Tuesday in Whitsun
|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.|
Yesterday, we were admiring the work of the Holy Ghost, whereby he drew mankind to the faith and name of Jesus, to whom all power was given in heaven and in earth. The instruments used for this conquest were the Apostles and their immediate successors. The Tongue of Fire was victorious, and the Prince of this world was defeated. Let us continue our reflections, and see the further workings of the Holy Spirit for the glory of the Son of God, who had sent him into the world.
Our Emmanuel came down from heaven, that he might effect the union he had desired from all eternity. He began it by uniting our human nature to his own divine Person; but this personal union did not satisfy his love. He mercifully deigned to invite the whole human race to a spiritual union with himself by giving her to become his Church his own dearest One, as he calls her;—his glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, but holy and without blemish. But how could mankind, deformed as it was by sin, be worthy of such an honor? His love would make it worthy. He tells us that this Church is his Spouse; and thus chosen, he beautified her in the laver of his own precious Blood, and gave her, in dowry, the infinite merits he had acquired.
Thus prepared, her union with him was to be of the closet. Jesus and his Church are one body; He is the Head, she is the aggregate of the Members united together under this one Head. Such is the teaching of the Apostle: Christ is the Head of the Church:—we are Members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. This Body is to be formed of all who shall, in each successive age, be faithful to the call of divine grace, and enroll themselves as children of the Church. The world we inhabit is to be preserved, till the last elect, required to complete the mystic body of Jesus, be added to the Church Triumphant:—then all will be consummated; the divine Mystery of the Incarnation will have achieved its whole work.
But as in the Incarnate Word there was the invisible Soul and the visible Body, so also the Church was to have a Soul and a Body: a Soul, whose hidden beauty no eye but God’s can fully see, at least during her earthly sojourn; and a Body, which is to be visible to men,—an ever-living proof of God’s power, and of his love for the human race. Up to the Day of Pentecost, the just, who had been united under Jesus, their Head, had belonged only to the soul of the Church, for the body was not then in existence. The heavenly Father had adopted them as his children; the Son of God had accepted them as his members; and the Holy Ghost (who is now about to work exteriorly) had interiorly wrought their election and sanctification. The new order of things is to begin in Mary’s person. As we have already explained, the Church in its entirety, that is both soul and body, resided first in Her. It was but fitting that she who was as truly the Mother of the Son of God, according to his Human Nature, as the heavenly Father was his Father according to the Divine Nature, should be superior to all other members of the Church, and this not only in the high degree of grace, but also in the precedence of time.
When our Savior gave his Church an existence outside the loved sanctuary of his Mother’s Heart, he, with his own hands, set the Foundation Stone (—Peter, the Rock,—); he raised up the Pillars, and we have seen how he spent the forty days before his Ascension, in organizing this Church, which was then so small, but which was afterwards to cover the whole earth. He told his Apostles that he would be with them all days even to the consummation of the world; it was the same as telling them that, even after his Ascension into heaven, his Church was to continue on earth, even to the end of time.
He left the plan, thus begun by himself, to be perfected by the Holy Ghost. It was necessary that this Holy Spirit should come down from heaven, in order to strengthen those whom Jesus had chosen as his Apostles. He was to be their Paraclete; their Comforter, in the absence of their Master; he was to be the Power from on high, who was to serve them as armor in their future combats; he was to remind them of all the words spoken to them by Christ; he was to give fruitfulness, by his own action, to the Sacraments, which Jesus had instituted, and over which the Apostles had power, because of the character impressed upon them by this Holy Spirit. It is on this account that Jesus said to his Apostles: It is expedient to you that I go; for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you. We have seen this Divine Spirit, on the Day of Pentecost, producing his effects on the Apostles and Disciples; let us now see his action in the creation, maintenance, and perfecting of this Church, which Jesus has promised to assist, by his mysterious presence, even to the consummation of the world;
The first operation of the Holy Ghost in the Church is the election of its members. This right of election is so especially his prerogative, that, as we learn from the Scriptures, it was by the Holy Ghost that Jesus chose the Apostles, who were to be the pillars of his Church. We have seen how this Holy Spirit began his Mission on the Day of Pentecost, by the election of three thousand Jews. A few days after, five thousand were added to the number, being converted by the preaching of Peter and John. The Gentiles, also, were called to the Church; and the Holy Ghost, having led Peter to Cornelius the Centurion, descends upon this Roman and his household, thus declaring them to be elected as candidates for holy Baptism. The Liturgy put this history before us in the Mass of yesterday.
