Pentecost Sunday
From Fr. Leonard Goffine's Explanations of the Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays, Holydays, and Festivals throughout the Ecclesiastical Year 36th edition, 1880

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What festival is this?

IT is the day on which the Holy Ghost descended in the form of fiery tongues, upon the apostles and disciples, who with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, were assembled in prayer in a house at Jerusalem. (Acts ii.)

Why is this day called Pentecost?

The word "Pentecost" is taken from the Greek, and signifies fifty. As St. Jerome explains it, this was the last of the fifty days, commencing with Easter, which the early Christians celebrated as days of rejoicing at the resurrection of the Lord.

Why is this day observed so solemnly?

Because on this day the Holy Ghost, having descended upon the apostles, the law of grace, of purification from sin, and the sanctification of mankind, was for the first time announced to the world; because on this day the apostles, being filled with the Holy Ghost, commenced the work of purifying and sanctifying mankind, by baptizing three thousand persons who were converted by the sermon of St. Peter; and because on this day the Church of Jesus became visible as a community to the world, and publicly professed her faith in her crucified Saviour.

Why did the Holy Ghost descend on the Jewish Pentecost?

Because on their Pentecost the Jews celebrated the anniversary of the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, and God would show by sending the Holy Ghost on this day, that the Old Law had ceased and the New Law commenced. God also chose this time, that the Jews who on this day came together from all countries to Jerusalem to celebrate the Pentecost, might be witnesses of the miracle, and hear the New Law announced by the Apostles.

Why is the baptismal font blessed on the vigil of Pentecost, as on Holy Saturday?

Because the Holy Ghost is the Author of all sanctity and the Fountain of baptismal grace, and because in the Acts (i. 5.) the descent of the Holy Ghost itself is called a baptism.

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In the Introit of the Mass the Church rejoices at the descent of the Holy Ghost and sings: The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole earth, allel.; and that which containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice, Allel., allel., allel. (Wisd. i. 7.) Let God arise, and his enemies be scattered: and let them that hate him, fly before his face. (Ps. 67.) Glory, &c.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. O God, who on this day didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit: grant us in the same spirit to relish what is right, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Thro. — in the unity of the same, &c.

LESSON. (Acts n. 1 — 11.) When the days of 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, andit 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. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue: and they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans? And how have we heard every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphilia, Egypt, and the parts of Lybia about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also and Proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.

Quote:Why did the Holy Ghost come upon the Apostles in the form of fiery tongues?

The appearance of fiery tongues indicated the gift of language imparted to the apostles by the Holy Ghost, and inflamed their hearts and the hearts of the faithful with the love of God and their neighbor.

Why did a mighty wind accompany the descent?

To direct the attention of the people to the descent of the Holy Ghost, and to assemble them to hear the sermon of the Apostle Peter.

What special effects did the Holy Ghost produce in the apostles?

He freed them from all doubt and fear; gave them His light for the perfect knowledge of truth; inflamed their hearts with the most ardent love, and incited in them the fiery zeal for the propagation of the kingdom of God, strengthened them to bear all sufferings and persecutions, (Acts v. 41.) and gave them the gift of speaking in various languages, and of discerning spirits.

GOSPEL. (John xiv. 23 — 31.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words: and the word which you have heard is not mine, but the Father's, who sent me. These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you: but the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. You have heard that I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If you loved me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it came to pass, that when it shall come to pass you may believe. I will not now speak many things with you;for the prince of this world cometh, and in me he hath not anything. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father hath given me commandment, so do I.

Why is the Holy Ghost expressly called “Holy" since this attribute is due to each of the divine persons?

Because He is the Author of inward sanctity and of all supernatural gifts and graces; and therefore to Him is especially ascribed the work of man's sanctification.

What does the Holy Ghost effect in man?

He enlightens him that he may know the truths of religion and salvation, and the beauty of virtue; He moves him to desire, to aim after and to love these things; He renews his heart by cleansing it from sin, and imparts to him the supernatural gifts and graces by which he can become sanctified, and He brings forth in him wonderful fruits of holiness.

What are the gifts of the Holy Ghost?

According to the Prophet Isaias they are seven:
1. The gift of wisdom, which enables us to know God, to esteem spiritual more than temporal advantages, and to delight only in divine things.

2. The gift of understanding, by which we know and understand that which our faith proposes to our belief; children and adults should pray fervently for this gift, especially before sermons, and instructions in the catechism.

3. The gift of counsel, which gives us the knowledge necessary to direct ourselves and others when in doubt, a gift particularly necessary for superiors, for those about choosing their state of life, and for married people who live unhappily , and do not know how to help themselves.

4. The gift of fortitude, which strengthens us to endure and courageously overcome all adversities and persecutions for virtue's sake.

5. The gift of knowledge, by which we know ourselves, our duties, and how to discharge them in a manner pleasing to God.

6. The gift of piety, which induces us to have God in view in all our actions, and infuses love in our hearts for His service.

7. The gift of the fear of the Lord, by which we not only fear the just punishment, but even His displeasure at every sin, more than all other things in the world.

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Which are the fruits of the Holy Ghost?
As St. Paul (Gal. v. 22 — 21) enumerates them, they are twelve:

1. Charity.

2. Joy.

3. Peace.

4. Patience.

5. Benignity.

6. Goodness.

7. Longanimity.

8. Mildness.

9. Faith.

10. Modesty.

11. Continency.

12. Chastity.

To obtain these fruits as well as the gifts of the Holy Ghost, we should daily say the prayer: "Come, O Holy Ghost, &c."

Why does Christ say: The Father is greater than I?

Christ as God is in all things equal to His Father, but as Christ was at the same time Man, the Father was certainly greater than the Man-Christ.

Why does Christ say: I will not now speak many things with you?

Christ spoke these words a short time before His passion; and by them He wished to say that the time was near at hand when Satan, by his instruments, the wicked Jews, would put Him to death, not because Satan had this power over Him, but because He Himself wished to die in obedience to the will of His Father.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Whit Sunday – The Day of Pentecost
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Guéranger  (1841-1875)

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Veni, sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende. 
Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful, and enkindle within them the fire of thy love.

The great day, which consummates the work that God had undertaken for the human race has, at last, shone upon the world. The days of Pentecost, as St. Luke says, are accomplished. We have had seven weeks since the Pasch; and now comes the day that opens the mysterious number of Fifty. This day is the Sunday, already made holy by the Creation of the Light, and by the Resurrection of Jesus; it is about to receive its final consecration and bring us to the fullness of God.

In the Old and figurative Law, God foreshadowed the glory that was to belong, at a future period, to the Fiftieth Day. Israel had passed the waters of the Red Sea, thanks to the protecting power of his Paschal Lamb! Seven weeks were spent in the Desert, which was to lead to the Promised Land; and the very morrow of those seven weeks was the day whereon was made the alliance between God and his people. The Pentecost (the Fiftieth Day) was honored by the promulgation of the ten commandments of the Divine Law; and every following year, the Israelites celebrated the great event by a solemn Festival. But their Pentecost was figurative, like their Pasch: there was to be a second Pentecost for all people, as there was to be a second Pasch for the Redemption of the whole world. The Pasch, with all its triumphant joys, belongs to the Son of God, the Conqueror of death: Pentecost belongs to the Holy Ghost, for it is the day whereon he began his mission into this world, which, henceforward, was to be under his Law.

But how different are the two Pentecosts? The one on the rugged rocks of Arabia, amidst thunder and lightning, promulgates a Law that is written on tablets of stone; the second is in Jerusalem, on which God’s anger has not as yet been manifested, because it still contains within its walls the first-fruits of that new people, over whom the Spirit of love is to reign. In this second Pentecost, the heavens are not overcast, nor is the roar of thunder heard; the hearts of men are not stricken with fear, as when God spake on Sinai; repentance and gratitude—these are the sentiments which are now uppermost. A divine fire burns within their souls, and will spread throughout the whole world. Our Lord Jesus had said: I am come to cast fire on the earth; and what will I, but that it be kindled? The hour for the fulfillment of this world is come: the Spirit of Love, the Holy Ghost, the eternal uncreated Flame, is about to descend from heaven, and realize the merciful design of our Redeemer.

Jerusalem is filled with pilgrims who have flocked thither from every country of the Gentile world: they feel a strange mysterious expectation working in their souls. They are Jews, and are come from every foreign land where Israel has founded a Synagogue; they are come to keep the feasts of Pasch and Pentecost. Asia, Africa, and even Rome, have here their representatives. Amidst these Jews properly so called, are to be seen many Gentiles, who, from a desire to serve God more faithfully, have embraced the Mosaic law and observances; they are called Proselytes. This influx of strangers, who have come to Jerusalem out of a desire to observe the Law, gives the City a Babel-like appearance, for each nation has its own language. They are not, however, under the influence of pride and prejudice, as are the inhabitants of Judea; neither have they, like these latter, known and rejected the Messias, nor blasphemed his works whereby he gave testimony of his divine character. It may be that they took part with the other Jews in clamoring for Jesus’ death, but they were led to it by the Chief Priests and Magistrates of the Jerusalem which they reverenced as the holy City of God, and to which nothing but religious motives have brought them.

It is the hour of Tierce—the third hour of the day (our nine o’clock)—fixed from all eternity for the accomplishment of a divine decree. It was at the hour of midnight that the Father sent into this world, that he might take flesh in Mary’s womb, the Son eternally begotten of himself: so now, at this hour of Tierce, the Father and Son send upon the earth the Holy Spirit who proceeds from them both. He is sent to form the Church, the Spouse and Kingdom of Christ; he is to assist and maintain her; he is to save and sanctify the souls of men; and this his Mission is to continue to the end of time.

Suddenly is heard, coming from heaven, the sound of a violent wind: it startles the people in the City, it fills the Cenacle with its mighty breath. A crowd is soon round the house that stands on Mount Sion; the hundred and twenty Disciples that are within the building feel that mysterious emotion within them, of which their Master once said: The Spirit breatheth where he will, and thou hearest his voice. Like that strange invisible creature which probes the very depth of the sea and makes the waves heave mountains high, this Breath from heaven will traverse the world from end to end, breaking down every barrier that would stay its course.

The holy assembly have been days in fervent expectation; the Divine Spirit gives them this warning of his coming, and they, in the passiveness of ecstatic longing, await his will. As to them that are outside the Cenacle, and have responded to the appeal thus given, let us, for the moment, forget them. A silent shower falls in the House; it is a shower of Fire, which, as holy Church says (in the Responsory for the Thursday within the Octave), “burns not, but enlightens—consumes not, but shines.” Flakes of fire, in the shape of tongues, rest on the heads of the hundred and twenty Disciples: it is the Holy Ghost taking possession of all and each. The Church is not not only in Mary, but also in these hundred and twenty Disciples. All belong now to the spirit that has descended upon them; his kingdom is begun, it is manifested, its conquests will be speedy and glorious.

But let us consider the symbol chosen to designate this divine change. He who showed himself under the endearing form of a Dove on the occasion of Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan, now appears under that of Fire. He is the Spirit of Love; and love is not only gentle and tender, it is also ardent as fire. Now, therefore, that the world is under the influence of the Holy Ghost, it must needs be on fire, and the fire shall not be checked. And why this form of Tongues? To show that the heavenly fire is to be spread by the word, by speech. These hundred and twenty Disciples need but to speak of the Son of God made Man, and our Redeemer; of the Holy Ghost, who renews our souls; of the heavenly Father, who loves and adopts us as his children;—their word will find thousands to believe and welcome it. Those that receive it shall all be united in one faith; they shall be called the Catholic Church, that is, universal, existing in all places and times. Jesus had said: Go, teach all nations!—the Holy Ghost brings from heaven both the tongue that is to teach, and the fire (the love of God and mankind), which is to give warmth and efficacy to the teaching. This Tongue and Fire are now given to these first Disciples, who, by the assistance of the Holy Spirit, will transmit them to others: so will it be to the end of time.

An obstacle, however, opposes the mission at the very onset. Since the confusion at Babel, there have been as many languages as countries; communication by word has been interrupted. How, then, is the word to become the instrument of the world’s conquest, and make one family out of all these nations that cannot understand each other? Fear not: the Holy Spirit is all-powerful, and has provided for this difficulty. With the other gifts, wherewith he has enriched the hundred and twenty Disciples, he has given them that of understanding all languages, and of making themselves understood in every language. In a transport of holy enthusiasm, they attempt to speak the languages of all nations—their tongue and their ear take in, not only without effort, but even with charm and joy, this plenitude of word and speech which is to reunite mankind together. The spirit of love has annulled the separation of Babel; men are once more made Brethren by the unity of language.

How beautiful art thou, dear Church of our God! Heretofore, the workings of the Holy Ghost have been limited; but now, he breatheth freely where he willeth; he brings thee forth to the eyes of men by this stupendous prodigy. Thou art the image of what this earth was, when all its inhabitants spoke the same language. The prodigy is not to cease with the day of Pentecost, nor with the Disciples who are its first receivers. When the Apostles have terminated their lives and preaching, the gift of tongues, at least in its miraculous form, will cease, because no longer needed: but thou, O Church of Christ! wilt continue to speak all languages, even to the end of time, for thou art to dwell in every clime. The one same Faith is to be expressed in the language of every country; and thus transformed, the miracle of Pentecost is to be kept up forever within thee, as one of thy characteristic marks.

The great St. Augustine alluded to this when he spoke the following admirable words:
Quote:“The whole body of Christ—the Church—now speaks in all tongues. Nay, I myself speak all tongues, for I am in the body of Christ, I am in the Church of Christ. If the body of Christ now speaks all languages, then am I in all languages. Greek is mine, Syriac is mine, Hebrew is mine, and all are mine, for I am one with all the several nations that speak them.”

During the Ages of Faith, the Church (which is the only source of all true progress) succeeded in giving one common language to all the nations that were in union with her. For centuries, the Latin language was the bond of union between civilized countries. However distant these might be from one another, there was this link of connection between them; it was the medium of communication for political negotiations, for the spread of science, or for friendly epistolary correspondence. No one was a stranger in any part of the West, or even beyond it, who could speak this language. The great heresy of the 16th century robbed us of this as of so many other blessings; it dismembered that Europe which the Church had united, not only by her Faith, but by her language. But let us return to the Cenacle, and continue our contemplation of the wondrous workings of the Holy Spirit within this still closed sanctuary.

First of all, we look for Mary; for Her who now, more than ever, is full of grace. After those measureless gifts lavished upon her in her Immaculate Conception; after the treasures of holiness infused into her by the Incarnate Word during the nine months she bore him in her womb; after the special graces granted her for acting and suffering in union with her Son, in the work of the world’s Redemption; after the favors wherewith this same Jesus loaded her when in the glory of his Resurrection;—after all this, we should have thought that heaven had given all it could give to a mere creature, however sublime the destiny of that creature might be. But no. Here is a new mission opened for Mary. The Church is born; she is born of Mary. Mary has given birth to the Spouse of her Son; new duties fall upon the Mother of the Church. Jesus has ascended into heaven, leaving Mary upon the earth, that she may nurse the infant-Church. Oh! how lovely, and yet how dignified, is this infancy of our dear Church, cherished as she is, fed, and strengthened by Mary! But this second Eve, this true Mother of the living, must receive a fresh infusion of grace to fit her for this her new office: therefore it is that She has the first claim to, and the richest portion of, the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Heretofore, he overshadowed her and made her the Mother of the Son of God; now he makes her the Mother of the Christian people. It is the verification of those words of the Royal Prophet: The stream (literally, the impetuosity) of the river maketh the City of God joyful: the Most High hath sanctified his own Tabernacle. The Spirit of Love here fulfills the intention expressed by our Redeemer when dying on the Cross. Woman! said Jesus to her, behold thy Son! St. John was his son, and he represented all mankind. The Holy Ghost now infuses into Mary the plenitude of the grace needful for her maternal mission. From this day forward, she acts as Mother of the infant Church: and when, at length, the Church no longer needs her visible presence, this Mother quits the earth for heaven, where she is crowned Queen; but there too, she exercises her glorious title and office of Mother of men.

