A fragment of a poem by TS Eliot about the Holy Spirit (From Four Quartets).
The dove descending breaks the air With flame of incandescent terror Of which the tongues declare The one discharge from sin and error. The only hope, or else despair Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre- To be redeemed from fire by fire.
Who then devised the torment? Love. Love is the unfamiliar Name Behind the hands that wove The intolerable shirt of flame Which human power cannot remove. We only live, only suspire Consumed by either fire or fire.
For me, it speaks about the fact that the descent of the Holy Spirit is not only a celebratory event, but a painful thing- the indwelling of the spirit brings fire and suffering! It's always sobering for me to acknowledge the sheer holy terror of God in balance with my more warm and comfortable ideas and images.
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