With Pentecost just around the corner, our hearts and minds turn in anticipation of the graces available, not just for Mary and the Apostles in the Upper Room some 2,000 years ago, but for us too, right now, in our own personal spiritual lives. The days from the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus into Heaven (today is Ascension Thursday) to Pentecost Sunday comprise nine days in which the Church awaits the grace of Pentecost. This is the first novena of the Church and you’re invited to participate. Here are a couple of different novenas, beginning tomorrow, Friday: here and here.
But what of the grace of Pentecost for us, now? Deacon Tracy Jamison, PhD, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Athenaeum and Third Order Carmelite, gives us a compelling answer in the following article composed for just this occasion.
Understanding and Seeking the Authentic Grace of Pentecost
Deacon T. Jamison, OCDS, PhD
Each year at the conclusion of the Easter Season the Catholic Church liturgically celebrates the Solemnity of Pentecost, but it is difficult to understand the specific nature of the grace of Pentecost that is given to the faithful who advance in the spiritual life. The first reading for the Pentecost Mass during the day describes the experience of the original disciples of Christ as they personally received this special grace:
“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim” (Acts 2:1-4).
The doctrine that they then began to proclaim is that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God who became man in order to open heaven to us, that he has gone there to prepare a place for us, that from there he now constantly intercedes for us as our Advocate before our Heavenly Father, and that he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. In the meantime, Christ has sent us his Holy Spirit—the third Person of the Most Holy Trinity—as another divine Advocate to be with us always and to teach us everything that he has commanded us through his Holy Apostles (see Matthew 28:19-20).
Continue reading Pentecost for You
Feature photo of the Holy Spirit courtesy of Creative Commons/Flickr