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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 05-19-13, SOL, Pentecost Sunday At the Vigil Mass
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 05-19-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 05/18/2013 9:12:57 PM PDT by Salvation

May 19, 2013

Pentecost Sunday - At the Vigil Mass

 

Reading 1 Gn 11:1-9

The whole world spoke the same language, using the same words.
While the people were migrating in the east,
they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there.
They said to one another,
“Come, let us mold bricks and harden them with fire.”
They used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city
and a tower with its top in the sky,
and so make a name for ourselves;
otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth.”

The LORD came down to see the city and the tower
that the people had built.
Then the LORD said: “If now, while they are one people,
all speaking the same language,
they have started to do this,
nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do.
Let us then go down there and confuse their language,
so that one will not understand what another says.”
Thus the LORD scattered them from there all over the earth,
and they stopped building the city.
That is why it was called Babel,
because there the LORD confused the speech of all the world.
It was from that place that he scattered them all over the earth.

Or Ex 19:3-8a, 16-20b

Moses went up the mountain to God.
Then the LORD called to him and said,
“Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob;
tell the Israelites:
You have seen for yourselves how I treated the Egyptians
and how I bore you up on eagle wings
and brought you here to myself.
Therefore, if you hearken to my voice and keep my covenant,
you shall be my special possession,
dearer to me than all other people,
though all the earth is mine.
You shall be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.
That is what you must tell the Israelites.”
So Moses went and summoned the elders of the people.
When he set before them
all that the LORD had ordered him to tell them,
the people all answered together,
“Everything the LORD has said, we will do.”

On the morning of the third day
there were peals of thunder and lightning,
and a heavy cloud over the mountain,
and a very loud trumpet blast,
so that all the people in the camp trembled.
But Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God,
and they stationed themselves at the foot of the mountain.
Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke,
for the LORD came down upon it in fire.
The smoke rose from it as though from a furnace,
and the whole mountain trembled violently.
The trumpet blast grew louder and louder, while Moses was speaking,
and God answering him with thunder.

When the LORD came down to the top of Mount Sinai,
he summoned Moses to the top of the mountain.

Or Ez 37:1-14

The hand of the LORD came upon me,
and he led me out in the spirit of the LORD
and set me in the center of the plain,
which was now filled with bones.
He made me walk among the bones in every direction
so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the plain.
How dry they were!
He asked me:
Son of man, can these bones come to life?
I answered, “Lord GOD, you alone know that.”
Then he said to me:
Prophesy over these bones, and say to them:
Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones:
See! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life.
I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you,
cover you with skin, and put spirit in you
so that you may come to life and know that I am the LORD.
I, Ezekiel, prophesied as I had been told,
and even as I was prophesying I heard a noise;
it was a rattling as the bones came together, bone joining bone.
I saw the sinews and the flesh come upon them,
and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in them.
Then the LORD said to me:
Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man,
and say to the spirit: Thus says the Lord GOD:
From the four winds come, O spirit,
and breathe into these slain that they may come to life.
I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them;
they came alive and stood upright, a vast army.
Then he said to me:
Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
They have been saying,
“Our bones are dried up,
our hope is lost, and we are cut off.”
Therefore, prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

Or Jl 3:1-5

Thus says the LORD:
I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.
Your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
your young men shall see visions;
even upon the servants and the handmaids,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
And I will work wonders in the heavens and on the earth,
blood, fire, and columns of smoke;
the sun will be turned to darkness,
and the moon to blood,
at the coming of the day of the LORD,
the great and terrible day.
Then everyone shall be rescued
who calls on the name of the LORD;
for on Mount Zion there shall be a remnant,
as the LORD has said,
and in Jerusalem survivors
whom the LORD shall call.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 104:1-2, 24, 35, 27-28, 29, 30 

R. (cf. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you have wrought them all—
the earth is full of your creatures;
bless the LORD, O my soul! Alleluia.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Creatures all look to you
to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 Rom 8:22-27

Brothers and sisters:
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we were saved.
Now hope that sees is not hope.
For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God’s will.

Gospel Jn 7:37-39

On the last and greatest day of the feast,
Jesus stood up and exclaimed,
“Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink.
As Scripture says:

Rivers of living water will flow from within him
who believes in me.”

He said this in reference to the Spirit
that those who came to believe in him were to receive.
There was, of course, no Spirit yet,
because Jesus had not yet been glorified.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; easter; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 05/18/2013 9:12:57 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 05/18/2013 9:16:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Genesis 11:1-9

Babel: the confusion of language


[1] Now the whole earth had one language and few words. [2] And as men
migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
[3] And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them
thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. [4] Then they
said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens,
and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face
of the whole earth.” [5] And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower,
which the sons of men had built. [6] And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one
people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what
they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
[7] Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not
understand one another’s speech.” [8] So the Lord scattered them abroad from
there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. [9] Therefore
its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all
the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the
earth.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

11:1-9. The text goes on to describe the growth of evil (cf. 8:21; 9:20-27), and,
as one of its results, the fact that mankind is scattered and its God-given unity is
fragmented. Thus, the text begins by talking about mankind when it was still toge-
ther; it came from the east, where it originated and settled in the plains of Meso-
potamia (in Shinar; cf. 10:10). But the people are filled with pride, and want to
make a name for themselves, and to guarantee their own security by reaching
heaven by their own efforts. This attitude is epitomized by the project of building
a massive tower (we can get some idea of it from the tower-temples of Mesopota-
mia, the ziggurats, on whose high terraces the Babylonians thought they could
gain access to the godhead and thus dominate God).

The text also offers an explanation for why there are so many languages; it sees
language as a sign of division and misunderstanding between individuals and na-
tions. It is based on the popular meaning of the word “babel”, connecting it with
the Hebrew balbalah, confusion; but in fact Babel means “gate of God”. We have
here an instance of literary devices being used to expound deep convictions – in
this case the view that disunion in mankind is the outcome of men’s pride and
sinfulness.

Babel thus becomes the opposite of Jerusalem, the city to which, the prophets
say, all the nations will flock (cf. Is 2:2-3). And it will be in the Church, the new
Jerusalem, that men of all nations, races and tongues will join in faith and love,
as will be seen in the Pentecost event (cf. Acts 2:1-13). There the phenomenon
of Babel will be reversed: all will understand the same language. In the history
of mankind, in effect, the Church is a kind of sign or sacrament of the union of
God and men, and of the unity of the whole human race (cf. Vatican II, “Lumen
Gentium”, 1).

11:4. St Augustine explains the frustration of man’s designs against God in this
way: “Where would man’s vain presumption have ended if it succeeded in rearing
a building of such size and height, even to the sky in the face of God – since
they would have been higher than any mountain and would have reached beyond
the limits of our atmosphere? In any case, no harm could have come to God from
any straining after spiritual or physical elevation” (”De civitate Dei”, 16, 4).

This new sin of mankind is basically the same sort of sin as was committed in
paradise; it is a kind of continuation of it. It is the sin of pride to which man is
always prone and it has been well described in the following words of St. Jose-
maria Escriva when he comments on 1 John 2:16: “The eyes of our soul grow
dull. Reason proclaims itself sufficient to understand everything, without the aid
of God. This is a subtle temptation, which hides behind the power of our intellect,
given by our Father God to man so that he might know and love him freely. Se-
duced by this temptation, the human mind appoints itself the centre of the uni-
verse, being thrilled with the prospect that ‘you shall be like gods’ (cf. Gen 3:5).
So, filled with love for itself, it turns its back on the love of God. In this way does
our existence fall prey unconditionally to the third enemy: pride of life. It’s not
merely a question of passing thoughts of vanity or self-love, it’s a state of gene-
ral conceit. Let’s not deceive ourselves, for this is the worst of all evils, the root
of every false step. The fight against pride has to be a constant battle, to such
an extent that someone once said that pride only disappears twenty-four hours
after a person dies. It is the arrogance of the Pharisee whom God cannot trans-
form because he finds in him the obstacle of self-sufficiency. It is the haughti-
ness which leads to despising other people, to lording it over them, and so mis-
treating them. For ‘when pride comes, then comes disgrace’ (Prov 11:2)”
(”Christ Is Passing By”, 6)

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 05/18/2013 9:16:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

From: Exodus 19:3-8a, 16-20b

God promises a Covenant


[3] And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him out of the mountain
saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel:
[4] You have seen that I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’
wings and brought you to myself. [5] Now therefore, if you will obey my voice
and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for
all the earth is mine, [6] and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy
nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

[7] So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them
all these words which the Lord had commanded him. [8] And all the people an-
swered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

[16] On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings, and a
thick cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the peo-
ple who were in the camp trembled. [17] Then Moses brought the people out of
the camp to meet God; and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain; [18]
And Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in
fire; and the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain
quaked greatly. [19] And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Mo-
ses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. [20] And the Lord came down up-
on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain;

*******************************************************************************************
Commentary:

19:1-25. This chapter is written as part of a magnificent liturgy is which the
events of Sinai are re-enacted for the reader. The sacred author, then, does not
seek to provide an exact, scholarly report on what happened there; what he is
providing, rather, is a theological interpretation of the real contact which took
place between God and his people.

As in other important sections of this book, it draws on the great traditions of
Israel but combines them so skillfully that they have become inseparable; only
now and then can one identify traces of particular traditions. The text as it now
stands is all of a piece. In this chapter there is a prologue (v. 9), summing up
what follows, and the theophany proper (vv. 10-25).

19:3-9. This passage summarizes the meaning of the Covenant that is going to
be established. So, it contains the idea of election, though it does not use the
term, and the idea of demands being made by God. Furthermore, we can see
here the new status of the people (it is God’s own property) and the basis of its
hope (in the sense that Israel attains its dignity as a people to the extent that it
is faithful to the divine will).

All the basic teachings are contained herein: a) The basis of the Covenant is Is-
rael’s deliverance from bondage (this has already happened: v. 4): the people are
the object of God’s preferential love; God made them a people by bringing about
that deliverance. b) If they keep the Covenant, they will become a very special
kind of people. This offer will take effect the moment they take on their commit-
ments, but Israel will develop towards its full maturity only to the extent that it
listens to/obeys the will of God. c) What God is offering the people is specified
in three complementary expressions – “My own possession”, “holy nation”,
“kingdom of priests”.

The first of these expressions means private property, personally acquired and
carefully conserved. Of all the nations of the earth Israel is to be “God’s property”
because he has chosen it and he protects it with special care. This new status
is something which will be stressed frequently (cf. Deut 7:6; 26:17-19; Ps 135;4;
Mal 3:17).

By being God’s possession Israel shares in his holiness, it is a “holy nation”, that
is, a people separated out from among the nations so as to keep a close relation-
ship with God; in other passages we are told more – that this is the relationship
of “a son of God” (cf. 4:22; Deut 14:1). This new way of being means that there is
a moral demand on the members of the people to show by their lives what they
are by God’s election: “You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev
19:2).

And the expression “kingdom of priests” does not mean that they will be ruled by
priests, or that the entire people will exercise the role of priest (which is in fact re-
served to the tribe of Levi); rather, it reflects the fact that God gives Israel the pri-
vilege of being the only nation in his service. Israel alone has been chosen to be
a “kingdom for the Lord”, that is, to be the sphere where he dwells and is recog-
nized as the only Sovereign. Israel’s acknowledgment of God is shown by the
service the entire people renders to the Lord.

This section (vv 7-8) ends with Moses’ proposal of God’s plans to the people and
their acceptance of these plans by the elders and by all the people; “All that the
Lord has spoken we will do” (v. 8). The same wording will be used twice again in
the ceremony to ratify the Covenant (cf. 24:3, 7).

In the New Testament (1 Pet 2:5; Rev 1:6; 5:9-10) what happened here will be
picked up again with the very same words, applying it to the new situation of the
Christian in the Church, the new people of God and the true Israel (cf. Gal 3:20):
every Christian shares in Christ’s priesthood through his incorporation into Christ
and is “called to serve God by his activity in the world, because of the common
priesthood of the faithful, which makes him share in some way in the priesthood
of Christ. This priesthood – though essentially distinct from the ministerial priest-
hood–gives him the capacity to take part in the worship of the Church and to help
other men in their journey to God, with the witness of his word and his example,
through his prayer and work of atonement” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ is Passing By”,
120).

19:10-25. This description of the theophany on Sinai contains features of a so-
lemn liturgy in order to highlight the majesty and transcendence of God. Verses
10-15 cover as it were the preparation for the great event, and vv. 16-20 the event
itself.

The preparation is very detailed: ritual purification in the days previous, ablutions
and everything possible done to ensure that the participants have the right dispo-
sitions, even a ban on sexual intercourse (cf. Lev 15:16ff) as a sign of exclusive
concentration on God who is coming to visit. Also, the fact that the people have
to keep within bounds is a tangible way of showing the transcendence of God.
Once Jesus Christ, God made man, comes, no barrier will any longer be im-
posed.

The manifestation of God took place on the third day; The smoke, the fire and
the earthquake are external signs of the presence of God, who is the master of
nature. The two trumpet blasts (vv. 16, 19), the people’s march to the foot of the
mountain and then standing to attention – all give a liturgical tone to their acknow-
ledgment of the Lord as their only Sovereign. All these things and even the voice
of God in the thunder convey the idea that this awesome storm was something
unique, for what was happening this special presence of God on Sinai, could
never happen again.

Israel will never forget this religious experience, as we can see from the Psalms
(cf. Ps 18:8-9; 29:3-4; 77:17-18; 97:2ff). In the New Testament, extraordinary di-
vine manifestations will carry echoes of this theophany (cf. Mt 27:45; 51; Acts
2:2-4).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 05/18/2013 9:17:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Ezekiel 37:1-14

The dry bones


[1] The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the
Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; it was full of bones. [2] And he
led me round among them; and behold, there were very many upon the valley; and
lo, there were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
And I answered, “O Lord God, thou knowest.” Again he said to me, “Prophesy to
these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says
the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you
shall live. [6] And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon
you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you
shall know that I am the Lord.”

[7] So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise,
and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. [8] And as
I looked, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin
had covered them; but there was no breath in them. [9] Then he said to me, “Pro-
phesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the
Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain,
that they may live.” [10] So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath
came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great
host.

[11] Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut
off.’ [12] Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold,
I will open their graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will
bring you home into the land of Israel. [13] And you shall know that I am the Lord,
when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. [14] And
I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own
land; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done it, says
the Lord.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

37:1-14. This remarkable vision of the bones being brought back to life sets the
scene for the climax of the resurgence of Israel, the unification of the two king-
doms (cf. 37:15-28). The dramatic contrast drawn here between death and life,
bones and spirit, shows that the revitalization that God will bring about goes
much further than material reconstruction or simply a return to the promised
land; it implies, rather, a new beginning, both personal and social.

The vision itself (vv. 2-10) takes place on an immense plain (cf. 3:22-23) and it
addresses the exiles’ profound concern about their future: “Our bones are dried
up, and our hope is lost” (v. 11). It is one of Ezekiel’s most famous and most
commented-on visions because it is very vivid and easy to understand. The pro-
phet himself explains it as having to do with the destruction-restoration of Israel
(vv. 11-14), though the Fathers of the Church see in it veiled references to the re-
surrection of the dead: “The Creator will revive our mortal bodies here on earth;
he promises resurrection, the opening of sepulchers and tombs, and the gift of
immortality […]. And in all this, we see that he alone is God, who can do all
things, the good Father who from his endless bounty will give life to the lifeless”
(St Irenaeus, Adversus haereses, 5, 15, 1). St Jerome writes in similar terms:
“The image of the resurrection would not have been used to describe the resto-
ration of the people of Israel if the future resurrection of the dead had not been
foreseen, because no one can be led to draw a conclusion from an idea that
has no basis in reality” (Commentarii in Ezechielem, 27, 1ff.