We seem able to keep pace with these first workings of the Holy Spirit; but the sequel is all impetuosity—divine rapidity of action—irresistible conquest. He sends forth his Messengers;—their sound goeth forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. He goes before them; he goes with them; he works the victory while they speak. We come to the commencement of the 3rd Century, and we find a Christian writer addressing the Magistrates of the Roman Empire in these words: “We are but of yesterday, and we abound everywhere—in your cities, in your towns, in your camps; in the palace, the senate, the forum.” Nothing can withstand the Spirit of God: and in less than three hundred years from the Day of his first manifestation, he calls the very Emperors of Rome to be members of the Church.
Thus does the Spouse of Jesus advance in her beauty and strength; he looks upon her from his throne in heaven, and tenderly loves her. In the early part of the 4th Century, the Church—the work of the Holy Ghost—exceeds the limits of the Roman Empire. Here and there, within this vast Empire, there are places where paganism is still rife; but they all know what the Church is, and the very hatred they bear her is a proof that they are aware of her progress.
But let us not suppose that the Mission of the Holy Ghost is limited to the founding the Church on the ruins of the great Pagan Empire. No: the Spouse of Jesus is to be immortal; she is to exist in every place and age; she is to be superior, both by the extent of her dominions and the number of her subjects, to every other human power.
The Divine Spirit could not, therefore, suspend his Mission. The Roman Empire has merited, by her crimes, to be swept away by the inundation of barbarous nations:—it is the preparation of a new triumph for the Spirit. He comes and works, invisibly and silently, amidst this huge mass: he has his elect there, and by millions. He has renewed the face of the pagan world; he renews the face of the world, now that the Barbarians rule it. He chooses his cooperators, and right faithful are they. He creates new Apostles, and he selects them from all classes, for he is Master to do as he wills. Queens such as Clotilda, Bertha, Theodelind, or Hedwiges, are ready to do his biddings; they deck the Spouse of Jesus with their royal hands, and she comes forth to the world once more, younger and lovelier than ever.
There are, indeed, immense tracts of country in Europe not yet in the Church; it was necessary first to give stability to the work in those that had previously been Christian, and had been well-nigh submerged beneath the deluge of the invasion. But at the close of the 6th Century, the Holy spirit visits Britain, Germany, Scandinavia and Sclavonia; he sends them Apostles such as Augustine, Boniface, Ancharius, Adalbert, Cyril, Methodius, Otho. By the labors of Missioners like these, the Spouse is compensated for the losses she has sustained in the East, where schism and heresy have encroached upon her primitive inheritance. That Holy Spirit, who is God together with the Father and the Son, and has been sent by Them to defend the honor of the Spouse, is ever faithful to his trust.
Thus, when the so-called Reformation was preparing, for Europe, the great apostasy of the 16th Century, the Paraclete was extending the glories of the Church in other Continents. The East Indies became the conquest of the Most Faithful Nation; and in the West, a New World was discovered by and made subject to the Catholic Kingdom. The Divine Spirit, who is ever jealous to maintain the honor and entirety of the deposit entrusted to him by the Incarnate Word, then raised up new Apostles to go and carry the Name of Jesus to these immense tracts of country, which were to be added to the kingdom of his Spouse. St. Francis Xavier was sent to the East Indies; his brethren, together with the Sons of St. Dominick and St. Francis of Assisi, labored most perseveringly in preaching the Gospel to the people of the West Indies.
If, later on again, our Europe be misled by false theories and break with the Church; if this beloved Spouse of Jesus be betrayed and pillaged, calumniated and deprived of her rights by those very Nations which she had protected for so many ages, as the most loving of Mothers;—fear not; the Holy Ghost will add to her glories in some other way. Look at his present workings in the Church. Whence, if not from him, are those ever increasing vocations to the apostolic ministry? Moreover, while conversions from heresy are more numerous than at any previous period, there is not an infidel country where the Gospel is not being preached. Our century has had its Martyrs for the Faith; it has heard the authorities of China and Cochin China, like the Proconsuls of old, putting the Christians through an examination; it has heard the sublime answers, suggested by the Holy Ghost to these brave Confessors, as Christ had promised. The farthest East produces its elect; the negroes of Africa are evangelized; and if a fifth part of the World has been made known, it already counts its Faithful by thousands, flourishing under a hierarchy of lawfully appointed Pastors.
