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Vigil of the Pentecost and Whitsunday
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Posted on 05/09/2008 7:46:24 PM PDT by Salvation

Vigil of the Pentecost and Whitsunday


The Vigil of Pentecost is traditionally a day of fasting. This requirement has been done away with in the most recent Code of Canon Law, but many traditional Catholics fast anyway. The Feast itself -- a day also known as "Whitsunday" -- is considered a sort of "birthday" for the Church and marks the beginning of the week known as Whitsuntide. Vestments on Whitsunday are red, but the name "Whitsunday" comes from "White Sunday" because, at one time, those who entered the Church at Easter would once again wear their white robes today.

Pentecost is the second greatest Feast of the liturgical year -- the first being Easter -- and takes place 50 days (7 weeks) after Easter (the earliest possible date for this Feast is 10 May). This day celebrates the coming of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples and Our Lady and, in a sense, the reversal of the story of the Tower of Babel in that the the Apostles were given the gift of tongues by which they could preach and be understood by anyone in any language -- a demonstration of the Church's true catholicity.

The Christian Pentecost corresponds calendrically to the Pentecost of our Israelite ancestors, a day which came 50 days after Passover. The Old Covenant Pentecost was known as Shavu'ot (also called  Hag ha-Bikkurim or "Festival of Weeks"), which is the celebration of Firstlings. 1 This feast was commanded by God and is recorded by Moses:
Leviticus 23:15-22
You shall count therefore from the morrow after the sabbath, wherein you offered the sheaf of the firstfruits, seven full weeks. Even unto the marrow after the seventh week be expired, that is to say, fifty days, and so you shall offer a new sacrifice to the Lord. Out of all your dwellings, two leaves of the firstfruits, of two tenths of flour leavened, which you shall bake for the firstfruits of the Lord. And you shall offer with the leaves seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one calf from the herd, and two rams, and they shall be for a holocaust with their libations far a most sweet odour to the Lord. You shall offer also a buck goat for sin, and two lambs of the first year for sacrifices of peace offerings. And when the priest hath lifted them up with the leaves of the firstfruits before the Lord, they shall fall to his use. And you shall call this day most solemn, and most holy. You shall do no servile work therein. It shall be an everlasting ordinance in all your dwellings and generations. And when you reap the corn of your land, you shall not cut it to the very ground: neither shall you gather the ears that remain; but you shall leave them for the poor and for the strangers. I am the Lord your God.

On a deeper level, the Christian Pentecost was prefigured by God's revealing Himself on Mt. Sinai:

Exodus 19:9-11, 16-19
The Lord said to him: Lo, now will I come to thee in the darkness of a cloud, that the people may hear me speaking to thee, and may believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people to the Lord. And he said to him: Go to the people, and sanctify them today, and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments. And let them be ready against the third day: for on the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai...

...And now the third day was come, and the morning appeared: and behold thunders began to be heard, and lightning to flash, and a very thick cloud to cover the mount, and the noise of the trumpet sounded exceeding loud, and the people that was in the camp, feared. And when Moses had brought them forth to meet God from the place of the camp, they stood at the bottom of the mount. And all mount Sinai was on a smoke: because the Lord was come down upon it in fire, and the smoke arose from it as out of a furnace: and all the mount was terrible. And the sound of the trumpet grew by degrees louder and louder, and was drawn out to a greater length: Moses spoke, and God answered him.


Moses on Mt. Sinai, by Jean-Leon Gerome, 1895-1900

When Jesus walked out of His Tomb and before He ascended into Heaven on the 40th day, He promised the coming of the Comforter.

Acts 1:4-5 4
And eating together with them, he commanded them, that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard (saith he) by my mouth. For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence.

As they waited for this promise of the Father to come true, Mary and the disiciples prayed a Novena of prayers, and then the Comforter came on the 50th day, overwhelming Our Lady and the Apostles in a scene that sounds very much like the experience at Mt. Sinai, each with manifestations of fire, wind, and sound:

Acts 2:1-4 1
And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak.

The Holy Ghost inspired St. Peter to the point where his preaching, on that one day, brought 3,000 souls as among the "firstfruits" to God, a sort of reversal of the effects of the Sinai events:

Exodus 32:26-29
Then standing in the gate of the camp, he said: If any man be on the Lord's side let him join with me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him: And he said to them: Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Put every man his sword upon his thigh: go, and return from gate to gate through the midst of the camp, and let every man kill his brother, and friend, and neighbour. And the sons of Levi did according to the words of Moses, and there were slain that day about three and twenty thousand men [New American Bible: "three thousand men"]. And Moses said: You have consecrated your hands this day to the Lord, every man in his son and in his brother, that a blessing may be given to you.

