Sunday, June 04, 2006

Whit Sunday

fragments from "Divine Intimacy" by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen OCD

PRESENCE OF GOD - Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the heart and enkindle in it fire fo Your Love.

1. Pentecost is the plenitude of God's gift to men. On Christmas Day, God gives us His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus, the Mediator, the Bridge connecting humanity and divinity. During Holy Week, Jesus, by His Passion, gives Himself entirely for us on the Cross. He bathes us, purifying and sanctifying us in His Blood. At Easter, Christ rises, and His Resurrection, as well as His Ascension, is the pledge of our own glorification. He goes before us to His Father's house to prepare a place for us, for in Him and with Him, we have become children of God, destined for eternal beatitude. But the gift of God to men does not end there; having ascended into heaven, Jesus, in union with the Father, sends us His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. The Father and the Holy Spirit loved us to the point of giving us the Word in the Incarnation; the Father and the Word so loved us as to give us the Holy Spirit. Thus the three Persons of the Trinity give Themselves to man, stooping to this poor nothing to redeem him from sin, to sanctifying him, and to bring him into Their own intimacy. Such is the excessive charity with which God has loved us; and the divine gift to our souls reaches its culminating point in the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is the Gift par excellence: Altissimi Donum Dei, Gift of the Most High God. The Holy Spirit, the bond and pledge of the mutual love of the Father and the Son, He who accepts, seals, and crowns their reciprocal gift, is given to our souls through the infinite merits of Jesus, so that He will be able to complete the work of our sanctification. By His descent upon the Apostles under the form of tongues of fire, the Holy Spirit shows us how He, the Spirit of love, is given to us in order to transform us by His charity, and having transformed us, to lead us back to God.
2. The gift of the Holy Spirit is not a temporary gift, but a permanent one; in fact, for soul who lives in charity, he is the sweet Guest who dwells within it. "If anyone love Me," says Jesus in the words of today's Gospel (Jn14, 23-31)....We will come to him and will make Our abode with him." However, this indwelling of the Trinity - and hence of the Holy Spirit - in the soul which is in the state of grace, is a gift which can and should increase; it is a continual giving. The first donation was made when we were baptized; it was renewed later, confirmed, in a special way, by the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Sacrament that is, so to speak, the Pentecost of every Christian soul. Progressive renewals of this gift were made with every increase in charity.......
Veni Creator Spiritus - mentes tuorum visita,
Imple superna gratia - quae tu creasti pectora.

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
And in our hearts take up Thy rest
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid,
To fill he hearts which Thou hast made.

......."Come, O Life-giving Spirit, to this poor world and renew the face of the earth; preside over new organisations and give us Your peace, that peace which world cannot give. Help Your Church, give her holy priests and fervent apostles. Fill with holy inspirations the souls of the good; give calm compunction to sinful souls, consoling refreshment to the suffering, strength and help to those who are tempted, and light to those in darkness and in the shadow of death" (Sr. Carmela of the Holy Spirit, OCD).