Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Pentecost Sequence
Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Come, Holy Spirit, come,
and from your celestial home
shed a ray of light divine.
Come, Father of the poor,
come, source of our store.
Come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters best;
you the soul's most welcome guest;
sweet refreshment here below.
In our labor, rest most sweet;
grateful coolness in the heat;
solace in the midst of woe.
O most Blessed Light Divine,
shine within these hearts of thine,
and our inmost beings fill.
Where you are not, we have naught;
nothing good in deed or thought;
nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
on our dryness pour your dew;
wash the stains of guilt away.
Bend the stubborn heart and will.
Melt the frozen, warm the chill.
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
and confess you, evermore
in Your sevenfold gift descend.
Give us virtue's sure reward.
Give us your salvation, Lord.
Give us joys that never end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Pentecost is a great feast for our Order. It recalls the great mystery of the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus Christ to send His Spirit to be with us as wisdom and guide and companion. But for Redemptoristines it is the foundation day of the Order, the day of its birth on the Feast of Pentecost in Scala, Italy in 1731. In that small hillside town above Naples, Maria Celeste Crostarosa's vision, the inspiration received from Jesus himself, came to fruition. Shortly to be clothed in red, the color of love, they were to be imbued with the identity and virtuous nature of the Savior himself; to become his viva memoria, his living memory and witness to all of the immeasurable love of the redeeming Christ. By their way of life, their constancy in prayer their mutual charity they were to be flesh and blood illustrations of Jesus who had told Maria Celeste, "If they ask you who I am, tell them I am pure love."

This evening, with the close of Compline (Night Prayer) we will enter three days of retreat in preparation for Sunday's great solemnity. Daily we invoke the Holy Spirit to penetrate our world ever more deeply so that unity, peace, justice and the preservation of all God's creation will become our reality.

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