His Holiness St. Peter, witnessing the events of the Pentecost, recalling the darkness of Good Friday, and foretelling the coming destruction of Jerusalem forty years hence, saw this as a fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel:

Joel 2:28-32
I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy: your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Moreover upon my servants and handmaids in those days I will pour forth my spirit. And I will shew wonders in heaven; and in earth, blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood: before the great and dreadful day of the Lord doth come. And it shall come to pass, that every one that shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved: for in mount Sion, and in Jerusalem shall be salvation, as the Lord hath said, and in the residue whom the Lord shall call [New American Bible: "There will be those who escape, as the Lord has said, Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls"].

Apologist Jacob Michael 2 reminds us of the deeper meanings of St. Peter recalling Joel's words:

The fact that there "shall be those who escape" necessarily implies that there will be those who do not escape; if there is a group identified as "survivors," the necessary corollary is that there will be many who do not survive. But the question is, "survive what?" The answer is in the context of Joel's prophecy - the coming "day of the Lord" in the form of a powerful foreign army (Rome, in this case), which will wreak havoc on the city...

...Remember that Pentecost marked the birth of the Church - and indeed, this is symbolism behind the Lucan report that the Holy Spirit descended, not only upon the apostles, but also upon the Virgin Mary who was with them (cf. Acts 1:14), a kind of recapitulation of the Annunciation scene. There, the Spirit overshadowed Mary in order that the Head of Christ's Mystical Body might be conceived; here, the Spirit descends once again upon Mary in order that the Members of the Mystical Body might be conceived and brought to birth.

But with the birth of the Church, there now existed a great tension: the New Covenant was now in effect, but it stood over against the Old Covenant which was still in functional existence. It would be much easier for later generations, when the duties of the Old Covenant could no longer even be practiced, due to the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. But here, at the beginning of the Church, the average Jew faced a very, very difficult decision: to follow this new break-away sect that claimed to be the ministers of a New Covenant from God, or to stay with the priests of the Old Covenant which had been the tradition of the fathers for thousands of years?

The Spirit was given in order to authenticate the messengers of the New Covenant, and to make it clearer to those who might doubt what their next move should be. This very nearly parallels the event that Pentecost celebrated - the giving of the Law, after which a similar dilemma presented itself to the average Israelite: do I follow the majority, including Aaron the high priest, and worship this tangible, visible Golden Calf? Or do I remain in the minority and walk by faith, while Moses is no longer with us or visible to us? Do I follow the visible authority in Aaron here, since he is the high priest, or do I resist?

These are the same kind of questions the Jew of St. Peter's day had to resolve. Do I stick with the majority, my brothers, my parents, my friends, and all of my ancestors by identifying myself with the high priest at Jerusalem, along with all of the visible, tangible signs of the Old Covenant (the temple, the priesthood, the animal sacrifices)? Or do I break away from this visible authority and walk by faith, pledging my allegiance to this no-longer visible Messiah, who has founded an invisible and "spiritual" Jerusalem, with a new priesthood and a new sacrifice?

Such a situation certainly requires an extra outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and especially those gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, and Fortitude that would be so necessary in order to leave the ancient Judaic faith of Israel in favor of Christianity. If the Spirit is given here, it is certainly, in a special way, because of the urgent nature of the decision being presented: the count-down to "the day of the Lord" had begun, and time would run out in a mere 40 years.

This takes us back to our own time, and the liturgical year we celebrate. The liturgical cycles are micro-scale models of not only Salvation History, but also natural time. The Feast of Pentecost inaugurates the longest season of the liturgical year, corresponding to the "season" of history that is the Church Age. As the liturgical season of Pentecost winds down, thus bringing to an end the entire liturgical year (which begins over anew with Advent), the Church begins to place the thought of immanent judgment before us - the End of the World, the penultimate "last days," when all men will stand before Christ the Judge.

During today's festivities, remind yourself of where Pentecost leads and consider the commitment God asks of you lest you call down judgment on yourself...


The "Veni Sancte Spiritus" Sequence at today's Mass, which comes right after the Epistle,  includes the words, "Heal our wounds, our strength renew, on our dryness pour thy dew." From this comes the custom, thought to bring blessings, of walking barefoot through the dew on Whitsunday morning. (Another custom, though one rarely practiced anymore, is "cheese rolling" by which people would race to see who could roll round cheeses downhill the fastest. This is -- or at least was -- done in England and Germany).

The Dove -- the form the Holy Ghost took at Christ's Baptism -- is the primary symbol of the day. In medieval times, there even used to be "Holy Ghost Holes" in the roofs of some churches from which a dove -- real or a model -- would be lowered over the congregation as trumpets sounded or the choir mimicked the sounds of rustling winds. When the dove descended, red rose petals or, incredibly, pieces of burning straw symbolizing the "tongues of flame" in Acts would shower down.

