John, Chapter 14, verse 27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or AFRAID.
Shalom, which means peace, is a Hebrew salutation. Yet Christ tells us that HIS shalom is different. It is a gift of salvation, a messianic blessing.
Through the spirit we are born again, sons and daughters of the eternal. The world and its attractions to sin lose its sparkle to us. Yes, we may fall from time to time, but the spirit and peace of Christ is always with us, and we rise up again.
Fifty days after Easter, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles is one of the three great feasts of the liturgical year.
What is Pentecost? The solemn anniversary of the day on which the Holy Ghost came down, under the appearance of fiery tongues, upon Mary the Mother of Jesus, and His apostles and disciples, who were assembled in prayer at Jerusalem. To express her joy at the descent of the Holy Ghost, the Church sings, at the Introit of the Mass, The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole earth, alleluia, and that which containeth all things, hath knowledge of the voice, alleluia, alleluia. Let God arise, and His enemies be scattered; and let them that hate Him fly before His face.
Prayer. O God, Who on this day didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that we may be truly wise in the same Spirit, and ever rejoice in His consolation.
EPISTLE. Acts ii. 1-11.
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 in habitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphilia, Egypt, and the parts of Lybia about Gyrene, 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.
Why does the Church celebrate this day so solemnly?
To praise and thank God for sending the Holy Ghost, Who gave so many spiritual graces and fruits to men.
Why did the Holy Ghost appear under visible signs?
It was done to attract attention, and to indicate outwardly what took place inwardly. The roar of the mighty wind, according to the language of the prophets, pointed to the approaching Godhead, and was intended to announce something extraordinary. The appearance of tongues signified the gift of languages, and the division of them the difference of gifts imparted by the Holy Ghost. The fire which lightens, warms, and quickly spreads, denoted the love of God, the power and joy with which the apostles, and mankind through them, should be filled, and indicated the rapid extension of Christianity.
What were the effects of the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles?
Being enlightened and made acquainted with all truth, freed from all fear and faint-heartedness, and undaunted, the apostles preached everywhere Christ crucified, and for love of Him endured with joy all sufferings. Their discourses were understood by all present, as if they had carefully learned each particular language. From that time Christianity spread with wonderful rapidity throughout the whole world. Pray the Holy Ghost to-day to enlighten you also, to inflame you with holy love, and to give you strength daily to increase in all goodness.
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, arid 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 to 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 called a spirit, and the Holy Spirit?
Because He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and is as it were, the Spirit of the Father and the Son.
What does the Holy Ghost effect in men?
He renews their hearts, by cleansing them from sin, by imparting to them the sanctification and likeness to God gained through Christ, together with all these supernatural gifts and graces by which they can become holy and happy, and brings forth in them wonderful fruits of sanctity.
Which are these gifts of the Holy Ghost?
The seven following:
1. The gift of wisdom, which teaches us to value the heavenly more than the earthly, infuses into us a longing for the same, and points out to us the right means to salvation.
2. The gift of understanding, which enlightens us to rightly understand the mysteries and doctrines of our holy religion.
3. The gift of counsel in doubtful cases, which enables us to know what to do or omit, and what to advise others. This gift is particularly necessary for superiors, for those who are changing their state of life, and for those who are entangled in perplexing and unfortunate marriage relations.
4. The gift of fortitude, which banishes all timidity and human respect, strengthens a man to hate sin, and steadfastly to practice virtue; preferring contempt, temporal loss, persecution, and even death, to denying Christ by word or deed.
5. The gift of knowledge, by which the Holy Ghost enlightens us with an inner light, that we may know ourselves, the snares of self-love, of our passions, of the devil, and of the world, and may choose the fittest means to overcome them.
6. The gift of piety and devotion, which infuses into us veneration for God and divine things, and joy in conversing with Him.
7. The gift of the fear of God, that childlike fear, which dreads no other misfortune than that of displeasing God, and which, accordingly, flees sin as the greatest evil.