“I will put my Spirit within you” (v. 14). The spirit of the Lord is, at least, the po-
wer of God (cf. Gen 2:7) performing an act of creation. It is also the principle of
life causing man to “become a living being” (Gen 2:7); and, certainly, it is the
principle of supernatural life. The same God that created all things can revitalize
his demoralized people in Babylon and can allow humankind to partake of his
own life. This promise, like others found in the prophets (cf. 11:19; Jer 31:31-34;
Joel 3:1-5) will find its complete fulfillment at Pentecost, when the Spirit descends
on the apostles: “According to these promises, at the ‘end time’ the Lord’s Spirit
will renew the hearts of men, engraving a new law in them. He will gather and re-
concile the scattered and divided peoples; he will transform the first creation, and
God will dwell there with men in peace” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 715).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 05/18/2013 9:18:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Joel 2:28-32 (Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition and New Vulgate)
Joel 3:1-5 (New American Bible)

The Spirit poured out


[28] And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
[29] Even upon the menservants and maidservants
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

[30] and I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and co-
lumns of smoke. [31] The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood,
before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. [32] And it shall come to pass
that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion
and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and
among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

2:18-3:21. The second part of the book is all about salvation. The Lord’s compas-
sion (2:18) is shown by the message he sends via the prophet to the people in
response to their conversion: “The Lord answered and said to his people” (2:19).
On the Lord’s behalf the prophet encourages Judah and Jerusalem, telling them
that they have no reason to be afraid, for the Lord is going to deliver them from
their afflictions and provide them with every sort of earthly good (symbolized here
by the produce of the earth – grain, wine, oil: 2:19-27).

But the high point will be when God pours out his “spirit on all flesh …” (2:28).
The outpouring of the Spirit is the definitive sign that the “day of the Lord” has
come. That “day” is mentioned five times in the book (1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14),
each time with greater emphasis. The day of the Lord is an End time when a
number of things will happen: wickedness will be punished (1:15; 2:1-3); the po-
wer of the Lord will be manifested by portents in the heavens and on earth (2:30-
31); and, above all, it is the day when the Lord will judge all nations (3:1-8).

2:28-32. This is the great passage about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The
word “afterward” in v. 28 marks the transition from the material benefits de-
scribed in the previous verses to spiritual benefits. The outpouring of the Spirit
involves charismatic and prophetical gifts primarily (moral gifts derive from these).
This infusion of the Spirit is the fulfillment of an ancient promise, found in Num-
bers 11:16-30: “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, […] and I will
take some of the spirit which is upon you and put it upon them, […] Would that
all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!”
This hope is accentuated in Joel, for now no limits are placed on who will benefit
from it – elders, young people, and even servants (vv. 28-29). And the Lord will
once more perform wondrous things through them (v. 30), like those done by
prophets in the strict sense (cf. Deut 13:2; etc.).

St Peter sees this promise being fulfilled when the Holy Spirit is poured out on
the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21). “Peter turns to this passage from Joel to ex-
plain the significance of what has occurred, and the signs which those present
have seen: ‘the pouring out of the Holy Spirit’. It is a super-natural work of God,
carried out with the signs typical of the coming of the Lord, as they were foretold
by the prophets and realized in the New Testament with the coming of Christ”
(Bl. John Paul II, Address, 8 November 1989). Therefore, too, in the tradition of
the Church, this descent of the Holy Spirit is seen as an extension of his descent
on Jesus in the river Jordan: “God promised through the mouths of his prophets
that in the last days he would pour out his Spirit on all his servants, and that they
too would prophesy. Thus, the Spirit of God, who had become the Son of man,
so that by remaining within him, he would inhabit the heart of mankind and ani-
mate all the works carried out by the hands of God, fulfilling the will of the Father
through all men and making all men new – new creations in Christ. Luke tells us
that after the ascension of the Lord, the Spirit descended on the apostles at Pen-
tecost, to restore men to new life and to bring the new covenant to completion.
Therefore, the disciples praised God in all the tongues of men, laying all peoples
open to the action of the Spirit and all nations open to the power and authority of
God” (St Irenaeus, “Adversus haereses”, 3, 17, 1-2).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


6 posted on 05/18/2013 9:19:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 7:37-39

Different opinions about Jesus


[37] On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed,
“If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. [38] He who believes in me, as
the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” [39] Now
this he said about the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive; for
as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

37-39. On each of the eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles the high priest went
to the pool of Siloam and, used a golden cup to bring water to the temple and
sprinkle it on the altar, in remembrance of the water which sprang up miraculous-
ly in the desert, asking God to send rain in plenty (cf. Ex l7:1-7). Meanwhile, a
passage from the prophet Isaiah was chanted (cf. Is 12:3) which told of the com-
ing of the Saviour and of the outpouring of heavenly gifts that would accompany
him; Ezekiel 47 was also read, in which it spoke of the torrents of water which
would pour out of the temple. Jesus, who would have been at this ceremony,
now proclaims – in the presence of a huge crowd, undoubtedly, because it was
the most solemn day of the festival – that that time has come: “If any one thirst,
let him come to me and drink . . .”. This invitation recalls the words of divine wis-
dom: “Come to me, you who desire me, and eat your fill” (Sir 24:19; cf. Prov 9:
4-5). Our Lord presents himself as him who can fill man’s heart and bring him
peace (cf. also Mt 11:28). In this connexion St Augustine exclaims: “You made
us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you” (”Con-
fessions”, 1, 1, 1).

Jesus’ words as preserved in v. 37 led St Alphonsus to write this tender commen-
tary full of love for our Saviour: “In Jesus Christ we have three fountains of grace.
The first is the fountain of mercy, where we can be purified of all the stains of our
sins. […] The second is that of love: no one who meditates on the suffering and
shame that Jesus Christ undergoes out of love for us, from his birth to his death,
can fail to be kindled by that happy fire which comes down on earth to set on fire
the hearts of all men. […] The third is the fountain of peace: let him who seeks
peace of heart come to me, who is the God of peace” (”Meditations for Advent”,
med. 8).

Furthermore, when Jesus speaks of “rivers of living water” flowing out of his heart,
he is probably referring to the prophecy in Ezekiel 36:25ff where it is announced
that in messianic times the people will be sprinkled with clean water and will be
given a new spirit and their heart of stone will be changed for a heart of flesh. In
other words, Jesus, once he has been exalted as befits his position as Son of
God, will send at Pentecost the Holy Spirit, who will change the hearts of those
who believe in him. “For this reason, Christian tradition has summarized the at-
titude we should adopt towards the Holy Spirit in just one idea – docility. That
means we should be aware of the work of the Holy Spirit all around us, and in
our own selves we should recognize the gifts he distributes, the movements and
institutions he inspires, the affections and decisions he provokes in our hearts”
(St. J. Escriva, “Christ is Passing By”, 130).

To say that the Holy Spirit will come visibly on the day of Pentecost does not
mean that he has not been active before: when the prophets of the Old Testa-
ment speak they are inspired by the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Pet 1:21) and there are
countless passages in the New Testament where we are told that he is acting:
for example, he overshadows the Blessed Virgin at the Annunciation (cf. Lk
1:35); he moves Zechariah to prophesy the wonders of the Lord (cf. Lk 1:67-79),
and Simeon to proclaim that the Saviour of the world has come (cf. Lk 2:25-38).

But, asks St Augustine, “how are the words of the Evangelist to be understood:
“The Spirit had not yet been given, since Jesus was not yet glorified’, if not in
the sense that, after the glorification of Christ, there would certainly be a giving
or sending of the Holy Spirit of such a kind as there had never been before?”
(”De Trinitate”, 4, 20). Our Lord was referring, therefore, to the coming of the
Holy Spirit after his ascension into heaven, an outpouring which St John sees
as symbolically anticipated when Christ’s side is pierced by a lance and blood
and water flow out (Jn 19:34). The Fathers saw in this the birth of the Church
and the sanctifying power of the sacraments, especially those of Baptism and
the Eucharist.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


7 posted on 05/18/2013 9:20:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Romans 8:22-27

Christians are Children of God (Continuation)


[22] We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until
now; [3] and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of
the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our
bodies. [24] For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees? [25] But if we hope for what we do not see,
we wait for it in patience.

[26] Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to
pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for
words. [27] And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of
the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of
God.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

19-21. To make his point more vividly St Paul, in a metaphor, depicts the whole
of creation, the material universe, as a living person, groaning in pain impatiently
waiting for a future event, raising its head, straining to see something appear on
the horizon.

The material world is indeed, through God’s design, linked to man and his des-
tiny. “Sacred Scripture teaches that man was created ‘in the image of God,’ as
able to know and love his Creator, and as set by him over all earthly creatures
that he might rule them, and make use of them, while glorifying God” (Vatican II,
“Gaudium Et Spes”, 12). The futility to which creation is subject is not so much
corruption and death as the disorder resulting from sin. According to God’s plan
material things should be resources which enable man to attain the ultimate
goal of his existence. By using them in a disordered way, disconnecting them
from God, man turns them into instruments of sin, which therefore are subject
to the consequences of sin.

“Are we of the twentieth century not convinced of the overpoweringly eloquent
words of the Apostle of the Gentiles concerning the ‘creation (that) has been
groaning in travail together until now’ and ‘waits with eager longing for the revea-
ling of the sons of God’, the creation that ‘was subjected to futility’? Does not the
previously unknown immense progress — which has taken place especially in the
course of this century — in the field of man’s dominion over the world itself reveal
— to a previously unknown degree — that manifold subjection ‘to futility’? [...] The
world of the previously unattained conquests of science and technology—is it not
also the world ‘groaning in travail’ that ‘waits with eager longing for the revealing
of the sons of God’?” (Bl. John Paul II, “Redemptor Hominis”, 8).

Reestablishment of the order willed by God, bringing the whole world to fulfill its
true purpose, is the particular mission of the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life, the true
Lord of history: “’The arm of the Lord has not been shortened.’ God is no less po-
werful today than he was in other times; his love for man is no less true. Our faith
teaches us that all creation, the movement of the earth and the other heavenly
bodies, the good actions of creatures and all the good that has been achieved in
history, in short everything, comes from God and is directed toward him.

“The action of the Holy Spirit may pass unnoticed because God does not reveal
to us his plans, and because man’s sin obscures the divine gifts. But faith tells
us that God is always acting. He has created us and maintains us in existence,
and he is leading all creation by his grace towards the glorious freedom of the
children of God” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 130).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


8 posted on 05/18/2013 9:40:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

These readings are for the Vigil Mass on the evening before the feast:

EITHER:
First reading Genesis 11:1-9 ©
Throughout the earth men spoke the same language, with the same vocabulary. Now as they moved eastwards they found a plain in the land of Shinar where they settled. They said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them in the fire.’ (For stone they used bricks, and for mortar they used bitumen). ‘Come,’ they said ‘let us build ourselves a town and a tower with its top reaching heaven. Let us make a name for ourselves, so that we may not be scattered about the whole earth.’
  Now the Lord came down to see the town and the tower that the sons of man had built. ‘So they are all a single people with a single language!’ said the Lord. ‘This is but the start of their undertakings! There will be nothing too hard for them to do. Come, let us go down and confuse their language on the spot so that they can no longer understand one another.’ The Lord scattered them thence over the whole face of the earth, and they stopped building the town. It was named Babel therefore, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth. It was from there that the Lord scattered them over the whole face of the earth.
OR:
First reading Exodus 19:3-8,16-20 ©
Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Say this to the House of Jacob, declare this to the sons of Israel:
  ‘“You yourselves have seen what I did with the Egyptians, how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. From this you know that now, if you obey my voice and hold fast to my covenant, you of all the nations shall be my very own, for all the earth is mine. I will count you a kingdom of priests, a consecrated nation.”
  ‘Those are the words you are to speak to the sons of Israel.’
  So Moses went and summoned the elders of the people, putting before them all that the Lord had bidden him. Then all the people answered as one, ‘All that the Lord has said, we will do.’
  Now at daybreak on the third day there were peals of thunder on the mountain and lightning flashes, a dense cloud, and a loud trumpet blast, and inside the camp all the people trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the bottom of the mountain. The mountain of Sinai was entirely wrapped in smoke, because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. Like smoke from a furnace the smoke went up, and the whole mountain shook violently. Louder and louder grew the sound of the trumpet. Moses spoke, and God answered him with peals of thunder. The Lord came down on the mountain of Sinai, on the mountain top, and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain.
OR:
First reading Ezekiel 37:1-14 ©
The hand of the Lord was laid on me, and he carried me away by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley, a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘You know, Lord.’ He said, ‘Prophesy over these bones. Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this to these bones: I am now going to make the breath enter you, and you will live. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will learn that I am the Lord.”’ I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a sound of clattering; and the bones joined together. I looked, and saw that they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead; let them live!”’ I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army.
  Then he said, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead.” So prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.”’
OR:
First reading Joel 3:1-5 ©
Thus says the Lord:
‘I will pour out my spirit on all mankind.
Your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men see visions.
Even on the slaves, men and women,
will I pour out my spirit in those days.
I will display portents in heaven and on earth,
blood and fire and columns of smoke.’
The sun will be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood,
before the day of the Lord dawns,
that great and terrible day.
All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved,
for on Mount Zion there will be some who have escaped,
as the Lord has said,
and in Jerusalem some survivors whom the Lord will call.

Psalm Psalm 103:1-2,24,27-30,35 ©
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
Bless the Lord, my soul!
  Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
  wrapped in light as in a robe!
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
How many are your works, O Lord!
  In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your riches.
  Bless the Lord, my soul.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
All of these look to you
  to give them their food in due season.
You give it, they gather it up:
  you open your hand, they have their fill.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
You take back your spirit, they die,
  returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
  and you renew the face of the earth.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!

Second reading Romans 8:22-27 ©
From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved – our salvation is not in sight, we should not have to be hoping for it if it were – but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.
  The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Alleluia!

Gospel John 7:37-39 ©
On the last day and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood there and cried out:
‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to me!
Let the man come and drink who believes in me!’
As scripture says: From his breast shall flow fountains of living water.
  He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive; for there was no Spirit as yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

9 posted on 05/18/2013 10:04:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Pentecost -- the Birthday of the Catholic Church

10 posted on 05/18/2013 10:10:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Pray with Pope Benedict

Audience: Do not be ‘part-time’ Christians
Pope Francis: Regina caeli
Pope to welcome 70,000 youths, confirm 44 (this Sunday) [Catholic Caucus]
Pope Francis’ General Audience focused on women. Feminists aren’t going to be happy
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's "Letter On the Year of Faith" (Crossing Threshold of Faith)

Pope Francis – the real deal – has Audience with Cardinals
Benedict XVI's Final General Audience
On Ash Wednesday
On God As Creator of Heaven and Earth
On Abraham's Faith
On Christ As Mediator Between God and Man
On the Incarnation
On God the Almighty Father
Year of Faith: Indulgences and Places of Pilgrimage [Ecumenical]
On the Identity of Jesus

On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
On the Beauty of God's Plan of Salvation
On Bearing Witness to the Christian Faith
On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced

On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
Catechism's benefits explained for Year of Faith (Catholic Caucus)
A Life of Faith: Papal Theologian Speaks on the Grace of Faith
ASIA/LAOS - "Year of Faith" amid the persecutions of Christians forced to become "animists"
From no faith to a mountain-top of meaning: Father John Nepil (Catholic Caucus)
Living the Year of Faith: How Pope Benedict Wants You to Begin [Catholic Caucus]
Share Your Faith in This Year of Faith: Two keys to help you do it.
On A New Series of Audiences for The Year of Faith

Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict XVI Grants Plenary Indulgence to Faithful [Catholic Caucus]
Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
Highlights in the Plan for Year of Faith: Traditional Events Will Take on Special Perspective
Catholic Church calls for public prayers in offices on Fridays
Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
The World-Changing Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

11 posted on 05/18/2013 10:20:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
12 posted on 05/18/2013 10:21:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
13 posted on 05/18/2013 10:22:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 
 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.


