Sunday, 31 May 2009
A happy Pentecost to everyone! This morning I looked up JPII's encyclical on the Holy Spirit in the Church, Dominum et Vivificantem, and it has this to say about the first Pentecost (you can find the whole encyclical on the Vatican website):
...the Second Vatican Council speaks of the Church's birth on the day of Pentecost. This event constitutes the definitive manifestation of what had already been accomplished in the same Upper Room on Easter Sunday. The Risen Christ came and "brought" to the Apostles the Holy Spirit. He gave him to them, saying "Receive the Holy Spirit." What had then taken place inside the Upper Room, "the doors being shut," later, on the day of Pentecost is manifested also outside, in public. The doors of the Upper Room are opened and the Apostles go to the inhabitants and the pilgrims who had gathered in Jerusalem on the occasion of the feast, in order to bear witness to Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. In this way the prediction is fulfilled: "He will bear witness to me: and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning."93
We read in another document of the Second Vatican Council: "Doubtless, the Holy Spirit was already at work in the world before Christ was glorified. Yet on the day of Pentecost, he came down upon the disciples to remain with them for ever. On that day the Church was publicly revealed to the multitude, and the Gospel began to spread among the nations by means of preaching."94 (section 25)
Also, there is a beautiful prayer to the Holy Spirit which I find is a good way of starting each day. Perhaps you will find it helpful as well:
Soul of my soul,
I adore thee.
Enlighten, guide, strengthen and console me.
Tell me what I ought to do,
And command me to do it.
I promise to be submissive in all that thou shalt ask of me,
And to accept evertything that thou permittest to happen to me,
Only show me what is thy will.