Let us contemplate this masterpiece of Pentecost, and admire the new loveliness that beams in Mary from this second Maternity. She is inflamed by the fire of divine love, and this in a way not felt before. She is all devoted to the office put upon her, and for which she has been left on earth. The grace of the Apostolate is granted to her. She has received the tongue of fire; and although her voice is not to make itself heard in public preaching, yet will she speak to the Apostles, directing and consoling them in their labors. She will speak, too, to the Faithful, but with a force, sweetness, and persuasiveness, becoming one whom God has made the most exalted of his creatures. The primitive Christians, with such a training as this, will have a vigor and an energy enough to resist all the attacks of hell, and like Stephen, who had often listened to her inspiring words, die Martyrs for the Faith.

Let us next look at the Apostolic College. The frequent instructions they have been receiving from their Lord, during the forty days after his Resurrection, have changed them into quite other men; but now that they have received the Holy Ghost, the change and conversion is complete. They are filled with the enthusiasm of faith; their souls are on fire with divine love; the conquest of the whole world—this is their ambition, and they know it is their mission. What their Master had told them is fulfilled: they are endued with Power from on high, and are ready for the battle. Who would suppose that these are the men who crouched with fear when their Jesus was in the hands of his enemies? Who would take these to be the men that doubted of his Resurrection? All that this beloved Master has taught them is now so clear to them! They see it all, they understand it all. The Holy Ghost has infused into them, and in a sublime degree, the gift of Faith; they are impatient to spread this Faith throughout the whole earth. Far from fearing, they even long to suffer persecution in the discharge of the office entrusted to them by Jesus—that of preaching his name and his glory unto all nations.

Look at Peter. You easily recognize him by that majestic bearing, which, though sweetly tempered by deep humility, bespeaks his pre-eminent dignity. A few hours ago, it was the tranquil gravity of the Head of the Apostolic College; now his whole face gleams with the flash of enthusiasm, for the Holy Ghost is now sovereign possessor of this Vicar of Christ, this Prince of the word, this master-teacher of truth. Near him are seated the other Apostles: Andrew, his elder brother, who now conceives that ardent passion for the Cross, which is to be his grand characteristic; John, whose meek and gentle eye now glistens with the fire of inspiration, betokening the Prophet of Patmos; James, the brother of John, and called, like him, the son of thunder, bears in his whole attitude the appearance of the future chivalrous conqueror of Iberia. The other James, known and loved under the name of Brother of Jesus, feels a fresh and deeper transport of joyousness as the power of the Spirit thrills through his being. Matthew is encircled with a glowing light, which points him out to us as the first writer of the New Testament. Thomas, whose faith was the fruit he took from Jesus’ Wounds, feels that faith now made perfect; it is generous, free, unreserved, worthy of the brave Apostle of the far East. In a word, all Twelve are a living hymn to the glory of the almighty Spirit, whose power is thus magnificently evinced even at the onset of his reign.

The Disciples, too, are sharers, though in a less degree than the Apostles, of the divine gifts; they receive the same Spirit, the same sacred Fire, for they too are to go forth, conquer the world, and found Churches. The holy Women also, who form part of the assembly of the Cenacle, have received the graces of this wondrous Descent of the Holy Ghost. It was a love that emboldened them to stand near the Cross of Jesus, and be the first to visit his Sepulcher on Easter morning; this love is now redoubled. A tongue of fire has stood over each of them, and the time will come when they will speak, with fervid eloquence, of Jesus, to both Jews and Gentiles. The Synagogue will banish Magdalene and her Companions: the Gentiles of our western Europe will receive them, and the world of these holy exiles will produce a hundredfold of fruit.

Meanwhile, a large crowd of Jews has collected round the mysterious Cenacle. Not only has the mighty wind excited their curiosity, but moreover, that same divine spirit, who is working such wonders upon the whole assembly within, is impelling them to visit the House, wherein is the new-born Church of Christ. They clamor for the Apostles, and these are burning with zeal to work; so too are all. At once, then, the crowd sees these men standing in its midst, and relating the prodigy that has been wrought by the God of Israel.

What is the surprise of this multitude, composed as it is of people of so many different nations, when these poor uneducated Galileans address them, each in the language of his own country? They have heard them speak before this, and they expected a repetition of the jargon now—when lo! there is the correct accent and diction of every country, and with such eloquence! The symbol of unity is here shown in all its magnificence. Here is the Christian Church, and it is One—One though consisting of such varied elements: the walls of division, which divine justice had set up between nation and nation, are now removed. Here also are the heralds of the Faith of Christ: they are ready for their grand mission; they long to traverse the earth, and save it by the word of their preaching.

But in the crowd, there are some who are shocked at witnessing this heavenly enthusiasm of the Apostles. These men, say they, are full of new wine! It is the language of rationalism, explaining away mystery by reason. These Galileans, these drunken men are, however, to conquer the whole world to Christ, and give the Holy Ghost, with his inebriating unction, to all mankind. The holy Apostles feel that it is time to proclaim the new Pentecost; yes, this anniversary of the Old is a fitting day for the New to be declared. But in this proclamation of the law of mercy and love, which is to supersede the law of justice and fear—who is to be the Moses? Our Emmanuel, before ascending into heaven, had selected one of the Twelve for the glorious office: it is Peter, the Rock on whom is built the Church. It is time for the Shepherd to show himself and speak, for the Flock is now to be formed. Let us hearken to the Holy Ghost, who is about to speak, by his chief organ, to this wonderful and attentive multitude. The Apostle, though he speaks in one tongue, is understood by each of his audience, no matter what his country and language may be. The discourse is, of its own self, a guarantee of the truth and divine origin of the new law.

The fisherman of Genesareth thus pours forth his wondrous eloquence: “Ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you, and with your ears receive my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day: But this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass, in the last days, saith the Lord, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And upon my servants indeed, and upon my handmaids will I pour out in those days of my spirit, and they shall prophesy.’ Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him, in the midst of you, as you also know: This same being delivered up, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you by the hands of wicked men have crucified and slain. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the sorrows of hell (the tomb), as it was impossible that he should be holden by it. For David saith concerning him: ‘My flesh shall rest in hope, because thou wilt not leave my soul in the tomb, nor suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.’ Ye men, brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David; that he died, and was buried; and his sepulcher is with us to this present day. Whereas therefore he was a Prophet, he spoke of the Resurrection of Christ; for neither was he ‘left in the Tomb,’ neither did his ‘flesh see corruption.’ This Jesus hath God raised again, whereof all we are witnesses. Being exalted therefore by the right hand of God, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath poured forth this which you see and hear. Therefore let all the house of Israel know most certainly, that God hath made both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus, whom you have crucified.”

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Thus did the second Moses promulgate the New Law. How must not his hearers have welcomed the stupendous gift of this new Pentecost, which put them in possession of the divine realities foreshadowed by that figurative one of old! Here again, it was God revealing himself to his creatures and, as usual, by miracles. Peter alludes to the wonders wrought by Jesus, who thus bore testimony of his being the Messias. He tells his audience that the Holy Ghost has been sent from heaven, according to the promise made to this Jesus by his Father: they have proof enough of the great fact, in the gift of tongues of which themselves are witnesses.

The Holy Spirit makes his presence and influence to be felt in the hearts of these favored listeners. A few moments previous, and they were disciples of Sinaï, who had come from distant lands to celebrate the bygone Pasch and Pentecost; now they have faith, simple and full faith, in Christ. They repent the awful crime of his Death, of which they have been accomplices; they confess his Resurrection and Ascension; they beseech Peter and the rest of the Apostles to put them in the way of salvation: Men and Brethren! say they, what shall we do? Better disposition could not be: they desire to know their duty, and are determined to do it. Peter resumes his discourse, saying: “Do penance, and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.”

The Jewish Pentecost pales at each word of the new Moses; the Christian Pentecost manifests itself with clearer light. The reign of the Holy Ghost is inaugurated in Jerusalem, and under the very shadow of that Temple which is doomed to destruction. Peter continued his instructions; but the sacred volume has left us only these few words wherewith, probably, the Apostle made his final appeal to his hearers: “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!”

Yes, these children of Israel had to make this sacrifice, or they never could have shared in the graces of the new Pentecost;—they had to cut themselves off from their own people; they had to leave the Synagogue for the Church. There was a struggle in many a heart at that moment; but the Holy Spirit triumphed; three thousand declared themselves disciples of Christ, and received the mark of adoption in holy Baptism. Church of the living God! how lovely art thou in thy first reception of the divine Spirit! how admirable is thy early progress! Thy first abode was in the Immaculate Mary, the Virgin full of grace, the Mother of God; thy second victory gave thee the hundred and twenty Disciples of the Cenacle; and now, three thousand elect proclaim thee as their Mother and, leaving the unhappy Jerusalem, will carry thy name and kingdom to their own countries. Tomorrow, Peter is to preach in the Temple, and five thousand men will enroll themselves as Disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. Hail! then, dear creation of the Holy Ghost! Militant on earth; triumphant in heaven; beautiful, noble, immortal Church! all hail!—And thou, bright Pentecost! day of our truest birth! how fair, how glorious, thou makest these first hours of Jesus’ Spouse on earth! The Divine Spirit thou givest us has written, not upon stone but upon our hearts, the Law that is to govern us. In thee, O Pentecost! we find realized the hopes foreshadowed in the mystery of the Epiphany; for though thyself art promulgated in Jerusalem, yet thy graces are to be extended to all that are afar off, that is, to us Gentiles. The Magi came from the East; we watched them as they visited the Crib of the Divine Babe, for we knew that we too were to have our season of grace. It was thou, O Holy Spirit! that didst attract them to Bethlehem: and now, in this Pentecost of thy power, thou callest all men; the Star is changed into Tongues of Fire, and the face of the earth is to be renewed. Oh! grant that we may be ever faithful to the graces thou offerest us, and carefully treasure the Gifts sent us, with thee and through thee, by the Father and the Son!

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; 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 it 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;” 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! 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; 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.

The Christian Pentecost, prefigured by the ancient one of the Jews, is of the number of the Feasts that were instituted by the Apostles. As we have already remarked, it formerly shared with Easter the honor of the solemn administration of Baptism. Its Octave, like that of Easter, and for the same reason, ended with the Saturday following the Feast. The Catechumens received Baptism on the night between Saturday and Sunday. So that the Pentecost Solemnity began on the Vigil, for the Neophytes at once put on their white garments: on the eighth day, the Saturday, they laid them aside.

In the Middle Ages, the Feast of Pentecost was called by the beautiful name of The Pasch of Roses, just as the Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension was termed the Sunday of Roses. The color and fragrance of this lovely flower were considered by our Catholic Forefathers as emblems of the Tongues of Fire, which rested on the heads of the hundred and twenty Disciples, and poured forth the sweet gifts of love and grace on the infant Church. The same idea suggested the red-colored Vestments for the Liturgical Services during the whole Octave. In his Rational (a work which abounds in the most interesting information regarding the Mediæval Liturgical usages), Durandus tells us that in the 13th Century, a Dove was allowed to fly about in the Church, and flowers and lighted tow were thrown down from the roof during the Mass on Whit Sunday; these were allusions to the two mysteries of Jesus’ Baptism and of the Descent of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost.

At Rome, the Station is in the Basilica of Saint Peter. It was but just that special honor should be paid to the Prince of the Apostles, for it was on this day that his preaching won three thousand converts to the Church. Though the Station, and the Indulgences attached to it, are at Saint Peter’s, yet the Sovereign Pontiff and the sacred College of Cardinals solemnize today’s Service in the Lateran Basilica, which is the Mother Church of the city and World.


The Holy Sacrifice is now to be celebrated. Filled with the Holy Ghost, the Church is about to pay the solemn tribute of her gratitude by offering the divine Victim who, by his immolation, merited for us the great Gift—the Spirit. The Introit has been begun by the Choir, and with an unusual joy and enthusiasm. The Gregorian Chant has few finer pieces than this. As to the words, they give us a prophecy, which receives its fulfillment today:—it is taken from the Book of Wisdom. The holy Spirit fills the whole earth with his presence; and as a pledge of his being with us, he gives to the Apostles the gift of tongues.

Spiritus Domini replevit orbem terrarum, alleluia: et hoc quod continet omnia, scientiam habet vocis. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. 
The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world, alleluia: and that which contained all things hath knowledge of the voice. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Ps. Exsurgat Deus, et dissipentur inimici ejus: et fugiant qui oderunt eum a facie ejus. ℣. Gloria Patri. Spiritus Domini. 
Ps. Let God arise, and his enemies be dispersed: and let them that hate him fly before his face. ℣. Glory, &c. The Spirit, &c.

The Collect tells us what favors we should petition for from our Heavenly Father on such a day as this. It also tells us that the Holy Ghost brings us two principal graces:—a relish for the things of God and consolation of heart. Let us pray that we may receive both the one and the other, that we may thus become perfect Christians.

Deus, qui hodierna die corda fidelium sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere. Per Dominum.
O God, who, by the light of the Holy Ghost, didst this day instruct the hearts of the faithful: grant that, by the same Spirit, we may relish what is right, and ever rejoice in his consolation. Through, &c.

Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles. Ch. II.

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. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these, that speak, Galileans? And how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.

Quote:Four great events mark the sojourn of man on earth; and each of them is a proof of God’s infinite goodness towards us. The first is the Creation of man and his Vocation to a supernatural state, which gives him, as his last end, the eternal vision and possession of God. The second is the Incarnation of the Divine Word, who, by uniting the Human to the Divine Nature, raises a created being to a participation of the Divinity, and at the same time, provides the Victim needed for redeeming Adam and his race from the state of perdition into which they fell by sin. The third event is that which we celebrate today—the Descent of the Holy Ghost. The fourth is the Second Coming of the Son of God, when he will free his spouse, the Church, from the shackles of mortality, and lead her to heaven, there to celebrate his eternal nuptials with her. In these four divine acts, the last of which has not yet been accomplished, is included the whole history of mankind; all other events bear, more or less, upon them. Of course, the animal man perceiveth not these things; he never gives them a thought. The light shineth in darkness, and darkness doth not comprehend it.

Blessed, then, be the God of mercy, who hath called us out of darkness, into his marvellous light,—the light of Faith! He has made us children of that generation, which is not of flesh, nor of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God. It is by this grace, that we are now all attention to the third of God’s great works—the Descent of the Holy Ghost. We have been listening to the thrilling account given us of his coming. That mysterious storm, that fire, those tongues, that sacred enthusiasm of the Disciples—have told us so much of God’s plans upon this our world! We could not but say within ourselves: “Has God loved the world so much as this?” When our Redeemer was living with us on this earth, he said to one of his disciples: God hath so loved the world, as to give it his Only Begotten Son. The mystery achieved today forces us to complete these words and say: “The Father and the Son have so loved the world, as to give it their own Divine Spirit!” Let us gratefully accept the Gift, and learn what Man is. Rationalism and Naturalism will have it that man’s true happiness consists in his following their principles, which are principles of pride and sensuality:—Faith, on the contrary, teaches us humility and mortification, and these bring us to union with our Infinite Good.

The first Alleluia-Versicle is formed from the words of one of the Psalms, where David shows us the Holy Ghost as the Author of a new creation; as the renewer of the earth. The second is the fervent prayer whereby the Church invokes the Spirit of Love upon her Children: it is always said kneeling.

Alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia.

℣. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur: et renovabis faciem terræ.
℣. Send forth thy Spirit, and they shall be created: and thou wilt renew the face of the earth.

Here all kneel.


℣. Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium: et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.
℣. Come, O Holy Spirit! fill the hearts of thy faithful, and kindle within them the fire of thy love.

Then is immediately added the Sequence. It was composed about the end of the 12th Century; its authorship has been ascribed, and not without reasonable probability, to the great Pope Innocent the Third. It is a hymn of exquisite beauty, and is replete with tenderest love for Him who is co-equal God with the Father and the Son, and is now about to establish his empire in our hearts.


Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
Et emitte cœlitus
Lucis tuæ radium.

Come, O Holy Spirit! and send from heaven a ray of thy Light.

Veni pater pauperum,
Veni dator munerum,
Veni lumen cordium.

Come, Father of the poor! Come, Giver of gifts! Come, thou Light of our hearts!

Consolator optime,
Dulcis hospes animæ,
Dulce refrigerium.

Thou best of Comforters! The soul’s sweet Guest and Refreshment!

In labore requies,
In æstu temperies,
In fletu solatium.

Her rest in toil; her shelter in heat; her solace in her woe!

O lux beatissima,
Reple cordis intima
Tuorum fidelium.

most blessed Light! fill the inmost soul of thy faithful.

Sine tuo numine,
Nihil est in homine,
Nihil est innoxium.

Without thy divine assistance, there is nought in man, there is nought but evil.

Lava quod est sordidum,
Riga quod est aridum,
Sana quod est sancium.

Cleanse our defilements; water our dryness; heal our wounds.

Flecte quod est rigidum,
Fove quod est frigidum,
Rege quod est devium.

Bend our stubborn will; warm up our cold hearts; guide our straying steps.

Da tuis fidelibus,
In te confidentibus,
Sacrum Septenarium.

Give to thy faithful, who hope in thee, thy holy Seven of Gifts.

Da virtutis meritum,
Da salutis exitum,
Da perenne gaudium.
Amen. Alleluia.

Give them the merit of virtue; give them the happy issue of salvation; give them endless joy. Amen. Alleluia.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John. Ch. XIV.

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words. And the word which you have heard, is not mine; but the Father’s who sent me. These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you. But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. You have heard that I said to you: I go away, and I come unto you. If you loved me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes to pass: that when it shall come to pass, you may believe. I will not now speak many things with you. For the prince of this world cometh, and in me he hath not any thing. But that the world may know, that I love the Father: and as the Father hath given me commandment, so do I: Arise, let us go hence.

Quote:The coming of the Holy Ghost is not only an event, which concerns mankind at large: each individual of the human race is invited to receive this same visit, which today renews the face of the earth. The merciful design of the sovereign Lord of all things is to contract a close alliance with each one of us. Jesus asks but one thing of us:—that we love him and keep his word. If we do this, he promises us that the Father will love us, and will take up his abode in our soul. He tells us that the Holy Ghost is to come; and he is coming that he may, by his presence, complete the habitation of God within us. The sacred Trinity will turn this poor dwelling into a new heaven, until such time as we shall be taken, after this life, to the abode where we shall see our infinitely dear Guest—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—whose love of us is so incomprehensibly great.

In this same passage of the Gospel, which is taken from his Sermon at the Last Supper, Jesus teaches us, that the Holy Spirit, who this day descends upon us, is sent, indeed, by the Father, but sent in the name of the Son. A little further on, in the same Sermon, Jesus says that it is he himself who sends the Paraclete. These modes of expression show us the relations which exist, in the Trinity, between the first two Persons and the Holy Ghost. This divine Spirit if the Spirit of the Father, but he is also the Spirit of the Son; it is the Father who sends him, but the Son also sends him; for he proceeds from the Two as from one principle. On this great day of Pentecost, our gratitude should therefore be the same to the Son who is Wisdom, as to the Father who is Power; for the Gift that is sent to us from heaven comes from both. From all eternity, the Father has begotten his Son; and when the fullness of time came, he gave him to men, that he might assume our human nature, and be our Mediator and Savior. From all eternity, the Father and Son have produced the Holy Ghost; and when the time marked in the divine decree came, they sent him here upon our earth, that he might be to us—as he is between the Father and the Son—the principle of Love. Jesus teaches us that the mission of the Holy Ghost followed his own, because men required to be initiated into truth by Him who is Wisdom; for could they love what they did not know? But no sooner had Jesus consummated his work, and exalted his Human Nature to the throne of God his Father—than he, together with the Father, sends the Holy Ghost, in order that he may maintain within us that word which is spirit and life, and leads us on to Love.

The Offertory is taken from the 67th Psalm, where David foretells the coming of the Divine Spirit, whose mission it is to confirm what Jesus has wrought. The Cenacle is grander than the Temple of Jerusalem. Henceforth, the Church is to take the place of the Synagogue, and Kings and people will become her submissive children.

Confirma hoc Deus, quod operatus es in nobis: a templo tuo, quod est in Jerusalem, tibi offerent reges munera, alleluia.
Confirm, O God, what thou hast wrought in us, from thy temple which is in Jerusalem kings shall offer presents to thee, alleluia.

Having before her, on the Altar, the sacred gifts which have been presented to the Divine Majesty, the Church prays, in the Secret, that the coming of the Holy Ghost may be to the Faithful a Fire which may consume all their dross, and a Light which may give them a more perfect understanding of the teachings of the Son of God.

Munera, quæsumus Domine, oblata sanctifica: et corda nostra Sancti Spiritus illustratione emunda. Per Dominum.
Sanctify, we beseech thee, O Lord, these oblations, and purify our hearts by the light of the Holy Ghost. Through, &c.

Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubíque gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnípotens, æterne Deus: per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Qui, ascendens super omnes cœlos sedensque ad dexteram tuam, promíssum Spíritum Sanctum hodierna die in fílios adoptionis effudit. Quapropter profusis gaudiis totus in orbe terrarum mundus exsúltat. Sed et supernæ Virtutes atque angelicæ Potestates hymnum gloriæ tuæ concinunt, sine fine dicentes: Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus.
It is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ our Lord: who ascending above all the heavens, and sitting at thy right hand, sent down the promised Holy Spirit, this day, upon the children of adoption. Wherefore the whole world displays its exceeding great joy. The heavenly Virtues, also, and the angelic Powers, sing in concert a hymn to thy glory, saying unceasingly: Holy, Holy, Holy!

The words of the Communion-Anthem are from the Epistle; they celebrate the solemn moment of the Descent of the Holy Ghost. Jesus has given himself to the Faithful in the Blessed Sacrament: but it was the Holy Spirit who prepared them for such a favor; who changed the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of the Divine Victim; and who will assist the Faithful to cooperate with the grace of this holy Communion, which nourishes and strengthens their souls unto life everlasting.

Factus est repente de cœlo sonus, tamquam advenientis spiritus vehementis, ubi erant sedentes, alleluia: et repleti sunt omnes Spiritu Sancto, loquentes magnalia Dei, alleluia, alleluia.
Suddenly there came a noise from heaven, as of a strong rushing wind, where they were sitting, alleluia: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and published the wonderful works of God, alleluia, alleluia.

Put, by the sacred mysteries, in possession of her Spouse, the Church prays, in the Post-Communion, that the Holy Ghost may abide forever in our souls. She also speaks of that prerogative of the Divine Spirit, whereby he turns our hearts, from being dry and barren of good, into very Edens of fruitfulness. How consoling the thought that our hearts are to be sprinkled with the dew of the Paraclete!

Sancti Spiritus, Domine, corda nostra mundet infusio: et sui roris intima aspersione fœcundet. Per Dominum.
May the pouring forth of the Holy Ghost into our hearts cleanse them, O Lord, and render them fruitful by the inward sprinkling of the dew of his grace. Through, &c.

✠ ✠ ✠

Agreeably to our usual practice, we will conclude the Festival with a selection of Liturgical pieces taken from the several Churches. We have been joining in the prayers of the holy Roman Church; now let us listen to the Greek Church. The following Hymn, which was composed by St. John Damascene, is taken from the Pentecostarion.


Coming forth from the mysterious cloud that covered him, the tongue-tied Moses’ promulgated the Law written by God; for, closing his eyes to material things, he learned to see Him who is ; and praised, in sacred songs, the [Spirit he had been taught to know.

The venerable lips, whose words were ever grave, said to his Apostles: “Depart not from Jerusalem, my friends! for when I shall be seated on my Father’s high throne, I will pour forth, on you who desire the Light, the infinite grace of the Spirit.”

Having consummated his course, the Word, ever faithful to his promise, fills their hearts with sweet peace; for, having accomplished his work, Christ, as he had promised, gladdened his dear Disciples, filling the Cenacle with a mighty wind, and giving them the Spirit in the form of fiery tongues.

How incomprehensible is the power of our most holy God! Of illiterate men he made orators, whose words silenced philosophers, and, by the bright Spirit that was within them, rescued countless people from the thick night of error.

This almighty Spirit, the illuminating and incorruptible brightness, proceeds from the uncreated Light, — from the Father and the Son. To the whole earth, this day, and on Mount Sion, is he made known in all his effulgence, by a voice of fire.

And thou, Son of God, one Person in two Natures, hast prepared the divine laver of regeneration; whose water flowed from the wound of thy Divine Side, O Word of God! The Holy Ghost gives fruitfulness to the font by his own glowing flame.

You who adore the triple-lighted Essence, you are the true servants of the Sovereign God! This day did Christ, our benefactor, accomplish his divine work: he gave us, for our salvation sake, the whole grace of the Spirit, and he gave it in the form of fire.

O children of the Church! children of light! receive the dew of the Holy Spirit, the dew that burns away the dross of sin. Now hath a Law gone forth from Sion, — the grace of the Spirit, in the form of a fiery tongue.

There was a time, when the shrill voice of many instruments bade the multitude adore a lifeless statue of gold: but now, by the light-giving grace of the Paraclete, men are made worthy to sing: “one, co-equal, and unbeginning Trinity! we bless thee!”

The senseless crowd, when they heard the Apostles speaking in divers tongues, forgot the prophecy of Joel, and said — “These men are drunk with wine!” But we, instructed by our God, cry out with fervent hearts: “thou, the Renewer of the world! we bless thee!”

The hour of Tierce was chosen for this effusion of grace, showing us that we should adore three Persons in the Oneness of power. Blessed art thou, Father, Son, and Spirit, on this the now first of days, the Sunday.

The Armenian Church offers us the following stanzas, which are well worthy of our admiration. They were written about the 5th Century, and their authorship has been assigned, by some, to Moses of Khorene; by others, to John Montagouni.

The Dove, sent unto men, has descended from heaven, amidst a mighty sound; it came in the form of light, which, with its bright fire, burned not but strengthened the Disciples, as they sat in the sacred Cenacle.

The Dove is the Spirit, the Unsearchable that searcheth the deep things of God. He proceeds from the Father; he announces the second and dread Coming. We are taught to believe him consubstantial to the Father.

Praise in the highest heavens to him that proceeds from the Father,— the Holy Ghost! The Apostles were inebriated with his immortal Chalice, and they invited earth to heaven.

O divine and life-giving Spirit! Lover of mankind! thou didst illumine, with tongues of fire, the Apostles who were assembled together in the bond of love. Wherefore do we, also, this day celebrate thy holy coming.

The holy Apostles were gladdened by thy coming, and people of divers tongues were united together, who before were strangers to each other.

Wherefore do we, also, this day celebrate thy holy coming. By them thou didst, by holy and spiritual baptism, beautify the whole earth with a bright and new garment. “Wherefore, do we, also, this day celebrate thy holy coming.

Thou, O Holy Spirit, who sittest on the chariot of the Cherubim, didst this day descend upon the choir of the Apostles. Be thou blessed, O immortal King!

Thou, Holy Spirit, that walkest on the wings of the winds, didst this day rest, in divided tongues of fire, on the Apostles. Be thou blessed, O immortal King!

Thou, O Holy Spirit, that providest, in thy providence, for thy creatures, didst this day come to strengthen thy Church. Be thou blessed, O immortal King!

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The Ambrosian Liturgy contains this fine Preface, which, though short, expresses the whole mystery of Pentecost.


It is just and available to salvation, that we rejoice on this great solemnity, whereon the most holy Pasch is veiled with the mystery of the fifty days, and the mystic number is completed, and the division of tongues, — caused, in times long past, by pride, — is now remedied by the unity produced by the Holy Ghost. For, on this day, a sound was suddenly heard by the Apostles, and, receiving the symbol of One Faith, they, in diverse tongues, taught all nations the glory of thy Gospel. Through Christ our Lord.

The Gothic Church of Spain celebrates the glorious mystery of Pentecost with its wonted eloquence and enthusiasm. The Mozarabic Missal gives us this magnificent Illation or Preface.


It is meet and just, O Almighty God, that we acknowledge, to the best of human power, the blessing of thy gifts, and celebrate, by a yearly commemoration, the eternal salvation that was this day granted to mankind. For which of us would dare to be silent concerning the coming of thy Holy Spirit, when, through thine Apostles, not a tongue of even barbarous nations was silent? But who can narrate the descent of the fire which this day fell, giving to the Disciples the divers tongues of all nations, in such wise that, when the Latin spoke to the Hebrew, or the Greek to the Egyptian, or the Scythian to the Indian, — and used his own language or heard the foreigner’s, — neither he that listened nor he that spoke failed to understand’? Who could describe the power, that by its own free strength, imparted the gift of one and the same heavenly doctrine to them that were to preach the word of truth throughout the whole world? And though the distribution of manifold knowledge was beautiful beyond measure, and the gift of tongues was admirable by its multiplied variety,— yet was there nothing in all this that jarred with the unity of faith. From this we learn, that diversity of tongues is no hindrance to men’s praising their Lord, and that it matters not that different men profess their faith in different languages, provided all believe in the same God.

We, therefore, beseech thee, O Lord, to accept this our homage of praise, which comes from the hearts of the children of promise. By the infusion of thy Divine Spirit, bless and sanctify our souls, that thus we may hope for and receive the favors thou hast promised to thy faithful people. Among the numberless gifts and operations of the Holy Ghost, which were the generous outpouring of thy glory for our salvation’s sake, — nothing was grander at the beginning of the Church, than that a few men should speak the languages of all nations, and, in the same preach thy Gospel. Such a prodigy as this could only have been by the inspiring – grace of the Holy Ghost, who came to us after the seven weeks of thy Son’s glorious Resurrection; hereby showing us, that although he be sevenfold in his gifts, yet that he is the perfection of all the virtues blended into one whole; just as seven is a separate number in itself, yet is it found in each of the other numbers. These, without doubt, are the seven steps of thy temple, whereby man is to mount to the kingdom of heaven. This is the fiftieth year of remission, that celebrated mysterious type of the Old Law. This is the harvest of the first-fruits, which we are commanded to offer up on this day: they are fruits, which though eternal and existing before all ages, yet are new, because now first made known to us.

Neither was it without a mysterious meaning, that this Gift was poured out upon us on the tenth day after the Ascension of thy Son; it showed us that this was the coin of ten, (the denarius) promised by the Father of the family to the laborers in the vineyard. Great, indeed, and exceedingly necessary was this sign of thy Divine Gift, — that, when the fiery tongues rested on the heads of the Disciples, there should be produced nothing in the hearts of believers that was discordant or tepid, but that the preachers of thy Word should be unanimous in the truth, and fervent in charity. O blessed Fire, that burns yet gives fruitfulness! Every intellectual being confesses, by the principle of life that is in it, that this Fire is the Omnipotent God. The Cherubim and Seraphim, thus called because of their burning more ardently with this Fire, — praise the Blessed Three, confessing them to be co-equal in Holiness and almighty power. Together with the hymning choirs of the heavenly hosts, they rest not, nor grow tired of their office, but, with unceasing jubilation, sing, adore, and praise; saying: Holy! Holy! Holy!