Carrying on the symbolism, doves, the liturgical color red representing the Holy Ghost, the color white representing the white robes of the Catechumens, red Columbineand/or white flowers, lots of greenery to symbolize life (the color green represents hope and life and, in Eastern Churches, the Holy Ghost), fire, the number three representing the Theological Virtues given to us by the Holy Ghost, the number seven representing the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, the number 12 representing the Fruits of the Holy Ghost, etc., -- all of these symbols could be incorporated into the day. The columbine flower (see right) has been used to decorate on Pentecost and its octave. The petals of the flowers are dove-shaped, whence comes its name -- after "columba," the Latin word for "dove."

In medieval times, families in many parts of Europe would suspend a carved and painted wooden dove over their dining table. Such a custom could be easily revived for the throughout the Octave of the Pentecost -- and imagine that dining room table covered with a white tablecloth, sprinkled with red rose petals, and with a vase of columbine at its center.

On this day, as on 1 January, a plenary indulgence can be acquired, under the usual conditions, by reciting the "Veni, Creator Spiritus" (Come, Holy Spirit), a prayer attributed to Rabanus Maurus (A.D. 776-856). It is prayed during the liturgy today.

1 The original purpose of the Feast of Weeks was changed by the Pharisees. They, and hence, modern Jews celebrate it as the Giving of Torah on Mt. Sinai, or "Hag Matan Torateinu."

2 Please read more of Jacob Michael's fascinating essay, "Pentecost: A Feast of Blessing and Judgment for this Crooked Generation" -- at this page of his wonderful website (link will open in new browser window).

Reminder: Today is the day you wipe away the chalk
from the blessing of your home on the Feast of the Epiphany.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; pentecost

Whitsuntide, Sermon 75
By Pope St. Leo the Great (d. A.D. 461)


The giving of the Law by Moses prepared the way for the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. The hearts of all Catholics, beloved, realize that today's solemnity is to be honoured as one of the chief feasts, nor is there any doubt that great respect is due to this day, which the Holy Spirit has hallowed by the miracle of His most excellent gift. For from the day on which the Lord ascended up above all heavenly heights to sit down at God the Father's right hand, this is the tenth which has shone, and the fiftieth from His Resurrection, being the very day on which it began, and containing in itself great revelations of mysteries both new and old, by which it is most manifestly revealed that Grace was fore-announced through the Law and the Law fulfilled through Grace. For as of old, when the Hebrew nation were released from the Egyptians, on the fiftieth day after the sacrificing of the lamb the Law was given on Mount Sinai, so after the suffering of Christ, wherein the true Lamb of God was slain on the fiftieth day from His Resurrection, the Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles and the multitude of believers, so that the earnest Christian may easily perceive that the beginnings of the Old Testament were preparatory to the beginnings of the Gospel, and that the second covenant was rounded by the same Spirit that had instituted the first.


How marvellous was the gift of "various tongues." For as the Apostles' story testifies: "while the days of Pentecost were fulfilled and all the disciples were together in the same place, there occurred suddenly from heaven a sound as of a violent wind coming, and filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance." Oh ! how swift are the words of wisdom. and where God is the Master, how quickly is what is taught, learnt. No interpretation is required for understanding, no practice for using, no time for studying, but the Spirit of Truth blowing where He wills, the languages peculiar to each nation become common property in the mouth of the Church.

And therefore from that day the trumpet of the Gospel-preaching has sounded loud: from that day the showers of gracious gifts, the rivers of blessings, have watered every desert and all the dry land, since to renew the face of the earth the Spirit of God "moved over the waters," and to drive away the old darkness flashes of new light shone forth, when by the blaze of those busy tongues was kindled the Lord's bright Word and fervent eloquence, in which to arouse the understanding, and to consume sin there lay both a capacity of enlightenment and a power of burning.


The three Persons in the Trinity are perfectly equal in all things. But although, dearly-beloved, the actual form of the thing done was exceeding wonderful, and undoubtedly in that exultant chorus of all human languages the Majesty of the Holy Spirit was present, yet no one must think that His Divine substance appeared in what was seen with bodily eyes. For His Nature, which is invisible and shared in common with the Father and the Son, showed the character of His gift and work by the outward sign that pleased Him, but kept His essential property within His own Godhead: because human sight can no more perceive the Holy Ghost than it can the Father or the Son. For in the Divine Trinity nothing is unlike or unequal, and all that can be thought concerning Its substance admits of no diversity either in power or glory or eternity. And while in the property of each Person the Father is one, the Son is another, and the Holy Ghost is another, yet the Godhead is not distinct and different; for whilst the Son is the Only begotten of the Father, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Son, not in the way that every creature is the creature of the Father and the Son, but as living and having power with Both, and eternally subsisting of That Which is the Father and the Son.