14 posted on 05/18/2013 10:24:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Joyful Mysteries
(Mondays and Saturdays)

1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) [Spiritual fruit - Humility]
2. The Visitation (Luke 1: 39-56) [Spiritual fruit - Love of Neighbor]
3. The Nativity (Luke 2:1-20) [Spiritual fruit - Poverty of Spirit]
4. The Presentation (Luke 2:21-38) [Spiritual fruit - Purity of mind & body]
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52) [Spiritual fruit - Obedience ]

15 posted on 05/18/2013 10:25:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

16 posted on 05/18/2013 10:26:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


17 posted on 05/18/2013 10:28:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
The Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Grace

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Toward the end of the eighteenth century a zealous Jesuit priest, Father Lalomia, started among the students of the Roman college of his Society the practice of dedicating May to Our Lady. The devotion, which others had promoted in a small way, soon spread to other Jesuit Colleges and to the entire Latin church and since that time it has been a regular feature of Catholic life.

INVOCATIONS

Thou who wast a virgin before thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin in thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin after thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.

My Mother, deliver me from mortal sin.
Hail Mary (three times).

Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us.

Remember, O Virgin Mother of God, when thou shalt stand before the face of the Lord, that thou speak favorable things in our behalf and that He may turn away His indignation from us.
Roman Missal

Thou art my Mother, O Virgin Mary: keep me safe lest I ever offend thy dear Son, and obtain for me the grace to please Him always and in all things.

FOR THE HELP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

May we be assisted, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, by the worshipful intercession of Thy glorious Mother, the ever-Virgin Mary; that we, who have been enriched by her perpetual blessings, may be delivered from all dangers, and through her loving kindness made to be of one heart and mind: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Roman Missal

THE SALVE REGINA

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
Roman Breviary

PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

O blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay thee thy just dues of praise and thanksgiving, thou who by the wondrous assent of thy will didst rescue a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in thy honor, since it is by thy intervention alone that it has found
the way to restoration? Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have here to offer, though they be unequal to thy merits; and, receiving our vows, obtain by thy prayers the remission of our offenses. Carry thou our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience, and bring forth from it the antidote of our reconciliation. May the sins we bring before Almighty God through thee, become pardonable through thee; may what we ask for with sure confidence, through thee be granted. Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for thou art the sole hope of sinners. Through thee we hope for the remission of our sins, and in thee, 0 blessed Lady, is our hope of reward. Holy Mary, succour the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for thy people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy holy commemoration feel now thy help and protection. Be thou ever ready to assist us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it thy continual care to pray for the people of God, thou who, blessed by God, didst merit to bear the Redeemer of the world, who liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.
Saint Augustine

PETITION TO MARY

Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the queen of the universe, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I who am the most miserable of all sinners, have recourse this day. I venerate thee, great queen, and I thank thee for the many graces thou hast bestowed upon me even unto this day; in particular for having delivered me from the hell which I have so often deserved by my sins. I love thee, most dear Lady; and for the love I bear thee, I promise to serve thee willingly for ever and to do what I can to make thee loved by others also. I place in thee all my hopes for salvation; accept me as thy servant and shelter me under thy mantle, thou who art the Mother of mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the strength to overcome them until death. From thee I implore a true love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a holy death. My dear Mother, by the love thou bearest to Almighty God, I pray thee to assist me always, but most of all at the last moment of my life. Forsake me not then, until thou shalt see me safe in heaven, there to bless thee and sing of thy mercies through all eternity. Such is my hope. Amen.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Magnificat Prayer
My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior,
For he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed.
God who is mighty has done great things for me,
holy is his name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm; he has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts. He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places. The hungry he has given every good thing, while the rich he has sent empty away. He has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of his mercy; Even as he promised our fathers, promised Abraham and his descendants forever.
(Lk 1:46-55) 

TO MARY, REFUGE OF SINNERS
Hail, most gracious Mother of mercy, hail, Mary, for whom we fondly yearn, through whom we obtain forgiveness! Who would not love thee? Thou art our light in uncertainty, our comfort in sorrow, our solace in the time of trial, our refuge from every peril and temptation. Thou art our sure hope of salvation, second only to thy only-begotten Son; blessed are they who love thee, our Lady! Incline, I beseech thee, thy ears of pity to the entreaties of this thy servant, a miserable sinner; dissipate the darkness of my sins by the bright beams of thy holiness, in order that I may be acceptable in thy sight.

FOR THE GRACE OF LOVE
O Mary, my dear Mother, how much I love thee! And yet in reality how little! Thou dost teach me what I ought to know, for thou teachest me what Jesus is to me and what I ought to be for Jesus. Dearly beloved Mother, how close to God thou art, and how utterly filled with Him! In the measure that we know God, we remind ourselves of thee. Mother of God, obtain for me the grace of loving my Jesus; obtain for me the grace of loving thee!
Cardinal Merry del Val

TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY FOR MAY

O most august and blessed Virgin Mary! Holy Mother of God! glorious Queen of heaven and earth! powerful protectress of those who love thee, and unfailing advocate of all who invoke thee! look down, I beseech thee, from thy throne of glory on thy devoted child; accept the solemn offering I present thee of this month, specially dedicated to thee, and receive my ardent, humble desire, that by my love and fervor I could worthily honor thee, who, next to God, art deserving of all honor. Receive me, 0 Mother of Mercy, among thy best beloved children; extend to me thy maternal tenderness and solicitude; obtain for me a place in the Heart of Jesus, and a special share in the gifts of His grace. 0 deign, I beseech thee, to recognize my claims on thy protection, to watch over my spiritual and temporal interests, as well as those of all who are dear to me; to infuse into my soul the spirit of Christ, and to teach me thyself to become meek, humble, charitable, patient, and submissive to the will of God.

May my heart bum with the love of thy Divine Son, and of thee, His blessed Mother, not for a month alone, but for time and eternity; may I thirst for the promotion of His honor and thine, and contribute, as far as I can, to its extension. Receive me, 0 Mary, the refuge of sinners! Grant me a Mother's blessing and a Mother's care, now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

TO OUR LADY

Saint John Vianney, better known as the Cure of Ars, when asked how long he had loved Mary, said: "I loved her almost before I could know her." In this prayer he expresses that love.
O thou most holy virgin Mary, who dost evermore stand before the most holy Trinity, and to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to thy most beloved Son; pray for me in all my necessities; help me, combat for me, and obtain for me the pardon of all my sins. Help me especially at my last hour; and when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, then do thou encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me, and fight for me against the enemy. Make in my name a profession of faith; favor me with a testimony of my salvation, and never let me despair of the mercy of God. Help me to overthrow the wicked enemy. When I can no longer say: "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I place my soul in your hands," do thou say it for me; when I can no longer hear human words of consolation, do thou comfort me. Leave me not before I have been judged; and if I have to expiate my sins in purgatory, oh! pray for me earnestly; and admonish my friends to procure for me a speedy enjoyment of the blessed sight of God. Lessen my sufferings, deliver me speedily, and lead my soul into heaven with thee: that, united with all the elect, I may there bless and praise my God and thee for all eternity. Amen.
Saint John Vianney

ACT OF REPARATION

O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offenses that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous
tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God's handiwork. I bless thy holy name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever virgin, conceived without stain of sin, co-redemptrix of the human race. I bless the Eternal Father who chose thee in an especial way for His daughter; I bless the Word Incarnate who took upon Himself our nature in thy bosom and so made thee His Mother; I bless the Holy Spirit who took thee as His bride. All honor, praise and thanksgiving to the ever-blessed Trinity, who predestined thee and loved thee so exceedingly from all eternity as to exalt thee above all creatures to the most sublime heights. 0 Virgin, holy and merciful, obtain for all who offend thee the grace of repentance, and graciously accept this poor act of homage from me thy servant, obtaining likewise for me from thy divine Son the pardon and remission of all my sins. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Memorare of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sassoferrato - Jungfrun i bön.jpg

Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary!
That never was it known
That anyone who fled to thy protection,
Implored thy help or sought thy intercession
Was left unaided. 

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto Thee!
O Virgin of virgins, My Mother!

To Thee I come before Thee I stand,
Sinful and Sorrowful,
Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate,
Despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy,
Hear and answer me.


Amen

Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part Two
Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part One
A Mother’s Love, The Blessed Virgin Mary Saying YES To God
Chesterton on devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary [Ecumenical]
The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary
A Comparison is Instituted Between the Disobedient and Sinning Eve and the Virgin Mary..

Magnificat: The Hymn of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus]
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal... (Pt 2) (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal and Paternal Love (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
Discovering Mary [Excellent New Book For Converts]
Beginning Our Lady's Month [Catholic Caucus]
Give it all to Mary [Catholic Caucus]
JESUS LIVING IN MARY: HANDBOOK, SPIRITUALITY OF ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT, ROSARY [Ecumenical]
Mary, Tabernacle of the Lord By Archbishop Fulton Sheen(Catholic Caucus)
Mary is our Mother and Queen of the New Davidic Kingdom (Scriptures Agree With Catholic Church)

Hail Mary
Holy Water Silhouette (Virgin Mary -video))
How could Mary be the Mother of God?
Mary, the Mother of God (a defense)
Calling Mary “Mother of God” Tells Us Who Jesus Is
The Holy Spirit And Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Mary, Our Cause of Rejoicing
Mary in Byzantine Doctrine and Devotion (Catholic / Orthodox Caucus)
Radio Replies First Volume - Devotion to Mary
The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Catholic Discovery of America(Catholic Caucus)

Mary is the star that guides us to holiness, says Holy Father during Angelus [Catholic Caucus]
The Efficacy and Power of One Hail Mary [Ecumenical]
When Did Belief in the Virgin Birth Begin?
Mary, Motherhood, and the Home BY Archbishop Fulton Sheen
On Mary, Mother of Priests
Benedict reflects on Mary and the priesthood [Catholic Caucus]
Radio Replies First Volume - Mary
Mary and the Sword Continued Part #2 by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Mary and the Sword by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen(Catholic Caucus)

Why Did Mary Offer a Sin Offering? [Ecumenical]
Mary and Intercessory Prayer
Mary: Holy Mother
Mary not just for Catholics anymore
Pope concludes Month of Mary in the Vatican Gardens
Consecration to Mary(Catholic Caucus)
Mary’s Marching Orders
Praying the Hail Mary Like Never Before [Ecumenical]
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas - THE HAIL MARY

Our Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity [Ecumenical]
Archbishop Sheen Today! -- Mary and the --------
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
"The Woman He Loved": Fulton Sheen and the Blessed Mother(Catholic Caucus)
September 12: The Most Holy Name of Mary and -----
Catholic Devotional: Feast of the Holy Name of Mary
A Homily on the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary
May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
Catholic Caucus: Mary, The Power of Her Name [The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary]

18 posted on 05/18/2013 10:29:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

May 2013

Pope's Intentions

Administrators of Justice. That administrators of justice may act always with integrity and right conscience.

Seminaries. That seminaries, especially those of mission churches, may form pastors after the Heart of Christ, fully dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel.


19 posted on 05/18/2013 10:30:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Daily Gospel Commentary

Pentecost Sunday - Solemnity - Year C
Commentary of the day
John Tauler (c.1300-1361), Dominican
Sermon 26, 2nd for Pentecost (trans. Eric Colledge, alt.)

«The were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak of the mighty acts of God» (Acts 2,4.11)

Today we celebrate the marvelous feast on which the Holy Spirit came down on the disciples and all who were with them, to bring back the priceless treasure which had been lost in Paradise through the cunning of the fiend and human weakness.

This was a wonderful event , even outwardly, but the spiritual reality hidden and contained in it surpasses everything that could ever be known or conceived by reason or feeling or any creature. It is past all telling. The Holy Spirit is so inconceivably great and immense that any created greatness and immensity, which our reason cannot even conceive pictorially, is as nothing in comparison. Besides it, heaven and earth and all those things one can grasp in them are as nothing... So it is that where the Holy Spirit is to be received, he himself must prepare the place; he himself must create man's capacity to receive him... There is no place for God save the ineffable abyss in which he dwells... where he fills the whole capacity, flooding every nook and cranny of the soul.

“And it filled the whole house” (Acts 2,2)... In one sense, the house signifies Holy Church, for she is God's dwelling place. In another sense, it means each person in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. Thus, just as there are many apartments and rooms in a house, so there are many faculties and senses and activities in us. Into all of these the Holy Spirit comes in different ways. When he comes, he persuades, inspires, and impels us, working upon us and bringing us light. However, we are not all equally aware this presence and activity in our souls. The Holy Spirit is in all people, but if we would experience his action and be capable or desirous of feeling and tasting his presence, we must gather our faculties within... in silence and in peace... As we give ourselves up more and more to recollection, we become increasingly aware of the Holy Spirit and he makes himself known to us more clearly, although he has been there all the time, given to us from the first.


20 posted on 05/18/2013 10:36:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Pentecost Sunday (Solemnity)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Acts 2:1-11
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34
1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13 or Romans 8:8-17
John 20:19-23

The faults of children are not always imputed to the parents, especially when they have instructed them and given good example. Our Lord, in His wonderous Providence, allows children to break the hearts of devout fathers and mothers. Thus the decisions your children have made don't make you a failure as a parent in God's eyes. You are entitled to feel sorrow, but not necessarily guilt. Do not cease praying for your children; God's grace can touch a hardened heart. Commend your children to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When parents pray the Rosary,at the end of each decade they should hold the Rosary aloft and say to her,"With these beads bind my children to your Immaculate Heart", she will attend to their souls.

-- St. Louise de Marillac


21 posted on 05/18/2013 10:40:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

22 posted on 05/18/2013 10:41:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Regina Coeli

 

This prayer, which dates from the twelfth century, is substituted for the Angelus during Easter Season.

Glory to God in the highest!

In Latin

In English

Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia: Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

 

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia,

R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

 

Oremus: Deus qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.

R. Amen.

Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia: For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia, Has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.

 

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.

R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.

 

Let us pray: O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world: grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.


23 posted on 05/18/2013 10:43:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Where the Spirit Blooms - Lectio Divina: Pentecost

Where the Spirit Blooms

Lectio Divina: Pentecost, Year C

The Church is the place where "the Spirit blooms" (St Hippolytus of Rome, Traditio apostolica, 35) and the Chosen People, non-restricted by borders, come from all the peoples: “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks” (1 Cor 12:13)

Fire and wind

The old and the new Pentecost

For the people of Israel, Pentecost, the former feast of harvesting, had become the feast of the Covenant. God had manifested his presence with fire and wind and had given the gift of his law, the 10 Commandments engraved on the rock.

