By St. John of Avila
St John of Avila, proclaimed a doctor of the Church in October 2012, offers illuminating insights on the Holy Spirit in the collection of homilies first published by Scepter in 1959. Presented as sermons given around the feasts of Ascension and Pentecost, the saint speaks directly and to the point, yet is thoughtful and affectionate in his style. He proceeds in the form of a dialogue to present the Great Unknown. The sermons begin with a short introduction and then come to a particular point supported by Scripture texts, quotations from the Fathers, well-chosen illustrations, and his own original insights.
Many believers may find these feasts somewhat puzzling and obscure. St. John shows how they are among the greatest feasts in the Christian calendar and deserve to be better understood.
St. John of Avila, who was the spiritual advisor of St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis Borgia, St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. John of the Cross, among others, was born in Spain in 1499. While studying Law at the University of Salamanca he felt a call to be a hermit. After some time he went to Alcala and there was ordained a priest. Desiring to be a missionary to Mexico he traveled to Seville, but once there the archbishop persuaded him to stay and spread the gospel in Andalusia. He consented and would become known there as a fiery preacher, a wise spiritual director, and a good confessor. His was bold in his denouncement of Evil, and his fiery sermons drew large crowds. Because he denounced evil he was persecuted and imprisoned for a time by the inquisition which made him all the more popular among the people. St. John’s mystical writings and sermons have been translated into several languages.The Holy Spirit Withinis one of the compilations of his sermons that exists today.