And hence when the Lord before the day of His Passion promised the coming of the Holy Spirit to His disciples, He said, "I have yet many things to say to you, but ye cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth shall have come, He shall guide you into all the Truth. For He shall not speak from Himself, but whatsoever He shall have heard, He shall speak and shall announce things to come unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I that He shall take of Mine, and shall announce it to you." Accordingly, there are not some things that are the Father's, and other the Son's, and other the Holy Spirit's: but all things whatsoever the Father has, the Son also has, and the Holy Spirit also has: nor was there ever a time when this communion did not exist, because with Them to have all things is to always exist. In them let no times, no grades, no differences be imagined, and, if no one can explain that which is true concerning God, let no one dare to assert what is not true. For it is more excusable not to make a full statement concerning His ineffable Nature than to frame an actually wrong definition.

And so whatever loyal hearts can conceive of the Father's eternal and unchangeable Glory, let them at the same time understand it of the Son and of the Holy Ghost without any separation or difference. For we confess this blessed Trinity to be One God for this reason, because in these three Persons there is no diversity either of substance, or of power, or of will, or of operation.


The Macedonian heresy is as blasphemous as the Arian. As therefore we abhor the Arians, who maintain a difference between the Father and the Son, so also we abhor the Macedonians, who, although they ascribe equality to the Father and the Son, yet think the Holy Ghost to be of a lower nature, not considering that they thus fall into that blasphemy, which is not to be forgiven either in the present age or in the judgment to come, as the Lord says: "whosoever shall have spoken a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him, but he that shall have spoken against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him either in this age or in the age to come." And so to persist in this impiety is unpardonable, because it cuts him off from Him, by Whom he could confess: nor will he ever attain to healing pardon, who has no Advocate to plead for him. For from Him comes the invocation of the Father, from Him come the tears of penitents, from Him come the groans of suppliants, and "no one can call Jesus the Lord save in the Holy Ghost," Whose Omnipotence as equal and Whose Godhead as one, with the Father and the Son, the Apostle most clearly proclaims, saying, "there are divisions of graces but the same Spirit; and the divisions of ministrations but the same Lord; and there are divisions of operations but the same God, Who worketh all things in all."


The Spirit's work is still continued in the Church. By these and other numberless proofs, dearly-beloved, with which the authority of the Divine utterances is ablaze, let us with one mind be incited to pay reverence to Whitsuntide, exulting in honour of the Holy Ghost, through Whom the whole catholic Church is sanctified, and every rational soul quickened; Who is the Inspirer of the Faith, the Teacher of Knowledge, the Fount of Love, the Seal of Chastity, and the Cause of all Power. Let the minds of the faithful rejoice, that throughout the world One God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is praised by the confession of all tongues, and that that sign of His Presence, which appeared in the likeness of fire, is still perpetuated in His work and gift. For the Spirit of Truth Himself makes the house of His glory shine with the brightness of His light, and will have nothing dark nor lukewarm in His temple.

And it is through His aid and teaching also that the purification of fasts and alms has been established among us. For this venerable day is followed by a most wholesome practice, which all the saints have ever found most profitable to them, and to the diligent observance of which we exhort you with a shepherd's care, to the end that if any blemish has been contracted in the days just passed through heedless negligence, it may be atoned for by the discipline of fasting and corrected by pious devotion.

On Wednesday and Friday, therefore, let us fast, and on Saturday for this very purpose keep vigil with accustomed devotion, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.


1 posted on 05/09/2008 7:46:25 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: All
Pentecost - Duccio di Buoninsegna (1308) Tempera on wood
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

Spiritus Dómini replévit orbem terrárum, et hoc quod continet ómnia sciéntiam habet vocis, Alleluia.

The Spirit of the Lord fills the whole world, and holds all things together and knows every word spoken by man, Alleluia.

2 posted on 05/09/2008 7:47:22 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

3 posted on 05/09/2008 7:49:44 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

The Holy Spirit still guides the Church (and us) today!

4 posted on 05/09/2008 7:53:59 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

Clip courtesy of This rendition of 'Sequentia: Veni, Sancte Spiritus' from the Missa in Die Pentecostes is performed by Choralschola im Auftrag Dusseldorf.