The Mystery of Pentecost was celebrated, by the Latin Churches of the Middle-Ages, in the most admirable Sequences. We will offer some of these to our readers, during the Octave. The one we select for to-day, was composed by the good King Robert of France.


May the grace of the Holy Spirit descend upon us,

And make our hearts a dwelling for himself,

By driving away from them all their spiritual vices.

O dear Spirit, thou enlightener of man!

Dispel from our souls the horrid darkness that is in them.

O divine Lover of holy thoughts!

Mercifully infuse thine unction into our minds.

O Spirit, purifier of all our sins!

Purify the eye of our inward man,

That we may be enabled to see the Sovereign Father,

Whom none can see, save them that are clean of heart.

‘Twas thou that inspiredst the Prophets, and gave them to foretell the grand glories of Christ.

‘Twas thou that strengthenedst the Apostles, that they might carry the trophy of Christ throughout the whole world.

When God, by his Word, created the heavens, earth, and seas,

Thou, O Holy Spirit, didst stretch thy divine and fostering influence upon the waters,

Making them fruitful with living beings.

By thine inspiration, thou makest men to be spiritual.

Thou, Lord, didst give unity to the world, that, heretofore, was divided in language and religion.

O best of Masters! thou bringest idolaters to the worship of the true God.

Therefore, mercifully hear us who offer thee our prayers, O Holy Spirit.

Without whom, all our prayers are vain, and unworthy to be presented to God.

‘Twas thou, O Divine Spirit! that, by thy Divine attractive instinct, didst teach the Saints of every age.

‘Twas thou, that by enriching the Apostles of Christ with the incomparable gift, — the gift ‘unheard of in previous ages,

Didst make this day so glorious. Amen.

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The Gifts of the Holy Ghost

It is our intention to explain, during this Week, the workings of the Holy Ghost, both in the Church, and in the faithful Soul. These seven Days are given to us that we may know and appreciate the great Gift sent us by the Father and the Son. Moreover, the Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son has seven different ways whereby he manifests his presence in our souls. It behoves us, therefore, to devote this happy Week to the study and love of the Sevenfold Gift, whereby are to be wrought our salvation and sanctification.

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost are seven energies, which he graciously puts into the soul when he enters there by sanctifying grace. Actual graces put these divinely infused powers into motion, either all at once or separately; and hereby, acts that are supernatural and meritorious of life everlasting are produced by the free consent of our will.

The Prophet Isaias, guided by divine inspiration, has told us of these Seven Gifts. He is foretelling the workings of the Holy Ghost upon the Soul of the Son of God made Man, whom he calls the Flower of a virginal Root of Jesse. He says: And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the Spirit of Wisdom, and of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and of Fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge, and of Godliness, and he shall be filled with the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord. These mysterious words to not only express the qualities of the Holy Ghost; they also describe the effects he produces in the soul of man; and it is in this sense that they have been interpreted by the Holy Fathers and Theologians.

The sacred Humanity of the Incarnate Son of God is the supernatural type of our own, and what the Holy Ghost operated in the former, for its sanctification, that same, in proportion, he wills to do in the latter. He infused into the Son of Mary the seven energies mentioned by the Prophet; the same seven Gifts are prepared for regenerated man. But notice the order in which they come. Isaias begins with the Spirit of Wisdom and ends with the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord. Wisdom, as we will see further on, is the noblest prerogative of which man is capable; whereas the Fear of the Lord, is just the beginning of Wisdom, as the Royal Psalmist assures us. The Soul of Jesus was created for a personal union with the divine Word, and was therefore treated with exceptional honor; the first and foremost Gift infused into it was that of Wisdom, and the Gift of the Fear of the Lord followed, necessarily indeed (because a creature is not perfect unless it have this quality), but still as a sequel and completion. With us, on the contrary, frail and inconstant as we are, the Fear of God is the foundation of our whole spiritual building, and by it we raise ourselves gradually to that Wisdom which brings union with God. It is by means of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost that man attains to perfection; but they are bestowed upon him in the order inverse of that wherein Isaias names them, when speaking of the Son of God. We receive them at the time of our Baptism; and when we have the misfortune to lose them (as we do when we lose sanctifying grace, that is, when we commit a mortal sin), they are restored to us by the Sacrament of Penance.

Let us respectfully consider how the whole work of our salvation and sanctification is marked with the mysterious number of Seven. There are seven principal Virtues which render us dear to our Maker; it is by seven Gifts that the Holy Ghost leads us to our last end; the seven Sacraments apply to us the merits of the Incarnation and Redemption; it is after seven Weeks from the Pasch, that the Holy Spirit is sent upon the earth, there to establish and maintain the kingdom of God. Can we wonder after this that Satan should have sacrilegiously mimicked the work of God, striving to destroy, by the seven deadly sins, the creatures whom God would save?

The Gift of Fear
Pride is the obstacle to man’s virtue and well-being. It is pride that leads us to resist God, to make self our last end, in a word, to work our own ruin. Humility alone can save us from this terrible danger. And what gives us humility? The Holy Ghost; and this, by infusing into us the Gift of the Fear of God.

This sentiment is based on the following truths, which are taught us by faith: the sovereign majesty of God, in comparison with whom we are mere nothingness; the infinite sanctity of that God, in whose presence we are but unworthiness and sin; the severe and just judgment we are to go through after death; the danger of falling into sin, which may be our misfortune at any time, if we do not correspond to grace, for although grace be never wanting, we have it in our power to resist it.

Man, as the Apostle tells us, must work out his salvation with fear and trembling; but this Fear, which is a gift of the Holy Ghost, is not the base sentiment which goes no further than the dread of eternal punishments. It keeps alive within us an abiding compunction of heart, even though we hope that our sins have long ago been forgiven. It prevents our forgetting that we are sinners, that we are wholly dependent upon God’s mercy, and that we are not as yet safe, except in hope.

This Fear of God, therefore, is not a servile fear; on the contrary, it is the source of the noblest sentiments. Inasmuch as it is a filial dread of offending God by sin, it goes hand in hand with love. Arising as it does from a reverence for God’s infinite majesty and holiness, it puts the creature in his right place and, as St. Paul says, it contributes to the perfecting of sanctification. This is why the great Apostle assures us that he was severe in his treatment of himself, lest he should become a castaway.

The spirit of independence and false liberty which is nowadays so rife amongst us, is a great enemy to the Fear of God; and one of the miseries of our age is that there is little Fear of God. Familiarity with God but too frequently usurps the place of that essential basis of the Christian life. The result is that there is no progress in virtue, such people are a prey to illusion, and the Sacraments, which previously worked so powerfully in their souls, are now well-nigh unproductive. The reason is that the Gift of Fear has been superseded by a conceited self-complacency. Humility no longer has sway; a secret and habitual pride has paralyzed the soul; and seeing that these people scout the very idea of their ever trembling before the great God of heaven, we may well ask them if they know who God is?

Therefore we beseech thee, O Holy Spirit! keep up within us the Fear of God, which thou didst infuse into our hearts at our Baptism. This saving Fear will ensure our perseverance in virtue, for it will oppose the growth of pride. Let is pierce our soul through and through, and ever abide with us as our safeguard. Let it bring down our haughtiness, and rouse us from tepidity by its ceaselessly reminding us of the greatness and holiness of him who is our Creator and our Judge.

This holy Fear does not stifle the sentiment of Love; on the contrary, it removes what would be a hindrance to its growth. The heavenly Powers see and ardently love their God, their infinite and eternal good; and yet they tremble before his dread Majesty: Tremunt Potestates. And shall we, covered as we are with the wounds of our sins, disfigured by countless imperfections, exposed on every side to snares, obliged to fight with so many enemies—shall we flatter ourselves that we can do without this strong and filial Fear? and that we need nothing to stimulate us when we are in those frequent trials—a want of fervor in our will, or of light in our mind? O Holy Spirit! watch over us! Preserve within us thy precious Gift! Teach us how to combine peace and joy of heart with the Fear of our Lord and God, according to those words of the Psalmist: Serve ye the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto him with trembling!
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
The Golden Legend: The Blessed Feast of Pentecost or of the Holy Ghost

"Lord I pray thee, burn my reins and my heart, and dry them from all sin."

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The Holy Ghost, as witnesseth S. Luke in the story of the Acts of the Apostles, on this day was sent to the apostles in the form and likeness of tongues of fire. And of this sending and coming eight things be to be considered. First, from whom he was sent. Secondly, in how many manners he was sent. Thirdly, in what time he was sent. Fourthly, how oft he was sent to the apostles. Fifthly, in what wise he was sent. Sixthly, into whom he was sent. Seventhly, wherefore he was sent.

As to the first, it is to wit that he was sent from the Father, and from the Son he was sent, and he also himself, the Holy Ghost, gave and sent himself. Of the first saith S. John, Johannis xiv.: The Holy Ghost which is said paraclitus, whom God the Father shall send in my name, this is he that shall teach us all.

Of the second saith S. John: If I go, saith Jesus, I shall send him to you. Now it is to wit that the sending is compared in three manners to the sender.

First, as he that giveth being in his substance, and in this manner the sun giveth his rays or beams. Secondly, as in giving virtue or strength, and so is the dart given by the virtue and strength of him that casteth it. Thirdly, to him that giveth his jurisdiction to another, and thus the messenger is sent from him of whom he hath the commandment.

And after these three manners the Holy Ghost may be said to be sent, for it is said: sent of the Father and of the Son as having virtue and authority in his operation, notwithstanding himself giveth and sendeth him. The which thing seemed to be veritable after this that the gospel of John saith, Johannis decimo sexto, Cum autem venerit ille Spiritus veritatis, etc.: When the spirit of truth shall come, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall bear witness of me that he cometh from me.

Now saith S. Leo in a sermon of the Pentecost:
Quote:The incommutable deity of the Blessed Trinity is without any changing, one in substance, not divided in operation, all one in will, like in omnipotence, equal in glory, and in his mercy. He hath taken to himself the work of our redemption, that the Father be to us merciful, the Son to us profitable, and God the Holy Ghost inflame us. And because that the Holy Ghost is God, therefore he giveth himself.

And that this is true, S. Ambrose in the book of the Holy Ghost sayeth thus:
Quote:The glory of the Divinity is approved by four reasons, or for that he is without sin, or for that he leaveth the sins, or for that he is creator and not creature, or for that he worshipped none but he is worshipped. And in that is showed to us that the Blessed Trinity was all given to us, for the Father hath offered all that he had.

As saith S. Austin:
Quote:He hath sent to us his Son in price of our redemption, and the Holy Ghost in sign of our adoption. Semblably the Son of God hath given himself unto us. For thus saith S. Bernard: He is our pastor, he is our pasture, and he is our redemption, for he gave his soul in price of our redemption, his blood in to drink, his flesh in to meat, and his divinity in to final reward. Semblably the Holy Ghost gave himself all to us; like as the apostle saith: By the Holy Ghost is given the word of sapience to one, to another of science; and thus of all graces particular is given by the same Holy Ghost.

And hereof saith S. Leo the Pope:
Quote:The Holy Ghost is the inspirer of the faith, giver of Science, teacher of chastity, and cause of all health. As to the second, he is sent in four manners, that is to wit, that the Holy Ghost is sent in two manners, visibly and invisibly.

As touching into the hearts pure and chaste he descended visibly, when by some sign visible he is showed. Of the sending invisible saith S. John, Johannis iii.: Spiritus ubi vult spirat. The Holy Ghost where he will he inspireth the hearts, but thou knowest not whence he cometh nor whither he will go. And it is no marvel, for as S. Bernard saith of this word invisible:
Quote:He is not entered by the eyes, for he is not coloured, ne by the ears, for he soundeth not, ne by the nostrils, for he is not meddled with the air, ne he entereth not by the conduit of the mouth, for he may not be swallowed, ne by the feeling or attouching, for he is not maniable, ne may not be handled. Thou demandest then if he hath sought any place natural or human by which thou mightest know that he be come into thee. Know thou, saith S. Bernard, that of the moving of the heart I have understood by his presence; and by the fleeing of vices I have felt the virtue of his puissance; and by the discussion and reproving of my sins hidden, I am amarvelled of the deepness of sapience and of the amendment of my manners how little and small that they be. I have experience of the bounty of his mansuetude and of the reformation and renovation of the spirit of my heart. I have pierced the thickness and the nobleness of his beauty, and of the regard and consideration of all these things, I am abashed of the multitude of his greatness.

The sending visible, when it is in any sign visible, it showeth. And it is to wit that in five signs visible the Holy Ghost is sent and showed. First, in sign of a dove upon Jesu Christ when he was baptized, Luke iii.: The Holy Ghost descended in bodily likeness of a dove upon him. Secondly, in likeness of a fair cloud and clear upon Jesu Christ at his transfiguration, Matthew xvii.: Lo! he yet speaking a bright cloud shadowed them. This was upon the Mount Tabor where Jesu Christ spake with S. Peter, James, and John. And thus as he spake there descended a clear cloud that covered them all, whereas the gloss saith thus: When Jesu Christ was baptized, and also when he was clarified, the mystery of the Trinity was showed. The Holy Ghost was showed at the baptism in likeness of a dove, and in the hill in the likeness of a clear mountain and cloud. Thirdly, he was showed in likeness of a blowing or a blast, as saith S. John, Johannis vicesimo: He breathed and blew on them and said: Take ye the Holy Ghost in you; of whom ye forgive the sins, they shall be forgiven, and of whom ye retain the sins, they shall be retained. Fourthly, in likeness of fire. Fifthly, in likeness of tongues.
And in these two manners he appeared to us to give us to understand that the properties of the tongue and of fire he putteth in the hearts when he descendeth. The dove hath wailing for her song, she hath no gall, she maketh her house in an hole, or in a wall of stone. And thus the Holy Ghost, them that he replenisheth, he maketh them to wail for their sins. Whereof saith Isaiah the prophet, Isaiah Iix.: We all shall roar like bears, and wail like doves, in thinking humbly and bitterly how we have erred against the Scripture.

And this comforteth us the apostle S. Paul, ad Romanos viii.: The Holy Ghost ceaseth not to pray for us in moving us to wailings without number, for our sins which be without number. Secondly, the doves be without gall, and the Holy Ghost maketh them such where he descendeth, for that is his nature. Whereof saith the wise man, Sapientiæ xii.: O quam bonus et suavis, etc.: O Lord God, how much good and sweet is this spirit in us. Item, in the same place he is called sweet, benign, and human, of that he maketh us benign and human, that is to wit, sweet in word, benign in heart, and human in work. Thirdly, the doves dwell within the holes of walls of stone, that is to say, in the wounds of Jesu Christ he maketh them dwell. That he fulfilleth whereof it is said in the Cantica Canticorum ii.: Arise thou my spouse, my love and my dove, my spouse and love, that is a devout soul, and come my dove for to nourish small pigeons in the holes of the wall, that is in the wounds of our Lord. Whereof S. Jerome saith: Spiritus oris nostri, etc.-thus as he would say, the Spirit that is of our mouth, that is Jesu Christ, for he is our mouth. And our flesh maketh us say to Christ, In thine umber, that is, in thy passion, in which Jesu Christ was obscure, dark and despised, we shall live by continual memory. Secondly, he was showed in likeness of a cloud.