Be thou blessed, then, O Holy Spirit! who thus watchest over the dear Spouse of Jesus! Thanks to thy ceaseless and untiring action, she has never once failed. In every age, thou hast raised up Apostles to enrich her by their conquests; thy grace has been uninterruptedly inviting men to give themselves to her; in every nation and period, thou thyself hast chosen the members of her happy and countless family. She is our Mother and we are her Children; she is the Spouse of our divine Master, to whom we hope to be united through her; so that, by working for the glory of the Son of God, who sent thee, O Holy Spirit! thou hast deigned to work for us poor sinful creatures. We offer thee our feeble tribute of thanks for all these thy benefits to us.
Our Emmanuel has revealed to us that thou art to abide with us to the end of the world; and we now understand how necessary is thy presence. It is thou that presidest over the formation of the Spouse; that maintainest her; that renderest her victorious over her enemies; that carriest her from one country to another, when a people becomes unworthy to possess her; that avengest her when she is insulted; and all this thou wilt continue to do to the end of time.
But this noble Spouse of our God is not to remain forever an exile from her Lord. As Mary was left for several years upon the earth, in order that she might labor for the glory of her Son, and was then taken up to heaven, there to reign eternally with him; so likewise the Church is to remain Militant here below as long as God sees her to be needed for completing the number of his Elect. But the time will come, of which it is written: The Marriage of the Lamb is come, and his Wife hath prepared herself. And it is granted to her, that she should clothe herself with fine linen, glittering and white; for the fine linen are the justifications of the Saints, that is, the virtues of the Saints she has formed. In those days, the Spouse, ever comely and worthy of her Jesus, will grow no more, nay, she will decrease on earth in proportion as her Triumphant glory is perfect in heaven. The Revolt, spoken of by St. Paul, will show itself; men will abandon her, side with the Prince of this world, who is to be let loose for a little while, and serve the Beast, to whom it shall be given to make war with the Saints, yea, and to overcome them. The Spouse herself will not be degenerate, during those her last days on earth, for thou, O Holy Spirit! wilt still be with her, supporting her. But as soon as the last of the Elect shall have been born, the Spirit and the Bride will say “Come!” Then will Jesus appear upon the clouds of heaven; the Mission of the Spirit will be accomplished; and the Spouse, leaning upon her Beloved, will ascend from this ungrateful barren earth to heaven, where the eternal Nuptials with the Lamb await her.
Mass.—The Station for today is in the Church of Saint Anastasia, where we assisted at the Mass of the Aurora on the Birthday of our Emmanuel. We revisit it, now that we have celebrated all the grand Mysteries of our Redemption. Let us bless our God for his having so magnificently completed what he began so humbly and so sweetly. The Neophytes, clothed in their white garments, are present, bearing testimony both to the love of the Son of God who has cleansed them by his Blood, and to the power from the Holy Ghost who has rescued them from the tyranny of Satan, the Prince of this world.
The Introit is addressed to the Neophytes, inviting them to appreciate the glory they have received and to give thanks to the God who has called them to a heavenly kingdom. The words of this Introit, which has been used almost from the very commencement of the Church, are taken from the 4th Book of Esdras, which, although not received by the Church as part of the Sacred Scriptures, was frequently read by the early Christians on account of the admirable instructions it contains.