English Text

Come, Holy Spirit, and send down from heaven the ray of your light.
Come, father of the poor, come, giver of gifts, come, light of our hearts.
Best consoler, sweet host of the soul, sweet refresher.
Rest in work, shade in heat, comfort when in tears.
O blessed light, fill the innermost hearts of your faithful.
Without you nothing is in man, nothing innocent.
Wash what is soiled, water what is arid, heal what is wounded.
Bend what is rigid, warm what is frigid, straighten what is crooked.
Grant to your faithful who trust in you, your sevenfold holy gift:
The reward of virtue, final salvation, eternal joy.
Amen, alleluia.

Latin Text

Veni Sancte Spiritus, et emitte caelitus, lucis tuae radium.
Veni Pater pauperum, veni dator munerum, veni, lumen cordium.
Consolator optime, dulcis hospes animae, dulce refrigerium.
In labore requies, in aestu temperies, in fletu solacium.
O lux beatissima, reple cordis intima, tuorum fidelium.
Sine tuo numine, nihil est in homine, nihil est innoxium.
Lava quod est sordidum, riga quod est aridum, sana quod est saucium.
Flecte quod est rigidum, fove quod est frigidum, rege quod est devium.
Da tuis fidelibus, in te confidentibus, sacrum septenarium.
Da virtutis meritum, da salutis exitum, da perenne gaudium.
Amen, alleluia.

5 posted on 05/09/2008 8:00:24 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Vigil of the Pentecost and Whitsunday


Father Cantalamessa on Pentecost - Pontifical Household Preacher on Sunday's Readings

The Ever-Present Pentecost

The Advocate vs. The Accuser (Fr. Euteneuer Column)

Always be followed by your conscience (Rainbow Sashers get ready for Pentecost Sunday)

Pentecost worries Vatican [Pentecostals in the Philippines]

Prayer and Meditation: Pentecost

Pentecost Anticipation: The Catholic Charismatic Renewal and Me

Paul's Teaching on the Holy Spirit

Today's Pentecost! Come, Holy Spirit!

Breath of the Savior

Pentecost: The Descent of the Holy Spirit

PENTECOST - Rite of Kneeling



6 posted on 05/09/2008 8:04:23 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit [Devotional]

Novena to the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit]

The Holy Spirit: Pentecost

The Church's First Novena

Litany of the Holy Spirit for the election of a holy pope.

EWTN- Global Catholic Network

7 posted on 05/09/2008 8:06:11 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Wisdom - Understanding - Counsel
Fortitude - Knowledge - Piety
Fear of the Lord

"There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. " (Isaiah 11:1-3)

The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit (CCC §1830)


8 posted on 05/10/2008 6:03:50 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Charity - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness
Generosity - Gentleness - Faithfulness - Modesty - Self-control - Chastity


The Catechism tells us that "the fruits of the Spirit are prefections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory" (§1832).

9 posted on 05/10/2008 6:05:09 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Charismatic gifts

Prophecy    |     Deliverance    |    Tongues    |    Teaching
Healing - Miracles  
|    Discernment
|    Messages


Besides the seven gifts found to perfection in Christ and which everyone who is baptised possesses in different degree for his own sanctification, there are also spiritual gifts for the edification and sanctification of the whole Church.

These gifts are received for the purpose of helping others, they are supernatural gifts that help the faith of those who are benefited by them, usually not the person who receives them but the person or persons affected by them.

For example Prophecy is the highest of these gifts, it has the power to convince others that what is being said is truly the Word of God, it is not so much prophesying coming events, but expanding the Holy Scriptures with Wisdom that touches the heart of those who listen.

The gifts of healing and miracles, are a response of God to the prayers of intercession and while they heal one person, others become convinced that the Lord is truly there in the prayer group, and encourages to pray for healing.

These gifts can be received when a person receives the experience of the Baptism of the Spirit; an experience which is not another baptism, but a very strong physical and spiritual confirmation of the Holy Spirit. The person must be a very strong believer of the Words of Christ and must have repented of his sins with true sorrow and contrition.

Normally this experience is received through the laying of the hands by one who has received the Holy Spirit anointing, we are supposed to receive this experience in the Sacrament of Confirmation, but that is not normally the case. The anointed person lays hands on a person who is repenting of his sins and surrendering himself of herself to the action of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit responds to the purity of intention of the ones involved. It is common to see people responding with tears in their eyes, feelings of joy, speaking in tongues and being slain in the Spirit.

Those who receive this experience of the Holy Spirit become thirsty for God. They continue to attend prayer meetings, where they begin to get involved in preaching the gospel, praying over the sick and committing themselves to the Work of God.

The Spiritual gifts were present in the early Church as we learn from St. Paul [Romans 12:4-13] and then have manifested at other times to the saints and to those who seek God.