The gift of Wisdom
Wisdom empowers a person “to judge and order all things in accordance with divine norms and with a connaturality that flows from a loving union with God.” So, while knowledge and understanding enable a person to know and to penetrate the divine truths, wisdom moves us to “fall in love” with them. The Holy Spirit aids the contemplation of divine things, enabling the person to grow in union with God. This gift unites us to the heart of Jesus. Father Adolphe Tanquerey taught, “This, then, is the difference between the gift of wisdom and that of understanding, the latter is a view taken by the mind, while the former is an experience undergone by the heart; one is light, the other love, and so they united and complete one another. Wisdom, withal, remains the more perfect gift; for the heart outranges the intellect, it sounds greater depths, and grasps or divines what reason fails to reach. This is particularly the case with the saints, in whom love often surpasses knowledge” (The Spiritual Life, p. 630). For example, St. Therese of Lisieux (declared a doctor of the church), had no formal education in theology, and yet was wise to the ways of the Lord, a wisdom gained through prayer and simple acts of love offered to God. While this gift contemplates the divine, it also is a practical wisdom. It applies God’s ideas to judge both created and divine matter, thereby directing human acts according to divine wisdom.
Therefore, a person will see and evaluate all things — both joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, success and failure — from God’s point of view, and accept them with equanimity. With wisdom, all things, even the worst, are seen as having a supernatural value — for example, giving value to martyrdom. Here a person arises above the wisdom of this world and lives in the love of God. St. Paul captured well this gift of wisdom: “What we utter is God’s wisdom: a mysterious, a hidden wisdom. God planned it before all ages for our glory. …Yet God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit. …The Spirit we have received is not the world’s spirit but God’s Spirit, helping us to recognize the gifts He has given us. We speak of these, not in words of human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, thus interpreting spiritual things in spiritual terms.
The natural man does not accept what is taught by the spirit of God. For him, that is absurdity. He cannot come to know such teaching because it must be appraised in a spiritual way. The spiritual man, on the other hand, can appraise everything. We have the mind of Christ” (I Cor 2:6ff). Or consider St. John’s first epistle: “God is love. Everyone who loves is begotten of God and has knowledge of God. …He who abides in love, abides in God, and God in him. Our love is brought to perfection in this, that we should have confidence on the Day of Judgment; for our relation to this world is just like His. Love has no room for fear; rather, perfect love casts out all fear” (I Jn 4:7, 17-18).
Which are the fruits of the Holy Ghost? They are the twelve following:
These fruits should be visible in the Christian, for thereby men shall know that the Holy Ghost dwells in him, as the tree is known by its fruit.
What is Whitsunday or White Sunday?
The liturgical color of this Sunday is red in order to recall the tongues of flame that descended on the Apostles. The old English name for Pentecost, Whitsunday, originated from the custom of the newly baptized redonning their white robes for the services of the day. By extension this could also apply to the new Easter clothes worn by the faithful fifty days earlier.
Like Ascension Thursday, Whitsunday was once the occasion for several liturgical eccentricities. Many medieval churches, for example, had a Holy Ghost Hole in the ceiling of the church from which a large blue disk bearing the figure of a white dove would swing slowly down to the congregation during the Mass sequence, Veni Sancte Spiritus. Midway through the sequence, the disk would stop and from the Holy Ghost hole would rain symbols of the Spirit: flowers, water, even burning pieces of straw. A practice far less susceptible to excess, on the other hand, is the use of beautifully carved and painted wooden doves in the home. These figures would usually be suspended over the dinner table, and would sometimes be encased in glass, having been assembled entirely from within (much like the wooden ships assembled in bottles). The painstaking effort that went into making these doves serves as a reminder to cherish the adoration of the Holy Spirit.
