Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Holy Spirit

It seems that the Holy Spirit has been on my mind a lot recently. Not only have I been thinking about whether or not the charismatic group I attend here in Rome could possibly have a Life in the Spirit Seminar as a refresher for us current members and also a way to attract new members to the prayer group, but I have seen plenty of suggestions about the Holy Spirit all around me. Maybe Someone is trying to tell me something.

Praying to the Holy Spirit for aid came up in a discussion I was having with a priest. He suggested singing the Veni Creator Spiritus or the Veni Sancte Spiritus as a way to pray for the help of the Holy Spirit.

Also, I have been thinking about doing something to renew my spiritual life, like setting aside some extra time for prayer, but as I have a tendency to be obsessive and perfectionistic about how I want to change, I began to realize, with the help of something a friend mentioned to me, that what I really need is a new outlook rather than a new thing to do in the same old frantic fashion (which normally includes beating up on myself if I don't do that particular thing that day).

Then, unbeknownst to a priest friend of mine that all this was going on (he only knew from my Christmas letter that I started going to a charismatic group this past year), I get a letter from him sharing with me his favorite story about Saint Seraphim of Sarov where Seraphim (pray for us) says to a fellow monk that the problem sometimes with Christian asceticism (prayer, fasting, vigils, etc) is that Christians sometimes do them forgetting the reason why they are to do them. For Seraphim, the aim of these "tools" is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God. For him this is the goal of the Christian life.

And this letter comes to me a day after I write a post about how ordinary time is supposed to be linked to the paschal mystery, which was summed up in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and how I wish we would remember that, as someone commented, the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit is "Ordinary" for us Christians!

Not only that, but today in class we were talking about grace, and whenever I hear the word grace, most of the time I think of what I read in the Catechism about grace being above all the gift of the Holy Spirit (CCC 2003).

Gee, I wonder, could Someone be trying to tell me something?

Father, please send afresh upon us the Holy Spirit, so that we may not be held in bondage by fear but be free as your sons and daughters, ready to call out to you in trust and in faith "Abba." We ask this through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, Come, Holy Spirit,
et emitte caelitus send forth the heavenly
lucis tuae radium. radiance of your light.

Veni, pater pauperum, Come, father of the poor,
veni, dator munerum come giver of gifts,
veni, lumen cordium. come, light of the heart.

Consolator optime, Greatest comforter,
dulcis hospes animae, sweet guest of the soul,
dulce refrigerium. sweet consolation.

In labore requies, In labor, rest,
in aestu temperies in heat, temperance,
in fletu solatium. in tears, solace.

O lux beatissima, O most blessed light,
reple cordis intima fill the inmost heart
tuorum fidelium. of your faithful.

Sine tuo numine, Without your divine will,
nihil est in homine, there is nothing in man,
nihil est innoxium. nothing is harmless.

Lava quod est sordidum, Wash that which is unclean,
riga quod est aridum, water that which is dry,
sana quod est saucium. heal that which is wounded.

Flecte quod est rigidum, Bend that which is inflexible,
fove quod est frigidum, warm that which is chilled,
rege quod est devium. make right that which is wrong.

Da tuis fidelibus, Give to your faithful,
in te confidentibus, who rely on you,
sacrum septenarium. the holy sevenfold gifts.

Da virtutis meritum, Give reward to virtue,
da salutis exitum, give salvation at our passing on,
da perenne gaudium, give eternal joy.

Amen, Alleluia. So may it be. Praise God.

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