Nowadays, we are experiencing an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old Testament. [Joel 2:28]


To prophecy means to speak in the name of the Lord, in other words it means to speak God's Word to others, namely the Gospel. Every one who is baptised is called to be a witness of Christ by word and action. John Paul II is the prophet of our times, He speaks the Word of God in all his encyclicals the same as all the other popes.

Bishops and priests also receive this gift, although not all of them open themselves to the influence of the Holy Spirit, since when speaking in prophecy one is the instrument of God, but some actually having the opportunity to prophesy become obstacles of the message of God.

As a gift from the Holy Spirit, prophecy is given as a message of the Lord for His people. The person receives an interior locution, a very strong desire to say what is given to Him and the words just come [Jeremiah 20:9].

There is nothing to be revealed since all revelation has been given to us through the Holy Scriptures, so prophecy is a sign from God that He is present in the prayer group or the Church assembly.

Most prophecy is heard in Charismatic groups, since many other groups and apostolates in the Church reject the approach of the Charismatic movement.

However not all Charismatic groups are totally acceptable since some tend to deviate from the teachings of the Church, and neglect the Sacraments, specially Confession before the priest, some others neglect the attention that is due to Mary the Mother of God, therefore they dedicate themselves to the study of the Holy Scriptures and in a way they become very much like Pentecostals.

We must remember that the first Christian and Charismatic was Our Lady, because She was totally anointed with the Holy Spirit, in such a way that She bore in her womb the Incarnate Word of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, She spent thirty years of the private life of Jesus in His company and She went all the way to the holy mountain of Calvary to offer her Isaac to the Lord in sacrifice.She offered the true lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world; and that, makes Her the mother of our faith. If we can not find place for Our Lady in Charismatic prayer meetings, then we are not dealing there with the Holy Spirit.

So future Charismatics: Beware ! - Remember, the Holy Spirit is found where Mary is found. If they don't pray the Rosary in your Charismatic prayer group, be sure of suggesting how important it is to be in the company of Our Lady like the Apostles on the day of Pentecost.


In my name they will cast out devils, they will speak in tongues ..etc [Mark 16:17], these are signs that accompany the believers.

People do not believe in evil spirits any more, they laugh about the idea of the devil, they accept the evil in the world and they don't reject it. So in a way to be able to deliver evil spirits one must believe that they exist, and one must have a very strong conviction in the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Unless you believe that the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and unless you are in a state of Grace, do not dare to rebuke evil spirits from another person, in fact if you try, you will end up having a terrible experience if the person is really possessed. Officially the Church only grants permission to exorcise to certain gifted priests.

According to the Words of Christ, we must truly believe to be able to receive that power of God to cast out devils, to heal, to perform miracles etc [Mark 16:17-20]. We must believe in the Holy Spirit as the Creed says: I believe in the Holy Spirit, that means I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, I believe that I am a temple of the Holy Spirit and that I have been commissioned to bring the Presence of God to others.

Evil Spirits will leave at the command of one who is anointed with the Holy Spirit. There will be signs to confirm that the success of the exorcism has taken place.

10 posted on 05/10/2008 6:06:11 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All


On the day of Pentecost, the apostles received the gift of tongues, they were able to speak to peoples of different nationalities who would understand them in their own languages.

However this gift does not only refer to languages that can be interpreted by others only, St. Paul says that if someone speaks in tongues there should be another person who would interpret what he is saying for the benefit of the whole group. There are also tongues of praise and adoration, which are the most common. These are very beneficial for the soul. They are as the language to express communication only between the soul and God [1 Corinthians 14:2] St. Paul recommends that once we receive the gift of tongues one should strive to possess the gift of Prophecy because tongues build the individual while Prophecy builds the whole Church. He says do not forbid speaking in tongues [1 Corinthians 14:39].

We don't know how to pray and we need the help of the Spirit, so He makes His presence to us in sighs, moans, tongues or any other manifestation that expresses our deepest feelings of love for God [Romans 8:26]

Many healings take place at the moment of laying hands on the persons being prayed over, specially when tongues are being said [Acts 19:6]. There is mystery in this gift, since only God knows the language of the Spirit. Visions are also reported to be seen when the Lord is being praised in tongues.

Those who do not have this gift may laugh or criticise those who have it, let me assure you that this is very real [Isaiah 28:10-11]. When I received it I was in tears every time that I used it, as a result I praise the Lord in tongues every day.

I want to relate to you my personal experience with this gift. I prayed over my seven year old daughter who was asking me about this gift and who genuinely desired to praise the Lord in tongues, while I was driving my car with one hand I layed hands on her with the other, a few minutes later She was praising God in tongues, and She was crying saying to me I don't know why I am crying, but I am certainly speaking in tongues.

However we must be cautious even with this gift, since some people possessed by an evil spirit may speak also in tongues and can deceive others. So instead of praising they might be cursing God. We must therefore pray always for discernment.


