Pentecost Sunday

 May 23, 20

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 104 – a fitting prayer for this glorious Feast of Pentecost.

Lord, send out your Spirit,
and renew the face of the earth.

It is a bold prayer, an extravagant request. It asks for everything – a Fire of Love so complete that the whole earth is remade in its Divine Power.

It is a prayer based in mutual invitation as, in the Sequence, we invite the Holy Spirit to renew us:

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!

Pentecost Sequence

And, as in any true relationship, the Spirit invites us too – to open our hearts to the infinite grace of this feast. The Book of Revelation describes this reciprocity in this profound passage:

“ I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

Revelation 22: 16-17

Today, on the Birthday of the Church, we pray not only for our own soul’s kindling, but for the whole People of God. May the Grace of Pentecost ignite a new fire of charity over all the earth. May that fire clear the way for the Spirit’s gifts to flower, for Her fruits to blossom, for Her power to surprise us as it bursts forth in our hearts!


Poetry: The Golden Sequence

Veni Sancte Spiritus, sometimes called the Golden Sequence, is a sequence prescribed in the Roman Liturgy for the Masses of Pentecost and its octave. It is usually attributed to either the thirteenth-century Pope Innocent III or to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Stephen Langton, although it has been attributed to others as well.

“Veni Sancte Spiritus” is one of only four medieval Sequences which were preserved in the Roman Missal published in 1570 following the Council of Trent (1545–63).

The other three occasions when we hear these beautiful ancient hymns are Easter Sunday (“Victimae Paschali Laudes”), Corpus Christi (“Lauda Sion Salvatorem”) and Our Lady of Sorrows (“Stabat Mater Dolorosa”). On Easter Sunday and Pentecost, the sequence must be sung, whereas on Corpus Christi and Our Lady of Sorrows, the sequence is optional.

Wikipedia

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
    Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
    Come, within our bosoms shine.

You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
    Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
    Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
    And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
    Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
    Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
    Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
    In your sevenfold gift descend;

Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
    Give them joys that never end. Amen.
    Alleluia.

Music: Veni Santé Spiritus – Chant of the Mystics

Infinite Grace

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter
May 2, 2019

Click here for readings.

Today, in Mercy,  in our reading from Acts, the disciples continue to show immense courage in preaching the Word.  They are bursting with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, soon to be confirmed in them on Pentecost.

Jn3_34

We, too, have these gifts confirmed in us, not only when we receive the sacrament of Confirmation, but each time we open our hearts without reserve to the Holy Spirit and her ensuing abundance:

Wisdom
Understanding
Counsel, or Right Judgment
Fortitude, or Courage
Knowledge
Piety, or Reverence
Fear of the Lord, or Awesome Wonder

Sometimes, we unfortunately forget to call on these infinite gifts as we navigate life’s challenges. It is a blessing to remember that we are not doing this thing called “Life” alone, just as the early disciples were charged by the power of God.

Our Gospel confirms the availability of God’s unbounded Grace to all who believe:

For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.

Let’s consciously claim that unrationed grace today! Oh, what a difference it might make in our lives!

Music: Mozart: Veni Sancte Spiritus (Latin and English Lyrics below)

Veni sancte Spiritus:
Reple tuorum corda fidelium:
et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.
qui per diversitatem linguarum cunctarum
gentes in unitate fidei congregasti.
Alleluia.


Come Holy Spirit:
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle your love in them.

You have gathered the nations
together in the unity of faith.
Alleluia.