The plan for this page is to make studies, videos, and other links regarding the Holy Spirit to be organized in one location
The Holy Spirit and the Celtic Wild Goose
by Sister Terry Rickard, O.P., D.Min.
There are a variety of images in both Scripture and tradition that help us to grasp the meaning of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament we encounter the Holy Spirit as “ruach” the very breath of God. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and she was filled with God’s life. When Jesus was baptized, the spirit of God descended upon him as a dove and empowered him for mission. On the day of Pentecost, a rush of wind shook the house and heart of the disciples and flames of fire rested on their heads, transforming their fear and uncertainty into faith and conviction.
In the Celtic tradition the Holy Spirit is represented not as a peaceful dove but instead as a “wild goose.” The wild goose reveals a spirit which is passionate, noisy, and courageous. This symbol reminds us that God’s spirit cannot be tamed or contained.
The following videos address the Holy Spirit under the title of Wild Goose.
There is an ancient tale about a flock of geese that through their loud cackling forewarned the lookouts in a Roman city-state of an invading army. Throughout Christian history the prophetic cries of saints, movements, and religious communities — like the calls of those geese — have alerted the Church to the need for renewal and reform. The work of renewing and reforming is never done in isolation but as part of the community of the faithful which is very human and often fearful and uncertain.
The Holy Spirit works through ordinary human beings like you and me to bring God’s healing and purifying presence to all of creation. Ask the Spirit of the living God, the “wild goose,” to send upon you, our Church, and our world an outpouring of God’s spirit, transforming our fear and uncertainty into faith and conviction.
Sr. Terry is the Executive Director of RENEW International and a Dominican Sister from Blauvelt, NY.