This is a very useful gift that permits people to expand the Holy Scriptures and to transmit the true teachings of the Church. This is not just confined to priests or religious, everyone is supposed to be a witness of the truth.

Apologetics do a very good job putting together parts of the Bible combined with the teachings of the Church to explain certain Topics of fidelity to the Catholic Church.

Teaching can be the passing of acquired knowledge or it can be also the gift of expressing the supernatural in natural words, namely the preaching of the Majesty and Glory of God, the mysteries of His Creation, the exaltation of the Son of God, and all the beautiful teachings about Our Lady.

By the teachings of Wisdom, great mysteries can be expanded. The mystery of the Holy Trinity for example would be appreciated more when learned from someone who is anointed with this gift. There are no human words to explain mysteries, because that is what they are, but they can be put in words that will touch the soul and somehow the Holy  Spirit will make up for what is lacking in meaning.

Healing - Miracles

Healing takes place when we have a change of heart and repent, when we pray to the Lord and ask for His Mercy. The Lord is our healer [Exodus 15:26].

Healing can only take place after repentance and forgiveness. That is the obstacle of many who are seeking to be healed, the reason is that they may still have some resentment against someone, against themselves or against God.

The Lord heals first the soul, then the body [Matthew 9:2-6] as we recall in the healing of the paralytic.

When we refer to the gift of healing we speak of people who have the gift of praying for the healing of others and the response of the Lord by healing them.

Those who are engaged in this kind of intercessory prayer, must pray fervently that the Lord will forgive the sins of the sick person. If you can bring a person to repentance of his sins, then there is a great possibility of healing.

We must be proclaimers of repentance, unafraid of criticism. We must advise people to go to confession when they sin or at least once a month, so that we don't lose the sense of sin.

As we pray for another, we must bring that person before the Lord in humility and contrition which are the doors to His Presence, we must ask the person to live the prayers, we must confess our sins to the Lord and ask for His forgiveness. We must forgive everyone in our lives, even those that we don't remember. We must thank God the Father for the gift of His Son, whom we confess to be Our Lord, God and Saviour. We pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ His Son. We must pray that the Precious Blood of Jesus will deliver the person from all evil spirits. We must ask through the merits of the sufferings, agony and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ and by the power of His holy wounds. We should always seek the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and ask through the merits of her most holy tears.

The person being prayed over, must renounce satan, the world and all those things that lead to sin. All these prayers are submitted to the Holy Will of God and depend on His Will, not our wills. At the end of the prayers, we must thank God again for answering our prayer, we must believe that the Lord is granting us our request because trust in Him is the vessel of His Mercy. We conclude our prayers with praise and adoration.

After the prayers, we must present these petitions to the Lord as we receive Him in the Holy Eucharist and ask Him to cover them with His Precious Blood.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is truly present with us, specially as we proclaim His Word [Mark 16:20].

Many miracles have taken place in our humble ministry following this preceding prayers. Thanks be to God!


By this gift, we receive a feeling inside that tells us wether things are right or wrong. It is very useful when we have to pray for someone, because somehow we receive a special light to guide us in prayer.

Discernment is also very useful when we deal with someone for the first time, or when we listen to a prophecy. There are many voices in the world, we must know which ones we must avoid. We must pray daily for this gift because the devil is the father of lies and he is always trying to find ways to deceive us.

We are bombarded continuously with heresies, blasphemies, lies, false stories and distracting words.

As disciples of Jesus, we must listen only to one voice, His Word. Solomon prayed for Wisdom, and great discernment was given to Him [1 Kings 4:29-30]. Likewise we must pray that God who is Wisdom will fill us abundantly.


Very common during this century is the occurrence of Apparitions of heavenly beings, such as angels, saints, Our Lady and Our Lord.

Throughout the centuries, Our Lord and Our Lady have appeared mainly to the saints in order to pass very important messages or doctrines, such us the doctrine of the Sacred Heart revealed to Sr. Margaret Mary Alacoque and the Divine Mercy revealed to Sr. Faustina. Our Lady in the main apparitions such as Lourdes revealed that She was the Immaculate Conception and in Fatima She said that She is Our Lady of the Rosary and that Jesus wants us to have devotions to Her Immaculate Heart.

The Lord prophesied through , [Joel 2:28] And it shall come to pass after this, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy: your
old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.

In the Spirit of Elijah, these apparitions are taking place in order to bring people to repentance, to show them the reality of God Who is denied and blasphemed. The Lord in His great Mercy does not want to condemn us but He sends His mother or comes Himself to warn us.

Commonly angels precede the apparitions of Our Lord or Our Lady in order to prepare the visionaries for those great encounters.

