31 May 2009

Pentecost Poems & Prayers

In the womb that bore
you are Fire and Spirit,
Fire and Spirit are in the river
where you were baptized,
Fire and Spirit are
in our baptism too,
And in the Bread and Cup
are Fire and Spirit.

~St. Ephrem the Syrian

O God the Holy Ghost
Who art light unto thine elect
Evermore enlighten us.
Thou who art fire of love
Evermore enkindle us.
Thou who art Lord and Giver of Life,
Evermore live in us.
Thou who bestowest sevenfold grace,
Evermore replenish us.
As the wind is thy symbol,
So forward our goings.
As the dove, so launch us heavenwards.
As water, so purify our spirits.
As a cloud, so abate our temptations.
As dew, so revive our languor.
As fire, so purge our dross

~Christina Rossetti

Most Holy Spirit,
the Paraclete, Father of the poor,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Light of hearts, Sanctifier of souls;
behold me prostrate in Thy presence.

I adore Thee with profoundest homage:
I bless Thee a thousand times
and with the Seraphim who stand before Thy throne,
I also say: "Holy, holy, holy."

I firmly believe that Thou art eternal,
consubstantial with the Father and the Divine Son.

I hope in Thy goodness
that Thou wilt deign to save and sanctify my soul.

I love Thee, O Divine Love,
with all my affections
above all the things of this world,
because Thou art Infinite Goodness,
alone worthy of all love.

And since in my ingratitude and blindness
to Thy holy inspirations,
I have so often offended Thee by my sins,
with tears in my eyes
I beg Thy pardon a thousand times,
and am more sorry for having offended Thee,
the Sovereign Good, than for any other evil.

I offer Thee this most cold heart of mine,
and I pray Thee
to pierce it with a ray of Thy light,
and with a spark of Thy fire,
which shall melt the hard ice of my iniquities.

Thou who didst fill the soul
of the most holy Mary with immense graces,
and didst inflame the hearts of the Apostles
with holy zeal, inflame, I beseech Thee,
my heart also with Thy love.

Thou art the Divine Spirit:
give me courage against all evil spirits.

Thou art Fire:
enkindle in me Thy love.
Thou art Light:
enlighten my mind with the knowledge of eternal things.
Thou art the Dove:
give me innocence of life.
Thou art the gentle Breeze:
disperse the storms of my passions.
Thou art the Tongue:
teach me how to bless Thee always.
Thou art the Cloud:
shelter me under the shadow of Thy protection.
And lastly, Thou art the Giver of all heavenly gifts:
animate me, I beseech Thee, with Thy grace;
sanctify me with Thy charity;
enlighten me with Thy wisdom;
adopt me by Thy goodness as Thy son,
and save me in Thy infinite mercy;
so that I may ever bless Thee, praise Thee, and love Thee;
first during this life on earth,
and then in heaven for all eternity. Amen.
Alphonsus Liguori

O living Spirit, O falling of God-dew,
O Grace which dost console us and renew,
O vital light, O breath of angelhood,
O generous ministration of things good,
Creator of the visible, and best
Upholder of the great unmanifest
Power infinitely wise, new boon sublime
Of science and of art, constraining might,
In whom I breathe, live, speak, rejoice, and write, --
Be with us in all places, for all time!

~Manuel Phile (tr. by Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

30 May 2009


Pentecost Troparion, Tone 8

Bearing the seal of the divinity, the Spirit was imparted to the apostles in the form of fire; He is manifested through the gift of tongues, for He is the divine power who comes freely from the Father.

Receive the Holy Spirit, breathing the flames of fresh dew as a baptism that takes away sin, O children enlightened by the Church. For today the law comes forth from Zion; it is the grace of the Spirit which comes in tongues of fire.

When the Most High descended and confused tongues, He scattered nations. When He distributed the tongues of fire , He called all to unity. We also, with one voice, glorify the Most Holy Spirit.

While the apostles were preaching the marvels of God, the unbelievers took for drunkenness the power of the Spirit who made known to us the Trinity, the one God of our Fathers!

