Holy Spirit

THE HOLY SPIRIT: A Name Born Of Experience by Raniero Cantalamessa

October 20, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit We come right away to the first line of this verse and to the first title: “You whom we name the Paraclete,” (Qui Paracletus diceris).  For those who have any familiarity with a computer, it provides a comparison that may help to grasp what happens at the simple mention of the name Paraclete.  I am thinking of what we call a file, or the name we give a document, and what that represents.  I sit at the computer and write a whole book, this one, let us say, on the Veni Creator, and I put it into memory, giving it a name of no more than eight characters.  In this case, the eight-letter name was in fact “paraclet.”  The whole book is there, stored in the computer’s memory, but [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Sanctifying Work Of The Spirit by Raniero Cantalamessa

October 13, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit Saint Seraphim of Sarov said to one of his disciples: We need to keep praying up to the moment when the Holy Spirit comes down upon us and grants us Heavenly grace in a measure known only to him.  As soon as he visits us, we should stop calling upon him to come.  For indeed, what purpose could it serve to keep on pleading, “Come, you who are goodness itself, make your dwelling in us, purify us of every stain and save our souls,” if he has already come? To behave differently would be like inviting someone to your house, and when he arrives meeting him at the door and letting him stand there while you repeat over and over with monotonous insistence, “Do please come and visit me!”  People [...]

HOLY SPIRIT: Your Soul’s Supreme Director by Luis M. Martinez

October 6, 2017

From True Devotion to the Holy Spirit The soul’s delightful Guest does not remain idle in his intimate sanctuary.  Being, as the church calls him, fire and light.  He hardly takes possession of the soul before his beneficent influence extends itself to the whole being and begins with divine activity its work of transformation. The Holy Spirit lives in the center of the soul, in that profound region of the will where he himself has diffused charity.  And from that center, he pours himself out, so to speak, over the whole man with a divine unction, like the sacred perfume of which the scriptures speak, which descended from the head of Aaron down his flowing beard and over his vestment to the tassel of his mantle. Like the victor [...]

POETRY: The Holy Ghost by John Donne

October 4, 2017

O Holy Ghost, whose temple I Am, but of mud walls, and condensèd dust, And being sacrilegiously Half wasted with youth’s fires, of pride and lust, Must with new storms be weather-beat; Double in my heart Thy flame, Which let devout sad tears intend; and let (Though this glass lanthorn, flesh, do suffer maim) Fire, Sacrifice, Priest, Altar be the [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: Come, Visit, Fill! by Raniero Cantalamessa

September 29, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit What do we individually need to make it possible for each one of us to experience Pentecost in this way?  First we need to ask the Father, consistently and persistently, to send us the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus, and actually to expect the Father to answer!  We need expectant faith, a faith full of expectancy!  Saint Bonaventure asks, to whom does the Holy Spirit come?  And he answers, with his usual preciseness, “He comes to the ones who love him, who invite him, who eagerly await him.”  It is not possible to count the immense number of people who, in the twentieth century, have felt the thrill of the Spirit in their soul when, joined together with others, they plead for the Spirit’s [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Baptism Of The Spirit by Raniero Cantalamessa

September 15, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit The first verse of the Veni Creator is given muscles, so to say, by the three verbs positioned strongly at the beginning or at the end of a line: “Come, visit, fill!”  They give the verse a rhythm of tremendous energy, like a musical crescendo.  But these three verbs, if you think carefully about it, also pose a problem for our theology.  How can the church now invite the Holy Spirit to “Come, visit, and fill!”?  Does not the church believe that she has already received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and that we have already received the Holy Spirit in our individual baptism?  What sense can it make to say, “Come, visit, fill!” to someone who is already present? The problem [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Spirit Of Grace by Raniero Cantalamessa

September 8, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit By now it must be clear: the message of this part of the Veni Creator is all contained in the little word, “grace.”  This is the “honeycomb” from which we need to “draw all the honey”; this is the key that will open for us the door to a whole new chamber in the treasure-house of revelation concerning the Holy Spirit.  Grace is one of the words that we need to revive and restore to its original splendor, because it has been spoiled just as a fresco is spoiled by too many attempts at restoration, each imposing traces of the transient taste of the moment. The first thing that jumps out at us when we read the New Testament, especially Paul, is the close similarity, not to say [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: What Did The Spirit Bring At Pentecost That Was New? by Raniero Cantalamessa

