Tag Archives: Pentecost

Come, Holy Ghost

Come, Holy Ghost, send down those beams,

which sweetly flow in silent streams

from Thy bright throne above.


Thumbnail image for Icon of the Paraclete.jpg

O come, Thou Father of the poor;

O come, Thou source of all our store,

come, fill our hearts with love.


O Thou, of comforters the best,

O Thou, the soul’s delightful guest,

the pilgrim’s sweet relief.


Rest art Thou in our toil, most sweet

refreshment in the noonday heat;

and solace in our grief.


O blessed Light of life Thou art;

fill with Thy light the inmost heart

of those who hope in Thee.


Without Thy Godhead nothing can,

have any price or worth in man,

nothing can harmless be.


Lord, wash our sinful stains away,

refresh from heaven our barren clay,

our wounds and bruises heal.


To Thy sweet yoke our stiff necks bow,

warm with Thy fire our hearts of snow,

our wandering feet recall.


Grant to Thy faithful, dearest Lord,

whose only hope is Thy sure word,

the sevenfold gifts of grace.


Grant us in life Thy grace that we,

in peace may die and ever be,

in joy before Thy face. Amen. Alleluia.



This hymn, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, also known as the Golden
Sequence, is the poetic text (a sequence) for the Mass for Pentecost. It is
sung after the Epistle and before the Alleluia antiphon. It is regarded as one
of the greatest masterpieces of sacred Latin poetry. The hymn has been
attributed to three different authors, King Robert II-the Pious of France
(970-1031), Pope Innocent III (1161-1216), and Stephen Langton (d. 1228),
Archbishop of Canterbury. Archbishop Stephen is most likely the author. The
inclusion of this hymn in the sacred Liturgy is noted in the mid-12th century
or so and sung from Pentecost through the Octave. When the renewal of the
Liturgy happened following the Second Vatican Council the Octave of Pentecost
was suspended and the sequence limited to Pentecost Sunday.

The mind of Christ is not myopic: the event of Pentecost broadens us

holy spirit1.jpgThe Holy Spirit makes the Christian experience truly Catholic and universal, open to all human experience. To be Catholic is to be universal and open to the world. Not only to Canada, North America Europe or Asia, or a certain familiar part of the world or segment of society, but it must be open to all, to every single person. The mind of Christ is not intended to be a selective mentality for a few but the perspective from which the whole world will be renewed and redeemed. An insight like this, the universal scope of salvation did not however come easily and without much pain and confusion.

In fact, the whole of the New Testament can be understood precisely as the emergence of the Catholic, the universal, in Christian life. Christianity, had it not moved from where it was particular and small would have just been a small modification of the Jewish experience, a subset of Jewish piety that was still focused in and around Jerusalem and the restoration of a literal kingdom of Israel. The first two generations of Christians discovered that Christianity could not be just that. Because they had received the Holy Spirit, which is the universal principle, the Holy Spirit opened peoples’ eyes to the universal import of the Christian truth and through the encounter with non-Jews who received the Holy Spirit.

The artists of the Middle Ages often contrasted the Tower of Babel with the “Tower” of the Upper Room. Babel symbolizes the divisions of people caused by sin. Pentecost stands for a hope that such separations are not a tragic necessity. The babbling mob of Babel compares poorly with the heartfelt unity of the Pentecost crowd. Babel was a mob. Pentecost was a community. A people without God lost the ability to communicate. A people suffused with the Spirit spoke heart to heart.

At Pentecost the full meaning of Jesus’ life and message is poured into our hearts by the Spirit alive in the community. The New Testament seems to say that – for a fleeting moment – the nations of the earth paused from their customary strife and experienced a community caused by God. The brief and shining hour of Pentecost remains to charm and encourage us to this day.

These paragraphs come from Basilian Father Thomas Rosica’s essay on the Pentecost scriptures published on Zenit.org for May 28, 2009. Father Rosica is the executive director of Salt and Light TV.

A video on Pentecost can be seen here.

Praying with the Mysteries of the Holy Spirit

Father, Son, H Spirit.jpgThat we are in the days prior to the great feast of Pentecost our prayer ought to be more intensely centered on the third Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Spirit. My friend Dom Mark calls to mind the seven mysteries of the Holy Spirit found in the Rosary dealing with the action of the Holy Spirit in salvation history, especially attentive to the fact that these mysteries personally, deeply touch our own lives. His blog entry is helpful —read for yourself.

What gifts ought we to pray for? What about a fuller appreciation of and living out of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. They are: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Courage (fortitude), Knowledge, Piety (reverence), and Fear of the Lord (Awe of God).
Veni Sanctae Spiritus. Veni per Mariam.

Novena to the Holy Spirit

We are firmly living the days of the Paschal Mystery. What God has given us and what the Church faithfully teaches is that nothing is done without the action of the Holy Spirit. Our encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, our prayer to the Blessed Trinity, is firmly rooted in the Pauline belief that it is the Holy Spirit who first places within our hearts the desire for communion with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. That same Spirit breathes within us the grace of eternal life and places on our lips the words we pray. Thinking about this dogma of our Catholic faith, I found an encyclical of Pope Leo XIII which guides our spiritual life to depend more deeply on the Holy Spirit today.