The cloud is lift up from the earth by virtue of the sun, and nourisheth and engendereth rain, and refresheth and cooleth the air and the earth. Thus the Holy Ghost, them that he replenisheth he lifteth from the earth for to despise the earthly things, as saith the prophet Ezechiel: The Holy Ghost hath lift me into the air between heaven and earth, and hath brought me into Jerusalem, in the vision of God. Secondly, he refresheth the earth, that is the hearts, against the dryness of burning of vices. And of this was said to the Virgin Mary Spiritus sanctus superveniet in te, etc.: The Holy Ghost shall come in thee, and the virtue of him that is highest shall shadow thee, and from all ardour of vices shall cool thee. And the Holy Ghost is called water because that water hath the virtue and nature to refresh and cool. Whereof saith S. John the Evangelist: From the Holy Ghost the floods of living water shall run. And that same saith he of the Holy Ghost, which the apostles received, and of them that received him, for the rivers ran through all the world upon them that believed in God. Thirdly, he engendereth rain, the which descendeth by drops. And this is that David saith: The Holy Ghost shall blow and make waters to flow, that is to say by the tears coming from the heart dropping from the eyes. Fourthly, he is showed in likeness of breath, which is a spirit of the heart which is cast out by the mouth, which is light, hot, sweet, and necessary to breathe with. Thus the Holy Ghost is light to be shed into a man, he is most swift of anything that is movable, as the gloss saith upon this word: Factus est repente de cœlo sonus, etc.

At the coming of the Holy Ghost he made moving as of thunder, and of wind, vehement and sudden, and fulfilled all the house where the apostles sat, which abode him in great devotion. For the grace of the Holy Ghost wrought not in his operation of space, ne of time, but he had sudden motion. Secondly, he is hot for to enflame the hearts. Whereof Jesu Christ saith: I am come to cast fire in the earth, but this is that burneth and inflameth the hearts. And is compared to wind which is hot, whereof is said in the Canticles: Veni auster et perfla hortum meum. Come wind of the south, and blow in my garden, that is my soul. Thirdly, he is sweet for to make sweet the hearts, and therefore he is named by the name of unction; the sweet unction of him teacheth us which appertaineth to our health. And it is named by name of dew whereof singeth holy Church: Et sui roris aspersione fecundet, where she prayeth that the aspersion and springing of the dew make our hearts to grow in virtue, and also by space of time still and calm. After the stroke of the fire, descended a sweet sound of air soft and small, and there was our Lord. Fourthly, it is necessary to breathe in such manner that if it might not issue out of the mouth that he might not breathe, anon the man should die. And thus should we understand of the Holy Ghost, after this that David saith: Auferes spiritum eorum et deficient et in pulverem, etc. Lord God as soon as thou shalt take away their spirit they shall fail.

And therefore saith he: Emitte spiritum tuum, etc. Lord God send thy spirit into them and they shall be created by spiritual life and be renewed, for the Holy Ghost is he that giveth life. Fourthly, he was showed in the likeness of fire. Fifthly, in likeness of tongues. And the cause for which he appeared in these two manners I shall hereafter say. As to the third principal, in which time he was sent, he was on the fiftieth day sent, after Easter, for to give to us knowledge that the Holy Ghost came, and it is the perfection of the law, the remuneration perdurable, and the remission of sins. It appeareth of the perfection of the law, for from the day that the Lamb was sacrificed in that old law, the law was delivered the fiftieth day after that, as the Church saith, in fire. And also in the New Testament, fifty days after Easter, descended the Holy Ghost on the mount of Sion in likeness of fire. Like as the law was given in the highest of the mount of Sinai, so the Holy Ghost in the solier where the supper of Jesu Christ and of his apostles was made. In this appeareth that the Holy Ghost is the perfection of all the law, for in that is the plenitude of dilection.

Secondly, the perdurable remuneration is in the Holy Ghost, whereof the gloss saith thus, that the fourty days in which our Lord conversed with his disciples signify the holy church, also the fiftieth day on which the Holy Ghost was given, expresseth the penny of the last retribution and reward perdurable. Thirdly, of the Holy Ghost is the remission of sins, as saith the gloss. Therefore it was given in the fiftieth day, because in the fiftieth year was the Jubilee, and all things pardoned, and by the Holy Ghost the sins be pardoned. And it followeth in the gloss: In the jubilee spiritual the prisoners be delivered, the debts be quitted, the exiled be repealed and called home, the heritages be rendered, and the bond men be rendered from their servitude and made free. and the guilty of death be made quit and delivered. Whereof saith S. Paul: The law of the spirit of life in Jesu Christ hath delivered me from the law of sin and of death. After, the debts of sin be left, for charity covereth and quencheth great multitude of sins. The exiled men be called home, and the prophet saith: Spiritus tuus bonus, etc. Lord thy good spirit hath brought me into the right land of my country, that is, into heaven. The heritage lost is rendered, whereof saith S. Paul: The Holy Ghost hath given witness to our Spirit that we be the sons of God. And if we be sons we be heirs, which were servants to sin, we be made free to God, for where the Holy Ghost is, there is franchise and liberty. As touching the fourth, how oft he was sent to the apostles, after that the gloss saith: He was given to them by three times, that is to wit before the passion of Jesu Christ, after the resurrection, and after the Ascension. First to do miracles. Secondly to release the sins, and thirdly to confirm the hearts. First, when he sent them to preach, and to cast fiends out of bodies, and to heal the sick malades, he gave to them the puissance. And these marvels did they by the Holy Ghost, nevertheless it is not consequent that whosoever have the Holy Ghost do miracles. For S. Gregory saith: The miracles maketh not a man holy, but show him holy, nor also every man that doth miracles hath not the Holy Ghost. For evil people avaunt them to have done miracles, saying: Lord, Lord, say they, have not we well prophesied in thy name? Thou hast given to us the spirit of prophecy.

God doth miracles by his angels, by matter amiable that they have, and the fiends by virtues natural, which be in things created naturally, and the enchanter, by help of fiends. The good christian man by justice public, the evil christian man by signs of justice. Secondly, they had the Holy Ghost when he breathed on them saying: Take ye the Holy Ghost in to you, to whom ye loose their sins they shall be loosed, and of whom ye retain, they shall be retained. Nevertheless none save God may forgive sins as to the sin that is in the soul, and which is the obligation to pain perdurable, or as to the offence of God, the which is only forgiven by the infusion of the grace of God, and by the force and virtue of contrition. Nevertheless we say that the priest assoilleth of sins, as for that he is insinued, or showeth that the sinner is assoilled of God. As to that, that the pain that should be perpetual, he changeth into temporal of purgatory, and also for that the pain temporal is due, he releaseth part. Thirdly, the Holy Ghost was given to them on this day, when he confirmed so their hearts that they dreaded no torment by the virtue of the Holy Ghost, which all overcometh. Whereof saith S. Austin: Such is the grace of the Holy Ghost that if he find heaviness in the heart he breaketh it; if he find desire of evil, he destroyeth it; if he find vain dread, he casteth it out.

And S. Leo the Pope saith: The Holy Ghost was hoped of the apostles, not for then first he had inhabited in them, but because that the hearts to him sacred and dedicated, he more should visit them, and more abundantly by grace should abide in increasing his gifts not then begun, of which he was not newly showing his operation, for his largess passeth all abundance. As to the fifth, that is to wit, how he was sent. It is to be known that he was sent with great sound in tongues of fire, the which tongues appeared sitting. And the sound was sudden from heaven, vehement and shining. It was sudden for he had no need of space temporal. It was from heaven, for he made them celestial that he replenished. Vehement for he gave dread of love, or for that he took away the sorrow perdurable, which is malediction; or for that that he bare the heart out of carnal love. Also he was replenishing, for he fulfilled all the apostles. As saith S. Luke: Repleti sunt omnes Spiritu Sancto. And it is to weet that there be three signs of replenishing that were in the apostles. The first is that the place where he is giveth no sound, like a tun of wine that is full. To this purpose speaketh Job: Shall the ox cry and roar when the racke is full? The ox shall not low nor cry when the crib shall be full, like as he would say when the heart is full of grace, him ought not grudge by impatience.

This sign had the apostles, for in the tribulation that they had, they resounded not, ne grudged by impatience, but joyously went to the presence of the tyrants, to prison, and to torments. The second sign is that he may receive no more, else he were not full. In this manner he that is all filled demandeth no more. In like wise the saints that have plenitude of grace, may receive none other liquor of earthly delectation; and because they have tasted the sweetness of heaven, they have none appetite to the earthly delectations. Whereof saith S. Austin: Whoso drinketh one drop of delights of paradise, the which one drop is greater than all the sea ocean. Which ought to be understood that all the thirst of this world is in him extinct. And this sign had the apostles which would have none of the goods of this world in proper, but put it all in common. The third sign is for to run over out, as it appeareth by a river which ariseth and runneth over his banks. As Solomon saith: Which filleth as Phison wisdom. This flood, or river Phison, of his nature ariseth and springeth over, and watereth and arroseth the land about him. In like wise the apostles began to spread abroad. For after they had received the Holy Ghost they began to speak divers languages, where the gloss saith, that that was the sign of plenitude, for the vessel full sheddeth over, as it appeareth of S. Peter, for anon as he began to preach he converted three thousand. Secondly, he was sent in tongues of fire.

And here be three things to be considered. First, for whom he was sent conjointly in the tongues of fire. Secondly, wherefore he was sent in tongues of fire more than in another element. Thirdly, wherefore he was sent in tongues more than in another member. As to the first, for three reasons he was sent and appeared in tongues of fire, to the end that their words should inflame the hearts. Secondly, that they should preach the fiery law of God. Thirdly, that they should know that the Holy Ghost, which is fire, spake in them, and t by his incomprehensibility. For the third, he is said Holy Ghost having all virtue, for he is invincible, for he hath all strength, seeing all things from far. The third reason is taken as to his manifold effect. And this reason assigneth Rabanus, saying that the fire hath four virtues or natures. It burneth, it purgeth, It chauffeth, it lighteth. In likewise the Holy Ghost burneth the sins, he purgeth the hearts, he casteth away all coldness and dread of the hearts, and he illumineth them that be ignorant. Of the first saith Zachary the prophet: He broileth and burneth the hearts as the fire burneth the silver.

Also David saith: Lord I pray thee, burn my reins and my heart, and dry them from all sin. He purgeth also the hearts after that, as saith Isaiah: When our Lord hath washed away the filthes of the daughters of Sion, and hath purged the blood of Jerusalem from the middle of him in the spirit of judgment and in the spirit of burning, then shall they be in safety and surety, and kept against all tempest. And the prophet speaketh of the purgation that shall be made at the last, when all shall be purged pure and clean that shall go in to heaven. He casteth out also all coldness and pusillanimity of the hearts, whereof the apostle saith: Be ye fervent in spirit, that is of heart, the which thing the Holy Ghost maketh when He espriseth him of his love. And hereof saith S. Gregory: The Holy Ghost appeared in fire for all the hearts which He replenished, and voided the coldness of fire, and inflamed them with desire of the glory perdurable. He illumined also the ignorant, whereof saith the wise man; Lord God who shall know thy science, if thou give not thy sapience and send to us thine Holy Spirit from above, that is he that all enseigneth and teacheth? The fourth reason is taken after the nature of his love. Love is signified by the fire for three causes.

The first cause is for the fire is always moving, so is it of the Holy Ghost; for them that he replenisheth he maketh them to be in continual moving of good operation. Whereof saith S. Gregory: The love of God is never idle, as long as it is in the heart of a devout person it fructifieth. And it fructifieth not, it is a sign that it is not there. The second is, for the fire among all the other elements hath but little matter, but strong virtue in operation it hath in his quality. Thus the Holy Ghost, whom he replenisheth, maketh them to have but little love to earthly things, and great to spiritual things, in so much they love not worldly things more worldlily, but spiritually. S. Bernard putteth four manners of love; that is to wit, to love the world fleshly, the spirit fleshly, the flesh spiritually, and the spirit spiritually. The third cause is, for that the fire abasheth and meeketh the things high. He hath tended on high things despercled, to unite them, and them despercled to bring together.

And by these three things be understood three virtues of love. For as saith S. Denis in the book of the names divine: The fire hath three virtues, for he inclineth the high things down, he lifteth the things low in height, he ordaineth the things equal to their ordinance. And these three things maketh the Holy Ghost in them that he replenisheth. For he inclineth them by humility, he lifteth them up by desire of high things, and ordaineth them together by unity of manners. Thirdly, he appeared in likeness of a tongue more than in another member, and for three reasons. The tongue is the member that is inflamed of the fire of hell, and is of great difficulty to govern, and profitable when it is well governed. And because that the tongue was inflamed of the fire of hell, she had need that the Holy Ghost should come to inflame it. As saith S. James: It is the fire of the Holy Ghost, and because it is evil and lightly governed, she hath the more need. For after that that saith S. James in his chronicle: All nature of beasts, of birds, and of serpents be mastered and ruled by man, but the tongue may not be mastered. And because it is a member profitable when it is well governed, therefore he had need of the Holy Ghost that should govern it. He appeared also in a tongue, which is much necessary.

To preachers he is necessary, for he maketh them to speak fervently without dread, and therefore he was in that likeness. As saith S. Bernard: The Holy Ghost descended upon the disciples in tongues of fire to the end that they should preach and speak the law of the tongues of fire. The Holy Ghost also maketh them to speak and preach hardily and constantly, as S. Luke saith in the Acts of the Apostles: They were all replenished with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with hardiness the word of God. He maketh them also to speak in many manners for the great and diverse multitude of hearers, and therefore it is said they began to speak with divers tongues in such wise as the Holy Ghost administered to them. He made them also to preach profitably to the edification of the people, whereof saith Isaiah: The Holy Ghost is descended upon me, and hath anointed me with his grace, whereof he hath made my words pleasant and profitable to the health of creatures. Thirdly, the tongues appeared sitting, in signifying that he was necessary to presidents and judges, for he giveth authority for to pardon and to forgive sins, as saith S. John: Take ye the Holy Ghost, by whom ye shall take away the sins of them-that will repent them. He giveth also wisdom for to deem and judge, whereof saith Isaiah: shall put, saith God, my spirit upon them that shall judge and deem truly. He giveth also debonairty and sweetness for to support and mollify the judgment, as it is said, Numeri xi.: I shall give to my people of my spirit that is in thee, for to support the burden of my people. The spirit of Moses was the spirit of benignity and of sweetness that was in him for to judge the people. Moses was most meek and most debonair, and therefore God delivered to him his people for to govern.

The Holy Ghost giveth also adornment of holiness for to inform, as saith the Scripture: The Holy Ghost hath adorned the heavens, that be the hearts wherein he descendeth. And as to the sixth, into whom he was sent, into the apostles that were vessels clean and pure, and disposed to receive the Holy Ghost, And that for seven causes that were in them. First, they were quiet and peaceable in heart, and this signifieth that is sung: Dum complerentur dies pentecostes, etc. The day of the pentecost they were all together in one place still assembled. The day of the pentecost is the day of rest, after that Isaiah saith: Upon whom shall my spirit descend, but upon an humble heart and being still. Secondly, he was heard by dilection. And this is that the Scripture saith: Erant omnes pariter, they were all together, for they were all of one heart and of one will. And thus the spirit of man giveth not life to the members but that they be together; in likewise the Holy Ghost giveth not spiritual life but to the members united spiritually. And as the fire quencheth and goeth out when the brands be taken away, so the Holy Ghost goeth away when the members by discord be divided. And therefore it is sung of the apostles that the Holy Ghost found them all of one accord by love and by charity, and illumined them with clearness shining in them of the divine Deity. Thirdly, they were in a secret place; for they were in the place where Jesu Christ made with them his maundy or supper, whereof is said, Hosea ii.: I shall lead man's soul into a solitary place and shall speak to it in secret.