September 1, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit All of this grand vision re-echoes in the words of our hymn: “Fill with Heavenly grace the hearts that you have made.”  In praying these words we are saying, “You who are the principle of our creation, be for us also the artificer of our sanctification!”  It would surely have been impossible to find words more clear or more concise to affirm that the Spirit of the creation is also the Spirit of the redemption.  The word grace is the window that opens wide to the view of this new horizon.  This word refers to Christ; to the church; to the sacraments; to the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love.  The word, grace, moves us to a new plane, different from the one evoked by the [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Holy Spirit And the Creatures’ Return To God by Raniero Cantalamessa

August 25, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit The last two lines of the first verse of the Veni Creator say, “Fill with Heavenly grace the hearts that you have made.” In the New Testament we find three words and three images that are used to express the coming of the Holy Spirit to us: to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, to be clothed with the Holy Spirit, and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  This last is the one that is most frequently used.  We are told that Jesus left the Jordan “full of the Holy Spirit,” (Luke 4:1); John the Baptist, Elizabeth, and Stephen are all said to be “filled with the Holy Spirit.”  But this word “filled” is above all the word used to describe the miracle of Pentecost: [...]

HOLY SPIRIT: Your Soul’s Delightful Guest by Luis M. Martinez

August 18, 2017

From True Devotion to the Holy Spirit How wonderful is the work of the artist!  By efforts both ardent and gentle, he can penetrate hard and shapeless materials with the light of his soul.  The instruments that he uses, although often crude, can impart to these materials exquisite proportions and shapes. That is the way one may conceive the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, Artist of souls.  Is not sanctity the supreme art?  God has only one ideal which, in its prodigious unity and because it is divine, encompasses all the highest forms of beauty.  This ideal is Jesus.  The Holy Spirit loves him more than an artist loves his ideal.  That love is his being, because the Holy Spirit is nothing but love, the personal Love of the [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: Come, Creator Spirit by Raniero Cantalamessa

August 12, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit Now, let us apply all of this to that “little world” which is our own heart.  The Fathers, in fact, do not reserve to the church the title of “cosmos of the cosmos,” the crown of creation, but sometimes speak also of the individual human being in the same terms.  This can have an extraordinary influence on the way we grasp the Holy Spirit in our mind and cooperate with the Spirit in our lives as believers.  “Darkness covered the face of the deep,” (Genesis 1:2).  But the human heart too, says the scripture, is an abyss, a place of hidden depths, (Psalms 64:7).  There is an outward chaos, but there is also the chaos within.  Our chaos is the darkness that is in us, the [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: Experience Of The Spirit As Creator by Raniero Cantalamessa

August 4, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit The most important thing, also in the matter of the Holy Spirit as Creator, is not to understand or explain what this might mean, but to experience the Spirit as Creator.  In the strictest sense, to create means to draw forth being out of nothingness.  How, then, can someone who already exists invoke the Spirit as Creator?  If you invoke, you must exist, and if you exist, how can you still experience being created? This point has a profound religious implication.  To invoke the Creator Spirit upon oneself is to carry oneself back, in faith, to that moment when God still retained all power over you, when you were only “a thought in God’s heart,” and God could have made of you whatever God [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Title “Creator,” An “Open Structure” by Raniero Cantalamessa

July 29, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit What does the title “Creator” mean to us today, first of all from the point of view of theology and faith?  The fundamental point is still the same as was brought to light by the Fathers: The Holy Spirit of God!  Using the title “Creator,” the author of the hymn wanted to put a solemn profession of faith in the divinity of the Holy Spirit at the very start, ahead of everything else.  The title “Creator” is like the clef placed at the beginning of a symphonic score, determining how the whole symphony and every note in it is to sound: this hymn is about God himself, and not about God’s attributes or about a nebulous kind of “divine energy.”  A beautiful [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Creator Spirit In Scripture by Raniero Cantalamessa

July 21, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit The Fathers, attributing the role of Creator to the Spirit, are taking the Bible as their base.  A great deal of their argument is negative in character; in other words, they intend to show that the Spirit is “not a creature.”  However, in doing so they also affirm that the Holy Spirit is in fact “Creator.”  They were not mistaken in the substance of their teaching.  The scripture contains the idea of the “Creator” Spirit.  The difference is that the Fathers accentuated the ontological meaning of the word, understanding “Creator” as a designation of the essence or the nature of the Holy Spirit (the Holy Spirit is Creator and hence he is God), whereas the Bible [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Spirit As Creator In Tradition by Raniero Cantalamessa

July 14, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit Veni Creator Spiritus.  Come, Creator Spirit!  The title, “Creator,” is new and unusual.  Our hymn is perhaps the only liturgical text in which the Spirit is called by this name instead of by the other “canonical” name, Holy.  It is the strongest word, not only in the first verse but in the whole hymn.  Using “Creator” in this way is like throwing open the window to a view of the Bible and Tradition.  A window is a small opening, but looking through it one can see an immense panorama; the closer one gets to the window, the wider the panorama one can see.  In a similar way, Creator is just a little word, but the deeper we dig into its history, the more it reveals [...]

