Sunday, June 4, 2017

Praying with the Pentecost Sequence


Veni, Sanctus Spiritus - Come, Holy Spirit

This day that officially signifies the beginning of the Church of Christ the Lord on Earth, fifty days after his Resurrection into Heaven.  The liturgy today is filled with so many exciting images and meanings for us. 

One of the most intriguing parts of the Pentecost liturgy, is the Sequence, “Veni, Sancte Spiritus”, that is traditionally sung before the Gospel acclimation.  It is an ancient melody that seems to transcend both time and space. 

But, what about the words? 
Do we really hear and understand them?
Do we pay attention and try to grasp their meaning? 
Have we ever listened, then taken these words into ourselves, rested within them, and then allowed the words to rest within us? 

If we allow these words of the Veni, Sanctus Spiritus Sequence and the ancient melody to fill us, each have power to open us to the Spirit; the Spirit that gives us life, the Spirit that can comfort us, the Spirit that can heal us, the Spirit that can strengthen us, the Spirit that can transform us, the Spirit that can bestow spiritual gifts upon us. 

All we have to do is listen; carefully, "listen with the ear of our heart", as St. Benedict enjoins us in his Rule of Life, to the words and melody of the Pentecost Sequence. 

In doing this, may we find the treasure that is the essence of our Christian faith.  And may the Spirit continue to breathe upon us.  Amen.  Alleluia.

Come, Holy Spirit, come!

And from your celestial home

  Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!

Come, source of all our store!

  Come within our bosom shine.

You, of comforters the 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 being 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 our 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 them virtue’s sure reward;

Give them your salvation, Lord;

  Give them joys that never end. Amen.


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