On the day of the new Christian Pentecost, God has given the gift of his law of Charity not written on two slabs of rock, but in the heart of the Apostles through the Holy Spirit. Then through the Apostles He has communicated it to the Church. On them “the Holy Ghost has descended with sudden sound and has changed their mind of carnal beings inside his love. While outside tongues of fire appeared, inside the hearts became flamboyant because welcoming God in the vision of fire, they suavely burned from love” (St Gregory the Great, Hom. in evang. XXX, 1: CCL 141,256). The fire of the Holy Spirit has united them with communion of life and of divine Life for them and for the world. Their Word was not anymore only a human one, but became the Word of God that the Holy Ghost had put in their hearts and on their carnal mouths. They took this Gospel of truth and love to the entire world.

“The voice of God makes divine the human language of the Apostle, who became able to proclaim in a 'polyphonic' way the unique divine Word. The breath of the Holy Spirit fills the universe, generates faith, leads to truth, and prepares the unity of the peoples. 'At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.' (Acts 2:6.11)” (Benedict XVI).

With the gift of the Holy Spirit, the fire of charity that is the announcement of a redeeming forgiveness is committed also to us. It is the announcement that God has not only come on earth, but also that God continues to give himself to me and to you, lives in me and in you, in us who are his Church, and his true Body.

In reciting often the prayer: “Come Holy Spirit, come through Mary,” we ask the Holy Spirit the gift of Wisdom so that we can understand (not only to understand with the mind, but also to welcome with the heart). In the Bible we read, “Therefore I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded and the spirit of Wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her” (Wisdom 7:7-8). This superior knowledge is the root of a new knowledge imbued with charity. Thanks to it the soul acquires familiarity with the divine and takes pleasure in it. Saint Thomas of Aquinas speaks about “a certain taste of God” ( Summa Theologica IIa-IIae,45,2 ad 1) so that the truly wise man is not only the one who knows about all God’s things, but the one who experiences them, lives them and shares them, becoming a missionary announcing that God is Love, fullness of life, joy and peace.

The Spirit: flowers, life and joy

In the first part of the Summa Theologica (I, 37:2) Saint Thomas of Aquinas writes, “As therefore we say that a tree flowers by its flower, so do we say that the Father, by the Word or the Son, speaks Himself, and His creatures; and that the Father and the Son love each other and us, by the Holy Ghost, or by Love proceeding.” Flowers, life and joy: this is the Spirit. The babbling of the theology of us pilgrims stops here and we are left to contemplate this truth of love. Who humanly could have thought that God loves himself and us with the same kind of love? It is almost as if the same quiver moves and warms our life uniting it to his.

Man has always looked for a spark of hope to conquer the desperation of death and of the inevitable suffering. The wise Greek men had found this spark in proclaiming that man is similar to God. Considering this longing that is that man is made of a divine substance, in the sermon at the Aeropaus Saint Paul proclaims, “In him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)

What is already marvelous, in the natural participation of man in the divine nature, becomes almost an unutterable but consoling mystery of merciful love, in the participation in the divine nature and life through grace. We became worthy of this grace through Christ’s passion. The Holy Spirit takes us to the Son and makes us capable, thirsty and hungry for His Grace. The Apostles were the first to get this joyful experience. They experienced Truth that is the ability to see clearly in everything and in ourselves and to have the certainty that God loves us and that we can love and take refuge in Him calling Him “Father”. 

From The Holy Spirit the Virgin received the gift of Jesus

If today the recommended prayer is “Come Holy Spirit, come through Mary” and the second one is the “ Our Father”, the third one is the “Hail Mary” because “ there is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary” (Benedict XVI), who from the Holy Spirit received the gift of Jesus.

The presence of Mary, full of Grace, is at the beginning, in the Supper-room where the Apostles were “all with one accord in prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” (Acts 1; 14). And in the same way it is always, today as it was then, in Jerusalem and all over the world.

At the Annunciation Mary had already experienced the coming of the Holy Spirit. The angel Gabriel had told her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Lk 1:35) Through the coming of the Holy Spirit, Mary has been linked in a unique way to the mystery of Christ. In the Encyclical Redemptoris Mater, Blessed John Paul II wrote: “In the mystery of Christ she is present even 'before the creation of the world,' as the one whom the Father 'has chosen' as Mother of his Son in the Incarnation. And, what is more, together with the Father, the Son has chosen her, entrusting her eternally to the Spirit of holiness" (8)

In the Supper-room of Jerusalem, when through the Pascal events the mystery of Christ on earth came to its completion, Mary was in the community of the disciples to prepare a new coming of the Holy Spirit and a new rebirth, the one of the Church.

It is true that she is already a “temple of the Holy Spirit” due to her fullness of grace and her divine maternity. However she also participates in the prayers for the coming of the Paraclete (paraclitus comes from a Greek word that means called beside, invoked, consequently the consoling one) so that with his power, He might make the passion towards the mission, that Christ Jesus coming into the world received from the Father (Jn 5:36) and returning to the Father, has transmitted to the Church (Jn 17:18). From the beginning Mary is united to the Church like one of the "disciples” of the Son, but at the same time she stands out as “a pre-eminent and singular member of The Church and excellent exemplar in faith and charity” (Council Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 53).

Benedict XVI told the Consecrated Virgins "Imitate the Mother of God; desire to be called and to be handmaids of the Lord" (RCV, n. 16) and invited them to persevere in giving themselves entirely to God indicating in the Virgin of Nazareth and in her “yes” the first realization of this offer. (Address to the participants in the international Congress of the Ordo Virginum, May 15, 2008). Recently Pope Francis has reminded them that the consecrated Virgins “are an icon of Mary and of the Church” (May 7th, 2013).

--- --- ---


24 posted on 05/18/2013 10:54:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY JN 20:19-23
Take a deep breath
Fr. Paul Scalia

When we think of the gift of the Holy Spirit, we typically think of Pentecost — the Spirit descending upon Mary and the apostles in the upper room. We therefore often overlook an earlier scene. On Easter Sunday, when Jesus appeared to the apostles, “He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (Jn 20:22). Of course, we should not set these two events in opposition to each other. Pentecost holds pride of place as the solemn and definitive descent of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, by giving the Spirit also on Easter Sunday, Jesus reveals certain truths about the Spirit.

First, intimacy. “He breathed on them.” An unusual gesture, then as now. To breathe on someone requires being close. To give the Spirit Jesus had to be close to the apostles, right next to them. He was in their “personal space,” because His gift was intensely personal. Breath, after all, comes from within. It indicates the interior life of a person. In bestowing the Spirit, Jesus gives an intimate gift. The Spirit is not a gift external to Him but proceeding from deep within Him.

Second, life. Breath indicates life. Thus we have the term “life breath.” When someone has stopped breathing we may perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, giving our breath so that he will have life. What we accomplish on a biological, physical level, Our Lord accomplishes in the spiritual. We once were lifeless bodies, devoid of life breath. As once He breathed life into Adam (cf. Gen 2:7), now He breathes His life — His Spirit — into us. But His breath now brings eternal life.

Third, power. By bestowing this gift on Easter Sunday Our Lord associates the Spirit with His resurrection. This manifests the Spirit’s power. This is the “Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead.” This Spirit also has the power to raise us up: “The one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also” (Rom 8:11). So St. Paul tells us, “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim 1:7).

Our Lord “does not ration His gift of the Spirit” (Jn 3:34). We, however, ration our reception of the Spirit. We remain apart from the Giver, and we do not trust enough in the Spirit’s power. Instead of drawing close to Jesus, we keep Him at arm’s length. We acknowledge Him from afar and perhaps call out our needs to Him. It is, we cynically think, nice to have Him in our lives. But we do not draw close enough to feel His breath. We like our illusion of independence and do not want Him breathing down our neck. And instead of trustfully surrendering to the Spirit’s power, we seek merely His assistance. We should pray to the Holy Spirit for holiness. But we do not think that possible and settle for lesser things.

A gift ought to be received in the manner it is given. As regards the gift of the Spirit, this means drawing close to Jesus. We need to be up close and personal, next to His face, feeling His breath upon us. The gift He gives is personal, from His very heart, and He desires to give this Gift to each of us personally. In asking for the Spirit we should do so with confidence in the Spirit’s power. The Holy Spirit raises from the dead and — even more incredibly — changes sinners into saints. It makes no sense to ask for the Holy Spirit without intending to be made holy. Therefore, let us draw close to Jesus, to receive His breath, to receive the Spirit of holiness.

Fr. Scalia is Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s delegate for clergy.


25 posted on 05/19/2013 7:44:06 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Work of God

 And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Helper, that he may abide with you for ever. Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year C

 -  Pentecost Sunday

And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Helper, that he may abide with you for ever.

And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Helper, that he may abide with you for ever. Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit John 14:15-16.23-26

15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.
23 Jesus answered him, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
25 "I have said these things to you while I am still with you.
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. (NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Pentecost Sunday - And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Helper, that he may abide with you for ever. The Holy Spirit is the fire of Love that comes out of my Father and Me. It enters the heart of those who open themselves to receive our blessings with sincerity. The Holy Spirit makes Himself at home in the hearts of believers who keep God{s commandments.

The Holy Spirit descended upon me the day of my Baptism. I promised that I would not leave you orphans and that I would send the Holy Spirit as the Helper who would teach you everything you should know about the Kingdom of Heaven. He descended to the Apostles the day of Pentecost in the shape of tongues of fire; He enlightened them with wisdom, inflamed them with love for my Word and gave them courage to proclaim it.

Now, since Pentecost, The Holy Spirit is given to those who believe in Me and are baptised in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Love is a refining fire, it purifies and gives wisdom; it comforts the soul and strengthens the faith of those who acknowledge it. It is a live flame that sits in the heart and must be fanned by faith and good works.

The Holy Spirit enkindles that fire of Love in every heart. He becomes the teacher and the light that guides the soul in the way of holiness. He sanctifies with pure desires for God and His Divine Will.

Most people in the world reject the Holy Spirit because their hearts are set on the things of the world. They have allowed materialism to take possession of their souls and they have no room for holiness.

Those who accept the holy gifts of God must be aware of the tricks of the enemy who tries to deceive them so that they succumb to the spirit of the world. Once they reject the Holy Spirit they become an easy prey to the devil and his kingdom of darkness.

Open your hearts daily with desire for the Holy Spirit. Let the purifying fire of my love increase your faith, hope and charity.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


26 posted on 05/19/2013 7:57:54 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

I have Come to Cast a Fire on the Earth – A Meditation on the Feast of Pentecost

By:

What a wondrous and challenging feast we celebrate at Pentecost. A feast like this challenges us, because it puts to the lie a lazy, sleepy, hidden, and tepid Christian life. The Lord Jesus had said to Apostles, and still says to us: I have come to cast a fire on the earth! (Luke 12:49). This is a feast about fire, about a transformative, refining, and purifying fire that the Lord wants to kindle in us and in this world.

The Readings today speak to us of the Holy Spirit in three ways: The Portraits of the Spirit, the Proclamation of the Spirit and the Propagation by the Spirit. Let’s look at all three.

I. The Portraits of the Spirit – The Reading today speaks of the Holy Spirit using two images: rushing wind, and tongues of fire. These two images recall Psalm 50 which says, Our God comes, he does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, round about him a mighty tempest. (Psalm 50:3).

Rushing Wind – Notice how the text from Acts opens: When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.

This text brings us to the very root meaning of the word “Spirit.” For “spirit” refers to “breath,” and we have this preserved in our word “respiration,” which means breathing. So, the Spirit of God is the breath of God, the Ruah Adonai (the Spirit, the breath of God).

Genesis 1:2 speaks of this saying the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And Genesis 2:7 speaks even more remarkably of something God did only for man, not the animals: then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Gen 2:7).

So the very Spirit of God was breathed into Adam! But, as we know, Adam lost this gift and died spiritually when he sinned.

Thus we see in this passage from Acts an amazing and wonderful resuscitation of the human person as these first Christians (120 in all) experience the rushing wind of God’s Spirit breathing spiritual life back into them. God does C.P.R. and brings humanity, dead in sin, back to life! The Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us once again as in a temple (cf 1 Cor 3:16). It has been said that Christmas is the feast of God with us, Good Friday is the Feast of God for us, but Pentecost is the Feast of God in us.

Tongues of Fire – The text from Acts says, Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.

The Bible often speaks of God as fire, or in fiery terms. Moses saw God as a burning bush. God led the people out of Egypt through the desert as a pillar of fire. Moses went up on to a fiery Mt. Sinai where God was. Psalm 97 says, The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory. (Ps 97:1-6). Scriptures call God a Holy fire, a consuming fire (cf Heb 12:29) and a refining fire (cf Is. 48:10; Jer 9:7; Zec 13:9; & Mal 3:3).

And so it is that our God, who is a Holy Fire, comes to dwell in us through his Holy Spirit. And as a Holy Fire, He refines us by burning away our sins and purifying us. As Job once said, But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold (Job 23:10).

And he is also preparing us for judgement, for if God is a Holy Fire, then who may endure the day of his coming or of our going to Him? What can endure the presence of Fire Himself? Only that which is already fire. Thus we must be set afire by God’s love.

So, in the coming of the Holy Spirit God sets us on fire to make us a kind of fire. In so doing, he purifies and prepares us to meet him one, He who is a Holy Fire.

II. The Proclamation of the Spirit. - You will notice that the Spirit Came on them like “tongues” of Fire. And the reference to tongues is no mere accident. For notice how the Holy Spirit moves them to speak, and ultimately to witness. The text says: And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.”

So behold how the Holy Spirit moves them to proclaim, not just in the safety of the upper room, but also in holy boldness before the crowds who have gathered.

Notice the transformation! Moments ago these were frightened men who gathered only behind locked doors, in secrecy. They were huddled together in fear. But now they go forth to the crowds and boldly proclaim Christ. They have gone from fear to faith, from cowardice to courage, from terror to testimony!

And how about us? Too many Christians are silent, dominated by fear. Perhaps they fear being called names, or not being popular. Perhaps they are anxious about being laughed at, or resisted, or of being asked questions they don’t feel capable of answering. Some Christians are able to gather in the “upper room” of the parish and be active, even be leaders. But once outside the “upper room” they slip into undercover mode. They become secret agent Christians.

Well, the Holy Spirit wants to change that, and to the degree that we have really met Jesus Christ and experienced his Holy Spirit we are less “able” to keep silent. An old Gospel song says, I thought I wasn’t gonna testify, but I couldn’t keep it to myself, what the Lord has done for me. The Holy Spirit, if authentically received, wants to give us zeal and joy, and burn away our fear, so that testifying and witnessing are natural to us.

Note also how the Spirit “translates” for the apostles, for the crowd before them spoke different languages, but all heard Peter and the others in their own language. The Spirit therefore assists not only us, but also those who hear us. My testimony is not dependent only on my eloquence, but also on the grace of the Holy Spirit who casts out deafness and opens hearts. Every Christian should remember this. Some of our most doubtful encounters with others can still bear great fruit on account of the work of the Holy Spirit who “translates” for us and overcomes many obstacles that we might think insurmountable.

III. The Propagation by the Spirit – In the great commission the Lord said, Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age (Matt 28:19ff). He also said, as we have noted, I have come to cast a fire on the earth and How I wish the blaze were already ignited (Luke 12:49).

But how is the Lord going to do this?

Perhaps a picture will help. My parish church is dedicated to the Holy Spirit under the title: Holy Comforter. Above the high altar is the Latin inscription: Spiritus Domini, replevit orbem terrarum (The Spirit of the Lord, filled the orb of the earth). (See photo, above right, of our high altar).

And yet, we may wonder how He will do this.

But the walls of my parish Church answer the question. The clerestory walls are painted Spanish Red, and upon this great canvas are also painted the lives of 20 saints, surrounding us like a great cloud of witnesses (cf Heb 12:1). (See also, video below). And over the head of every saint is a tongue of fire.