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That divine
office which Jesus Christ received from His Father for the welfare of mankind,
and most perfectly fulfilled, had for its final object to put men in possession
of the eternal life of glory, and proximately during the course of ages to
secure to them the life of divine grace, which is destined eventually to
blossom into the life of heaven
. Wherefore, our Savior never ceases to invite,
with infinite affection, all men, of every race and tongue, into the bosom of
His Church: “Come ye all to Me,” “I am the Life,” “I
am the Good Shepherd.” Nevertheless, according to His inscrutable
counsels, He did not will to entirely complete and finish this office Himself
on earth, but as He had received it from the Father, so He transmitted it for its
completion to the Holy Ghost. It is consoling to recall those assurances which
Christ gave to the body of His disciples
a little before He left the earth:
“It is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not
come to you: but if I go, I will send Him to you” (1 John xvi., 7). In
these words He gave as the chief reason of His departure and His return to the
Father, the advantage which would most certainly accrue to His followers from
the coming of the Holy Ghost, and, at the same time, He made it clear that the
Holy Ghost is equally sent by-and therefore proceeds from – Himself and the
Father; that He would complete, in His office of Intercessor, Consoler, and
Teacher, the work which Christ Himself had begun in His mortal life. For, in
the redemption of the world, the completion of the work was by Divine
Providence reserved to the manifold power of that Spirit, who, in the creation,
“adorned the heavens” (Job xxvi., 13), and “filled the whole
world” (Wisdom i., 7).

we ought to
pray to and invoke the Holy Spirit, for each one of us greatly needs His
protection and His help
. The more a man is deficient in wisdom, weak in
strength, borne down with trouble, prone to sin, so ought he the more to fly to
Him who is the never-ceasing fount of light, strength, consolation, and
holiness. And chiefly that first requisite of man, the forgiveness of sins,
must be sought for from Him: “It is the special character of the Holy
Ghost that He is the Gift of the Father and the Son. Now the remission of all
sins is given by the Holy Ghost as by the Gift of God” (Summa Theologica
 3a, q. iii., a. 8, ad 3m).

Pentecost Greco.jpg

Concerning this
Spirit the words of the Liturgy are very explicit: “For He is the
remission of all sins” (Roman Missal, Tuesday after Pentecost). How He
should be invoked is clearly taught by the Church, who addresses Him in humble
supplication, calling upon Him by the sweetest of names: “Come, Father of
the poor! Come, Giver of gifts! Come, Light of our hearts! O best of Consolers,
sweet Guest of the soul, our refreshment!” (Hymn, Veni Sancte Spiritus).
She earnestly implores Him to wash, heal, water our minds and hearts, and to
give to us who trust in Him “the merit of virtue, the acquirement of
salvation, and joy everlasting.” Nor can it be in any way doubted that He
will listen to such prayer, since we read the words written by His own
inspiration: “The Spirit Himself asketh for us with unspeakable
groanings” (Romans viii., 26). Lastly, we ought confidently and continually
to beg of Him to illuminate us daily more and more with His light and inflame
us with His charity
: for, thus inspired with faith and love, we may press
onward earnestly towards our eternal reward, since He “is the pledge of
our inheritance” (Ephesians i. 14).

Wherefore, We
decree and command that throughout the whole Catholic Church, this year and in
every subsequent year, a Novena shall take place before Whit-Sunday, in all
parish churches
, and also, if the local Ordinaries think fit, in other churches
and oratories. To all who take part in this Novena and duly pray for Our
intention, We grant for each day an Indulgence of seven years and seven
quarantines; moreover, a Plenary Indulgence on any one of the days of the
Novena, or on Whit-Sunday itself, or on any day during the Octave; provided
they shall have received the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, and
devoutly prayed for Our intention. We will that those who are legitimately
prevented from attending the Novena, or who are in places where the devotions
cannot, in the judgment of the Ordinary, be conveniently carried out in church,
shall equally enjoy the same benefits, provided they make the Novena privately
and observe the other conditions. Moreover We are pleased to grant, in
perpetuity, from the Treasury of the Church, that whosoever, daily during the
Octave of Pentecost up to Trinity Sunday inclusive, offer again publicly or
privately any prayers, according to their devotion, to the Holy Ghost, and
satisfy the above conditions, shall a second time gain each of the same
Indulgences. All these Indulgences We also permit to be applied to the suffrage
of the souls in Purgatory.

Illud Munus
, 1, 11, 13)

 Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical on
the Holy Spirit
 May 9, 1897

Following the pastoral leadership of Pope Leo XIII, I recommend that we pray the Novena
to the Holy Spirit

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT, follows the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, and is an Oblate of Saint Benedict, works as a monastery farmer and a keeper of honey bees. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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