Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Spirit of Life, Spirit of Pentecost...."

As the church's first and most important Novena wends into its home-stretch toward the birthday we all share, earlier today B16 -- who, before his election, would take his major retreat of each year between Ascension and Pentecost -- closed a talk to the Italian bishops in notable fashion: with a prayer he penned to the Holy Spirit, here in an English translation...
Spirit of Life, who in the beginning alighted upon the abyss,
help humanity in our time to understand
that the exclusion of God leads us to lose ourselves in the desert of the world,
and that only when we enter into faith do dignity and freedom flourish
and society can be built up in justice.

Spirit of Pentecost, who makes one Body of the Church,
restore unto us, the baptized, an authentic experience of communion;
make of us a living sign of the presence of the Risen One in the world,
a community of saints that lives in the service of love.

Holy Spirit, who enables our mission,
allow us to recognize that, even in our time,
many people are seeking the truth of their existence and of the world.
Make us coworkers for their joy in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
the grain of God's wheat, who makes our life's journey good and assures us the abundance of the harvest.

To one and all, may you know the sevenfold gifts and every grace and blessing this Pentecost and always.

A joy-filled, raucous and Happy Birthday, Church -- safe travels to everyone hitting the road for the long weekend.