THIS is how the Spirit of the Lord fills the earth. It is not “magic fairy dust,” it is in the fiery transformation of every Christian, going forth into the world to bring light and warmth to a dark and cold world. THIS is how the Lord casts fire on earth, THIS is how the Spirit of the Lord fills the orb of the earth: in the lives of saints, and, if you are prepared to accept it, in YOU.

In the end, the Great Commission (Matt 28) is “standing order No. 1.” No matter what else, we are supposed to do this. Parishes do not deserve to exist if they do not do this. We as individual Christians are a disgrace, and not worthy of the name, if we fail to win souls for Jesus Christ. The Spirit of the Lord is going to fill the orb of the earth, but only through us. The spread of the Gospel has been placed in your hands (scary isn’t it?).

In the Past two years, my own parish, after a year of training, stepped out into our neighborhood, and went door to door and into the local park. And we announced Jesus Christ, and invited people to discover him in our parish, and in the sacraments. And we were in the local park and the market last week doing sidewalk evangelization.

Before we count even a single convert, this is already success because we are obeying Jesus Christ who said, simply, “Go!” “Go make disciples.” And, truth be told, we ARE seeing an increase in my parish. Our Sunday attendance has grown from about 450 to 520, a 15% increase. We are growing, and our attendance, while average for a downtown city parish, is going in the right direction. God never fails. God is faithful.

Spread the news: it works if you work it, so work it because God is worth it. Go make disciples. Ignore what the pollsters tell you about a declining Church and let the Lord cast a fire on the earth through you! Fires have way of spreading! Why not start one today? The Spirit of God will not disappoint.

I know this, my parish has a future because we are obeying Jesus Christ, we are making disciples. How about you and yours? If parishes do not obey, they do not deserve to exist and can expect to close one day, no matter how big they are today. I, in my short 50 years on this planet, have seen it: parishes once big, booming, and, (frankly), arrogant, are now declining and some are near closure. It happens to the best, if they do not evangelize, if they do not accomplish “Job 1.” The Lord wants to light a fire. Why not become totally fire? Let the Spirit propagate the Church through you (I am not talking about the person next to you, I am talking to you).

Happy feast of Pentecost. But don’t forget that the basic image is very challenging, for it means getting out of the “upper room,” opening the doors, and proclaiming Christ to the world. Let the Holy Spirit light a fire in you, and then, you can’t help but spread light and heat to a cold and dark world.

Let the evangelization of the whole world begin with you.

This video features details from the clerestory (upper window level) of my parish of Holy Comforter here in DC. Notice the tongue of fire above each saint. The paintings show how the Spirit of the Lord fills the orb of the earth, (see photo above), through the lives of the lives of the saints (this means you). It is not magic, it is grace, working in your life, through your gifts, and your relationships, that the Lord will reach each soul. The cloud of witnesses on the walls of my Church say simply, You are the way he will fill the earth and set it on fire. Let the blaze be ignited in you!

The song says: We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, looking on, encouraging us to do the will of the Lord. Let us stand worthy, and be faithful to God’s call….We must not grow weary…!

(Two videos at the site.)


27 posted on 05/19/2013 8:00:23 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Gospel Reflections

Pentecost
Reading I: Acts 2:1-11 II: 1Cor 12;3-7,12-13

Gospel
John 20:19-2319 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you".
20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."


Interesting Details


One Main PointThe resurrected Christ confers upon his disciples, hence the Church , the mission to continue his work of bringing God's salvation to all mankind. In order to carry on the task that he had accomplished, Jesus empowered the Church with his Holy Spirit who would be the living force and guidance in propagating God's message.


Reflections

  1. Visualize ourselves as the disciples in the Upper room, in a state of fearfulness and doubt about what had happened. How do we feel when Jesus appear to us?
  2. Relive the moment when Jesus breathed his Holy Spirit on the disciples and instructed them to go out and proclaim his Good News. How do we make his love known in our world today?

28 posted on 05/19/2013 8:22:18 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pentecost

Pentecost


Pentecost - Duccio di Buoninsegna (1308) Tempera on wood
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

Spiritus Dómini replévit orbem terrárum, et hoc quod continet ómnia sciéntiam habet vocis, Alleluia.

The Spirit of the Lord fills the whole world, and holds all things together and knows every word spoken by man, Alleluia.

(Wisdom 1:7 - Entrance Antiphon for Mass for Pentecost. )


Catechism & Reflection of Blessed Pope John XXIII - Mass Readings - Hymns - The Seven Gifts & Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Family Celebration of Pentecost page - Pentecost Prayer page -- Novena to the Holy Spirit Brochure -- Links to June 4, 2006 Pentecost Page on the Vatican Website -- Pentecost, Regina Caeli Message, May 23, 2010 Links to the Vatican

 

The Church celebrates Pentecost (so called because it is fifty days after Easter Day) as the day on which the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, gathered in an upper room with Mary, mother of Jesus, "as a mighty, rushing wind," fulfilling Jesus' promise when He "breathed on them," as recorded in John's Gospel (Chapter 20).

This event, which marks the beginning of the Church, is recorded in the book of Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2. The 14th-century Siennese painting by Duccio (above) illustrates the moment when the Bible says the Spirit descended upon the gathering of Christians in the form of tongues of fire. The liturgical color for Pentecost is red, a reminder of the flames that "rested on them." Another symbol for the Holy Spirit is the dove, usually emitting golden rays of light.

The Holy Spirit gave the apostles gifts of grace through which they would undertake the evangelical mission of the Church. On the day of Pentecost, the apostles were given the miraculous "gift of tongues" -- so that everyone from every country understood the Christians' inspired message of salvation as if they were hearing it in their own languages. Thousands were converted by the preaching of Peter and the other apostles.

Called Whitsunday (white Sunday) in England, for the white garments worn by confirmands (candidates for Confirmation), Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, originated as a Jewish festival fifty days (seven weeks) after Passover.

The Solemnity of Pentecost ends the Easter season. After Pentecost, the Easter candle is kept in the baptistery or near the baptismal font, and is lighted only for a baptism. For centuries, the Sundays of the Catholic Church year between Pentecost and Advent were numbered as "after Pentecost". Since the Second Vatican Council, this period is called "Ordinary Time" (the first period of Ordinary Time is that between the Epiphany and Lent). Three solemnities are celebrated in the weeks immediately following Pentecost: Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ), and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Pentecost
from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

731. On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ's Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a Divine Person: of His fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance.

1076.
The Church was made manifest to the world on the day of Pentecost by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit ushers in a new era in the "dispensation of the mystery" -- the Age of the Church, during which Christ manifests, makes present, and communicates His work of salvation through the Liturgy of His Church, "until He comes." In this age of the Church Christ now lives and acts in and with His Church, in a new way appropriate to this new age. He acts through the Sacraments in what the common Tradition of the East and the West calls "the sacramental economy"; this is the communication (or "dispensation") of the fruits of Christ's Paschal mystery in the celebration of the Church's "sacramental" Liturgy.

See Catechism Chapter 3, "I believe in the Holy Spirit" (§§683- 747)


Reflection of Pope John XXIII on Pentecost


At the Feast of Pentecost I take the sacred Book in my hands and turn eagerly to the first page of the Old Testament, and then to the first page of the New. The first page of the Old Testament describes the creation of the world, saying that "the Spirit of God was moving on the waters." This refers to the whole universe, the seas and land masses, the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms: a triple realm, a manifold order; and it refers also to the governments of men, of races, peoples and tribes, inspired and moved by energies common to all mankind, and to the history of humanity slowly evolving through the centuries according to a Divine plan.

All nature, then, belongs to the temporal order, but always in the sight of God and subject to His power.

And now we turn to the first page of the Gospel, the New Testament, which begins with the sound of an angel's voice: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God... You will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus."

With this announcement to Mary there begins the epic of Redemption, which has Christ for its all-radiant Sun, the source of divine life and sanctifying grace.

The Hymns of Pentecost

Veni Sancte Spiritus - Veni Creator Spiritus

Come, Holy Spirit - Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest

The Latin hymn Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come, Holy Spirit) is the "Sequence" (the hymn before the Gospel) for Pentecost Sunday. The words of this hymn are attributed to Pope Innocent III (c. 1160-1216). Either the original Latin chant or the English version may be sung before the Gospel on Pentecost.

The even more ancient hymn Veni Creator Spiritus (Come Holy Ghost, Creator blest) is frequently sung on Pentecost. The verses are ascribed to Rabanus Maurus (776-856), and were set to a chant tune. These Latin verses have been translated into English verse in various versions, including the familiar hymn "Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest", a 19th-century rendering by Edward Caswall (1814-1878), who also did a translation of the Veni Sancte Spiritus. ("Ghost" is another English word for "Spirit", stemming from the German "geist", while "spirit" is from the Latin.)

When a Latin hymn is translated, it is usually done in metrical form so that it can be set to music; thus although the translations are not literal (or word-for-word), and the rhythm may not be precisely the same, the translator aims to maintain both the essential meaning and poetic verse-form of the original.

The text of both Pentecost hymns, in Latin and English, appears below. (Note: The Adoremus Hymnal gives the Edward Caswall translation and Samuel Webbe tune for Veni Sancte Spiritus (p 444); and the Veni Creator Spiritus in both Latin and English versions (pp 441, 442-443).

Veni Creator Spiritus

Veni, Creator Spiritus,
Mentes tuorum visita;
Implesuperna graatia
Quae tu creasti pectora.

Qui diceris Paraclitus,
Donum Dei altissimi,
Fons vivus, ignis caritas,
Et spiritalis unctio.

Tu septiformis munere,
Dextræ Dei tu digitus,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
Sermone ditans guttura.

Accende lumen sensibus,
Infunde amorum cordibus,
Infirma nostri corporis
Virtute firmans perpeti.

Hostem repellas longius,
Pacemque dones protinus;
Ductore sic te prævio,
Vitemus omne noxium.

Per te sciamus da Patrem,
Noscamus atque Filium,
Te utriusque Spiritum
Credamus omni tempore.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
Et Filio, quia mortuis,
Surrexit ac Paraclito,
In sæculorum sæcula. Amen

Attributed to Romanus Mauros

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
Vouchsafe within our souls to rest;
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
And fill the souls which Thou hast made.

O Comforter, to Thee we cry,
To Thee, the Gift of God Most High,
The font of life, and fire of love,
And sweet anointing from above.

The sevenfold gifts of grace are Thine,
O finger of the hand Divine,
True promise of the Father, Thou,
Who dost the tongue with speech endow.

Thy light to every thought impart
And shed Thy love in every heart;
The weakness of our mortal state
With deathless might invigorate.

Drive far away our wily Foe,
And Thine abiding peace bestow;
If Thou be our protecting Guide,
No evil can our steps betide.

Through Thee may we the Father learn,
And know the Son, and Thee discern,
Who art of both; and thus adore
In perfect faith forevermore.

Praise we the Father and the Son
And Holy Spirit, Three in One;
And may the Son on us bestow
The gifts that from the Spirit flow. Amen

Translation: Edward Caswall


Veni Sancte Spiritus

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
et emítte caélitus
lucis tuae rádium.

Veni, pater páuperum,
veni, dator múnerum,
veni, lumen córdium.

Consolator óptime,
dulcis hospes animae.
dulce refrigerium.

In labóre réquies,
in aestu tempéries,
in fletu solácium.

O lux beatíssima,
reple cordis íntima
tuórum fidélium.

Sine tuo númine,
nihil est in hómine,
nihil est innoxium.

Lava quod est sórdidum,
riga quod est áridum,
sana quod est sáucium.

Flecte quod est rígidum,
fove quod est frigidum,
rege quod est devium.

Da tuis fidélibus,
in te confidéntibus,
sacrum septenárium.

Da virtútis méritum
da salútis éxitum,
da perénne gáudium.
Amen. Alleluia

- Attributed to Pope Leo III

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from Thy celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!

Come Father of the poor!
Come source of all our store!
Come within our bosoms shine!

Thou, of comforters the best;
Thou, the soul's most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine
Shine within these hearts of Thine.
And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, man has naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sev'nfold gift descend;

Give them virtue's sure reward;
Give them Thy salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end.
Amen. Alleluia


Scripture readings for Pentecost

Vigil

Collect:
Almighty ever-living God,
who willed the Paschal Mystery
to be encompassed as a sign in fifty days,
grant that from our of the scattered nations
the confusion of many tongues
may be gathered by heavenly grace
into one great confession of your name.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

or

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that the splendor of your glory
may shine forth upon us
and that, by the light may confirm the hearts
of those born again by your grace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading:
Genesis 11:1-9

Now the whole earth had one language and few words. And as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

or
Exodus 19:3-8a, 16-20b

And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."

So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the Lord had commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do." And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.

On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God; and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. And Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

or
Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; it was full of bones. And He led me round among them; and behold, there were very many upon the valley; and lo, they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" And I answered, "O Lord God, thou knowest." Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord."

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And as I looked, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great host.

Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.' Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you home into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done it, says the Lord."

or
Joel 3:1-5

The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel: Hear this, you aged men, give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten. Awake, you drunkards, and weep; and wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the sweet wine, for it is cut off from your mouth.

Second Reading:
Romans 8:22-27

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Gospel Reading:
John 7:37-39

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.'" Now this He said about the Spirit, which those who believed in Him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Pentecost Day

Collect:
O God, who by the mystery of today's great feast
sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation,
pour out, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit
across the face of the earth
and, with the divine grace that was at work
when the Gospel was first proclaimed,
fill now once more the hearts of believers.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading:

Acts 2: 1-11 [Year A,B,C]
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."

Second Reading:
I Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13 [Year A,B,C]

No one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

or

Galatians 5:16-25 [Year B]

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Romans 8:8-17 [Year C]

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through His Spirit which dwells in you.

So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh — for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit Himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.

Gospel Reading:
John 20:19-23 [Year A,B,C]

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this,
He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

or

John 15:26-27;16:12-15[Year B]

But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.

"I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that He will take what is mine and declare it to you.

John 14:15-16, 23b-26 [Year C]

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever.

"If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

(Readings from Revised Standard Version - Catholic edition)

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Wisdom - Understanding - Counsel
Fortitude - Knowledge - Piety
Fear of the Lord

"There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. " (Isaiah 11:1-3)

The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit (CCC §1830)

 

The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Charity - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness
Generosity - Gentleness - Faithfulness - Modesty - Self-control - Chastity

 

The Catechism tells us that "the fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory" (§1832)

Family Celebration of Pentecost page - Pentecost Prayer page


29 posted on 05/19/2013 8:31:28 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.  Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.  And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.  O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.

or in Latin

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium: et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.  Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur.  Et renovabis faciem terrae.  Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere; et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum.


