Tag Archives: Pentecost

St Philip Neri at Pentecost

On the vigil of Pentecost in 1544, St Philip was praying in the Catacombs of Saint Sebastian, on the Via Appia, as he had done many times, and asked God to give him the Holy Spirit. St Philip was suddenly filled with great joy, and had a vision of the Holy Spirit as a ball of fire. This fire entered into St Philip’s mouth, and descended to his heart, causing it to expand to twice its normal size, and breaking two of his ribs in the process (a fact later proven by his autopsy). He later said that it filled his whole body with such joy and consolation that he finally had to throw himself on the ground and cry out, “No more, Lord! No more!”

(courtesy of Bp. Mario Aviles, CO)

Preparing for Pentecost

Prayer of St Augustine

Breathe into me, Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit,
that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit,
that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit,
that I may be holy.

With celebrating the feast of the Ascension yesterday we now turn to preparing for the Pentecost. I figure it is a very good thing to do since the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are quite important to our daily spiritual life. We ought to beg the Holy Spirit to pour out His 7 gifts daily.

Holy Spirit at the 50th day?

We are at the Pentecost –50 days since Easter. Are you ready (“made fit for the gift”) for the Holy Spirit to pour His gifts upon you? Have you asked for this outpouring?

“But why did the Holy Spirit not come to them while Christ was present, rather than immediately after his departure? Instead, although Christ ascended on the fortieth day, the Spirit came to them when the day of Pentecost had come. …It was necessary for them to have a longing for the event, and so receive the grace. For this reason Christ himself departed, and then the Spirit came. For if he had been present, they would not have expected the Spirit so earnestly as they did. For this reason he did not come immediately after Christ’s ascension, but after eight or nine days. Our desire toward God is most awakened when we stand in need.

For this reason, John sent his disciples to Christ at the time when they were to be most in need of Jesus, during his own imprisonment. Besides, it was necessary that our nature should be seen in heaven and that the reconciliation should be perfected, and then the Spirit should come and the joy be unalloyed. For, if Christ had then departed, when the Spirit had already come, and the Spirit remained, the consolation would not have been so great as it was. For indeed they clung to him and could not bear to part with him. To comfort them he said, “It is to your advantage that I go away.” For this reason he delayed also for the intervening days, that they, for a while disheartened and standing, as I said, in need of him, might then reap a full and unalloyed joy.…For it cannot, it cannot be, that a person should enjoy the benefit of grace unless he is wary. Do you not see what Elijah says to his disciple? “If you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you,” that is, you will have what you ask for.

Christ also said everywhere to those who came to him, “Do you believe?” For unless we are made fit for the gift, we do not feel its benefit very much. So it was also in the case of Paul: grace did not come to him immediately, but three days intervened, during which he was blind, being purified and prepared by fear. For just as the dyers first prepare the cloth that is to receive the dye with other ingredients to prevent the color from fading, likewise in this instance God first prepared the soul so that it was anxiously awaiting and then poured forth his grace. For this reason he did not immediately send the Spirit, but on the fiftieth day.

St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles 1.

Have you received the Holy Spirit?

How do you know whether you have received the Holy Spirit? Question your heart. If you love your brother and sister, the Spirit of God abides in you. Examine yourself before the eyes of God; see if there is in you a love of unity of peace, and a love for the church spread throughout the whole world.

Take care not to love only the person in front of you: we do not see many sisters and brothers, but we are united to them in the unity of Spirit. What cause is there to marvel that they are not with us? We are in one body; we have one head in heaven.

So, if you want to know if you have received the Holy Spirit, ask your heart: if fraternal charity is there, you can rest easy, for there can be no love without the Holy Spirit. As St. Paul says, the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us. (Romans 5:5)

Easter Meditations From the Vita Christi
Ludolph of Saxony
Quoted in “Your Hearts Will Rejoice”

Life by his Spirit – Pentecost

Creation, now marked by the saving sign of the Cross, has been enveloped in the redeeming love of the Holy Trinity. Now through Pentecost, and by the grace of the Holy Spirit (who becomes our divine mother in holy Baptism), nature has been transformed, and our humanity has taken-on the gifts of divine grace. Thus, we no longer know ourselves by the physical qualities of our existence in this world; but rather by the saving love of Christ who said: “I will not leave you orphans,” opening for us the gateway to Heaven, and transforming our lives through his Holy Spirit — into the newness of the Life with the Divine Trinity.

Father Steve Bonian, S.J.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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