The beautiful Feast of Pentecost is, in a way, the very crown of the Church’s liturgical year. And we have such need of it today! More than ever, faithful hearts cry out, “Come Holy Ghost!, Creator blest!” The following excerpted from Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene, O.C.D.
Pentecost is the plenitude of God’s Gift to us. 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, even to death on the Cross. He bathes us, purifying us 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 a part of the Divine Family; 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 Ghost. The Father and the Holy Ghost 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 Ghost. Thus, the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity give Themselves to man, stooping to this poor nothing to redeem him from sin, to sanctify 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 Ghost Who is the gift par excellence: Altissimi Donum Dei, Gift of the Most High God. The Holy Ghost, 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 Ghost shows us how He, the Spirit of Love, is given to us in order to transform us by His charity, and having transformed us, lead us back to God.
The gift of the Holy Ghost is not a temporary gift, but a permanent one. In fact, for the 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 (John 14, 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 Ghost — in the soul which is in a 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 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. And what of the present? The Holy Ghost, in union with the Father and the Son, continues to give Himself to the soul more completely, more profoundly and possessively.
Today’s Gospel speaks very forcefully about charity, which is at the same time both the condition for, and the result of, the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in our souls. It is the condition, because according to Jesus Himself, the three Divine Persons dwell only in a soul who loves; it is the result because “the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Who is given to us.” (Romans 5, 5). Divine Love completely preceded us at Baptism, without merit on our part and solely through the merits of Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost was given to us, and His charity was diffused in us. Thereafter, each time we corresponded to the Divine invitations, by making generous acts of charity, He renewed His invisible visits to our soul, giving us always new grace and new charity. Thus our supernatural life has developed under the action of the holy Ghost; it is caught up in the life-giving transforming current of His love. In this way we understand how the Feast of Pentecost can and should represent a new outpouring of the Holy Ghost in our souls, a new visit in which He fills us with His gifts:
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
And in our hearts, take up Thy rest,
Come with Thy grace, and heavenly aid,
To fill the hearts, which Thou hast made.
We close with this prayer from Sister Carmela of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D. : “Come, O lifegiving Spirit, to this poor world and renew the face of the earth; give us Your peace, that peace which the world cannot give. Help Your Church, give her holy priests and fervent apostles. Fill with holy inspirations the souls of the good; give repentance 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. Amen.”
Come, Holy Ghost, renew the Church!
Come, Immaculate Mother of God, crush the head of satan and free the Church from evil!