30 posted on 05/19/2013 8:33:30 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pope [Francis] at Pentecost: Newness, harmony and mission
The First Pentecost [Catholic Caucus]
The Priest's Mission as Guide
On the Church’s Birthday, Let’s Pray for Our Priests (Archbishop Charles Chaput) [Catholic Caucus]
On Mary's Maternal Presence at Pentecost (Catholic Caucus)
A Pentecost Monday Lesson: “And Paul VI Wept.”
Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church [Catholic Caucus]
The Holy Spirit and Middlemen

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal
COME HOLY SPIRIT [Ecumenical]
Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts [Devotional]
Did the Apostles Pray the Rosary? (First Novena to the Holy Spirit?) [Catholic Caucus]
It is the Decision of the Holy Spirit and Us….On the Council of Jerusalem...(Catholic Caucus)
The Holy Spirit And Mary (Catholic Caucus)
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part 1: The Apostles’ Creed, “ I Believe in the Holy Spirit”
The Essentials of theCatholic Faith,Part1:Apostles’ Creed:“Conceived-Holy Spirit,Born-Virgin Mary
Benedict XVI's Homily for Solemnity of Pentecost
Pentecost Past and Present

The Purpose of Pentecost: and the New Missionary Age of the Church
Pentecost: the Holy Spirit Comes
Pentecost on Mount Athos (where earthly time is one and the same as the eternal today of heaven)
Pentecost Continues
Vigil of the Pentecost and Whitsunday
THE CHURCH IS ALWAYS IN A STATE OF PENTECOST
Father Cantalamessa on Pentecost - Pontifical Household Preacher on Sunday's Readings
The Ever-Present Pentecost
The Advocate vs. The Accuser (Fr. Euteneuer Column)
Always be followed by your conscience (Rainbow Sashers get ready for Pentecost Sunday)

Pentecost worries Vatican [in the Philippines]
Prayer and Meditation: Pentecost
Pentecost Anticipation: The Catholic Charismatic Renewal and Me
Paul's Teaching on the Holy Spirit
Today's Pentecost! Come, Holy Spirit!
Breath of the Savior
Pentecost: The Descent of the Holy Spirit
PENTECOST - Rite of Kneeling
CATECHISM CC - Pt. 1 - Chap. 3 - I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
CATECHISM CC - Pt 1, Chap 3, ARTICLE 8 "I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT"

31 posted on 05/19/2013 8:41:07 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:

Sunday, May 19

Liturgical Color: Red


Today is the Solemnity of Pentecost. “Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:3-4)


32 posted on 05/19/2013 2:49:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: May 19, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Almighty ever-living God, who willed the Paschal Mystery to be encompassed as a sign in fifty days, grant that from out of the scattered nations the confusion of many tongues may be gathered by heavenly grace into one great confession of your name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Easter: May 19th

Pentecost Sunday

Old Calendar: Pentecost Sunday (Whitsunday)

And when the days of Pentecost were drawing to a close, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as of fire, which settled upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak (Acts 2, 1-4).

Pentecost Sunday marks the end of the first novena.

Pentecost (Whitsunday), with Christmas and Easter, ranks among the great feasts of Christianity. It commemorates not only the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and Disciples, but also the fruits and effects of that event: the completion of the work of redemption, the fullness of grace for the Church and its children, and the gift of faith for all nations.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


Pentecost
After Jesus had ascended to heaven from Mt. Olivet, the apostles and disciples returned to the Holy City. They remained together in the Upper Room or Cenacle, the place where Jesus had appeared to them and which may well be called the first Christian church. About a hundred and twenty persons were assembled there. They chose Matthias as an apostle in place of the unhappy Judas; they prayed and waited for the Paraclete.

Ten days had passed, it was Sunday, the seventh Sunday after the resurrection. At about nine o'clock in the morning, as they were together praying fervently, the Holy Spirit descended upon them. Note how all the great theophanies in Christ's life occurred during the course of prayer. After His baptism, for instance, when Jesus was praying the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove; likewise, it was during prayer at night that the transfiguration took place on Tabor. Surely too it was while Mary was praying that Gabriel delivered his message, and the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. Pentecost followed precedent. The small community of Christians had prepared themselves through prayer for the coming of the Paraclete. The same is true at Mass today, every day; through prayer we ready our souls for the advent of the Spirit.

The descent upon the apostles was internal and invisible in nature although accompanied by certain visible phenomena. There came a mighty roar, like the onrush of a violent wind. It came suddenly, from heaven; but unlike storms that strike a structure from without, this one penetrated and filled the room where the disciples were gathered. Therefore it was not a natural wind, it was a miracle peculiar to the occasion. A second visible sign consisted in tongues of fire that descended upon each one present. These fiery tongues gave visible evidence that the Holy Spirit had descended upon them.

Today at Mass, particularly at holy Communion, the power of the Holy Spirit will come down upon us; fiery tongues will not be seen, but invisible tongues of fire will not be absent. There was still another external manifestation of the Holy Spirit; the apostles and disciples were enabled to speak various languages.

After the roar of the wind many of Jerusalem's pilgrims hurried to the Cenacle. Pentecost was one of the three festivals which obliged all Jews to be present in Jerusalem. Jews from distant lands, and Jewish converts from paganism too, attended these feasts. As a result, a colorful crowd speaking a variety of languages surrounded the house. Now the apostles, who so shortly before had hid in fear behind locked doors, came forth and courageously walked among the multitude speaking to each in his native tongue. It was indeed amazing! Galileans, and multilingual?

But the malicious too were present; they had the answer. Nothing marvelous at all! Those Galileans were simply drunk, and their drunken babble sounded like a foreign language! Peter showed no hesitation in answering the charge. None of their number, he said, were intoxicated; it was but nine o'clock in the morning, and at that hour men usually are sober. What the multitude saw was, in fact, the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy: In those days (of the Messiah), God will pour forth His Spirit upon men and they will prophesy. . . . Then the apostle pointed his words more directly against the accusers: they had killed Jesus, had nailed Him to the Cross; but God had awakened Him and after His departure to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit.

The pilgrims who had heard Peter give this first pentecostal sermon "were pierced to the heart and said: Brethren, what shall we do? But Peter said to them: Repent and be baptized; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Three thousand responded.

One final question: why the miracle of tongues? In answer, recall the story regarding the tower of Babel. Puffed up by pride, men attempted to build a tower that would touch the heavens. To punish their sin, God confused their speech. Sin causes confusion and division. Now Christ came to gather all men into His Church and thereby to unite them to Himself. This should result in creating but one family of nations again. To this blessed state the miracle of tongues points.

Yes, even we as individuals have a gift of tongues which all men can understand. It is the gift of love infused into us by the Holy Spirit. Love unites, love is a common language, by means of love we can speak to all nations.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Things to Do:


33 posted on 05/19/2013 3:48:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Acts 2:1-11

Pentecost Sunday

“They were all astounded and bewildered.” (Acts 2:12)

If there’s one truth we should take as our anchor on this great feast day, it’s this: Pentecost is for everybody! Parthians, Medes, and Elamites. Residents of America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Citizens of Poland, Japan, Korea, and Kazakhstan. Everyone!

Today’s first reading encompasses the whole known world at the time of Christ, in the form of the list of visitors to Jerusalem who witnessed the outpouring of the Spirit on the apostles. And from that day forward, nothing has changed. Though we haven’t yet seen the fulfillment, it is our heavenly Father’s deepest desire to pour his Spirit into every man, woman, and child in creation.

We all need the Holy Spirit because he alone can enable and empower us to live the life that Jesus won for us on the cross. We need the Spirit to guide us to the truth, especially the truth about Jesus. Every day a barrage of information and opinion tries to take the place of the only One who gives eternal life. But in the midst of all this noise, the Spirit continues to speak, telling us every day that Jesus wants to act powerfully in our lives.

But the Spirit doesn’t just speak to our hearts. He also gives us the words—God’s own words—to comfort those who mourn and to encourage those who falter. He gives us the wisdom, too, to know when to listen instead of speak. He offers to teach us how to move ahead in peace, confident in his leading, even when we can’t see where the road leads.

That outpouring of the Spirit in the sight of people from all over the world stands as God’s public notice: “I have not left you desolate. I will help you. I will teach and encourage you, empower and energize you to do the things I call you to do.”

So open your heart wide today, and ask the Father to give you more of his Holy Spirit.

“Father, I need your Spirit! Come and fill me today, as at the first Pentecost!”

Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

1. In the first reading, we recall the events of the day of Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit, and the phenomena accompanying it. Through this miraculous work, we see the Holy Spirit becoming the unifier of his people in the early church. He is also the unifier for all of us as well. How can you use the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life and others to strengthen the unity within your parish and among family members?

2. The Responsorial Psalm speaks of God renewing the face of the earth. This renewal begins with each one of us. How would you describe the renewal that God may want to do in your life?

3. The second reading reminds us that the Holy Spirit works in each of us differently in order to benefit the whole Church. This includes “different kinds of spiritual gifts.” What gifts do you feel you have been given that can be used in a greater way to build up the Church? How can you use them for the benefit of others in your family?

4. In the Gospel, Jesus’ first words to the disciples after his resurrection were words of consolation and reassurance: “peace be with you”. Jesus desires to speak these words to each of us. In the midst of the many distractions, and the busyness of our day, it is easy to lose our peace. What are the obstacles in you that can keep you from experiencing the Lord’s peace? What are some practical steps you can take to overcome these obstacles?

5. The meditation reminds us that “We all need the Holy Spirit because he alone can enable and empower us to live the life that Jesus won for us on the cross.” The meditation ends with these words:” So open your heart wide today, and ask the Father to give you more of his Holy Spirit.” What steps can you take to open yourself to a deeper experience of the power of the Holy Spirit?

6. Take some time now to pray and ask the Father for a deeper infilling of the Holy Spirit in your life. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.


34 posted on 05/19/2013 4:07:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

(A biblical refection on the PENTECOST SUNDAY, 19th of May 2013) 

First Reading: Acts 2:1-11 

Psalms: Ps 104:1,24,29-34; Second Reading: 1Cor 12:3-7,12-13 or Rom 8:8-17; Gospel Reading: Jn 14:15-16,23-26 

PENTAKOSTA - 7

The Scripture Text

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” (Acts 2:1-11 RSV) 

When the day of Pentecost came, it found the apostles and other disciples of Jesus in one place. Although they were physically together, they were far from united in their minds and hearts. After Jesus has left them for heaven, they felt like orphans, abandoned and confused. Doubts filled their minds and fear tugged at their hearts. What was to become of them? Would they undergo a fate like that of Jesus on the cross? Feeling abandoned and confused, each one could think only of himself – for in time of fear our worst inclinations toward selfishness becomes manifest and our instinct for self-preservation becomes all-pervading.

Then an amazing thing happened. With a great rush of wind the Holy Spirit came upon them, that same Holy Spirit who had sanctified Mary. Doubts and fears were blown away. The apostles and other disciples stood up together like one man and boldly went forth to proclaim the marvels God had accomplished in Jesus Christ. They had become like Mary in their dedication to Christ. All thoughts of selfishness and disunity had been left behind in the upper room. The Church, born from the side of the Savior on the cross, had now been formed by the Spirit into a unity and manifested to the world. From all eternity the Holy Spirit unites the Father and the Son in an unchanging embrace of love. After Jesus had ascended into heaven and returned to His Father, He sent forth the Holy Spirit from Himself and His Father upon the Church to unite all its members in love as one body.

The Church of Jesus Christ is like a human body in which there are many parts: arms, legs, eyes and ears. Despite its many parts the human body is a whole, a unity, with all the parts working together harmoniously for the good of the one body (second reading). Informing and uniting all the parts is the life-giving principle, the soul. Look around you today. You see the universal Church in microcosm. You see women, men and children of every age,  background and culture. Throughout the world the Church embraces all peoples of all places. It is a true melting pot. Uniting all the people of the Church is its life-giving principle, its soul, the Holy Spirit (see Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi, 60f).

ROH KUDUS MELAYANG-LAYANG - 2

Look around this Church again. We are all gathered together in one place, like the apostles and disciples on Pentecost. Today on this Pentecost Sunday, the Father and the Son wish to renew and intensify their sending of the Holy Spirit upon us, the Church. We are called to stand as one man to profess one faith with one voice (Preface). Putting aside all selfishness and individualism, we must open ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit who can blow away all fear and doubt. How earnest and sincere should be our prayer in this Mass: “Grant that we, who are nourished by His body, one spirit in Christ” (Third Eucharistic Prayer). Young or old, rich or poor, each one of us has been called to be a member of the one body of Christ. Like Jesus Christ Himself, the head of the body, filled with the Holy Spirit we are to look to heaven and call God our Father.

When Jesus promised the disciples to send the Holy Spirit, He first said to them: “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). Peace is the fruit of unity and harmony. When we offer each other the sign of peace in the Holy Mass, we are actually praying that we will be open to the Spirit of love who unites us as one in Christ. This Pentecost today can have real meaning in our lives if, filled with the Holy Spirit, we leave the church determined to be instruments of peace and harmony to others. Only our own selfishness can inhibit the beautiful movement of the Holy Spirit. Worshipping God as one people in the Holy Mass, we can also lead lives in accord with who we truly are: one body, of spirit in Christ.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, come! Glorious life of God, fullness of the Father’s love given by the Son, flow like a river into my heart and wash away all of my sins. Set me on fire for You and send me out to the world as Your ambassador. Amen.


35 posted on 05/19/2013 4:16:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

LANGUAGE

 (A biblical reflection on PENTECOST SUNDAY – 19th of May, 2013)

First Reading: Acts 2:1-11; Psalms: Ps 104:1,24,29-34; Second Reading: 1Cor 12:3-7,12-13 or Rom 8:8-17; Gospel Reading: Jn 14:15-16,23-26 

DR. ZAMENHOF - POLAND

Almost 100 years ago Dr. Zamenhof, a Polish linguist, constructed a new language that could be shared by people throughout the world. The artificial language Dr. Zamenhof created is called Esperanto, “the language of hope.”

The name signifies the hope of humankind that a common language might heal the divisions that exist among the different peoples of the earth. We even use the slang expression, “speaking the same language,” to indicate harmony or unity of purpose on a certain issue.

The Feast of Pentecost is the Church’s celebration of her unity and universality in the Holy Spirit, and so some of the readings used express this in terms of language.

One of the optional readings for Pentecost is the Genesis story about the Tower of Babel. It presupposes that before the building of the tower, people were united and spoke the same language. But in punishment for humankind’s pride and arrogance, God confused their speech. Divisions resulted and different languages were developed.

Whether or not the events at Babel actually took place that way is not important. What is important is that sin somehow makes it difficult for us to communicate with each other and to understand each other.

PENTAKOSTA - 8

Today’s reading from Acts describes the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples at Pentecost. With the Tower of Babel story in the background, the reading underlines one of the key outcomes of the Holy Spirit’s coming – the disciples spoke in a foreign tongue, yet each nationality present heard and understood them in their own language.

In other words, the confusion of tongues attributed to sin in the story of the Tower of Babel is now removed. Instead the Holy Spirit restores, at least momentarily, a common understanding and a sense of unity.

Ever since, we’ve been trying to recover that Pentecostal experience of unity and understanding. Dr. Zamenhof’s invention of a universal language like Esperanto has been followed by: establishing the United Nations Assembly, holding summit meetings, having cultural exchanges and reviving the Olympic Games.

Occasionally people from different countries make a breakthrough in communicating with and understanding one another – not so much in the arena of politics or economics, as on the level of art, music and dance.

VLADIMIR HOROWITZ

For example, pianist Vladimir Horowitz recently returned to his homeland, Russia, for a concert after more than 60 years of absence. He became an instant good-will ambassador because he moved the hearts of the Russian people – not by what he said, but by the music he played.

We don’t need a translator to appreciate such things as the Bolshoi Ballet, or a Picasso painting, or a Calder sculpture. Great works of art seem to transcend spoken languages and touch our spirits to unite us at the deepest levels of our being.

But Pentecost is more than a work of art or music. Pentecost is a new outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit into our hearts to kindle in us the fire of His love. The new language that will unite us is not Esperanto so much as the language of love. Even before a child learns how to speak, it already knows that is is loved by its mother.

Even though a word was never exchanged, the Jew who was beaten by robbers knew that he was loved by the Good Samaritan. Even though victims of earthquakes or floods may live in foreign countries, they welcome the message of love we send in relief aid.

