Why is the Holy Spirit described as a dove descending on Jesus at his baptism and tongues of fire on the disciples at Pentecost after the ascension of Christ? The dove descends on Christ, who is already peaceful, joyous and full of lovingkindness. How can a dove resemble anything else? Surely a dove is not frightful, destructive, and consumptive like fire. Fire consumes, destroys but it also purifies enlightens and provides warmth. The tongues of fire at Pentecost as the Holy Spirit came to consume and destroy any remaining depravity within the disciples but also to purify and enlighten them. It also dispenses power. The apostles are empowered and purified by the Holy Spirit. It like a class in pathology. A single germ cell can invade the body and eventually spread to all cells of the body with an infection that can be contagious to others. The Holy Spirit acts in the same way. It can enter you in the form of a dove or as fire. Either way you must become totally infected with the spirit and you must be filled, consumed and cleansed with it. If you are good you become better. It you are bad you become good. The spirit, the third person of the trinity, seeks to invade you, consume you and purify you such that you can spread that infection to others. When it invades, the spirit remove the vices to make room and fill you with the virtues. Truth, knowledge and wisdom are its byproducts.
The Catholic Mass in 155 A.D.
All of the following information was taken from the website newadvent.org.
Saint Justin Martyr, a Christian apologist, born at Flavia Neapolis, about A.D. 100, and converted to Christianity about A.D. 130, taught and defended the Christian religion in Asia Minor and at Rome, where he suffered martyrdom about the year 165. Two "Apologies" bearing his name and his "Dialogue with the Jew Tryphon" have come down to us…. Flavia Neapolis, his native town, founded by Vespasian (A.D. 72), was built on the site of a place called Mabortha, or Mamortha, quite near Sichem. Its inhabitants were all, or for the most part, pagans. The names of the father and grandfather of Justin suggest a pagan origin, and he speaks of himself as uncircumcised…. As he walked one day along the seashore, he met a mysterious old man; the conclusion of their long discussion was that the soul could not arrive through human knowledge at the idea of God, but that it needed to be instructed by the Prophets who, inspired by the Holy Ghost, had known God and could make Him known. …Justin lived certainly some time at Ephesus; the Acts of his martyrdom tell us that he went to Rome twice and lived "near the baths of Timothy with a man named Martin". He taught school there, and in the aforesaid Acts of his martyrdom we read of several of his disciples who were condemned with him…. St. Justin was condemned to death by the prefect, Rusticus, towards A.D. 165, with six companions, Chariton, Charito, Evelpostos, Pæon, Hierax, and Liberianos. We still have the authentic account of their martyrdom ("Acta SS.", April, II, 104-19; Otto, "Corpus Apologetarum", III, Jena, 1879, 266-78; P.G., VI, 1565-72). The examination ends as follows:
"The Prefect Rusticus says: Approach and sacrifice, all of you, to the gods. Justin says: No one in his right mind gives up piety for impiety. The Prefect Rusticus says: If you do not obey, you will be tortured without mercy. Justin replies: That is our desire, to be tortured for Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and so to be saved, for that will give us salvation and firm confidence at the more terrible universal tribunal of Our Lord and Saviour. And all the martyrs said: Do as you wish; for we are Christians, and we do not sacrifice to idols. The Prefect Rusticus read the sentence: Those who do not wish to sacrifice to the gods and to obey the emperor will be scourged and beheaded according to the laws. The holy martyrs glorifying God betook themselves to the customary place, where they were beheaded and consummated their martyrdom confessing their Saviour." …
In his second "Apology" (iii) Justin says: "I, too, expect to be persecuted and to be crucified by some of those whom I have named, or by Crescens, that friend of noise and of ostentation." …
TITUS ÆLIUS HADRIANUS ANTONINUS PIUS, Roman Emperor from 138-161 A.D., was born 18 September, 86 A.D. at Lanuvium, a short distance from Rome and died at Lorium, 7 March, 161. He shared the imperial power with Hadrian until the death of the latter, 10 July, 138, when he became sole ruler. His conception of the duties of his office was high and noble, and his exercise of the almost unlimited power placed in his hands marked him as a man thoroughly devoted to the interests of humanity. In his private life and in the management of his court he followed true Stoic simplicity, entirely removed from excess or extravagance. His reign was unquestionably the most peaceful and the most prosperous in the history of Rome. The tolerant attitude of the Emperor made possible a broad and vigorous activity on the part of the Christian bishops, one evidence of which is the institution of synods or councils of the Christian leaders, then first held on an extensive scale, and described at some length by Eusebius in his Church History. In this way, it may be said, the Emperor contributed to the development of Christian unity.
