HISTORICAL NOTE FOR PENTECOST
from the St. Andrews Daily Missal (1937)
Before His ascension into heaven, our Lord charges His apostles "that they
should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the
Father", the out pouring of the Holy Ghost. On their return from the mount
of Olives, the disciples, numbering about one hundred and twenty, went back
to the Cenacle, where they all "were persevering in one mind in prayer with
the women, and Mary the Mother of Jesus".
After this novena, the most solemn ever made, occurred the miraculous
descent of the Holy Spirit, which by divine Providence, coincided with the
Jewish feast of Pentecost among the Israelites. This "most solemn and most
holy day" was the anniversary of the promulgation of the Law on mount
Sinai. Consequently a considerable number of foreigners who had flocked to
Jerusalem from all parts, were witnesses of the coming of the Holy Ghost.
"It was nine o'clock in the morning, when 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 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."
Thus, "endued with power from on high," the Church began at Jerusalem the
work of the Apostolate entrusted to her by her divine Lord. Peter, the
chief of the apostles, first addressed the assembly, and become already
"fisher of men", brought by the first cast of his net, about three thousand
converts into the infant Church. On the following days the twelve met in
the Temple under Solomon's porch, and like their divine Master, preached
the Gospel and healed the sick. Thus, "the multitude of men and women who
believed in the Lord, was more increased".
Subsequently, spreading in all directions outside Judea, the apostles went
forth to proclaim Christ and to give the Holy Ghost to the Samaritans and
then to the Gentiles everywhere.
COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL
(John xiv. 23-31) for Pentecost Sunday
from the St. Andrews Daily Missal (1937)
"This is the day," says St. Gregory, "on which the Holy Ghost descended
upon the apostles, and changing the hearts of those carnally minded men,
led them to the love of Himself. While the tongues of fire appeared
externally, the hearts of the disciples were enkindled within, and as they
beheld God under the appearance of fire, they became aflame with love
together with unspeakable sweetness of soul. For the Holy Ghost is love,
and therefore St. John says : "God is Charity." Now love is proved by
action. St. John says again : "Whosoever says: I love God, and does not
keep his commandments, is a liar." Our love for God is genuine if we resist
the attractions of pleasure in order to obey Him, and anyone who goes on
devoting himself to pleasure does not truly love God, since he acts
contrary to His will. Do not think, then, that you love Him unless you
prove it by good works. Let your speech, your mind, your whole life be
consecrated to the quest for God's love, for in that love inertia has no
place" (Homily at Matins).
Christ was the model of this love, since He always did what His Father
A PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
(By Cardinal Mercier)
I am going to reveal to you the secret of sanctity and happiness. Every day
for five minutes control your imagination and close your eyes to all the
noises of the world in order to enter into yourself. Then, in the sanctuary
of your baptized soul (which is the temple of the Holy Spirit) speak to
that Divine Spirit, saying to Him:
O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me,
strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do; give me Your orders. I
promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all
that You permit to happen to me. Let me only know Your Will.
If you do this, your life will flow along happily, serenely, and full of
consolation, even in the midst of trials. Grace will be proportioned to the
trial, giving you the strength to carry it and you will arrive at the Gate
of Paradise, laden with merit. This submission to the Holy Spirit is the
secret of sanctity.
Sincerely in Christ,
Our Lady of the Rosary Library
"Pray and work for souls"