Fourthly, they were in orison and prayer continual, whereof is sung: Orantibus apostolis deum venisse, etc, when they were in prayer then came the Holy Ghost upon them; which prayer is necessary to receive the Holy Ghost. Like as the wise man saith: I have prayed God and the Holy Ghost is come in me. Whereof saith Jesu Christ, John xiv.: I shall pray God my Father, and I shall send to you in my stead the Holy Ghost that shall comfort you. Fifthly, they were garnished with humility and meekness, and that is, that they were sitting when the Holy Ghost came. And hereof saith David: Lord God, thou art he that sendest the fountains into the valleys, that is the Holy Ghost which is the fountain of grace, which he sendeth into the humble hearts. Sixthly, they were in peace together. In that is to be understood that they were in Jerusalem, which is as much to say as the vision of peace. And that peace is necessary to receive the Holy Ghost, our Lord showed when he came to them after his resurrection saying: Pax vobis, Peace be with you, and after said: Take ye the Holy Ghost. Seventhly, they were lift up in contemplation. And this is to understand that they received the Holy Ghost in an high place, wherof saith the gloss: Who that now desireth the Holy Ghost in his heart, let him put the house of his flesh under his feet by lifting up his heart by contemplation.

And as to the seventh, wherefore he was sent; it is to be noted, for seven causes he was sent, that be understood in this authority: Paracletus autem spiritus sanctus: quem mittet pater in nomine meo ille vos docebit omnia. The first cause is for to comfort the sorrowful when is said, Paracletus, which is as much as to say as comforter, as God saith by Isaiah: The spirit of God upon me, and it followeth to the end that I should comfort the weepers of Sion, that be the daughters that saw God. Whereof saith S. Gregory: The Holy Ghost is said comforter to them that he findeth wailing for their sins that they have committed, he maketh ready hope of pardon in lifting their hearts from affliction of sorrow. The second is for to quicken the dead when he saith Spiritus, for the Spirit is he that quickeneth as it is said in Ezechiel: Ye bones that be dry and without life, I shall send in you my Spirit and ye shall live. The third cause is for to sanctify and make clean the sinners in this that he said: Sanctus, as it is said, Spirit because he giveth life. Also he saith Holy, because he sanctifieth and maketh clean, and it is said pure and clean. Therefore saith David: The grace of the Holy Ghost which is a flood pure and cleansing, he gladdeth the city of God, that is holy church, and by this flood our Lord hath sanctified his tabernacle. The fourth cause is, he is sent for to confirm love among them that be in discord and hate, which is noted in this word Pater.

He is said Father, because that naturally he loveth us, as saith S. John in the gospel, Johannis xiii.: Jesu Christ saith: My Father loveth you as his sons, and if ye be his sons, then be ye brethren each to other, and between brethren always ought to persevere love and friendship. The fifth cause is for to save the just and true men. In this that he saith: In nomine meo, that is Jesus, that is to say, Saviour, in whose name the Father sent the Holy Ghost to show that he came to save the people. The sixth cause is for to inform the ignorant in this that he saith: Ille vos docebit omnia. The Holy Ghost, when he shall come, he shall teach you all things. As to the seventh, that he is given or sent first in the beginning of the church by prayer, as thus when he came the apostles prayed God and were in prayer, whereof is sung: Orantibus apostolis Deum venisse, the apostles praying, the Holy Ghost came. And Luke iii., Jesu praying the Holy Ghost descended. Secondly, he came by hearing attentively and devoutly the word of God. Acts x.: As S. Peter was preaching, the Holy Ghost descended upon them. Thirdly, he came by holy and busy operation, that is by this that is said: Imponebant manus super eos et accipiebant spiritum sanctum. The apostles put their hands on them that believed and anon they received the Holy Ghost. And this imposition of the hands signifieth the absolution of the priest; which absolution give us the Holy Ghost. Amen.

"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Fr. Hewko's Sermons for Pentecost Sunday

May 15, 2016 - First Mass - in Kentucky


May 15, 2016 - Second Mass - "Gifts of the Holy Ghost"

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June 4, 2017 - in Chicago

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May 20, 2018 - First Mass: at 48:47 in KS; Second Mass: 1:27:19 in MN.

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June 9, 2019 - First Mass -  "Where is Tradition Found?" in PA

June 9, 2019 - Second Mass - "What are the Gifts of The Holy Ghost?" in MA

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June 5, 2022

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May 28, 2023 - "Fill the Hearts of Thy Faithful!" (England)

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May 19, 2024 - “Fill Us With Thy Seven-Fold Gifts!” (Chicago)

"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
by St. Alphonsus Liguori

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JESUS CHRIST was given to us, by God, as a Saviour and as a Master. Hence he came on earth principally to teach us, not only by his words but also by his own example, how we are to love God our supreme good: hence, as we read in this days Gospel, he said to his disciples: “That the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father hath given me commandment, so do I.” To show the world the love I bear to the Father, I will execute all his commands. In another place he said: ”I came down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John vi. 38.) Devout souls, if you love God and desire to become saints, you must seek his will, and wish what he wishes. St. Paul tells us, that the divine love is poured into our souls by means of the Holy Ghost. “The charity of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us.” (Hom. v. 5.) If, then, we wish for the gift of divine love, we must constantly beseech the Holy Ghost to make us know and do the will of God. Let us continually implore his light to know, and his strength to fulfil the divine will. Many wish to love God, but they, at the same time, wish to follow their own, and not his will. Hence I shall show today, in the first point, that your sanctification consists entirely in conformity to the will of God; and in the second, I shall show how, and in what, we should in practice conform ourselves to the divine will.

First Point Our sanctification consists entirely in conformity to the will of God.

1. It is certain that our salvation consists in loving God. A soul that does not love God is not living, but dead. “He that loveth not, abideth in death.” (1 John iii. 14.) The perfection of love consists in conforming our will to the will of God. “And life in his good will.” (Ps. xxix. 6.)”Have charity, which is the bond of perfection.” (Col. iii. 14.) According to the Areopagite, the principal effect of love is to unite the wills of lovers, so that they may have but one heart and one will. Hence all our works, communions, prayers, penances, and alms, please God in proportion to their conformity to the divine will; and if they be contrary to the will of God, they are no longer acts of virtue, but defects deserving chastisement.

2. Whilst preaching one day, Jesus Christ was told that his mother and brethren were waiting for him; in answer he said: “Whosoever shall do the will of my Father that is in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matt. xii. 50.) By these words he gave us to understand that he acknowledged as friends and relatives those only who fulfil the will of his Father.

3. The saints in heaven love God perfectly. In what, I ask, does the perfection of their love consist? It consists in an entire conformity to the divine will. Hence Jesus Christ has taught us to pray for grace to do the will of God on earth, as the saints do it in heaven. ”Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. vi. 10.) Hence St. Teresa says, that” they who practise prayer, should seek in all things to conform their will to the will of God.” In this, she adds, consists the highest perfection. He that practises it in the most perfect manner, shall receive from God the greatest gifts, and shall make the greatest progress in interior life. The accomplishment of the divine will has been the sole end of the saints in the practice of all virtues. Blessed Henry Suson used to say: “I would rather be the vilest man on earth with the will of God, than be a seraph with my own will.”

4. A perfect act of conformity is sufficient to make a person a saint. Behold, Jesus Christ appeared to St. Paul while he was persecuting the Church, and converted him. What did the saint do? He did nothing more than offer to God his will, that he might dispose of it as he pleased. “Lord,” he exclaimed, “what wilt thou have me to do? (Acts ix. 6.) And instantly the Lord declared to Ananias, that Saul was a vessel of election, and apostle of the Gentiles. “This man is a vessel of election to carry my name before the Gentiles.” (Acts ix. 15.) He that gives his will to God, gives him all he has. He that mortifies himself by fasts and penitential austerities, or that gives alms to the poor for God’s sake, gives to God a part of himself and of his goods; but he that gives his will to God, gives him all, and can say: Lord, having given thee my will, I have nothing more to give thee I have given thee all. It is our heart that is, our will that God asks of us. “My son, give me thy heart.” (Prov. xxiii. 26.) Since, then, says the holy Abbot Nilus, our will is so acceptable to God, we ought, in our prayers, to ask of him the grace, not that we may do what he will, but that we may do all that he wishes us to do. Every one knows this truth, that our sanctification consists in doing the will of God; but there is some difficulty in reducing it to practice. Let us, then, come to the second point, in which I have to say many things of great practical utility.

Second Point How, and in what, we ought to practise conformity to the will of God.

5. That we may feel a facility of doing on all occasions the divine will, we must beforehand offer ourselves continually to embrace in peace whatever God ordains or wills. Such was the practice of holy David. “My heart,” he used to say, ”is ready; God! my heart is ready.” (Ps. cvii. 2.) And he continually besought the Lord to teach him to do his divine will. ”Teach me to do thy will.” (Ps. cxlii. 1 0.) He thus deserved to be called a man according to God’s own heart. ”I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man according to my own heart, who shall do all my wills.” (Acts xiii. 2 2.) And why? Because the holy king was always ready to do whatever God wished him to do.

6. St. Teresa offered herself to God fifty times in the day, that he might dispose of her as he pleased, and declared her readiness to emhrace either prosperity or adversity. The perfection of our oblation consists in our offering ourselves to God without reserve. All are prepared to unite themselves to the divine will in prosperity; but perfection consists in conforming to it, even in adversity. To thank God in all things that are agreeable to us, is acceptable to him; but to accept with cheerfulness what is repugnant to our inclinations, is still more pleasing to him. Father M. Avila used to say, that “a single blessed be God, in adversity, is better than six thousand thanksgivings in prosperity.”

7. We should conform to the divine will, not only in misfortunes which come directly from God such as sickness, loss of property, privation of friends and relatives but also in crosses which come to us from men, but indirectly from God such as acts of injustice, defamations, calumnies, injuries, and all other sorts of persecutions. But, you may ask, does God will that others commit sin, by injuring us in our property or in our reputation? No; God wills not their sin; but he wishes us to bear with such a loss and with such a humiliation; and he wishes us to conform, on all such occasions, to his divine will.

8. “Good things and evil… are from God.” (Eccl. xi. 14.) All blessings such as riches and honours and all misfortunes such as sickness and persecutions come from God. But mark that the Scripture calls them evils, only because we, through the want of conformity to the will of God, regard them as evils and misfortunes. But, in reality, if we accepted them from the hands of God with Christian resignation, they should be blessings and not evils. The jewels which give the greatest splendour to the crown of the saints in heaven, are the tribulations which they bore with patience, as coming from the hands of the Lord. On hearing that the Sabeans had taken away all his oxen and asses, holy Job said: “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.” (Job i. 21.) He did not say that the Lord gave, and that the Sabeans had taken away; but that the Lord gave, and that the Lord had taken away: and therefore he blessed the Lord, believing that all had happened through the divine will. “As it has pleased the Lord, so it is done: blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Ibid.) Being tormented with iron hooks and burning torches, the holy martyrs Epictetus and Atone said: ”Lord, thy will be done in us.” And their last words were:  ”Be blessed, eternal God, for having given us the grace to accomplish thy will.”

9. ”Whatsoever shall befall the just man, it shall not make him sad.” (Prov. xii. 21.) A soul that loves God is not disturbed by any misfortune that may happen to her. Cesarius relates (lib. x., c. vi.), that a certain monk who did not perform greater austerities than his companions, wrought many miracles. Being astonished at this, the abbot asked him one day what were the works of piety which he practised. He answered, that he was more imperfect than the other monks; but that his sole concern was to conform himself to the divine will. Were you displeased, said the abbot, with the person who injured us so grievously a few days ago? No, father, replied the monk; I, on the contrary, thanked God for it; because I know that he does or permits all things for our good. From this answer the abbot perceived the sanctity of the good religious. We should act in a similar manner under all the crosses that come upon us. Let us always say:  ”Yea, Father; for so hath it seemed good in thy sight.” (Matt. xi. 26.) Lord, this is pleasing to thee, let it be done.

10. He that acts in this manner enjoys that peace which the angels announced at the birth of Jesus Christ to men of good will that is, to those whose wills are united to the will of God. These, as the Apostle says, enjoy that peace which exceeds all sensual delights. “The peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding.” (Phil. iv. 7.) A great and solid peace, which is not liable to change. “A holy man continueth in wisdom like the sun; but a fool is changing like the moon.” (Eccl. xxvii 12.) Fools that is, sinners are changed like the moon, which increases today, and grows less on tomorrow; Today they are seen to laugh through folly, and to-morrow, to weep through despair; Today they are humble and meek, tomorrow, proud and furious. In a word, sinners change with prosperity and adversity; but the just are like the sun, always the same, always serene in whatever happens to them. In the inferior part of the soul they cannot but feel some pain at the misfortunes which befall them; but, as long as the will remains united to the will of God, nothing can deprive them of that spiritual joy which is not subject to the vicissitudes of this life. “Your joy no man shall take from you.” (John xvi. 22.)

11. He that reposes in the divine will, is like a man placed above the clouds: he sees the lightning, and hears the claps of thunder, and the raging of the tempest below, but he is not injured or disturbed by them. And how can he be ever disturbed, when whatever he desires always happens? He that desires only what pleases God, always obtains whatsoever he wishes, because all that happens to him, happens through the will of God. Salvian says, that Christians who are resigned, if they be in a low condition of life, wish to be in that state; if they be poor, they desire poverty; because they wish whatever God wills, and therefore they are always content. ”Humiles sunt, hoc volunt, pauperes sunt, paupertate delectantur: itaque beati dicendisunt.” If cold, or heat, or rain, or wind come on, he that is united to the will of God says: I wish for this cold, this heat, this rain, and this wind, because God wills them. If loss of property, persecution, sickness, or even death come upon him, he says: I wish for this loss, this persecution, this sickness; I even wish for death, when it comes, because God wills it. And how can a person who seeks to please God, enjoy greater happiness than that which arises from cheerfully embracing the cross which God sends him, and from the conviction that, in embracing it, he pleases God in the highest degree? So great was the joy which St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi used to feel at the bare mention of the will of God, that she would fall into an ecstasy.

12. But, how great is the folly of those who resist the divine will, and, instead of receiving tribulations with patience, get into a rage, and accuse God of treating them with injustice and cruelty! Perhaps they expect that, in consequence of their opposition, what God wills shall not happen? “Who resisteth his will ?” (Rom. ix. 19.) Miserable men! instead of lightening the cross which God sends them, they make it more heavy and painful. “Who hath resisted him, and hath peace ?” (Job ix. 4.) Let us be resigned to the divine will, and we shall thus render our crosses light, and shall gain great treasures of merits for eternal life. In sending us tribulations, God intends to make us saints. “This is the will of God, your sanctification.” (1 Thess. iv. 3.) He sends us crosses, not because he wishes evil to us, but because he desires our welfare, and because he knows that they are conducive to our salvation. “All things work together unto good.” (Rom. viii. 28.) Even the chastisements which come from the Lord are not for our destruction, but for our good and for the correction of our faults. ”Let us believe that these scourges of the Lord….have happened for our amendment, and not for our destruction.” (Jud. viii. 27.) God loves us so tenderly, that he not only desires, but is solicitous about our welfare. ”The Lord,” says David, ”is careful for me.” (Ps. xxxix. 18.)

