Monday, May 20, 2024

The Descent of the Holy Ghost: Meditation and Prayer


The Descent of the Holy Ghost



Ten days after His Ascension, and on the fiftieth day after EasterJesus ful­filled the promise He had so often made to His Apostles of sending them His Holy Spirit. We read in the second chapter of the Acts that "when the days of the Pente­cost were accomplished, they were altogether in one place: and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with diverse tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak." It is in these few and simple words that St. Luke re­cords the great and mysterious event which substituted the Christian feast of Pentecost for the Jewish one; an event which changed the Apostles in one moment from carnal and ignorant into spiritual and eloquent men, eminent both in wisdom and holiness, gifted with an invincible zeal and courage, and thenceforward fully capable of executing their great commission of evan­gelizing mankind and changing the whole face of the earth.


We celebrate today the anniversary of this great event, and that not only by commemorating it as we commemorate our Lord's resurrection at Easter, but by seeking to renew it within ourselves. In this respect the feast of Pentecost differs from all others; for others are feasts of gratitude for past mercies, whereas in this we celebrate a mystery which is con­tinually renewed in the Church, and which will be renewed in the souls of the faithful, even to the end of the world. At this very day we may venture, according to the promise of Jesus Christ, to ask, and to expect with the same confidence as the Apostles, the descent of the Holy Ghost upon ourselves, and the communi­cation of His gifts. 

Already now, we can enjoy God through the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ within us - by the presence of His Spirit within us. We must enjoy the presence of God within us. And particularly through the sacraments, which maintain the presence of Our Lord within us - and especially the Holy Eucharist. That is the result of Pentecost.

It is a source of consolation which the pagans do not know, and that is why we must desire to be missionaries and want to spread around us the good news of the coming of our Lord amongst us; to want to communicate His Spirit through the sacrament of baptism to all souls who surround us - to all souls whom we know and who are still far away from our Lord Christ.

That is the missionary spirit of the Church. That was the missionary spirit of the apostles. See how they went out to cross the world – twelve apostles, a tiny and insignificant little group. They brought the fire of love to the four corners of the world. They transformed the world. That should also be our thought, our desire.

 Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost


O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, didst promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of Thy Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me, that He may perfect in my soul the work of Thy grace and Thy love.

Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining Heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with Thee, and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God, and may dread in any way to displease Him.

Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

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