The Blessed Dew
Though the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is often described in dramatic terms (a mighty wind, tongues of fire, etc.), it is also portrayed in soothing, comforting ways. The Whitsunday sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus, for example, calls the Spirit our "sweet refreshment" (dulcis refrigerium), while the postcommunion prayer, in an allusion to Isaiah 45.8, refers to the "inward sprinkling of His heavenly dew." Hence there arose the charming superstition that the morning dew of Whitsunday is especially good luck. To obtain a blessing, people would walk barefoot through the meadows before Mass and would even feed their animals with bread wiped by the dew.
Age of the Holy Spirit
Where we are is the age of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is often called the birthday of the Church because even though the Apostles were transformed by earlier events such as the institution of the Eucharist and priesthood on Maundy Thursday or their acquiring the power to forgive sins on Easter afternoon, they - and by extension, the Church - did not really come into their own until the Paraclete inspired them to burst out of their closed quarters and spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. And just as Pentecost marks the birthday of the Church in the Holy Spirit, so too does the Time after Pentecost mark the life of the Church moving through the vicissitudes of history under the protection and guidance of that same Spirit. It is for this reason that the epistle readings from this season emphasize the Apostles' advice to the burgeoning churches of the day while its Gospel readings focus on the kingdom of heaven and its justice. It is also the reason why the corresponding lessons from the breviary draw heavily from the history of the Israelite monarchy in the Old Testament. All are somehow meant to teach us how to comport ourselves as citizens of the city of God as we pass through the kingdoms of this world.
Pentecost Monday remains an official festival in many Protestant churches, such as the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and others. In the Byzantine Catholic Rite Pentecost Monday is no longer a Holy Day of Obligation, but rather a simple holiday. In the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, as at Easter, the liturgical rank of Monday and Tuesday of Pentecost week is a Double of the First Class and across many Western denominations, Pentecost is celebrated with an octave culminating on Trinity Sunday. However, in the modern Roman Rite (Ordinary Form), Pentecost ends after Evening Prayer on the feast day itself, with Ordinary Time resuming the next day.
· My advice: Go to Mass for the 8 days.
Highlights and Things to Do:
- Listen to the Catholic Culture audiobook St. Thomas Aquinas—Send Out Your Spirit read by James Majewski.
- Meditate on Fr. Roger Landry's homily for Pentecost Sunday.
- Pray the Golden Sequence, Veni, Sancte Spiritus which is read or sung at the Pentecost Vigil and Sunday Mass.
- Find some ideas for celebrating Pentecost in the home:
- Therese Mueller, Celebrating Pentecost in the Home
- P. Craig Stewart and Helen McLoughlin, Whitsunday, The Cenacle and The Cenacle Project.
- Ethel Marbach, Pentecost Activities and Pentecost Wheel
- Helen McLoughlin, Pentecost Visual Display
- Jan Wilson, Make Your Own Windmill
- Mary Reed Newland, Pentecost Favors, Gifts and Fruits
- Family Life Bureau, Planting a Pentecost Tree
- Pentecost Feasting Ideas: Catholic Culture has a large list of suggested recipes in the right hand column. But the themes are red, something with flames, or something that reminds of flames. Strawberry placed upside down have the shape of a flame. And also, fruits help us think of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Another way of thinking is presenting the meal in "gift" form, like the "gifts of the Holy Spirit."
- Evelyn Vitz, Twelve Fruit Salad
- Demetria Taylor, Special Strawberry Shortcake
- Florence Berger, Pentecost Picnic and Strawberry Cake
- See also Catholic Cuisine for feast food ideas.
- For further inspiration, see the blog posts by Jennifer Gregory Miller:
Historically today is the feast of St. Bernard of Montjoux, an Italian churchman, founder of the Alpine hospices of Saint Bernard. He is most famous for the hospices he built on the summits of passes over the Alps. Many pilgrims from France and Germany would travel over the Alps on their way to Rome, but it was always a possibility that one would die from freezing along the way. In the 9th century a system of hospices had been attempted but had lapsed long before Bernard's time. Bernard's hospices in the 11th century were placed under the care of clerics and laymen and were well equipped for the reception of all travelers. A now-famous breed of dogs, known for its endurance in high altitude and cold, was named in honor of this saint. Bernard's life has been the focus of many romantic plays and stories. Many of us may remember childhood stories of St. Bernard’s dogs coming to the rescue of stranded or injured victims on Alpine slopes. The dogs almost always seem to have a cask of Brandy attached to their collars and when the victims were revived by a good drink the dogs would lead them to safety.