13. Let us, then, always throw ourselves into the hands of God, who so ardently desires and so anxiously watches over our eternal salvation. ”Casting all your care upon him; for he hath care of you.” (1 Peter v. 7.) He who, during life, casts himself into the hands of God, shall lead a happy life and shall die a holy death. He who dies resigned to the divine will, dies a saint; but they who shall not have been united to the divine will during life, shall not conform to it at death, and shall not be saved. The accomplishment of the divine will should be the sole object of all our thoughts during the remainder of our days. To this end we should direct all our devotions, our meditations, communions, visits to the blessed sacrament, and all our prayers. We should constantly beg of God to teach and help us to do his will. “Teach me to do thy will.” (Ps. cxlii. 10.) Let us, at the same time, offer ourselves to accept without reserve whatever he ordains, saying, with the Apostle:  ”Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?” (Acts ix. 6.) Lord, tell me what thou dost wish me to do I desire to do thy will. And in all things, whether they be pleasing or painful, let us always have in our mouths that petition of the PATER NOSTER-”Thy will be done” Let us frequently repeat it in the day, with all the affection of our hearts. Happy we, if we live and die saying:  ”Thy will be done” “Thy will be done!”

"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Excerpts from The Mystical City of God

The Mystical City of God
Book 7 - Chapter 1

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How the divine Right Hand showered upon the Queen of Heaven highest Gifts, In order that She might labor in the holy Church; the Coming Of the Holy Ghost; the copious Fruit of the Redemption and the Preaching of the Apostles; the first Persecution of the Church, The Conversion of saint Paul and the arrival of saint James In Spain; the Apparition of the Mother of God in Saragossa, and the Founding of the Pilgrimage of Our Lady of the Pillar.

In the company of the great Queen of heaven, and encouraged by Her, the twelve Apostles and the rest of the disciples and faithful joyfully waited for the fulfillment of the promise of the Savior, that He would send them the Holy Ghost, the Consoler, who should instruct them and administer unto them all that they heard in the teaching of their Lord (John 14, 26). They were so unanimous and united in charity, that during all these days none of them had any thought, affection or inclination contrary to those of the rest. They were of one heart and soul in thought and action. Although the election of saint Mathias had occurred, the least movement or sign of discord arose among those first–born children of the Church; yet this was a transaction, which is otherwise apt to arouse differences of opinion in the most excellently disposed; since each is apt to follow his own insight and does not easily yield to the opinion of others. But into this holy congregation no discord found entrance, because they were united in prayer, in fasting and in the expectation of the Holy Ghost, who does not seek repose in discordant and unyielding hearts. In order that it may be inferred, how powerful was this union in charity, not only for disposing them toward the reception of the Holy Ghost, but for overcoming and dispersing the evil spirits, I will say; that the demons, who since the death of the Savior had lain prostrate in hell, felt in themselves a new kind of oppression and terror, resulting from the virtues of those assembled in the Cenacle. Although they could not explain it to themselves, they perceived a new terrifying force, emanating from that place, and when they perceived the effects of the doctrine and example of Christ in the behavior of the disciples, they feared the ruin of their dominion.

The Queen of the angels, most holy Mary, in the plenitude of her wisdom and grace, knew the time and predestined hour for the sending of the Holy Ghost upon the apostolic college. When the days of Pentecost were about to be fulfilled (Act 2, 1), (which happened fifty days after the Resurrection of the Lord our Redeemer), the most blessed Mother saw, how in heaven the humanity (John 14, 26) of the Word conferred with the eternal Father concerning the promised sending of the divine Paraclete to the Apostles, and that the time predetermined by his infinite wisdom for planting the faith and all his gifts in his holy Church, was at hand. The Lord also referred to the merits acquired by Him in the flesh through his most holy Life, Passion and Death, to the mysteries wrought by Him for the salvation of the human race and to the fact, that He was the Mediator, Advocate and Intercessor between the eternal Father and men, and that among them lived his sweetest Mother, in whom the divine Persons were so well pleased. He besought his Father also, that, besides bringing grace and the invisible gifts the Holy Ghost appear in the world in visible form, that so the evangelical law might be honored before all the world; that the Apostles and faithful, who were to spread the divine truth, might be encouraged, and that the enemies of the Lord, who had in this life persecuted despised and Him unto the death of the Cross, might be filled with terror.

This petition of our Redeemer in heaven was supported on earth by most holy Mary in a manner befitting the merciful Mother of the faithful. Prostrated upon the earth in the form of a cross and in profoundest humility, She saw, how in that consistory of the blessed Trinity, the request of the Savior was favorably accepted, and how, to fulfill and execute it, the persons of the Father and the Son, as the Principle from which the Holy Ghost proceeded, decreed the active mission of the Holy Spirit; for to these Two is attributed the sending of the third Person, because He proceeds from Both; and the third Person passively took upon Himself this mission and consented to come into the world.

On Pentecost morning the blessed Virgin Mary exhorted the Apostles, the disciples and the pious women, numbering about one hundred and twenty, to pray more fervently and renew their hopes, since the hour was at hand in which they were to be visited by the divine Spirit from on high. At the third hour (nine o’clock), when all of them were gathered around their heavenly Mistress and engaged in fervent prayer, the air resounded with a tremendous thunder and the blowing of a violent wind mixed with the brightness of fire or lightning, all centering upon the house of the Cenacle. The house was enveloped in light and the divine fire was poured out over all of that holy gathering (Acts 2, 2). Over the head of each of the hundred and twenty persons appeared a tongue of that same fire, in which the Holy Ghost had come, filling each one with divine influences and heavenly gifts and causing at one and the same time the most diverse and contrary effects in the Cenacle and in the whole of Jerusalem, according to the diversity of the persons affected.

In the most holy Mary these effects were altogether divine, and most wonderful in the sight of all the heavenly courtiers; for as regard us men, we are incapable of understanding and explaining them. The purest Lady was transformed and exalted in God; for She saw intuitively and clearly the Holy Ghost, and for a short time enjoyed the beatific vision of he Divinity. Of his gifts and divine influences She by Herself received more than all the rest of the saints. Her glory for that space of time, exceeded that of the angels and of the blessed. She alone gave to the Lord more glory, praise and thanksgiving than all the universe for the benefit of the descent of his Holy Spirit upon his Church and for his having pledged Himself so many times to send Him and through Him to govern it to the end of the world. The blessed Trinity was so pleased with the conduct of Mary on this occasion, that It considered Itself fully repaid and compensated for having created the world; and not only compensated, but God acted as if He were under a certain obligation for possessing such a peerless Creature, whom the Father could look upon as his Daughter, the Son as his Mother, and the Holy Ghost as his Spouse; and whom (according to our way of thinking) He was now obliged to visit and enrich after having conferred upon Her such high dignity. In this exalted and blessed Spouse were renewed all the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, creating new effects and operations altogether beyond our capacity to understand.

The Apostles, as saint Luke says (Acts 2, 11), were also replenished and filled with the holy Ghost; for they received a wonderful increase of justifying grace of a most exalted degree. The twelve Apostles were confirmed in this sanctifying grace and were never to lose it. In all of them, according to each one’s condition were infused the habits of the seven gifts: Wisdom, Understanding, Science, Piety, Counsel, Fortitude and Fear. In this magnificent blessing, as new as it was admirable in the world, the twelve Apostles were created fit ministers of the new Testament and founders of the evangelical Church for the whole world: for this new grace and blessing communicated to them a divine strength most efficacious and sweet, which inclined them to practice the most heroic virtue and the highest sanctity. Thus strengthened they prayed, they labored willingly and accomplished the most difficult and arduous tasks, engaging in their labors not with sorrow or from necessity, but with the greatest joy and alacrity.

In all the rest of the disciples and the faithful, who received the Holy Ghost in the Cenacle, the Most High wrought proportionally and respectively the same effects, except that they were not confirmed in grace like the Apostles. According to the disposition of each the gifts of grace were communicated in greater or less abundance in view of the ministry they were to hold in the holy Church. The same proportion was maintained in regard to the Apostles; yet saint Peter and saint John were more singularly favored on account of the high offices assigned to them: the one to govern the Church as its head, and the other to attend upon and serve the Queen and Mistress of heaven and of earth, most holy Mary. The sacred text of saint Luke says, that the Holy Ghost filled the whole house in which this happy congregation was gathered (Acts 2, 7), not only because all of them were filled with the Holy Ghost and his admirable gifts, but because the house itself was filled with wonderful light and splendor. This plenitude of wonders and prodigies overflowed and communicated itself also to others outside of the Cenacle; for it caused diverse and various effects of the Holy Spirit among the inhabitants of Jerusalem and its vicinity. All those, who with some piety had compassioned our Savior Jesus in his Passion and Death, deprecating his most bitter torments and reverencing his sacred Person, were interiorly visited with new light and grace, which disposed them afterwards to accept the doctrine of the Apostles. Those that were converted by the first sermon of saint Peter, were to a great extent of the number of those who, by their compassion and sorrow at the death of the Lord, had merited for themselves such a great blessing. Others of the just who were in Jerusalem outside of the Cenacle, also felt great interior consolations, by which they were moved and predisposed by new effects of grace wrought in each one proportionately by the Holy Ghost.

Not less wonderful, although more hidden, were some contrary effects produced on that day by the Holy Ghost in Jerusalem. By the dreadful thunders and violent commotion of the atmosphere and the lightnings accompanying his advent, He disturbed and terrified the enemies of the Lord in that city, each one according to his own malice and perfidy. This chastisement was particularly evident in those who had actively concurred in procuring the death of Christ, and who had signalized themselves in their rabid fury against Him. All these fell to the ground on their faces and remained thus for three hours. Those that had scourged the Lord were suddenly choked in their own blood, which shot forth from their veins in punishment for shedding that of the Master. The audacious servant, who had buffeted the Lord, not only suddenly died, but was hurled into hell body and soul. Others of the Jews, although they did not die, were chastised with intense pains and abominable sicknesses. These disorders, consequent upon shedding the blood of Christ, descended to their posterity and even to this day continue to afflict their children with most horrible impurities. This chastisement became notorious in Jerusalem, although the priests and pharisees diligently sought to cover it up, just as they had tried to conceal the Resurrection of the Savior. As these events, however, were not so important, neither the Apostles nor the Evangelists wrote about them, and in the confusion of the city the multitude soon forgot them.

The Virgin Mary speaks to Sister Mary of Agreda, Spain

My daughter, in small esteem and thankfulness do the children of the Church hold this blessing of the Most High, by which, in addition to sending of his Son their Master and Redeemer, He sent also the Holy Ghost into his Church. So great was the love, by which He sought to draw them to Himself, that, in order to make them sharers of his divine perfections, He sent them first the Son, who is wisdom (John 3, 16) and afterwards the holy Ghost, who is love, so that all might be enriched in the manner in which they were capable. The divine Spirit, in coming for the first time upon the Apostles and the others gathered with them, intended it as a pledge and testimony, that He would confer the same favor on the rest of the children of the Church, of light and of the Gospel, and that He was ready to communicate his gifts to all, if all will dispose themselves toward receiving them. In witness to this truth the Holy Ghost came upon many of the faithful in visible form and with visible effects (Act 8, 17; 10, 44; 11, 15), because they were truly faithful servants, humble and sincere, pure and ready of heart to receive Him. Also in our times He comes to many just souls, although not with such open manifestation because it is neither necessary nor proper. The interior effects and gifts are all of the same nature, acting according to the disposition and state of the one who receives them.

Blessed is the soul which sighs and aspires after this blessing and seeks to participate in this divine fire which enkindles, enlightens and consumes all that is terrestrial and carnal, which purifies and raises it up to new existence, union and participation with God himself.

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The Mystical City of God
Book 7 - Chapter 2

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On account of the visible and open signs, by which the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles, the whole city of Jerusalem with its inhabitants was stirred to wonder. When the news of the astounding events at the house of the Cenacle spread about, the multitude of the people gathered in crowds to know more of the happenings (Acts 2, 6). On that day was being celebrated one of the paschs or feasts of the Jews; and as well on this account, as on account of the special dispensation of heaven, the city was crowded with foreigners and strangers from all parts of the world. For to them the Most High wished to manifest the wonders of the first preaching and spreading of the new law of grace, which the incarnate Word, our Redeemer and Master, had ordained for the salvation of men.

The sacred Apostles, who were filled with charity by the plenitude of the gifts of the Holy Ghost and who knew that all Jerusalem was gathering at the doors of the Cenacle, asked permission of their Mistress and Queen to go forth and preach to them; in order that such great graces might not even for a moment fail to redound to the benefit of souls and to new glory of their Author. They all left the house of the Cenacle and, placing themselves before the multitudes, began to preach the mysteries of the faith and of eternal life. Though until then they had been so shy and seclusive, they now stepped forth with unhesitating boldness and poured forth burning words, that like a flashing fire penetrated to the souls of their hearers.

This miracle, that all the men of so many different tongues then assembled in Jerusalem should hear the Apostles in their own language, joined to the doctrine which they preached, caused great astonishment. Yet I wish to remark, that though all the Apostles, on account of the plenitude of science and of gifts gratuitously received, were able to speak in the languages of all nations, because that was necessary for the preaching of the Gospel, yet on that occasion they all spoke the language of Palestine. Using only this idiom they were understood by all the different nationalities there present, as if they had spoken in the several idioms. This miracle the Lord wrought at the time in order that they might be understood and believed by those different nations, and in order that saint Peter might not be obliged to repeat in the different languages of those present, what he preached to them concerning the mysteries of faith. He preached only once and all heard and understood him, each in his own language, and so it happened also with the other Apostles. For if each one had spoken in the language of those who heard them, and which they knew as their mother tongue, it would have been necessary for them to repeat what they said at least seven or eight times according to the different nationalities mentioned by saint Luke (Acts 2, 9). This would have consumed a longer time than is intimated by the sacred text, and it would have caused great confusion and trouble to repeat the same doctrines over and over again or to speak so many languages on one occasion; nor would the miracle be so intelligible to us as the one mentioned.

The people who heard the Apostles did not understand the miracle, although they wondered at hearing each their own idiom. What saint Luke says about their speaking different languages, must be understood as meaning, that the Apostles were then and there able to understand them, as I shall mention later on (Acts 2, 4), because on that day, those that came to the Cenacle understood them all speaking in their own language. But this miracle and wonderment caused in their hearers different effects and opinions, according to the dispositions of each one. Those that listened piously received deep understanding of the Divinity and of the Redemption of man, now so eloquently and fervently propounded to them. They were moved eagerly to desire the knowledge of the truth; by the divine light they were filled with compunction and sorrow for their sins and with desire of divine mercy and forgiveness. With tears in their eyes they cried out to the Apostles and asked what they must do to gain eternal life. Others, who hardened their hearts, altogether untouched by the divine truths preached by them, became indignant at the Apostles, and instead of yielding to them, called them innovators and adventurers. Many of the Jews, more impious in their perfidy and envy, inveighed against the Apostles, saying they were drunk and insane (Acts 2, 13). Among these were some of those who had again come to their senses after having fallen to the ground at the thunder caused by the coming of the Holy Ghost;

The three thousand, who were converted by the first sermon of saint Peter, were from all the nations then gathered in Jerusalem, so that forthwith all nations, without excluding any, might partake of the fruits of the Redemption, all might be gathered to the Church, and all might experience the grace of the Holy Spirit; for the holy Church was to be composed of all nations and tribes. Many were Jews, who had followed Christ our Savior with kindly feelings and witnessed his sufferings and Death with compassion, as I said above. Some also of those, who had concurred in his Passion were converted, though these were few, because many would not alter their disposition; for, if they had done so, all of them would have been admitted to mercy and received pardon for their error. After their preaching the Apostles retired that evening within the Cenacle, in order to give an account to the Mother of mercy, the purest Mary. With them also entered a great number of the new children of the Church, in order that they might come to know and venerate the Mother of mercy.

