Thoughts on Pentecost Sunday

Thoughts on Pentecost Sunday

The seventh Sunday after Easter Marks Pentecost Sunday and the birth of the Church. This day highlights the ongoing presence of the Holy Ghost in the lives of the faithful. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, Catholics receive the indwelling of the Holy Ghost who imparts seven special gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Pentecost reminds Catholics of the importance of utilizing these gifts to live out their Christian vocation.

Below is an excerpt from the writings of Archbishop Luis M. Martinez +1956. Mexican seminary dean, author, poet and respected Archbishop, named the first honorary Primate of Mexico in 1951. His writings can convey the the prolific importance of Pentecost much better than I.

The intimate master of our souls is the Holy Spirit; thus Jesus taught in his discourse at the Last Supper: “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and bring to your mind whatever I had said to you.”  The Holy Spirit teaches everything, not only as Earthly masters do, by projecting the light of their explications on the subject of their teaching, but intimately, by communicating a new light, a divine light, to the intelligence itself.  “His anointing teaches you concerning all things,” said the apostle Saint John.

But light is not the only mark of the direction of the Spirit; there is also sanctity.  As the artist is not content with explaining to his pupil the secrets of art, but takes the uncertain hand of the beginner, and gently but firmly moves and guides it in order that the beauty of his ideal may be expressed on the canvas, even thus does the Holy Spirit take our faculties and move and guide them, so firmly that they do not stray, and at the same time so gently that our activities continue to be vital, spontaneous, and free.  Only the Creator can reach in this way to the depths of our acts and, so far from changing their properties, rather marvelously perfect and elevate them.

The supplications of the church to the Holy Spirit admirably detail this work of his.  In the sequence of the Mass of Pentecost:

Wash the stains of guilt away,
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill,
Guide the steps that go astray.

In the hymn, Veni Creator:

Kindle with fire from above
Each sense, and fill our hearts with love;
Grant to our flesh, so weak and frail,
That strength of Thine which cannot fail.

All these, in addition to many other delicate and marvelous operations, are contained in that sweet and firm movement that the Holy Spirit exercises in every human faculty, by reason of which he is called the soul of our soul.


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