Things to Do
· Read History of the Grand St Bernard pass for background.
· If you like dogs, you might find this history of the Saint Bernard Dog interesting.
Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling
of The Most
Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix,
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix
on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
II. Faith perceives what our senses fail to grasp.
49. Yet, faith can penetrate through the veil of our senses to help us see that every Holy Mass is truly an encounter with Jesus Christ. When Scripture is proclaimed and preached, it is Christ Himself who is speaking. To receive all these benefits and transforming effects of Holy Communion, faith is the first essential requirement.
50. In the Discourse on the Bread of Life in Chapter 6 of the Gospel of Saint John, many of the disciples reacted to Jesus’ claim by saying, “this teaching is difficult. Who can accept it?” After Jesus watched most of His disciples abandon Him, He turned to the Twelve apostles and asked, “Do you also want to leave?” Peter responded with faith, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” (Jn 6:68). This teaching was not any easier for Peter. It would only become fathomable a year later for Peter and the other Apostles during the Last Supper when Jesus would take bread and wine into His hands, and totally change them into Himself as He said, “This is my body: take and eat,” and “This is the chalice of my blood: take and drink.” Peter knew that Jesus had the words of eternal life. He put his whole faith in Jesus’ words. He believed in Jesus’ difficult teaching on the Eucharist precisely because he believed in his Lord and God, basing his entire existence in the words of Jesus.
51. Today, in our own particular situation and circumstance, Jesus also turns to us and asks the same question: “Do you also want to leave?”. Like the disciples in Capernaum, many in our times have wandered spiritually away from Jesus in the Eucharist. Many Catholics have wandered away from the practice of Sunday Mass, focusing more on work, sports, sleep, or entertainment rather than the Lord. There are also those who are physically there but not with their faith. They may come to Mass but do not receive Jesus with faith, love, and reverence because they think that they are only receiving a symbol rather than God Himself who died for them. There are those who physically come to Mass, but their hearts cannot wait to leave Jesus’ presence. Indeed, the Eucharist is hard to believe! Thus, it is important for us to have patience and compassion for those whose faith is weak. Nevertheless, the call to faith is urgent.
To be continued…
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
"I BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE"
Article 1-THE REVELATION OF GOD
68 By love, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. He has thus provided the definitive, superabundant answer to the questions that man asks himself about the meaning and purpose of his life.
69 God has revealed himself to man by gradually communicating his own mystery in deeds and in words.
70 Beyond the witness to himself that God gives in created things, he manifested himself to our first parents, spoke to them and, after the fall, promised them salvation (cf Gen 3:15) and offered them his covenant.
71 God made an everlasting covenant with Noah and with all living beings (cf Gen 9:16). It will remain in force as long as the world lasts.
72 God chose Abraham and made a covenant with him and his descendants. By the covenant God formed his people and revealed his law to them through Moses. Through the prophets, he prepared them to accept the salvation destined for all humanity.
73 God has revealed himself fully by sending his own Son, in whom he has established his covenant for ever. the Son is his Father's definitive Word; so there will be no further Revelation after him.
Indianapolis 500—May 28-- Rev up for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Part of the Triple Crown of Motorsports (with the Monaco Grand Prix and 24 Hours of Le Mans right behind) this annual race is quite possibly the largest single-day sporting event in the entire world, attracting roughly 400,000 spectators. Head to Indianapolis the last weekend in May, and prepare for a high-speed show around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval circuit.
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896