HOLY SPIRIT: The Heart Of True Devotion by Luis M. Martinez

July 7, 2017

From True Devotion to the Holy Spirit One fortunate tendency of our times has been that which seeks to establish the supernatural life on the solid basis of dogma.  Nothing is more right and necessary than this.  Life ought to be based on truth; or rather, it is truth itself that descends, so to speak, from the heights of the understanding to pour itself out over the affections, the works, and all the activity of man. The truths that we beg God to reveal to us are not only “light,” but “spirit and life.”  They are not only a sublime and complete doctrinal system; they are also “words of eternal life” – the exceedingly fruitful seeds that transform souls when the intelligence and the heart are opened [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: In The School Of “Brother Wind” by Raniero Cantalamessa

June 30, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit Now we can go back to the symbols of wind and breath because they help us get a visual image of the content of our contemplation.  The symbols are “functional”; they tell us what the Spirit does, and this is what makes them so useful to us at this time.  Let’s go to the school of “brother wind,” as Saint Francis of Assisi called it.  The wind will remind us of many things, if we look at it with new eyes washed clear by the word of God.  The language of words changes; the language of things is unchanging.  Brother Wind speaks today exactly as in the time of Ezekiel and at the very beginning of the world. Look, for instance, at what happens when a strong, blustery wind blows.  [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Holy Spirit Fills Our Loneliness by Raniero Cantalamessa

June 25, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit Let us pass on to the second characteristic: the Holy Spirit as a mystery of goodness, gentleness, indulgence, closeness, and as a mystery of quietness and rest.  Western Christianity has attempted to express this bouquet of qualities using the verse from the Bible that, in the Latin Vulgate, said, “Oh, how good and how sweet, Lord, is your Spirit in all things,” (Wisdom 12:1).  In a sermon on Pentecost, Pope Innocent III exclaimed: “Oh, how agreeable is the Spirit, how peaceful, how gentle!  Those alone know him who have tasted him!” In Semitic languages, the noun, “spirit” is feminine, and this has certainly made its influence felt, so much so that (particularly among the [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Holy Spirit Comes To Help Us In Our Weakness by Raniero Cantalamessa

June 16, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit We are reflecting, therefore, on the Spirit first as mystery of power and transcendence.  The Spirit represents the “numinous” (that is, the wholly other, the transcendent) in its pure state.  The Sequence for Pentecost very fittingly applies this concept to the Spirit when, praying to the Spirit, it says: “Without your divine presence (numen) there is nothing in man, nothing at all of innocence.” The Old Testament often speaks of the Spirit of God who “assails” like a hurricane, or who “bursts in upon” certain people, like Samson, conferring a supernatural strength on them.  This revelation of power grew by the addition of the appellative “Holy,” [...]

THE HOLY SPIRIT: Ruach, the Spirit’s Name by Raniero Cantalamessa

June 9, 2017

From: Come, Creator Spirit The literal translation of the first verse of the Veni Creator says: Come, Creator Spirit, visit the minds of those who are yours; fill with Heavenly grace the hearts that you have made. The theme of this introductory meditation will be two words of the first line of the Veni Creator: “Come, Spirit,” especially, “Spirit.”  Normally, the first thing we learn about a person is his or her name.  We use the name to call that person, and the name sorts that person out in our mind from all the other people we know.  The Third Person of the Trinity also has a name, even though, as we shall see, it is a very special king of name.  He is called, “Spirit.” Spirit, however, is a [...]

HOLY SPIRIT: Veni Creator

June 9, 2017

Come, Creator Spirit, visit the minds of those who are yours; fill with Heavenly grace the hearts that you have made. You who are named the Paraclete, gift of God most high, living fountain, fire, love and anointing for the soul. You are sevenfold in your gifts, you are finger of God’s right hand, you, the Father’s solemn promise putting words upon our lips. Kindle a light in our senses, pour love into our hearts, infirmities of this body of ours overcoming with strength secure. The enemy drive from us away, peace then give without delay; with you as guide to lead the way we avoid all cause of harm. Grant we may know the Father through you, and come to know the Son as well, and may we always cling in faith to you, the Spirit of them [...]