Acts of kindness and mercy destroy divisions and build bridges between people. Gestures of peace and forgiveness reduce hostility and forge bonds of unity.

Tongues of fire may not come down on us today as they did on the first disciples at Pentecost. But may the Holy Spirit fill our hearts anew so that we can speak His language of love to each other and to all the world. 

Note: Taken from Fr. Albert Cylwicki CSB, HIS WORD RESOUNDS, Makati, Philippines: St. Paul Publications, 1988, pages 240-241.


36 posted on 05/19/2013 4:18:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT 

BAPA KAMI YANG ADA DI SURGA - DIKUDUSKANLAH NAMA-MU

Blessed Holy Spirit, You are God’s presence within us, the faithful witness to God’s mighty works and the enduring promise of things yet to come. Come, breath of God, and dwell in us. By His death and resurrection, Jesus planted the seeds of eternal life. Now, through Your presence, we know the first fruits of the harvest to come. In Your love, strengthen us and prepare us for the coming wedding feast of Christ and His Church. 

Through You, O Spirit, God’s word takes up residence in our hearts. You come to teach us God’s laws, transforming us day by day. Through You, we who once were condemned to death for our trespasses are redeemed and forgiven. We who were burdened by sin can now walk in freedom. We who deserved no mercy can now extend mercy freely to others. 

Comforter, sustain us and encourage us in our daily walk. Help us understand the signs of the times. Be our teacher, writing the word of God on our hearts. 

Faithful Counselor, lead all nations to God. Come afresh and fill the house of God with believers from every nation, race, and tongue. Make us into one body, united in our worship of the Lord. Prepare us, the bride, to take our place beside Jesus, our Groom. Overcome our natural differences as You did on the first day of Pentecost. Let everyone hear the Gospel in his or her native tongue and so receive new life. Break down barriers that keep us apart. Give us compassion. 

O great Advocate, teach us to pray in every circumstance and for every need. Move us to intercede for one another, even for our enemies. Form the prayers within us and give us the words to say. Give us the courage to speak the Gospel in all situations and to all nations. Enable us to testify to the truth of Christ in our thoughts, words, and actions. Make us instruments of Your grace, vessels of clay filled with Your living water. 

Come, Holy Spirit, reign within our hearts! Purify us and refine us! Empower us and use us! Live within us as You prepare us for our heavenly Groom. Amen. 

Source:  The WORD among us – May 1997.


37 posted on 05/19/2013 4:19:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Come Holy Spirit!

Pentecost Sunday

Pastor’s Column

May 19, 2013

 

          One day (in a former parish), the youth minister ran up to me frantically, pleading with me to help her out of a bind.  It turned out that she was scheduled to give a short talk on the Holy Spirit to her High School youth class and couldn’t think of anything to say at all!  Looking back at this, it strikes me as funny, but how many of us could come up with even a five or ten minute talk on how the Holy Spirit is active in our lives?

          One way for us to grasp at the nature of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit, is to realize that essentially each member is in an infinite and total relationship with each other.  For example, the Father and the Son love each other so much that this love is a person: the Holy Spirit.  In this sense, the Trinity and a human family are similar—the love of the parents (ideally!) is reflected in persons raised by both – the children.

          Scripture makes it quite clear that we are meant to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit and with each other.  Relationships are nourished by our communications with others and by the thoughtful things we do for them, as well as what we are willing to suffer for them, and ultimately, by our commitment to them.  Before I prepare or preach a sermon, hear confessions, or write a column, I always ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, that he will speak and act through me, and I invite you to do the same in your own lives.  Many people say a prayer to the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the day (like “Come Holy Spirit!”), or when getting into a car, or before starting some task or before making a difficult decision. 

          The Spirit is responsible for many of the inspirations that we take for granted in our lives, and provides gifts for the church at large.  Being a lector, Eucharistic Minister, teacher or even a priest, sister or deacon are only some of the gifts God has given to the church, but all of us have received the unique gift of ourselves and this is what God really wants from us.   Everyone has gifts from the Spirit, and they are always meant for others, whether they are family, co-workers, people at church or strangers we meet or who are in need. 

          The Holy Spirit is often represented in Scripture as various mysterious (non-human) forms, such as a dove, tongues of fire, wind, or water.  All of these are, of course, simply images that help us grasp through our human senses and imagination the Holy Spirit, which by its very nature is both invisible and thus unable to be directly seen.  But you can sure tell when the Spirit is present and absent!

          When the Spirit is absent, we see “sexual vice, impurity, sensuality, worship of false gods (such as money, sex, materialism, pleasure), sorcery, antagonism, jealousy, bad temper, quarrels, disagreements, factions, drunkenness and rivalries.”  When the Spirit is present, we see the opposite:  love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, self-control, and chastity (both lists from Galatians 5). Come Holy Spirit!

          Father Gary


38 posted on 05/19/2013 5:32:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. Paul Center Blog

A Mighty Wind: Scott Hahn Reflects on Pentecost

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 05.17.13 |


Pentecost 2

Acts 2:1-11
Psalm 104:1,24,29-31,34
1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13
John 20:19-23

The giving of the Spirit to the new people of God crowns the mighty acts of the Father in salvation history.

The Jewish feast of Pentecost called all devout Jews to Jerusalem to celebrate their birth as God’s chosen people, in the covenant Law given to Moses at Sinai (see Leviticus 23:15-21; Deuteronomy 16:9-11).

In today’s First Reading the mysteries prefigured in that feast are fulfilled in the pouring out of the Spirit on Mary and the Apostles (see Acts 1:14).

The Spirit seals the new law and new covenant brought by Jesus, written not on stone tablets but on the hearts of believers, as the prophets promised (see 2 Corinthians 3:2-8; Romans 8:2).

The Spirit is revealed as the life-giving breath of the Father, the Wisdom by which He made all things, as we sing in today’s Psalm. In the beginning, the Spirit came as a “mighty wind” sweeping over the face of the earth (see Genesis 1:2). And in the new creation of Pentecost, the Spirit again comes as “a strong, driving wind” to renew the face of the earth.

As God fashioned the first man out of dust and filled him with His Spirit (see Genesis 2:7), in today’s Gospel we see the New Adam become a life-giving Spirit, breathing new life into the Apostles (see 1 Corinthians 15:45,47).

Like a river of living water, for all ages He will pour out His Spirit on His body, the Church, as we hear in today’s Epistle (see also John 7:37-39).

We receive that Spirit in the sacraments, being made a “new creation” in Baptism (see 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). Drinking of the one Spirit in the Eucharist (see 1 Corinthians 10:4), we are the first fruits of a new humanity - fashioned from out of every nation under heaven, with no distinctions of wealth or language or race, a people born of the Spirit.


39 posted on 05/19/2013 5:43:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pentecost: A Mission of Peace and Forgiveness



(El Greco)
"Receive the Holy Spirit"
 

Acts 2: 1-11
1 Cor 12: 3b – 7, 1
Jn 20: 19-23

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!

Everything that is big begins very small.  Everything from mountains, to plants, to animals, to a distant sound that grows in intensity as it approaches, to we humans.  Trees begins as seeds, animals and humans begin as a very tiny cluster of living cells that grow exponentially over time into a small baby that will continue its growth towards maturity.  Even ideas often begin very simple and once implemented they become far more complex.

So the same principal is true with the Church.  Before Pentecost, the most loyal followers of Jesus could fit inside one room. Today, Christians count in the billions and the Catholic Church alone is about 1.5 billion members across the globe.  Anywhere you go in the world today, you will find a Catholic Church and other sects of Christians established worldwide. But the explosion of worldwide Christianity over the last twenty centuries has been born of what the world would not consider the formula for success.

Unlike what we hear from our culture as the sign of a successful life: a life filled with no pain, with material comfort, with physical beauty, with no sadness or challenges, the message of the Gospel through the words of Jesus call us to: take up our cross, to accept some level of persecution for what we believe, to control our desires and impulses, to serve our neighbor with a generous heart, to forgive our enemies, to gather regularly with our fellow brothers and sisters in the faith, and to follow Christ up a steep and narrow path. Did you ever hear this coming from a New York advertising agency?  

If we relied merely on human intellect and ability alone, trusting in our own talent and genius, the Christian message would have disappeared centuries ago.  We would be reading about the Christian faith in history books as a well-intentioned but failed effort to bring goodness to humanity. So, we might safely say that something more could be attributed to the endurance of the Christian faith. That could only be because of the Feast we celebrate today – that constant abiding and living presence of the Holy Spirit which gives the Church its life and preserves it in truth and charity. This faith is of divine origin and the gift of the Holy Spirit is that of God himself, which sustains this life and preserves it from age to age.

The Holy Spirit reveals the constant intent of Jesus for the world and in particular for those who claim to follow him.  The Church has become the way in which the message of salvation is always made present for each generation.  This faith has become not just another philosophy to follow or a moral code to be formed by.  This faith has become a way to live based upon the message of a person who is recognized as the Word of God among us. So, today we mark the birthday of the Church born from the Spirit in our time and space.

We see in this “birth” the very mission of the Church.  The Apostles were changed by that Spirit, which also has the power to reform every one of us who are called to be loyal followers of Jesus in this time we find ourselves.

Before that first Pentecost, the Apostles were fearful, confused, disorganized, and in hiding.  After the Spirit came with wind, fire and language (Acts 2: 1-11), they became bold, courageous, and on fire for the Lord and his message.  Like an electric cable joined to a battery waiting to be recharged, the Spirit gave this power boost to the beginning age of Christianity. The Apostles needed that surge of courage and conviction to go out and share the good news as Jesus had commissioned them.

Peace and forgiveness is the gift Jesus gave in the Gospel today: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.  And when he said this, he breathed on them and said to them, receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (Jn 20: 21-23).  The mission of reconciliation with God and others given to a broken world is the gift of the Holy Spirit which Jesus has breathed upon us.

Where can we find this gift? In sacraments of healing and reconciliation but where else have you seen it?  What can we do to bring that healing to others and how courageous can we be in the face of contrary messages today?
O most blessed light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill! . . .
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew . . .
Guide the steps that go astray . . .

(From the Sequence for Pentecost)
 
Fr. Tim

40 posted on 05/19/2013 5:52:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

Whitsunday

 on May 19, 2013 6:37 AM |
 
28-Maria-Pentecoste.jpg
A Pentecost Meditation

Alleluia!
Today the Spirit of the Lord has invaded the cosmos and filled it!
Life spills out of the Cenacle
and, like a torrent of wine,
courses through the streets of Jerusalem.
God arises and His enemies are scattered;
those that hate Him flee before his face,
and those that love Him sing: Alleluia!

Today He who came down to see Babel’s tower
and confused the speech of the proud
visits the Upper Room.
He unties the tongues of the humble
and unites into one holy people those long divided by sin.
Amazed at what she sees and hears,
the Church intones her birthday song: Alleluia!

Today He who on Sinai descended in fire,
causing rocks to quake and peaks to pale,
descends upon Jerusalem;
tongues of fire dance over the heads of those
who, cloistered in the Cenacle, waited to meet their God
and at His coming, they cry out: Alleluia.

Today the valley of dry bones
begins to stir, to rattle, and to reverberate.
Behold, I will cause the Spirit to enter you,
and you shall live:
and they lived and stood upon their feet,
an exceeding great host
singing: Alleluia!

Today the Cenacle sealed like tomb
opens, a joyful Mother’s fruitful womb.
None was ever born of the Spirit
who did not take his birth from her,
and each, claiming from her the springs of his life,
calls her forever glorious, repeating: Alleluia!

Today the Spirit is poured out in superabundance;
today sons and daughters prophesy;
today old men dream dreams and young men see visions;
today menservants and maidservants
join the choir to chant with one many-tongued voice: Alleluia!

Today the Virgin whom the Spirit covered with His shadow
is wrapped in Love and crowned in flame.
Today the Woman who interceded at Cana
tastes New Wine, for the Hour has come.
Today the Mother who stood watching by the Tree
remembers the stream of water and of blood
and filled with sweetness, cries: Alleluia!

Today the Spirit helps us in our weakness
and we who do not know to pray as we ought,
pray in a way that is wonderful and new;
for now the Spirit Himself intercedes for us
with sighs too deep for words.
In the valley of the shadow of death
there rises the canticle of life: Alleluia!

Today, for the poor there is a Father,
for the destitute a Treasury,
for hearts grown dark an inblazing of brightness.
Today, for those who weep there comes the Best of Comforters,
for the lonely, there arrives a gentle Guest,
for the worn and weary there is a refreshment so sweet
that even they begin to sing: Alleluia!

Today, for workers there is repose,
for those scorched in the heat of discord, refreshment,
for those brought low by too great a weight of sorrow, solace,
and for those with tears to shed,
a chalice ready to receive them.
Today there is no one who cannot say: Alleluia!

Today, even where there is nothing good
Goodness elects to dwell;
and where there is nothing holy
Holiness makes a tabernacle,
so that the broken, the sad, and the powerless
find their voices to sing: Alleluia!

Today, there is a balm for every wound,
a dew sprinkled over every dryness;
a cleansing water for every stain.
Today, the stubborn heart learns to bend
and the stiff spine learns to bow.
In the twinkling of an eye the frozen are thawed
and icy hearts warmed through and through,
making them declare as never before: Alleluia!

Today there are Seven Gifts
lavishly given for each according to his need:
Wisdom for the foolish,
Understanding for the dull,
Counsel for the hesitant,
Fortitude for the weak,
Piety for the feckless,
and Fear of the Lord for those who have forgotten to adore,
saying humbly: Alleluia

Today for sinners there is forgiveness,
for the stranger a home,
for the hungry a Holy Table,
for the thirsty a river of living water,
and for every mouth the long-awaited Kiss.
Today heaven is poured over the face of the earth,
while the children of men in amazement sing: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


41 posted on 05/19/2013 6:26:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Scripture Speaks: Pentecost Sunday

Gayle Somers

by Gayle Somers on May 17, 2013 ·

On Resurrection Day, Jesus breathed on His disciples, a gesture odd in itself but packed with meaning for our celebration of Pentecost today.

Gospel (Read Jn 20:19-23)

Today’s [May 19] Gospel tells us that Jesus surprised the disciples “on the evening of that first day of the week” by appearing in their midst without using a door (locked “for fear of the Jews”).  We wonder if He had to calm them down a bit, because He said, twice, “Peace be with you.”  We can imagine how startled they were.  He showed them His wounds, in case they thought He was a ghost.  Then, Jesus gave the apostles an astonishing commission:  “As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.”  What had begun three years earlier with a call to “Follow Me” (Mt 4:19) culminated in a sending out.  Their work was to be a continuation of the divine apostleship of Jesus (“apostle” means “one sent”; see Heb. 3:1).  If we have paid attention to the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ companionship with these men, we have seen clear indications that He intended to give the apostles authority to build His Church and do His work.  We are impressed by the scope of their mission but not really surprised by it.  However, after announcing His directive to them, Jesus steps out of the expected with an action that can only be described as strange:  “He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”  Don’t let familiarity with this verse rob it of its shock value.  Why on earth did Jesus breathe on His apostles?