(IV. Esdr. ii, xxxvi-xxxvii)
|Accipite jucunditatem gloriæ vestræ, alleluia: gratias agentes Deo, alleluia: qui vos ad cœlestia regna vocavit. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.||Receive your glory with joy, alleluia: giving thanks to God, alleluia: who hath called you to a heavenly kingdom. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.|
|Ps. Attendite, popule meus, legem meam: inclinate aurem vestram in verba oris mei. ℣. Gloria Patri. Accipite.||Ps. Attend, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. ℣. Glory, &c. Receive, &c.|
In the Collect, the Church teaches us that the action of the Holy Ghost in our souls is one of mercy and power combines. This divine action purifies our souls from all their stains, and defends them from the attacks of the crafty and jealous enemy, who is ever lying in wait for us.
|Adsit nobis, quæsumus Domine, virtus Spiritus Sancti, quæ et corda nostra clementer expurget, et ab omnibus tueatur adversis. Per Dominum.||Assist us, O Lord, we beseech thee, with the power of thy Holy Spirit, that our hearts may be purified, according to thy mercy, and be defended from all adversities. Through, &c.|
|Lectio Actuum Apostolorum.||Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.|
|Cap. VIII.||Ch. VIII.|
|In diebus illis: Quum audissent Apostoli, qui Jerosolymis, quod recepisset Samaria verbum Dei, miserunt ad eos Petrum et Joannem. Qui cum venissent, oraverunt pro ipsis ut acciperent Spiritum Sanctum: nondum enim in quemquam illorum venerat, sed baptizati tantum erant in nomine Domini Jesu. Tunc imponebant manus super illos, et accipiebant Spiritum Sanctum.||In those days: When the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. Who, when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For he was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost.|
The inhabitants of Samaria had received the word of God through the preaching of Philip the Deacon. They had received, at his hands, the Sacrament of Baptism, which made them Christians. This reminds us of the dialogue between Jesus and the woman at Jacob’s well, and of the three days that he spent in the city. Their faith is rewarded. Baptism has made them children of God and members of Christ their Redeemer. But they must also receive the Holy Ghost, in the Sacrament that gives perfection to the Christian character. The Deacon Philip has not power to confer it upon them: Peter and John, who are invested with Episcopal authority, visit them and complete their happiness. This event makes us think of the grace bestowed on us by the Holy Ghost, when he strengthened our souls by the Sacrament of Confirmation. Let us thank him for this favor, which brought us into closer union with himself, and gave us the courage needed for confessing our Faith before heretics or tyrants.
|Alleluia, alleluia.||Alleluia, alleluia.|
|℣. Spiritus Sanctus docebit vos quæcumque dixero vobis.||℣. The Holy Ghost will teach you all things whatsoever I have said to you.|
|Here all kneel.|
|℣. Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum cordis 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 follows the Sequence, Veni Sancte Spiritus.
|Veni, creator Spiritus,
Mentes tuorum visita,
Imple superna gratia
Gratiæ tu creasti pectora.
|O come, Creator Spirit, visit our souls; and with thy heavenly grace fill the hearts that were made by thee.|
|Qui diceris Paraclitus,
Altissimi donum Dei,
Fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
Et spiritalis unctio.
|Thou art called the Paraclete, the Gift of the Most High God, the Living Fountain, Fire, Love, and Spiritual Unction.|
|Tu septiformis munere,
Digitus Paternæ dexteræ,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
Sermone ditans guttura.
|Thou art sevenfold in thy gifts; the Finger of the Father’s hand; the Father’s solemn Promise, that enrichest men with the gift of tongues.|
|Accende lumen sensibus,
Infunde amorem cordibus,
Infirma nostri corporis
Virtute firmans perpeti.
|Enkindle thy light in our minds; infuse thy love into our hearts; and strengthen the weakness of our flesh by thine unfailing power.|
|Hostem repellas longius,
Pacemque dones protinus:
Ductore sic te prævio
Vitemus omne noxium.
|Repel the enemy far from us, and delay not to give us peace; be thou our guide, that we may shun all that could bring us harm.|
|Per te sciamus da Patrem,
Noscamus atque Filium,
Teque utriusque Spiritum
Credamus omni tempore.
|Grant that, through thee, we may know the Father and the Son; and that we may evermore confess thee the Spirit of them both.|
|Deo Patri sit gloria,
Et Filio, qui a mortuis
Surrexit, ac Paraclito
In sæculorum sæcula.