The First Apology
Chapter 1. Address
To the Emperor Titus Ælius Adrianus Antoninus Pius Augustus Cæsar, and to his son Verissimus the Philosopher, and to Lucius the Philosopher, the natural son of Cæsar, and the adopted son of Pius, a lover of learning, and to the sacred Senate, with the whole People of the Romans, I, Justin, the son of Priscus and grandson of Bacchius, natives of Flavia Neapolis in Palestine, present this address and petition in behalf of those of all nations who are unjustly hated and wantonly abused, myself being one of them….
The Second Apology
Chapter 61. Christian baptism
I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; lest, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, "Unless you be born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." John 3:5 Now, that it is impossible for those who have once been born to enter into their mothers' wombs, is manifest to all. And how those who have sinned and repent shall escape their sins, is declared by Esaias the prophet, as I wrote above; he thus speaks: "Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from your souls; learn to do well; judge the fatherless, and plead for the widow: and come and let us reason together, says the Lord. And though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white like wool; and though they be as crimson, I will make them white as snow. But if you refuse and rebel, the sword shall devour you: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it." Isaiah 1:16-20.
And for this [rite] we have learned from the apostles this reason. Since at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice, by our parents coming together, and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training; in order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed, there is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe; he who leads to the laver the person that is to be washed calling him by this name alone. For no one can utter the name of the ineffable God; and if any one dare to say that there is a name, he raves with a hopeless madness. And this washing is called illumination, because they who learn these things are illuminated in their understandings. And in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of the Holy Ghost, who through the prophets foretold all things about Jesus, he who is illuminated is washed….
Chapter 65. Administration of the sacraments
But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to γένοιτο [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.
Chapter 66. Of the Eucharist
And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do in remembrance of Me, Luke 22:19 this is My body;" and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood;" and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.
Chapter 67. Weekly worship of the Christians
And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.
Christians today have become less and less inclined to practice holy leisure - quite, spiritual time with God. In fact many Christians don’t even keep the Lord’s Day holy. Just imagine the number of so called Christians and the large group of pagans who never keep the Lord’s Day holy, much less practice holy leisure. Some will attend church if they have nothing better to do. Most in society today practice a secular spiritual rhythm. They concentrate on work, making money, acquiring possessions, seeking pleasure and obtaining ineffectual power. Then they seek time for self through a vacation and rest that is usually jam packed with non-stop vacationing and activity. They return home to seek rest from the vacation. Most never “cease work” much less repent, seek forgiveness and righteousness and offer praise to God. They fall into a rut of a secular rhythm and never escape.
Sacred rhythm to me is a constant relationship with God. Do you ever talk to yourself? You usually catch yourself judging others, complaining about something or someone, day dreaming or fantasizing and criticizing or condemning others. Some would call it subconscious activity. I call it the invasion of the evil spirit – satan. I try to live in the present all the time and keep God in the forefront of my consciousness. I don’t talk to myself, I talk to God. I complain to Him, I ask of Him, I thank Him and I praise Him. Life becomes a continual and constant connection with God. Anger, hatred, jealousy, drunkenness, lust and various unwholesome desires will attempt to break that concentration. The victory in this struggle is always returning your mind toward God. To me that is a rhythm of life that becomes sacred.