Sunday, June 12, 2011

St. Iraneus, the Holy Sprit and the old SAT

In today's Office of Readings there's a passage from St. Iraneus' treatise against heresy that is naturally, all about the Holy Spirit. If you haven't already seen it, check it out here,clicking office of Readings tab. My favorite part of this teaching is where he references--without naming it--the parable of the Good Samaritan:

And so the Lord in his pity for man who had fallen into the hands of brigands, having himself bound up his wounds and left for his care two coins...entrusted him to the Holy Spirit.
So Jesus is the Good Samaritan in relation to humanity, and --this is what I've never heard before--the Holy Spirit is the Innkeeper who takes care of us until Jesus returns!  And--I'm leaving Iraneus behind now and just running with the analogy--the Inn is the Church!  The wine and oil used to tend the wounds of the man are, of course, the sacraments.

I just love analogies. Even in high school, that was the only part of the SAT I enjoyed doing. They have since removed analogies from the SAT, having decided, I guess, that obsessive word geeks like me were having too much fun with this section, making it unfair to the others. Instead they increased the length and  boredom level of the comprehension readings to level the playing field.

Sorry, I digress.  I just meant to say that that parables are beautiful analogies between the physical world and the spiritual. And Iraneus was brilliant to find the Holy Spirit there with the Good Samaritan.