|Glory be to God the Father, and to the Son who rose from the dead, and to the Paraclete, for everlasting ages! Amen.|
|Ant. Spiritus Domini.||Ant. The Spirit of the Lord.|
|Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem.||Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John.|
|Cap. X.||Ch. X.|
|In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus Pharisæis: Amen, amen dico vobis: qui non intrat per ostium in ovile ovium, sed ascendit aliunde, ille fur est et latro. Qui autem intrat per ostium, pastor est ovium. Huic ostiarius aperit, et oves vocem ejus audiunt, et proprias ovas vocat nominatim, et educit eas. Et cum proprias oves emiserit, ante eas vadit: et oves illum sequuntur, quia sciunt vocem ejus. Alienum autem non sequuntur, sed fugiunt ab eo: quia non noverunt vocem alienorum. Hoc proverbium dixit eis Jesus: illi autem non cognoverunt quid loqueretur eis. Dixit ergo eis iterum Jesus: Amen, amen dico vobis, quia ego sum ostium ovium. Omnes quotquot venerunt, fures sunt, et latrones, et non audierunt eos oves. Ego sum ostium. Per me si quis introierit, salvabitur: et ingredietur, et egredietur, et pascua inveniet. Fur non venit nisi ut furetur, et mactet, et perdat. Ego veni ut vitam habeant, et abundantius habeant.||At that time: Jesus said to the Pharisees: Amen, amen I say to you: He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he hath let out his own sheep, he goeth before them: and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. But a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers. This proverb Jesus spoke to them. But they understood not what he spoke to them. Jesus therefore said to them again: Amen, amen I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All others, as many as have come, are thieves and robbers: and the sheep heard them not. I am the door. By me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved: and he shall go in, and go out, and shall find pastures. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.|
The Church’s motive for putting this passage of the Gospel before the Neophytes of Pentecost was to put them on their guard against a danger which might probably occur in after years. At present, they are the favored Sheep of the Good Shepherd Jesus, represented by men to whom he himself has given the charge to feed his Lambs. These men have received their mission from Peter; and he who is with Peter, is with Jesus. But it has not unfrequently happened that false Shepherds have got into the fold; our Savior calls them thieves and robbers. He tells us that he himself is the Door through which they must pass who can claim the right to feed his sheep. Every Shepherd, if he would avoid the imputation of being a robber, must have received his mission from Jesus; and this mission cannot be given save by him whom Jesus has appointed to be his Vicar and Representative, until he himself return.
The Holy Ghost has poured forth his divine gifts upon these new Christians; but the virtues that are in them cannot be meritorious of eternal life unless they continue to be members of the true Church. If instead of following the lawful Pastor, they were to be so unhappy as to go after false Pastors, all these virtues would become barren. They should, therefore, flee, as they would from a stranger, from any guide who has not received his mission from the Master, who alone can lead them to the pastures of Life. During the past centuries, schismatical Pastors have risen up from time to time: the Faithful were bound to shun them: we, who are living now, should take seriously to heart the admonition here given us by our Redeemer. The Church he has founded, and which he guides by his Holy Spirit, is Apostolical. The mission of those Pastors alone is lawful who are sent by Apostolic authority; and whereas Peter lives in his Successors, the Successor of Peter is the source whence alone can come pastoral power. He who is with Peter, is with Christ.
In the Offertory, the Church excites our devotion to the Holy Sacrifice at which we are assisting, by speaking to us, in the words of the Psalmist, the praises of the sacred nourishment which is to be given to us: it is a manna from heaven, it is the very Bread of the Angels.
|Portas cœli aperuit Dominus, et pluit illis manna, ut ederent: panem cœli dedit eis, panem Angelorum manducavit homo, alleluia.||The Lord opened for them the gates of heaven, and rained down manna for them to eat: he gave them the bread of heaven; men eat the bread of angels, alleluia.|
The Victim that is about to be offered has the power to purify, by his immolation, those who are to feed upon his Sacred Flesh. The Church prays in the Secret that it may be thus with them that are assisting at this Holy Sacrifice.
|Purificet nos, quæsumus Domine, muneris præsentis oblatio: et dignos sacra participatione efficiat. Per Dominum.||May the oblation of this sacrifice purify us, O Lord, we beseech thee, and make us worthy to partake thereof. Through, &c.|
The Preface is the same at Whit Sunday.
