“And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak.” ~Acts 2:2-3
The Tongue of Fire appears in every Mass. Invisibly. When the priest calls down the Holy Ghost upon the bread and wine so that it may be changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, I have always imagined the Holy Ghost in both fiery spendor and light coming down to envelop the altar. It’s the invisible reality of the miracle that takes place upon the altar.
On this great Solemnity of the Feast of Pentecost, we remember that Christ has kept His promise and sent the Holy Spirit to us in fiery spendor, to remain with His Church, guiding and protecting Her for all time. Jesus Christ breathed into the Church the breath of life on that First Pentecost, so that the Church would give life to the world, the life of God in sanctifying grace so that the members of the Church could be temples of He who is the Life, Jesus Christ Our Lord. The Holy Spirit came to convict the world of sin and truth, to pass on the strength, perseverance and courage to carry the newly born Church into the future that would last until the end of time, that would see the deaths of countless martyrs and the sanctification of an innumerable number of souls. The world may rise and fall, but the Holy Ghost remains with His Church. While the charismatics “celebrate” the 50th Anniversary of their protestant sect with “praise and worship” (God have mercy!) in St. Paul Outside the Walls in the heart of Rome, we will be giving due honor and worship to God at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Let us pray to God the Holy Spirit for his fruits and gifts, and for strength and perseverance in our daily fight for the Holy Catholic Church.
Veni Creator Spiritus! A Blessed Solemnity and Feast of Pentecost to all and Happy Birthday to the Church!
On this great Solemnity of the Birthday of our Holy Church, here is a short meditation from Fr. Prosper Gueranger:
The mystery of Pentecost holds so important a place in the Christian dispensation, that we cannot be surprised at the Church’s ranking it, in her Liturgy, on an equality with her Paschal Solemnity. The Pasch is the redemption of man by the victory of Christ; Pentecost is the Holy Ghost taking possession of man redeemed. The Ascension is the intermediate mystery; it consummates the Pasch, by placing the Man-God, the Conqueror of death, and our Head, at the right hand of the Father; it prepares the mission of the Holy Ghost to our earth. This mission could not take place until Jesus had been glorified, as St. John tells us (St. John, vii. 39); and there are several reasons assigned for it by the Holy Fathers. It was necessary that the Son of God, Who, together with the Father, is the principle of the procession of the Holy Ghost in the divine essence, should also personally send this Divine Spirit upon the earth. The exterior mission of one of the Three Persons is but the sequel and manifestation of the mysterious and eternal production which is ever going on within the Divinity. Thus the Father is not sent either by the Son or by the Holy Ghost, because He does not proceed from them. The Son is sent to men by the Father, of Whom He is eternally begotten. The Holy Ghost is sent by the Father and the Son, because He proceeds from both. But, in order that the mission of the Holy Ghost might give greater glory to the Son, there was a congruity in its not taking place until such time as the Incarnate Word should be enthroned at the right hand of the Father. How immense the glory of Human Nature, that it was hypostatically united to the Person of the Son of God when this mission of the Holy Ghost was achieved! and that we can say, in strict truth, the Holy Ghost was sent by the Man-God!
This divine Mission was not to be given to the Third Person, until men were deprived of the visible presence of Jesus. As we have already said, the hearts of the Faithful were henceforward to follow their absent Redeemer by a purer and wholly spiritual love. Now, Who was to bring us this new love, if not He Who is the link of the eternal love of the Father and the Son? This Holy Spirit of love and union is called, in the Sacred Scriptures?, the “Gift of God (St. John, iv. 10);” and it is on the day of Pentecost that the Father and Son send us this ineffable Gift. Let us call to mind the words spoken by our Emmanuel to the Samaritan Woman at the Well of Sichar: If thou didst know the Gift of God (St. John, iv. 10)! He had not yet been given, He had not yet been manifested, otherwise than in a partial way. From this day forward, He inundates the whole earth with his Fire, He gives spiritual life to all, He makes His influence felt in every place. We know the Gift of God; so that we have but to open our hearts to receive Him, as did the three thousand who listened to St. Peter’s sermon.
Observe, too, the Season of the Year, in which the Holy Ghost comes to take possession of His earthly kingdom. Our Jesus, the Sun of Justice, arose in Bethlehem in the very depth of winter; humble and gradual was His ascent to the zenith of His glory. But the Spirit of the Father and the Son came in the Season that harmonizes with His own divine characteristic. He is a consuming Fire (Deut. iv. 24); He comes into the world when summer is in his pride, and sunshine decks our earth with loveliest flowers. Let us welcome the life-giving heat of the Holy Ghost, and earnestly beseech Him that it may ever abide within us. The Liturgical Year has brought us to the full possession of Truth by the Incarnate Word; let us carefully cherish the Love, which the Holy Ghost has now enkindled within our hearts.