Veni Sancte Spiritus"-Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love." Catholics have continuously prayed for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit since the beginning of the Church in the upper room on Pentecost. I have said the prayer almost daily throughout my "adult" or "mature" Christian life. In making the novena to the Holy Spirit in preparation for Pentecost Sunday, I have frequently had recourse to this most ancient Catholic devotion. Why this prayer? What makes this prayer a standard and effective Christian prayer to the Holy Spirit?
It is a biblically inspired prayer. A part of the whole prayer is taken from Ps. 104. Other features of the prayers are not taken verbatim from the Bible, but they paraphrase its content and intent on the power of the Holy Spirit in renewing and recreating the Christian life. The prayer espouses an orthodox, Catholic theology of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of life and love. The prayer reminds us of the importance of having a relationship with the Holy Spirit to manifest the Christian life of love and living witness to Jesus and his Kingdom.
We need the actual presence of the Holy Spirit to evangelize effectively as individuals and as a parish. Fr. Dominic Eshikena, OP, our speaker at the parish's annual 40 hours during his talks, directed our attention to this need. The Sequence read at the Mass of the Pentecost stresses the importance of building a solid relationship of devotion to the Holy Spirit so as to receive its gifts: "On the faithful, who adore and confess you, evermore in your sevenfold gift descend."
We continue to pray to the Holy Spirit. Make the Holy Spirit your daily companion. Pray for the fruits of the Holy Spirit, as found in Galatians 5: 21-23. Come, Holy Spirit. Let your fire fall on us!
In His Love,
Fr. Bernard, OP