Let us approach the inviolate mountain without fear of the terrible fire; come, let us climb the mountain of Zion, the city of the living God. In joy, let us now unite ourselves with the choir of the disciples, the bearers of the Spirit: Sing to the Lord, all you works of the Lord, and exalt Him forever.

~from the Pentecost Canon (Eastern Rite)

26 May 2009

Feast of St. Philip Neri

"Let me get through today, and I shall not fear tomorrow."
~St. Philip Neri

St. Philip Neri liked to pray at night. He would go out in the streets, sometimes to churches, but most often into the catacombs.

On the vigil of Pentecost in 1544, St Philip was praying in the Catacombs of St. Sebastian, as he had done many times, and asked God to give him more of the Holy Spirit.

As the night passed, he was suddenly filled with great joy, and had a vision of the Holy Spirit, who appeared to him as a ball of fire. This fire entered into St Philip’s mouth, and descended to his heart, causing it to expand to twice its normal size, and breaking two of his ribs in the process. He said that it filled his whole body with such joy and consolation that he finally had to throw himself on the ground and cry out, "No more, Lord! No more!"

St Philip is often described in art, poetry and prayers as having a "heart of fire". St. John Newman called him a "Vessel of the Holy Spirit".

When asked how to pray his answer was, "Be humble and obedient and the Holy Spirit will teach you."

St. Philip Neri was well known for his sense of humor. To honor him today try to laugh at yourself when something annoying happens, try to make someone else happy by your cheerful disposition.

His order, the Oratorians, have established oratories throughout the world. One North American oratory is in Toronto.

23 May 2009

Ascension Sunday

Christ has ascended! From earth to heaven!

The Lord ascended into heaven to send the Comforter into this world. The heavens prepared His throne and clouds were His ladder; the angels marvelled at the sight of a human being more exalted than themselves. Today the Father receives again in His bosom the One who was in Him from all eternity, and the Holy Spirit gives command to all the angels: Lift up your lintels, O you gates! O you nations of the earth, clap your hands, for Christ ascends to the place where He had been from all eternity.

~Stichera from Ascension Vespers, Tone 6

By going up again into heaven from which you had descended, you did not leave us orphans, O Lord. Show to all Your people the works of Your power, that Your Spirit may come down upon us and bring peace to the world, O Lord and lover of us all.

~Litija, Tone 1

14 May 2009

Still Breathing

Hello everybody, it's your humble blogger here. Half the month is passed and no updates. Sorry about that. I just moved into a new apartment in Ypsilanti, Michigan and I don't have an internet connection. I will add new posts soon since Ascension and Pentecost are coming up. I have not abandoned you loyal readers.

Stay tuned...


01 May 2009

May 2009

May is Mary's Month

Spend some time this month getting to know Jesus' Mom. She is our Mother too: Mother of the Church. There are two decent books written by Evangelicals about Mary that I reviewed last year.

On May 13th she is celebrated as Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.

Hopefully you can find a local parish that is having a May Crowning. The ceremony traditionally takes place with young girls dressed in dresses carrying flowers (traditionally hawthorn) to adorn the statue. One of the girls (often the youngest) carries a crown of flowers or an actual golden crown on a cushion for placement by the May Queen (often the oldest girl) on the statue. The flowers are replaced throughout the month to keep them fresh.

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,

Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

The Holy Father's Prayer Intentions

Lay Vocation Promoters: That the laity and Christian communities may embrace their responsibility for promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

A Missionary Church: In response to the Lord for the gift of faith, may the younger Catholic communities generously participate in the universal mission of the Church to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Prophet Jeremiah (May 1 Byzantine)
Athanasius the Great (May 2)
Martyrs of England & Wales (May 4)
St. John the Evangelist (May 8 Byzantine)
Sts. Cyril & Methodius (May 11 Byzantine)
St. Isidore the Farmer (May 14)
Ascension of Our Lord (May 21)
Venerable Bede (May 25)
St. Philip Neri (May 26)
Pentecost (May 31)