In the Communion-Anthem, the Church puts before us the words wherein Jesus told his Disciples that the Holy Ghost would glorify him. We, who have seen the workings of this Holy Spirit throughout the whole earth, can testify to the most perfect fulfillment of the prophecy.
|Spiritus, qui a Patre procedit, alleluia: ille me clarificabit. Alleluia, alleluia.||The Spirit who proceedeth from the Father, alleluia, shall glorify me. Alleluia, alleluia.|
The faithful people has partaken of the Sacred Mysteries; and the Church comes immediately after, telling them that the Holy Ghost has actively cooperated in what has taken place. It is he that achieved the change of the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of our Redeemer; it is he also that prepared our souls for their union with the Son of God, by purifying them from their sins.
|Mentes nostras, quæsumus Domine, Spiritus Sanctus divinis reparet sacramentis, quia ipse est remissio omnium peccatorum. Per Dominum.||Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord, that the Holy Ghost may renew our souls by these divine mysteries, since he is the remission of sin. Through, &c.|
Again let us give ear to the Armenian Church celebrating the coming of the Holy Ghost, and that with all the dignity of sentiment and diction which characterizes its Hymnarium.
(Canon tertiæ diei.)
|Hodie cœlestes lætati sunt de terrestrium renovatione: namque innovator existentium Spiritus descendit ad sacrum cœnaculum, quo renovati sunt chori apostolorum.||Today, the heavenly hosts rejoiced at the earth’s being renewed; for the Spirit, the Renewer of all things, descended into the sacred Cenacle, and the Apostolic choir was renewed.|
|Hodie humea natura nostra exsultat reconciliatione cum Patre; quia qui abstulit spiritum ab hominibus caro effectis, iterum donat.||Today, our lowly nature rejoices at her reconciliation with the Father; for he that took away his Spirit from men when they became carnal, now restores it to them.|
|Hodie pueri Ecclesiæ celebrant in exsultatione adventum Sancti Spiritus, per quem exornati sunt vestibus pellucidis et clarissimis, cantantes cum Seraphim trisagium.||Today, the children of the Church celebrate in gladness the coming of the Holy Ghost, by whom they were clothed in garments of exquisite beauty and richness: and uniting their voices with the Seraphim, they sing and Holy, Holy, Holy!|
|Qui unitos turris, divisione linguarum sejunxit, hodie divisas linguas nationum univit rursum in sacro cœnaculo; omnes Spiritus, benedicite Spiritum Dei.||Today, he that scattered the people of the Tower, by the division of tongues, again united the divided tongues of nations, in the sacred Cenacle. O all ye spirits, bless the Spirits of God!|
|Qui descendit, Spiritus Domini, et ductor fuit duodecim tribuum Israel in deserto, hodie duodecim Apostolos perducit ad Evangelium; omnes Spiritus, benedicite Spiritum Dei.||Today, the Spirit of the Lord, who came down and led the twelve tribes of Israel through the Desert, led the twelve Apostles to the Gospel. O all ye spirits, bless the Spirit of God!|
|Qui implevit, Spiritus Domini, Beseleel architectorem tabernaculi, hodie efficit homines tabernaculum sanctæ Trinitati; omnes Spiritus, benedicite Spiritum Dei.||Today, the Spirit of the Lord, who filled Beseleel with wisdom as architect of the Tabernacle, made men become the tabernacle of the Holy Trinity. O all ye spirits, bless the Spirit of God!|
The beautiful Sequence we select for this day is taken from the ancient Missals of Liége.
|Amor Patris et Filii,
Very splendor auxilii,
Totius spes solatii.
|O Love of the Father and Son! thou art our true and brightest aid, in whom alone we hope for solace.|
|O indeficiens piorum lux,
Et præmium justorum:
|O never-failing Light of the good! the Reward of the just, the Resuscitator of sinners!|
Ac omnis sanctitudinis
Omnis rectitudinis amator.
|Giver of all strength, and holiness, and blessing! Lover of all righteousness!|
|Almighty, and so bounteous! All-governing, and so merciful!|
Quo nihil est potentius,
Quo nihil est vel melius.
|Infinitely just, and dear, and glorious, and holy, and strong, and spiritual! No, nothing is so mighty, nothing so good!|
Per quem ad Patrem omnium
Venitur, et ad Filium.
|Thou Enlightener of hearts! by whom we come to the Father of all, and to the Son.|
|Fount of knowledge; Giver of joy; Remedy for Sin; Spirit of counsel!|
Promptus et amabilis.
|Humble, docile, and unchangeable; prudent, noble, and invincible; prompt and endearing!|
Dans et affectum,
|Choicest of Gifts! ’tis thou that givest us understanding and love, and that lovest what is right.|
|Patris ac Nati Spiritus,
Divinæ dextræ digitus.
|Thou art the Spirit of the Father and Son; the Life-gving Paraclete; the Finger of God’s right hand!|
Pietas et bonitas,
Benignitas et largitas:
|He is Grandeur and Joy, Mercy and Goodness, Benignity and Munificence:|
|Qui prout vult,
Et ubi vult,
Et quantum vult,
Spirat et erudit,
Replet et erigit.
