Saturday, May 15, 2010


It's the period of the "original Novena" of days of prayer in the Upper Room between Ascension and Pentecost. This "novena" concluded with the incredible outpouring of the Holy Spirit--an outpouring we need today, as well.

Though there is no formal, shared prayer at Our Savior during this time, we are all encouraged to make our personal novena to the Holy Spirit--what will we do extra, do without, give away... as a means of entering into prayerful, hopeful watching and waiting?

Pope John XXIII called for a "new Pentecost" in the context of his convoking Vatican II. Pope Benedict XVI has called for a new efflusion of the Spirit, both a couple of years ago in his pastoral visit to the United States, and now as he has ended his pastoral visit to Portugal.

Are our hearts (is my heart) open to transformation? What might it ask of me--to do, to be, to surrender, to embrace...? The institution of the Church cannot be reformed unless the members of the Body of Christ (which is the real Church) are reformed: this is the conversion we must long for and be open to. Will we be ready to sing Veni, Sancte Spiritus on this Pentecost? This sequence will be chanted at Mass next Sunday. And just a couple of weeks later another ancient prayer will be chanted: Veni, Creator Spiritus--at the ordination of Fred Boni, Dan Good, James Morrison and Wayne Youngman to the priesthood. They will be transformed for committed service and ministry to the Church in a total way. Are we ready to be used by the Spirit, too?

The great prayer to the Holy Spirit is a great way to engage in this special novena:

Come, Holy Spirit; fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the earth. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit instructs the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolations, through Christ our Lord. AMEN.

Below is a clip (this one is acceptable; I promise!) of one of the most famous of all settings of the Veni, Sancte Spiritus, by the 15th century composer John Dunstable (mis-spelled in the clip's title). And let's pray in these next days for the "fire" to fall!

1 comment:

  1. Just a brief reminiscence from a cradle Catholic: Little did I know or recognize the effects of the Holy Spirit as I went through grade school at Sacred Heart Parish, West Reading, Pa. up until the eighth grade. But as I made decisions which would affect my life thereafter, I prayed to intermediaries - such as St. Jude, patron saint of the impossible--&- the Lord himself through the Friday Sacred Heart novenas. When taking risks, leaving home to attend a university to fashion a new career, I received courage from those prayers. But, I didn't attribute this courage to the Holy Spirit. The understanding of the Trinity was not at all clear - except that it was a Mystery. Now, through the ongoing availability of bible studies and excellent teaching, with wisdom, I can truly appreciate the role of the Holy Spirit and thank him for his patience in helping my faithlife to mature.