love of God but this does not mean that we already love God. It takes much love of neighbor before we can love God.

We must obey the commands of Christ on love of neighbor before the power to love God by the abiding of the Holy Spirit, as on Pentecost, can be given to us. Thus, Christ first breathed on them to receive the power to obey all His commands on love of neighbor; then He would give them the power to love God on Pentecost by the abiding of the Holy Spirit..




(updated 07-02-02)



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