To understand this moment, so different from anything we’ve yet seen in any Gospel account, we have to go back to the beginning, to the first time divinity breathed on humanity.  At Creation, “the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being” (Gen 2:7).  There is no clearer image than this of God’s desire to impart His own life into man, who is made in His image and likeness.  Adam and Eve’s fall into sin robbed them (and us) of their inheritance as God’s children, but the entire story of salvation reveals God’s plan to restore and renew His life in us.  So vivid is this image of God’s breath in man that it appears again at the time of the prophet, Ezekiel.  God’s people, Israel, were in exile in Babylon; they had been ravaged by their enemies as punishment for their covenant unfaithfulness.  They represent all of us who are spiritually dead and entirely helpless.  However, in His unrelenting determination to restore His people, God says to Ezekiel (whom He called “son of man”):  “’Son of man, can these bones live?’  And I answered, ‘O LORD God, Thou knowest.’  Again He said, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD…Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live…and you shall know that I am the LORD’” (Ez 36:3-6).

When we know this Old Testament history, Jesus breathing on the apostles on Resurrection Day no longer seems so odd, does it?  In this gesture, He begins the divinization of man, always God’s intention for His children.  The renewal of humanity begins, once again, with the breath of God.  For the apostles, this unique action enabled them to truly be Jesus’ continuing presence on earth.  They will forgive or retain sins, an action reserved for Divinity.  What about the rest of us?  Will the breath of God blow on us, too?  The other readings will help answer this question.

Possible response:  Father, thank You for loving us enough to share Your own breath with us—a marvel beyond description.

Descent-of-the-Holy-Spirit-at-Pentecost

First Reading (Read Acts 2:1-11)

At His Ascension, Jesus told the apostles not to start on their mission of making disciples of all nations until they received “power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8).  This helps us see that Jesus’ action of breathing on them on Resurrection Day was an initiation into the Holy Spirit, not the fullness they were meant to have.   For that, Jesus had them wait for the Jewish feast of Pentecost, nine days later.  Pentecost originally had been a harvest festival in the Jewish liturgical calendar; gradually it also became associated with a memorial celebration of God’s giving of the Law to His people at Mt. Sinai, when they had been delivered from slavery in Egypt.  The Law, or Torah, gave the people a way of life that would distinguish them from all other peoples on earth.  To seal the covenant, God actually came down on top of Mt.  Sinai, manifested in fire, smoke, thunder, an earthquake, and the loud sound of a trumpet (see Ex 19:16-19).  It was quite the fireworks show!

We need to know this history, because it helps us understand why Jesus waited until Pentecost to send the Holy Spirit on His Church.  Drawing on all the parallels with God’s visit to Mt. Sinai, the Jews gathered there in Jerusalem that day could comprehend this action as the “harvest” of God’s people, ready now, because of Jesus’ accomplished work, to receive God’s new Law of Love, to be written not on stone tablets but in the hearts of men by the Holy Spirit.  Just as God’s descent on Sinai meant the formation of Israel as a nation, the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost meant the formation of Jews and Gentiles into the Church, the new Israel.

Of course, the events on Pentecost evoke the deep symbolism of wind and fire throughout the Old Testament, not just at the Mt. Sinai covenant.  At Creation, “the wind” of God (literally, God’s “breath”) hovered over the waters of the earth, ready to do God’s bidding as He brought forth life (Gen 1:2).  The “wind” of God also blew apart the waters of the Red Sea so God’s people could escape from their enemies, the Egyptians.  As for fire, recall that God first appeared to Moses, the deliverer of His people, in a fiery bush.  Also, the people had to follow a pillar of fire to make their way home to the Promised Land.

The more we know of the imagery representing God in the Old Testament, the more we understand the Descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost as an explosion of fulfilled promises!  See that the tongues of fire rested over each of the apostles.  They will now be God’s presence in His Church, leading His people on their journey home to heaven.  To this day, the bishops of the Church, who are successors of these apostles, wear hats (mitres) in the shape of a flame of fire.  They are marked out as our pillars of fire, leading us on our pilgrim journey home to heaven.

What about the effects of all this amazing action?  The apostles were miraculously able to communicate the Gospel in the foreign tongues of the Jews assembled there.  All male Jews were required to make a yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem for this feast; that explains why “there were devout Jews from every nation” there.  This immediately evokes the history of Babel (see Gen 11:1-9).  There human pride made a grab at heaven by building a tower up to God.  The solidarity of men (made possible by one language) was perverted to accomplish an evil end.  God broke it by confusing the one language into many.  Now, in the fullness of time, God grants the human solidarity for which man longs (because he is made for that) but which he cannot naturally achieve.  The Holy Spirit creates supernatural solidarity, represented here by all men being able to hear, in their own language, the mighty works of God.  This time, God reaches down to man rather than man trying to climb up to God.

So, now that we understand something of the background of Pentecost, we can ask whether all the rest of us who aren’t apostles will also have a share in this breath of God.  The answer is YES.  In verses not included in today’s reading, Peter answers the “what about us?” question:  “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:28).  Jesus wants to breathe on all of us and thus renew the face of the earth.

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, may Your Church always live in the joy of Pentecost, in awe of Your power and presence.

Psalm (Read Ps 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34)

Today’s psalm celebrates the life-giving power of God’s Spirit.  Written long before the Day of Pentecost, it nevertheless summarizes both the past and the future.  “If you take away their breath, they perish and return to their dust” (Ps 104:29) reminds us of the Fall, at the beginning of man’s story.  Disobedience led to death:  “You are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19b).  “When You send forth Your Spirit, they are created, and You renew the face of the earth” (Ps 104:30) describes our celebration today.  The world, weary in sin, is in dire need of refreshment and renewal.  Maybe we are, too.  The psalm response is the perfect Pentecost prayer:  “Lord, send out Your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.”

Possible response: The psalm is, itself, a response to our other readings.  Read it again prayerfully to make it your own.

Second Reading (Read 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13)

The Gospel showed us God’s desire to once again breathe His life into man.  The Book of Acts showed us that the gift of God’s breath, the Holy Spirit, entered the stream of human history on the Day of Pentecost, producing miraculous results.  In the epistle, St. Paul gives us a theological reflection on themeaning of all this history.  He explains that none of us can confess Jesus as Lord without the Holy Spirit.  Our Christian faith is, itself, a work of God’s breath, the Spirit, in us.  That Spirit gives to believers a wide variety of spiritual gifts, creating diversity of service in His Church.  However, because it is “the same God” Who produces this diversity, we are “one body.”  St. Paul’s emphasis here is on the unity created by the Holy Spirit.  Let’s consider this for a moment.

Unity is the distinguishing characteristic of the Trinity—three Persons in One.  Man, created in the image and likeness of God, is hard-wired for unity, for communion with both God and others.  Sin shattered this unity (recall the immediate fracture of Adam and Eve’s relationship with God and each other in the Garden).  Babel showed us that when men actually cobble together unity, their pride bends them towards a perverse use of it.  God’s descent on Mt. Sinai was for the purpose of forming one nation for Himself out of many tribes.  He gave them one way to worship and one law to live by.  In time, that nation fractured, and a large part of it completely disappeared.  Men cannot create unity for themselves, although their hearts long for it.  Fittingly, unity in His Church was the one thing for which Jesus prayed as He faced His Passion:  “I…pray…that they may all be one…so that the world may believe that You have sent Me” (Jn 17:20-21).

On Pentecost, God sent His breath to create supernatural unity.  It was experienced immediately among the first converts, and it is a constant manifestation of God’s breath in His Church, 2000 years later.  The life of Jesus in us, the Holy Spirit, holds us in His one Body.  Unity at last—alleluia!

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, forgive me when I rebel against unity—wanting my own way, isolating myself.  Let Your Spirit lead me to the unity for which my heart longs.


42 posted on 05/19/2013 6:54:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Six Ways to Tune In to the Holy Spirit

Fr. Nnamdi Moneme, OMV

by Fr. Nnamdi Moneme, OMV on May 19, 2013

heart-on-fire2

Powerful and peaceful transformation! That is one sentence that captures the Pentecost event. Pentecost Sunday’s readings show us that this event radically transformed the scared disciples into courageous witnesses to the murderous Jews. St. John places emphasis on the Holy Spirit’s gift of peace to the disciples in Jesus’ words: “Peace be with you.” How can we as Christians become so powerfully transformed that we become transforming witnesses to others and abide in Christ’s own peace? How can we have this powerful transforming experience?

On a recent visit to my native country of Nigeria I came across a church sign that read, “Come and experience God in our Church.” I did a double-take and thought, “What? At last, a place where we are guaranteed an experience of God just as if God can be turned on and off like a water faucet!” Pardon the sarcasm but can we really generate an authentic experience of God? Is it not a frightful form of pride to think that a human being can guarantee us an experience of God? Can we manipulate God to manifest Himself to us?

God is master of His gifts and He gives and takes as He wills. Jesus Himself teaches us that “The Spirit blows where He wills.” Today’s solemnity of Pentecost show us the suddenness and unpredictability of the Spirit’s descent on the Apostles gathered in the Upper Room: “Suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind and it filled the entire house in which they were.” The evangelist Luke depicts the Pentecost experience as an event unexpected and not as the disciples had thought it possible. Such an experience of God is not something that we can generate or fabricate. Neither is it something that we can force God to produce but it is something that we can only dispose ourselves to receive by the grace of God.

Imagine that you want to listen to a particular radio station and the radio waves from the radio station are already present in the air loud and clear. In addition to a functioning radio set with a reliable source of power, you must know the number of the radio station and you must be able to tune into the station if you are going to listen to the desired station without interference from other stations. Without this ability tune in, the radio set, the loud and clear radio signals, and the proximity of the radio station are useless to you.

This is an analogy of the Spirit in our lives. In a similar way, God’s Spirit is with us from the moment of baptism with the same power that we see in the Pentecost event. But why aren’t we transformed like the disciples on Pentecost? Why aren’t we on fire with the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is with us but we cannot experience His power until we learn how to dispose ourselves properly and tune-in to His frequency. Today’s readings show us ways of tuning-in to the Holy Spirit.

The first way of tuning-in to the Spirit is by constant prayer. The disciples gathered to pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Though the gift of the Holy Spirit was promised to them, prayer remains necessary. Prayer opens our hearts to the presence and action of the Holy Spirit. Jesus even promised that the Holy Spirit is the guaranteed answer to every prayer: “How much more will my Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask?” We must pray always and everywhere in the ways that we find helpful like the Holy Rosary, pray with the scriptures, pray at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, etc. We close ourselves to the Spirit the moment we give up prayer.

But prayer alone is not enough! The second way of tuning-in is to live in peace, unity and love with others as best as we can. The disciples “were all in one place together” despite their previous conflicts with each other and their diverse experiences during the passion of Christ. Here there was no more bickering as they used to do before about who was the greatest among them or who was following Jesus or not. The Holy Spirit descended on hearts that had resolved to live together in peace and unity. We invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts when we too strive to live in peace and unity with others. The Holy Spirit will not completely manifest Himself in hearts that are constantly fighting, insulting, bearing grudges or quarreling with others.

A third way of being disposed to the Holy Spirit is to be open, willing, and ready to be transformed and used as the Holy Spirit’s instrument of salvation to others. The Holy Spirit is a spirit of transformation and action and He wants to make us instruments of His action in the world. To invite the Holy Spirit in our hearts we must face the need for deeper personal repentance and readiness to share the gifts He bestows on us. The disciples were ready and willing to be used to proclaim to Jews from all around the world the “mighty acts of God.” With the Holy Spirit, “there are different forms of service but the same Lord…and to each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” Readinesses for generous action and to change for the better are necessary for one to be transformed by the Holy Spirit.

I am reminded of a woman in my previous parish that was known to get up most nights at 2 am to pray. No one knew what she was praying for. When she passed away, the family discovered that her worn out prayer book contained numerous names of people in and outside the parish whom she was praying for, including my own name. She had been praying for each and every one of us all along and we did not know it. She received the talent of interceding for others and she made use of it faithfully without seeking any publicity. If you are praying to experience the transforming power and peace of the Holy Spirit, what are your gifts and how is the Church benefiting from your gifts and talents today?

A fourth way is to maintain contact with the living body of Christ in the sacraments. In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The mysteries of Christ’s life are the foundations of what He would henceforth dispense in the sacraments, through the ministers of His Church, for ‘What was visible in our Savior has passed over into His mysteries’…Sacraments are powers that come forth from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving. They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in His Body, the Church.”(CC C#1115-6) The sacraments connect us to the risen Christ in His humanity and bestow on us the Holy Spirit. This is evident in St. John’s Gospel where he depicts the sending of the Holy Spirit as Jesus “breathing on them” and saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” It is through the now glorified humanity of Christ that the Spirit is bestowed. In the new and everlasting covenant, the guarantee of the Spirit’s presence and action cannot be sought apart from the sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ Himself.

Perseverance in fidelity to Christ is a fifth way of tuning-in to the Spirit. The recipients of the Holy Spirit are those who went through the failure of Gethsemane, witnessed the death of Jesus from a distance, were slow to believing and now are gathered in fear behind locked doors even after Christ’s Resurrection. Please note that Judas alone missed out on Pentecost!! They other disciples persevered and never gave up despite their failures. Perseverance in the Christian life, more than our successes, draws the Holy Spirit to our souls. The spirit is given in fullness to those that obey, and obey to the very end. We must be willing to begin again in our live of discipleship if we are going to be in tune with the Spirit.

Lastly, a devotion to Mother Mary is crucial in experiencing this transformation of the Spirit. Mary is not just one other means of getting tuned into the Holy Spirit. Because she is the irresistible bride of the Spirit, she is perfectly tuned in to Him and she embodies all that is required to be properly disposed to the action of the Spirit. In the first place, she first opened herself to the Spirit when she pronounced her fiat to the Angel Gabriel at the Annunciation and produced the God-Man, Jesus Christ. She is the perfect model of prayer who prayed with the disciples for the coming of the Spirit. St. Luke sums it up in these words: “All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the Mother of Jesus.”

St. Louis de Montfort emphasizes this inseparability of Mary and the Holy Spirit in these words: “One of the greatest reasons why the Holy Spirit does not now do startling wonders in our souls, is because He does not find there a sufficiently great union with His faithful and inseparable spouse?” It appears that they early disciples thought the same when they wisely placed Mary at the center of the cenacle when they prayed for the Holy Spirit. We would be wise in placing Mary in the center of our hearts too if we want to be peacefully and powerfully transformed by the Holy Spirit.

Mary also lived in peace with God and others because she saw God in all that happened to her by “pondering all these things in her heart.” She was perfectly ready and willing to be used by the Holy Spirit in His work of sanctification of souls. She only greeted Elizabeth in the Visitation and the latter was “filled with the Holy Spirit.” She used her intimate relationship with Jesus and gift of intercessory prayer in interceding for the couple at the wedding feat of Cana. No one had greater contact with the humanity of Christ than Mary did. Her perseverance in fidelity to Christ up till the dark moments of Golgotha was singular. We will share in this her properties if we seek to be devoted to her, to pray to her, to love her, to depend on her and to imitate her. We cannot ignore the Spirit’s bride and be intimate with the Spirit.

In conclusion, God’s powerful Spirit is with us today and He is still as potent and ready as He was in transforming the disciples on Pentecost. God desires that we experience such a transformation and thus He has sent the Holy Spirit to perfect His work in us. Nothing created can give us this experience. We cannot fake the powerful transformation that God’s Spirit brings. Neither can we force God to manifest Himself. All we can do is to dispose ourselves by faithfully using the means mentioned above to tune in and to stay tuned in.

By so doing we will surely experience a peaceful but powerful transformation.


43 posted on 05/19/2013 6:56:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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44 posted on 05/19/2013 7:29:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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http://resources.sainteds.com/showmedia.asp?media=../sermons/homily/2013-05-19-Homily%20Fr%20Gary.mp3&ExtraInfo=0&BaseDir=../sermons/homily


45 posted on 05/26/2013 6:58:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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