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Reflections

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

O Holy Spirit, Paraclete, perfect in us the work begun by Jesus:
Enable us to continue to pray fervently in the name of the whole world: hasten in every one of us the growth of a profound interior life; give vigor to our apostolate so that it may reach all people everywhere, all redeemed by the Blood of Christ and all belonging to him. Mortify in us our natural pride, and raise us to the realms of holy humility, of the real fear of God, of generous courage. Let no earthly bond prevent us from honoring our vocation, no cowardly considerations disturb the claims of justice, no meanness confine the immensity of charity within the narrow bounds of petty selfishness.
Let everything in us be on a grand scale: the search for truth and the devotion to it, and readiness for self-sacrifice, even to the cross and death. May everything finally be according to the last prayer of the Son to his heavenly Father, and according to your Spirit, O Holy Spirit of love, which the Father and the Son desired to be poured out over the Church and its institutions, over the souls of people and over nations. Amen. Amen. Alleluia, Alleluia!
- From the Homily of Pope St. John XXIII for Pentecost Sunday, June 10, 1962.

The Holy Spirit and the Rublev Icon of the Blessed Trinity

St. Athanasius, the fifth century patriarch of Alexandria, summarized the purpose of the incarnation: the Son of God became one with us that we might become one with God.
This purpose is beautifully evoked by the famous 15th century icon of the hospitality of Abraham written by Russian artist Andrei Rublev. The Rublev icon depicts the event recounted in Genesis chapter 18 when Abraham is visited by three heavenly bodies and promised that Sarah, his wife, would give birth.
With the Father looking to the Son and Spirit and they beholding the gaze of the Father, a perfect circle of communion is formed. The reader is beckoned to the open space at the front of the table.
It is the Spirit that beckons us and enables us to approach and find the place prepared for us. This is our place. We are at home in the embrace of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Life-giving Spirit of God,
You breathe in us a love for the Father and the mission of the Son.
Fill us with your wisdom and peace that we can calmly discern your will for us.
Direct all our action by your holy inspirations,
and carry them on by your gracious breath within us,
that every prayer and work of ours may begin from you,
and by you be happily ended. Amen.