MEDITATION TIP —Solemnity of Pentecost,
May 28, 2023

“And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, that parted and came to rest upon each one of them.” (Acts 2:2)

 Fire is one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit. The work of the fire is to illuminate the darkness. Therefore, the characteristic of a person who has experienced the work of the Holy Spirit is brightness. In the history of the Church, the saints who experienced the work of the Holy Spirit were characterized by joy, cheerfulness, and brightness, which were signs of a harmonious spirituality. This brightness does not refer to a natural disposition, but is born of a great trust in God’s guidance, a confidence that one is accepted as one is, and that everything will be all right in the end. It is true that this world is piled with difficult problems, but it is still important to look at this world with bright and clear eyes. Instead of looking at the future, which has yet to come, with anxious eyes, we should look at it with hope and expectation that something good will surely happen. Then, even though our society may seem to be full of difficulties, we will realize that the reason it continues to move forward is the selfless work of innumerable people of good will, and we will naturally feel a sense of gratitude.

 Konosuke Matsushita, once known as the god of management, used to ask at job interviews, “Do you think you are lucky?” He himself often said that he himself was lucky. I do not know why he asked such a question and why he said so about himself, but I am sure it was for the following reasons. The human brain is more powerful than any computer. Therefore, if you install software in your brain that says “I am lucky,” and input your goals, only images of “I can do it,” such as “I can do this” and “I should be able to do that,” will appear, and image training will be effective. On the other hand, if the software that says “I am unlucky” is installed in your brain, the brain searches for traumas from past experiences, such as “I couldn’t do it” or “It’s impossible,” and only images of not being able to do something will come to mind, and in the end, you will not really be able to do anything. This is why it is necessary to have a kind of “foolishness” that makes us believe that we are lucky and fortunate.

 This is the same in front of God. What is often seen in happy people is that they foolishly believe that they are loved by God and by people, and from there they never forget to thank God and those around them. Because they can be thankful for everything, they immediately notice even the smallest danger signal that comes their way and think, “God is teaching me something through this. I am glad I noticed it early.” Such people have one thing in common: they all have a peaceful mind. It is not that they do not experience negative emotions, but rather that they take care of their own state of mind frequently and make an effort to turn negative emotions into positive ones as soon as they occur. In other words, they are always taking care of their mental health so that they can feel happy in any situation.

 “Happy people make those around them happy as well” (Anne Frank). As mentioned above, the brightness and cheerfulness of the saints is a sign of harmonious spirituality, and also in society, people who are positive and forthcoming are actually making a great contribution to society in their own right.

 There was a motto in the past: “Instead of complaining that it is dark, let us turn on the light.” This is an appropriate motto for Pentecost, isn’t it?

      (Contributed by Father Akabae)