But the great Queen of the angels was ignorant of nothing that had happened; for from her retreat She had heard the preaching of the Apostles and She knew the secret hearts and thoughts of all the hearers. The tenderest Mother remained prostrate with her face upon the ground during the whole time, tearfully praying for the conversion of all that subjected themselves to the faith of the Savior, and for all the rest, if they should consent to cooperate with the helps and the graces of the Lord. In order to help the Apostles in their great work of beginning to preach, and the bystanders in properly listening to them, the most holy Mary sent many of her accompanying angels with holy inspirations, encouraging the sacred Apostles and giving them strength to inquire and to manifest more explicitly the hidden mysteries of the humanity and Divinity of Christ our Redeemer. The angels fulfilled all the commands of their Queen, while She Herself exercised her own power and gifts according to the circumstances of the occasion. When the Apostles came to Her with those copious first–fruits of their preaching and of the Holy Ghost, She received them with incredible joy and sweetness and with the most loving kindness of a true Mother.

The Apostle saint Peter spoke to the recently converted and said to them: “My brethren, and servants of the Most High, this is the Mother of our Redeemer and Master, Jesus Christ, whose faith you have received in acknowledging Him as true God and man. She has given Him the human form, conceiving Him in her womb, and She bore Him, remaining a Virgin before, during and after his birth. Receive Her as your Mother, our Refuge and Intercessor, for through Her you and we shall receive light, direction, and release from our sins and miseries.” At these words of the Apostle and at the sight of most holy Mary these new adherents of the faith were filled with admirable light and consolation; for this privilege of conferring great interior blessings and of giving light to those who looked upon Her with pious veneration, was renewed and extended in Her time when She was at the right hand of her divine Son in heaven. As all of those faithful partook of these blessings in the presence of their Queen, they prostrated themselves at her feet and with tears besought her assistance and blessing. But the humble and prudent Queen evaded this latter, because of the presence of the Apostles, who were priests, and of saint Peter, the Vicar of Christ. Then this Apostle said to Her “Lady, do not refuse to these faithful what they piously ask for the consolation their souls.” The blessed Mary obeyed the head of the Church and in humble serenity of a Queen She gave her blessing to the newly converted.

The love which filled their hearts made them desire to hear from their heavenly Mother some words of consolation; yet their humility and reverence prevented them from asking for this favor. As they perceived how obediently She had yielded to saint Peter, they turned to him and begged him to ask Her not to send them away without some word of encouragement. Saint Peter though he considered this favor very proper for the souls who had been born again to Christ by his preaching and that of the other Apostles, nevertheless, aware that the Mother of Wisdom knew well what was to be done, presumed to say no more than these words; “Lady, listen to the petitions of thy servants and children.” Then the great Lady obeyed and said to the converts: “My dearest brethren in the Lord, give thanks and praise with your whole hearts to the Almighty God, because from among all men He has called and drawn you to the sure path of eternal life in the knowledge of the holy faith you have received. Be firm in your confession of it from all your hearts and in hearing and believing all that the law of grace contains as preached and ordained by its true Teacher Jesus, my Son and your Redeemer. Be eager to hear and obey his Apostles, who teach and instruct you, so that you may be signed and marked by Baptism in the character of children of the Most High. I offer myself as your handmaid to assist you in all that serves toward your consolation, and I shall ask Him to look upon you as a kind Father and to manifest to you the true joy of his countenance, communicating to you also his grace.”

By this sweetest of exhortations those new Children of the Church were filled with consolation, light, veneration and admiration of what they saw of the Mistress of the world; asking again for her blessing, they for that day left her presence, renewed and replete with the wonderful gifts of the Most High. The Apostles and disciples from that day on continued without intermission their preaching and their miracles, and through the entire octave they instructed not only the three thousand, who had been converted on Pentecost day, but multitudes of others, who day by day accepted the faith. Since they came from all parts of the world, they conversed and spoke with each one in his own language; for as I have said above, they spoke in various languages from that time on. This grace was given not only to the Apostles, although it was more complete and noticeable in them; also the disciples and all the one hundred and twenty, who were in the Cenacle at the time, and also the holy women, who received the Holy Ghost, were thus favored. This was really necessary at the time on account of the great multitudes, who came to the faith. Although all the men and many of the women came to the Apostles, yet many, after having heard them, went to Magdalen and her companions, who catechized, instructed and converted them and others that came at the report of the miracles they performed. For this gift was also conferred on the women, who, by the imposition of hands, cured all the sicknesses, gave sight to the blind, tongue to the mute, motion to the lame, and life to many of the dead. These and other wonders were principally wrought by the Apostles, nevertheless both their miracles and those of the women excited the wonder and astonishment of all Jerusalem; so that nothing else was talked about except the prodigies and the preaching of the Apostles of Jesus, of his disciples, and followers of his doctrine.

This was the happy beginning and the golden age of the evangelical Church, where the rushing of the stream rejoiced the city of God (Ps. 45, 5) and the current of grace and the gifts of the Holy Ghost fertilized this new paradise recently planted by the hands of the Savior Jesus, while in its midst stood the tree of life, most holy Mary. Then was faith alive, hope firm, charity ardent, sincerity pure, humility true, justice most equitable, when the faithful neither knew avarice nor followed vanity, when they trod under foot vain pomp, were free from covetousness, pride, ambition, which later prevailed among the professors of the faith, who while confessing themselves followers of Christ, denied Him in their works.

It will be possible in this third part to describe only a minute portion of the wonderful and great works accomplished by the mighty Queen in the primitive Church; but from those which I will describe, and from her life in this world after the Ascension, much can be inferred. For She did not rest or lose one moment or occasion of conferring some singular favor either upon the whole Church or some of its members. For She consumed Herself either in praying and beseeching her divine Son, without ever experiencing a refusal; or in exhorting, instructing, counseling, and, as Treasurer and Dispenser of the divine favors, distributing graces in diverse manners among the children of the Gospel. Among the hidden mysteries, which were made known to me concerning this power of the blessed Mary, was also this, that in those first ages, during which She lived in the holy Church, the number of the damned was proportionately very small; and that, comparatively, in those few years a greater number were saved than in many succeeding ages.

I acknowledge, that, if the lapse of time had decreased the power, the charity and clemency of that highest Sovereign, the good fortune of those living in that happy time might cause a holy envy in those living by the light of faith in our more protracted and less favored times. It is true we have not the happiness of seeing Her, conversing with Her and listening to Her with bodily senses; and in this respect those first children of the Church were more fortunate. But let us all remember, that in the heavenly knowledge and charity of this most loving Mother we were all present to Her, also during those times (Vol. III, 78); for She saw and knew us all in the order and succession in which we were be born in the Church; and She prayed and interceded for us no less than for those who lived in her times. Nor is She at present less powerful in heaven, than She was then upon earth; nor less our Mother, than of those first children; and She held us as her own, just as well them. But alas! that our faith and our fervor and devotion should be so very different! Not She has changed, nor is her love less ardent, nor would we experience less of her intercession and protection, if in troubled times we would hasten to her with the same sentiments of humility and fervor, asking for her prayers and trustfully relying upon Her for help, as was the case with those devoted Christians in the first beginning. Without a doubt the whole Catholic Church would then immediately experience the same assistance of the Queen throughout the whole world.

Many of those new faithful, highly impressed with her greatness by their conversation with the heavenly Mistress, returned to present to Her jewels and the richest gifts; especially the women despoiled themselves of fineries to lay them at her feet. But She would receive or permit none of these gifts. When it seemed to her appropriate not to refuse entirely, She secretly inspired the minds of the givers to bring them to the Apostles, in order that they might be equitably and justly distributed in charity among the most poor and needy of the faithful. But the humble Mother gratefully acknowledged them as if they had been given to Her. The poor and the sick She received with ineffable kindness, and many of them she cured of inveterate and long–standing infirmities. Through the hands of saint John She supplied many secret wants, never omitting the least point of virtue. As the Apostles and disciples were engaged all day in preaching the faith and in converting those that came, the great Queen busied Herself in preparing their food and attending to their comfort; and at stated times She served the priests on her knees and with incredible humility and reverence asked to kiss their hands. This She observed especially with the Apostles, knowing and beholding their souls confirmed in grace, endowed with all that the Holy Ghost had wrought in them and exalted by their dignity of being the highpriests and the founders of the Church (Eph. 2, 20). Sometimes She saw them clothed in great splendor, which elicited from Her increased reverence and veneration.

The Virgin Mary speaks to Sister Mary of Agreda, Spain

My daughter, in what thou hast come to know of the events related in this chapter, thou wilt find a great deal that points to the mystery of the predestination of souls. Be convinced that, since the Redemption was so overflowing and copious, it was sufficient for the salvation of all men (Rom. 5, 20). The divine truth was made known to all, whoever heard its preaching or who saw the effects of the coming of the Godman into the world. Besides the outward preaching and knowledge of the remedy, all received interior inspirations and helps in order to seek and accept the means. You are surprised that, in spite of all this, only three thousand were converted by the first sermon of the Apostle among all that great multitude then in Jerusalem. It should cause a greater surprise that in our times so few are converted to the way of eternal life, as the Gospel is more widespread, its preaching is frequent, its ministers numerous, the light of the Church clearer and the knowledge of the divine mysteries more definite. With all this men are blinder, the hearts more hardened, pride more inflated, avarice more bold, and all the vices are practiced without fear of God and without consideration.

In this most perverse and unhappy state mortals cannot complain of the most high and equitable providence of the Lord, who offers to all and every one his fatherly mercy, and points out to them both the way of life and the way of death; so that if any man hardens his heart, God can permit it in strictest justice. The reprobate will have none but themselves to blame, if afterwards, when there is no more time, they shall be uselessly dismayed with what in opportune time they could and should have known. If in the short and transient life, which is given to them in order to merit the eternal, they close their eyes and ears to the truth and to the light, and if they listen to the demon, giving themselves up to all the promptings of his malice; if they thus abuse the goodness and clemency of the Lord, what can they then allege as their excuse? If they do not know how to pardon an injury and for the slightest offense meditate the direst vengeance; if, for the sake of increasing their property, they pervert the entire order of reason and of natural brotherhood; if for a passing delight they forget the eternal pains, and if, in addition to all this, they despise the warnings, helps and admonitions sent to them by God to inspire them with the fear of perdition and induce them to avoid it, how shall they afterwards find fault with the divine clemency? Let then mortals, who have sinned against God, undeceive themselves: without penance there shall be no grace, without reform no pardon, without pardon no glory. But just as these are not conceded to those that are unworthy, so they are also never denied to those that are worthy; nor is ever the mercy of God withheld from any one who seeks to obtain it.

"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Taken from Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.



PRESENCE OF GOD - Come, Holy Spirit, fill my heart and enkindle in it the fire of Your Love.


1. Pentecost is the plenitude of God’s gift to men. On Christmas Day, God gives us His only-begotten Son, Christ Jesus, the Mediator, the Bridge connecting humanity and divinity. During Holy Week, Jesus, by His Passion, gives Himself entirely for us, even to death on the Cross. He bathes us, purifying and sanctifying us in His Blood. At Easter, Christ rises, and His Resurrection, as well as His Ascension, is the pledge of our own glorification. He goes before us to His Father’s house to prepare a place for us, for in Him and with Him, we have become a part of the divine Family; we have become children of God, destined for eternal beatitude. But the gift of God to men does not end there; having ascended into heaven, Jesus, in union with the Father, sends us His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. The Father and the Holy Spirit loved us to the point of giving us the Word in the Incarnation; the Father and the Word so loved us as to give us the Holy Spirit.

Thus the three Persons of the Trinity give Themselves to man, stooping to this poor nothing to redeem him from sin, to sanctify him, and to bring him into Their own intimacy. Such is the excessive charity with which God has loved us; and the divine gift to our souls reaches its culminating point in the gift of the Holy Spirit, who is the Gift par excellence: Altissimi Donum Dei, Gift of the Most High God. The Holy Spirit, the bond and pledge of the mutual love of the Father and the Son, He who accepts, seals, and crowns their reciprocal gift, is given to our souls through the infinite merits of Jesus, so that He will be able to complete the work of our sanctification. By His descent upon the Apostles under the form of tongues of fire, the Holy Spirit shows us how He, the Spirit of love is given to us, to lead us back to God.

2. The gift of the Holy Spirit is not a temporary gift, but a permanent one; in fact, for a soul who lives in charity, He is the sweet Guest who dwells within it. “If anyone love Me,” says Jesus in the words of today’s Gospel (Jn 14,23-31), “...We will come to him and will make Our abode with him.” However, this indwelling of the Trinity— and hence of the Holy Spirit—in the soul which is in the state of grace, is a gift which can and should increase; it is a continual giving. The first donation was made when we were baptized; it was renewed later, confirmed, in a special way, by the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Sacrament that is, so to speak, the Pentecost of every Christian soul. Progressive renewals of this gift were made with every increase in charity. And what of the present? The Holy Spirit, in union with the Father and the Son, continues to give Himself to the soul more completely, more profoundly and possessively. Today’s Gospel speaks very forcefully about charity, which is at the same time both the condition for and the result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our souls. It is the condition, because, according to Jesus Himself, the three divine Persons dwell only in a soul who loves; it is the result, because “ the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us” (Rom 5,5). Divine love completely preceded us at baptism; without merit on our part and solely through the merits of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was given to us, and His charity was gratuitously diffused in us. Thereafter, each time we corresponded to the divine invitations, by making generous acts of charity, He renewed His invisible visit to our soul, giving us always new grace and charity. Thus our supernatural life has developed under the action of the Holy Spirit; it is caught up in the life-giving transforming current of His love. In this way we understand how the Feast of Pentecost can and should represent a new out-pouring of the Holy Spirit in our souls, a new visit in which He fills us with His gifts:

Veni, Creator Spiritus — mentes tuorum visita,
Imple superna gratia — quae tu creasti pectora.

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
And in our hearts take up Thy rest,
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.


“O Holy Spirit, substantial Love of the Father and the Son, uncreated Love dwelling in the souls of the just, come down upon me like a new Pentecost and bring me an abundance of Your gifts, of Your fruits, and of Your grace; unite Yourself to me as the most sweet Spouse of my soul.

“I consecrate myself entirely to You; invade me, take me, possess me wholly. Be the penetrating light which illumines my intellect, the gentle motion which attracts and directs my will, the supernatural energy which gives energy to my body. Complete in me Your work of sanctification and love. Make me pure, transparent, simple, true, free, peaceful, gentle, calm, serene even in suffering, and burning with charity toward God and my neighbor.

Accendat in nobis ignem sui amoris et flammam aeternae caritatis, kindle in me the fire of Your Love and the flame of eternal charity. Multiply in me these holy transports of love which will bring me rapidly to transforming union.

“Make not only my will, but all my senses and faculties completely submissive to Your divine will, so that I shall no longer be ruled by my pride, but solely by Your divine impulse. Then everything in me will be moved by love, in love, in such a way that when I work, I shall work through love, and when I suffer, I shall bear everything through love. Grant that the supernatural may become the ‘natural’ atmosphere in which my soul moves.

“Make me docile and prompt to follow Your inspirations. Grant that I may never neglect even one, but may always be Your faithful little spouse. Make me ever more recollected, more silent, and more submissive to Your divine action, more alert to receive Your delicate touches. Draw me into the inmost depths of my heart where You dwell, O sweet, divine Guest, and teach me to ‘ watch continually in prayer.’

“Come, O life-giving Spirit, to this poor world and renew the face of the earth; preside over new organizations and give us Your peace, that peace which the world cannot give. Help Your Church, give her holy priests and fervent apostles. Fill with holy inspirations the souls of the good; give calm compunction to sinful souls, consoling refreshment to the suffering, strength and help to those who are tempted, and light to those in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Sr. Carmela of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.).
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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A reminder ... 
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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