Come Holy Spirit! Come! This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. “So what,” you may say. “What does that have to do with me?” Everything-- if you are a Christian. It is only by and through the gift of the Holy Spirit that we are able to connect to God. It is His Spirit who lives in us and prays through us, linking us to our heavenly Father.
We need to connect to Him constantly, (“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17), because we are, sadly, very leaky vessels.
How do we do that? By continuously glancing heavenwards, giving God a smile and telling Him “I love You” (It’s like throwing “little straws upon the embers.” according to St. Therese of Lisieux*) and by taking “prayer pauses” throughout the day.
So without further ado, I thought in this week leading up to Pentecost in this Year of Mercy, I would share with you what St. Faustina had to say about prayer in her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul (order it here) and then, invite you to pray some very beautiful prayers (all taken from my favorite prayer book, Hearts of Fire, Praying with Jesuits (order it here).
146 (69) “Prayer--A soul arms itself by prayer for all kinds of combat. In whatever state the soul may be, it ought to pray. A soul which is pure and beautiful must pray, or else it will lose its beauty; a soul which is striving after this purity must pray, or else it will never attain it; a soul which is newly converted must pray, or else it will fall again; a sinful soul, plunged in sins, must pray so that it might rise again. There is no soul which is not bound to pray, for every single grace comes to the soul through prayer.” St. Faustina Kowalska
So, shall we pray? Quiet your heart and mind and, for the next few moments, be present to the One True Presence. Come Holy Spirit! Come!
Soul of Christ
“Jesus, may all that is you flow into me.
May your body and blood
Be my food and drink.
May your passion and death
Be my strength and life.
Jesus, with you by my side
Enough has been given.
May the shelter I seek
Be the shadow of your cross.
Let me not run from the love
Which you offer,
But hold me safe from the forces of evil.
On each of my dyings
Shed your light and your love.
Keep calling to me until that day comes,
When, with your saints,
I may praise you forever. Amen.”
--David L. Fleming, SJ
Center of Our Hearts
“O God, what will you do to conquer
The fearful hardness of our hearts?
Lord, you must give us new hearts,
tender hearts, sensitive hearts,
to replace hearts that are made of marble and of bronze.
You must give us your own Heart, Jesus.
Come, lovable Heart of Jesus.
Place your Heart deep in the center of our hearts
And enkindle in each heart a flame of love
As strong, as great, as the sum of all the reasons
That I have for loving you, my God.
O holy Heart of Jesus, dwell hidden in my heart,
So that I may live only in you and only for you,
So that, in the end, I may live with you eternally in heaven. Amen.”
--St. Claude La Colombiere, SJ
Prayer for Obtaining Holy Self-Abandonment
“O my God, when will it please you to give me the grace of remaining habitually
in that union of my will with your adorable will,
in which, without our saying anything, all is said,
and in which we do everything by letting you act.
In this perfect union of wills we perform immense tasks
because we work more in conformity with your
and yet we are dispensed from all toil
because we place the care of everything in your hands,
and think of nothing but of reposing completely in you--
a delightful state which
even in the absence of all feelings of faith
gives the soul an interior and altogether spiritual relish.
Let me say then unceasingly
Through the habitual disposition of my heart,
‘Fiat! Yes, my God yes,
Everything that you please.
May your holy desires be fulfilled in everything.
I give up my own which are blind,
perverse and corrupted by that miserable self-love
which is the mortal enemy of your grace and pure love,
of your glory and my own sanctification.’”
--Jean-Pierre de Caussade, SJ
“In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.” Romans 8:26-27
Teach me to pray. Always. Everywhere. For every reason. And for no reason at all, other than to tell You, “I love you.”
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
*”In times of aridity when I am incapable of praying, of practicing virtue, I seek little opportunities, mere trifles, to give pleasure to Jesus; for instance a smile, a pleasant word when inclined to be silent and to show weariness. If I find no opportunities, I at least tell Him again and again that I love Him; that is not difficult and it keeps alive the fire in my heart. Even though this fire of love might seem extinct I would still throw little straws upon the embers and I am certain it would rekindle.”
XVI letter to her sister Celine