Pentecost and Our Innermost Heart

      Is it even possible to grasp the meaning of this day? Every once in awhile, I recall something that happened to me way back when I was a very young Sister. I was going up the stairs to the choir loft coming back from Communion one day, when I became aware of the fact that I – or someone – was singing a song inside of me. It was a new experience. This must be what they mean by the Spirit praying within us, I thought.

      Fr. Rahner points out that Pentecost is the day on which the innermost heart of the all-holy God becomes the center of our own hearts and every part of our human reality. We receive from God not merely a gift, but the very gift, who is God. God gives God to us. And, we call that gift the Holy Spirit. The message of Pentecost, then, is that God is our God. These are glad tidings. Not only this, but the Spirit is the seal that stamps us as belonging entirely to God.

      The only nightfall we will ever experience from this time on is not accepting God into our very being. This Spirit comes to join our own person and personality, and enlivens and strengthens whatever natural gifts that came to us at birth. And when we pray, all we need do is quietly and humbly listen to what the Spirit may be praying within us.

      Every year, on Pentecost day, the Spirit comes to us in a new way. This year, I find myself praying the prayer of St. Augustine:

“Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient and ever new. Late have I loved you.

Behold, you were within me, and I was outside, and there I sought you. You were with

me, and I did not know it. You called out to me and broke open my deafness. You shone

upon me and scattered my blindness. You breathed fragrance, and I drew in breath.

Now, I pant for you.

You touched me, O God, and I have been translated into your peace.”

Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D.

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