Ditat et instruit.
|Who, as he wills, and when he wills, and where he wills, and as long as he wills, and as much as he wills,—inspires and teaches, fills and exalts, enriches and guides.|
Ad consolandum hodie
Et eis plenarie,
Fons veræ sapientiæ
Per hunc administrator.
|He, the Spirit of knowledge, is given to the Apostles, on this day, that he may console them. By him is opened to them, in all its fulness, the fount of true wisdom.|
The Gift of Knowledge
Detached from evil by the fear of the Lord, and ennobled with holy love by the gift of Godliness—the soul feels the want ot knowing how she is to avoid what she is to fear, an dhow to find what she must love. The Holy Ghost comes to her assistance and brings her what she needs, by infusing into her the Gift of Knowledge. By means of this precious gift, truth is made evident to her; she knows what God asks of her and what he condemns, she knows what to seek and what to shun. Without this holy Knowledge, we are in danger of going astray, because of the frequent darkness which, more or less, clouds our understanding. This darkness arises, in the first place, from our own nature, that bears upon itself the but too visible proofs of the Fall. It is added to by the false maxims and judgments of the World, which so often warp even those whose upright minds seemed to make them safe. And lastly, the action of Satan, who is the Prince of darkness, has this for one of its chief aims—to obscure our mind, or to mislead it by false lights.
The Light of our soul is Faith, which was infused into us at our Baptism. By the Gift of Knowledge, the Holy Ghost empowers our Faith to elicit rays of light, strong enough to dispel all darkness. Doubts are then cleared up, error is exposed and put to flight, truth became upon us in all its beauty. Everything is viewed in its true light—the light of Faith. We see how false are the principles which sway the world, which ruin so many souls, and of which we ourselves were once perhaps victims.
The gift of Knowledge reveals to us the end which God had in creation, and out of which creatures can never find either happiness or rest. It teaches us what use we are to make of creatures, for they were not given us to be a hindrance, but a help whereby to reach our God. The secret of life thus possessed, we walk on in safety, we halt not, and we are resolved to shun every path which would not lead us to our end.
The Apostle had this Gift in view when speaking to the converts of Ephesus, he said: Ye were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord: walk then as Children of the Light. Hence comes that unhesitatingness, that confidence, of the Christian Life. There may be a want of experience now and then; so much so, indeed, that the little world around talks feelingly about the indiscretions and scandals which are almost sure to arise; but they forget that there is the Gift of Knowledge, of which the Sacred Scripture thus speaks: She conducted the just through the right ways, and gave them the Knowledge of holy things, or as some render it, the Science of the Saints. We have daily proofs of this truth: a Christian, by means of supernatural light, is found to escape every danger; he has no experience of his own, but he has the experience of God.
We give thee thanks, O Holy Paraclete! for this thy gift of light, which thou so lovingly maintainest within us! Oh! never permit us to seek any other. It alone is sufficient; without it, there is nought but darkness. Preserve us from those sad inconsistencies, of which so many are guilty, who follow thy guidance today, and the maxims of the world tomorrow;—wretched double dealing, which displeases thee, and does not please the world! Make us love that Knowledge which thou gavest us in order to our Salvation. The enemy of our souls is jealous of our having such a Gift, and is ever studying to make us exchange it for his lying principles. O Divine Spirit! suffer not his treachery to triumph. Be thou ever within us, aiding us to distinguish truth from falsity, and right from wrong. May our Eye be single and simple, as our Jesus bids it be; that so our Body, that is, the Body of our actions, desires and thoughts, may be lightsome; and preserve us from that evil Eye, which makes the whole Body to be Darkness.
This text is taken from The Liturgical Year, authored by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)