Pentecost: The Coming of the Holy Spirit

In Conversation With God Sunday Reflection
Pentecost: The Coming of the Holy Spirit

By Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

2/96.3 Correspondence: docility, life of prayer, union with the Cross.

If we want to grow in fidelity to the constant motions and inspirations of the Holy Spirit in our soul, we can fix our attention on three fundamental points : docility, life of prayer and union with the Cross.

First of all docility, because it is the Holy Spirit who, through his inspirations, gives a supernatural tone to our thoughts, desires and actions. It is He who leads us to be receptive to Christ’s teaching and to assimilate it in a profound way. It is He who gives us the light by which we perceive our personal calling and the strength to carry out all that God expects of us.[2362]

The Paraclete never ceases to act in our soul. Not a single aspiration do we say that is not inspired by the Holy Spirit,[2363] as St Paul tells us in the second reading of the Mass. He is present and moves us in prayer, as we read the Gospel, when we discover new light through a piece of advice we have received, as we ponder upon a truth of faith which already perhaps we have often considered. We realise that this clarity does not depend upon our will. It does not come from us, but from God. It is the Holy Spirit who leads us gently to the Sacrament of Penance to confess our sins, to raise our heart to God at an unexpected moment, to carry out some particular work. It is He who suggests to us to make some small sacrifice, or finds for us the right words to inspire someone to be better.

In the second place, a life of prayer, because the giving of one’s self, the obedience and meekness of a Christian, are born of love and lead to love. And love leads to a personal relationship, to conversation and friendship. Christian life requires a constant dialogue with God, One in three Persons, and it is to this intimacy that the Holy Spirit leads us ... Let us acquire the habit of conversation with the Holy Spirit, who is the one who will make us holy. Let us trust in him and ask his help and feel his closeness to us. In this way our poor heart will grow: we will have a greater desire to love God and to love all creatures for God’s sake.[2364]

And finally, union with the Cross, because in the life of Christ, the Resurrection and Pentecost were preceded by Calvary. This is the order that must be followed in the life of any Christian ... The Holy Spirit comes to us as a result of the Cross – as a result of our total abandonment to the will of God, of seeking only His glory and of renouncing ourselves completely.[2365]

We can end our prayer by making our own the petitions of the hymn which is sung in the sequence of the Mass of this day of Pentecost: Come, O Holy Spirit, send from heaven a ray of your light. Come, O father of the poor; come, O giver of graces; come, O light of hearts. Best of all Consolers, welcome. Guest of the soul, cool refreshment. You are rest in our labour, peace in difficulties and solace in our grief. O most holy Light! Fill the inmost being of the hearts of your faithful ... Grant to your children who trust in you your seven sacred gifts. Give them the merit of your virtue, the port of salvation; give them everlasting joy.[2366]

If we want to have a deeper friendship with the Holy Spirit, nothing is so effective as a close friendship with Mary. She it was who seconded, as no other creature ever did, the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. The Apostles, before the day of Pentecost, with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary, the Mother of Jesus.[2367]

In Conversation With God

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[2362] St. J. Escrivá, Christ is passing by, 135

[2363] cf 1 Cor 12:3

[2364] St. J. Escrivá, op cit, 136

[2365] ibid, 37

[2366] Sequence for the Mass of Pentecost

[2367] cf Acts 1:14


Francis Fernandez-Carvajal,

Rev. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

Rev. Francis Fernández-Carvajal is a Priest of the Opus Dei Prelature and the author of many popular spiritual works. His seven-volume series In Conversation with God provides over 500 meditations to be used throughout the liturgical year. It has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into many languages.