BLESSING: Blessing To Prepare For Pentecost, by Peter John Cameron

June 3, 2017

Word of God To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. (1 Corinthians 12:7) Blessing of the Manifestation of the Holy Spirit Before the Holy Spirit came, the humanity of Christ, to which human affection clung, needed to be taken away from before the eyes of the disciples.  We were not able to receive both Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and neither could we endure the presence of both. (Saint Augustine) Come, Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, finding us in a state of deformity, restores our original beauty and fills us with his grace, leaving no room for anything unworthy of his love. (Didymus of Alexandria) Come, Holy Spirit. The presence of the gift of the Holy Spirit is the fuller the greater a person’s [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Nine, Self Control, by Philip Bochanski

June 3, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Veni Creator Spiritus Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come from thy bright heav’nly throne; come, take possession of our souls, and make them all thine own. Thou who art called the Paraclete, best gift of God above, the living spring, the living fire, sweet unction and true love. Thou who art sevenfold in thy grace, finger of God’s right hand; his promise, teaching little ones to speak and understand. O guide our minds with thy blest light, with love our hearts inflame; and with thy strength, which ne’er decays, confirm our mortal frame. Far from us drive our deadly foe; true peace unto us bring; and through all perils lead us safe beneath thy sacred wing. Through thee may we the Father [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Eight, Gentleness, by Philip Bochanski

June 2, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Hymn To Saint Philip This is the saint of gentleness and kindness, Cheerful in penance, and in precept winning; Patiently healing of their pride and blindness Souls that are sinning. This is the saint who, when the world allures us, Cries her false wares, and ope’s her magic coffers, Points to a better city, and secures us With richer offers. Love is his bond; he knows no other fetter, Asks not our all, but takes whate’er we spare him, Willing to draw us on from good to better, As we can bear him. When he comes near to teach us and to bless us, Prayer is so sweet that hours are but a minute; Mirth is so pure, though freely it possess us, Sin is not in it. Thus he conducts by holy paths and pleasant [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Seven, Faithfulness, by Philip Bochanski

June 1, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Veni Creator Spiritus Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come from thy bright heav’nly throne; come, take possession of our souls, and make them all thine own. Thou who art called the Paraclete, best gift of God above, the living spring, the living fire, sweet unction and true love. Thou who art sevenfold in thy grace, finger of God’s right hand; his promise, teaching little ones to speak and understand. O guide our minds with thy blest light, with love our hearts inflame; and with thy strength, which ne’er decays, confirm our mortal frame. Far from us drive our deadly foe; true peace unto us bring; and through all perils lead us safe beneath thy sacred wing. Through thee may we the Father [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Six, Goodness, by Philip Bochanski

May 31, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, And in our souls take up your rest; Come with your grace and Heavenly aid To fill the hearts which you have made. O Comforter, to you we cry, O Heavenly gift of God Most High, O fount of life and fire of love, And sweet anointing from above. You in your sevenfold gifts are known; You, finger of God’s hand we own; You, promise of the Father, you Who do the tongue with power imbue. Kindle our senses from above, And make our hearts overflow with love; With patience firm and virtue high The weakness of our flesh supply. Far from us drive the foe we dread, And grant us your peace instead; So shall we not, with you for guide, Turn from [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Five, Kindness, by Philip Bochanski

May 30, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Veni Creator Spiritus Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come from thy bright heav’nly throne; come, take possession of our souls, and make them all thine own. Thou who art called the Paraclete, best gift of God above, the living spring, the living fire, sweet unction and true love. Thou who art sevenfold in thy grace, finger of God’s right hand; his promise, teaching little ones to speak and understand. O guide our minds with thy blest light, with love our hearts inflame; and with thy strength, which ne’er decays, confirm our mortal frame. Far from us drive our deadly foe; true peace unto us bring; and through all perils lead us safe beneath thy sacred wing. Through thee may we the Father [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Four, Patience, by Philip Bochanski

May 29, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, And in our souls take up your rest; Come with your grace and Heavenly aid To fill the hearts which you have made. O Comforter, to you we cry, O Heavenly gift of God Most High, O fount of life and fire of love, And sweet anointing from above. You in your sevenfold gifts are known; You, finger of God’s hand we own; You, promise of the Father, you Who do the tongue with power imbue. Kindle our senses from above, And make our hearts overflow with love; With patience firm and virtue high The weakness of our flesh supply. Far from us drive the foe we dread, And grant us your peace instead; So shall we not, with you for guide, Turn from [...]