Spiritual Gift of the Week
We pray to “share in the exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” (CCC221)
We ask Mary’s intercession—
for she “is endowed with the high office and dignity of the Mother of the Son of God,
and therefore she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit”
(Lumen gentium, n. 53).
Spiritual Instruction of the Week
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love…
Let us pray.
Dear Beautiful Daughters of Mary,
We are grateful to Audrey Patterson for her insightful words on the Holy Spirit which hold great content for our prayer. Let us reflect and pray:
Since we have just celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, I thought we might take a close look at the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Pope John Paul the great calls the Holy Spirit the “uncreated Love-Gift.” “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us.” (Romans)
While the Holy Spirit, the promised Paraclete, became man’s personal gift at Pentecost, He was clearly present in the Old Testament. In genesis, He was the Breath of creation. Peter tells us in Acts 1:16 that the Holy Spirit spoke through the mouth of King David. We read in Psalm 104: “If you take away their breath, they perish and return to dust. When you send forth your Spirit, they are created and you renew the face of the earth.”
The prophet Joel tells us in 3:1: “Thus says the Lord: I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh…And I will work wonders in the heavens and on earth.”
In my favorite Old Testament story Ezekiel tells us that the Spirit led him to a plain that was filled with dry bones. God told Ezekiel to pray to the Spirit that the bones would come to life. Ezekiel prays: “From the four winds come O Spirit and breathe life into these dry bones that they may come to life.” As we know the bones came to life and began to dance! Again in Ezekiel we hear these beautiful words spoken to him by God: “ I will give them a new heart and put a new Spirit within them…They shall be my people and I will be their God.”
We know about Pentecost. The same Spirit mentioned in the Old Testament is the same Spirit that descended like a dove at the Beloved’s Baptism, and the same Spirit sent to the apostles. It is only then that they speak in tongues, heal the sick, raise the dead and establish the Church. God sends the Spirit not because of our ability, but because of our lack of it. “I have strength for everything through Him who empowers me.” (Phil 4:13).
Early Church fathers have written beautiful images of the Holy Spirit. St. Basil the Great calls the Holy spirit the Purifier: “Through His aid hearts are lifted up, and they who advancing are brought to perfection…so souls wherein the Spirit dwells, illuminated by the Spirit, themselves become spiritual, and send forth their grace to others.”
St. Ambrose thinks of the Holy Spirit as a River of Grace: “The Spirit is the great River which flows always and never fails…the heavenly Jerusalem is not watered by the channel of earthly river, but by the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the fount of Life. This water is clearly the grace of the Spirit, a stream proceeding from the living fount of Eternal Life.”
Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical written in 1897 says: “It is the special character of the Holy Spirit that He is the Gift of the Father of the Poor, Giver of Gifts, Light of our hearts, best of Consolers, Sweet Guest of the soul, Our Refreshment.”
Through the Spirit all things that Christ did and said are permanently with us. Through the Spirit we have the Eucharist, for it is through the power of the Spirit that bread is changed into Christ’s body and wine is changed into Christ’s blood.
Caryll Houselander expresses the Spirit beautifully when she writes: “The Holy Spirit gives His love to the world as simply as a whispered secret or a loaf of bread. So it is that we, the whole world, through the daily bread of our human love.”
As we approach the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity let us contemplate the words of Pope Francis in Misericordiae Vultus: “Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.”
Veni, Spirito Santo, la misericordia di Dio ci salva—
Come Holy Spirit, it is by God’s mercy that we are saved,