This phenomenon has multiplied in this last century, the main theme of the messages is that people must return to God, that they must amend their ways and come to the Sacraments.

Our Lady has been requesting that we pray the Holy Rosary, because this great prayer is a miniature presentation of the main teachings of the New Testament, where we learn to know and love Jesus throughout His life, passion, agony, death, resurrection and Glory.

We are given these devotions to Our Lady in order to also come to know Her Who is our  Queen and our Mother, our great Advocate before the Lord; then we can humbly come to Jesus through Her.

As Catholics we have the choice of believing or rejecting these apparitions especially before they are approved by the Church. After approval, we are invited to learn from this heavenly experiences in order to benefit our souls. However the Church teachings are not based on apparitions but on the direct teachings of the Holy Scriptures and the traditions handed out to us through the centuries.


We must be careful regarding messages and apparitions, since the devil is also at work trying to deceive and destroy.

For messages to be authentic, we must make certain that they don't contain anything contrary to the teachings of the Church. The safest way to discern is to accept those messages which have received the imprimatur or approval of the Church.

We don't sin if we accept apparitions and messages which are not approved officially by the Church but we may fall into disobedience by promoting them.

There are three marks pertaining to good Catholics, they are :

  • Love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.

  • Love for Our Lady . Devotions of the Holy Rosary.

  • Love for Holy Father and acceptance of the official teachings of the Magisterium of the Church.

Any messages and apparitions must conform with these points in order to prove their authenticity and loyalty. Obedience and humility must support them as well. No desire for money or fame must be involved, since that would prove hidden false motives.

Besides the messages received directly in apparitions, there are also messages received in the Spirit of Prophecy, such as dictations or interior locutions. There are also many visions given to those who are seeking the Way, the Truth and the Life, they are all part of the training that God is giving to His people in these times of His great Mercy.

Other phenomenon associated with apparitions and messages is the stigmata, which is given to special victim souls who have the privilege of carrying in their bodies the marks of the passion of Our Lord. [Galatians 6:17] . By sharing in the sufferings of Our Lord many sins are atoned, victims souls contribute with their suffering in the purification of others and they are great intercessors before the Lord.

11 posted on 05/10/2008 6:10:46 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Vultus Christi



A Pentecost Meditation

Today the Spirit of the Lord has invaded the cosmos and filled it!
Life spills out of the Cenacle
and, like a torrent of wine,
courses through the streets of Jerusalem.
God arises and His enemies are scattered;
those that hate Him flee before his face,
and those that love Him sing: Alleluia!

Today He who came down to see Babel’s tower
and confused the speech of the proud
visits the Upper Room.
He unties the tongues of the humble
and unites into one holy people those long divided by sin.
Amazed at what she sees and hears,
the Church intones her birthday song: Alleluia!

Today He who on Sinai descended in fire,
causing rocks to quake and peaks to pale,
descends upon Jerusalem;
tongues of fire dance over the heads of those
who, cloistered in the Cenacle, waited to meet their God
and at His coming, they cry out: Alleluia.

Today the valley of dry bones
begins to stir, to rattle, and to reverberate.
Behold, I will cause the Spirit to enter you,
and you shall live:
and they lived and stood upon their feet,
an exceeding great host
singing: Alleluia!

Today the Cenacle sealed like tomb
opens, a joyful Mother’s fruitful womb.
None was ever born of the Spirit
who did not take his birth from her,
and each, claiming from her the springs of his life,
calls her forever glorious, repeating: Alleluia!

Today the Spirit is poured out in superabundance;
today sons and daughters prophesy;
today old men dream dreams and young men see visions;
today menservants and maidservants
join the choir to chant with one many-tongued voice: Alleluia!

Today the Virgin whom the Spirit covered with His shadow
is wrapped in Love and crowned in flame.
Today the Woman who interceded at Cana
tastes New Wine, for the Hour has come.
Today the Mother who stood watching by the Tree
remembers the stream of water and of blood
and filled with sweetness, cries: Alleluia!
Today the Spirit helps us in our weakness
and we who do not know to pray as we ought,
pray in a way that is wonderful and new;
for now the Spirit Himself intercedes for us
with sighs too deep for words.
In the valley of the shadow of death
there rises the canticle of life: Alleluia!

Today, for the poor there is a Father,
for the destitute a Treasury,
for hearts grown dark an inblazing of brightness.
Today, for those who weep there comes the Best of Comforters,
for the lonely, there arrives a gentle Guest,
for the worn and weary there is a refreshment so sweet
that even they begin to sing: Alleluia!

Today, for workers there is repose,
for those scorched in the heat of discord, refreshment,
for those brought low by too great a weight of sorrow, solace,
and for those with tears to shed,
a chalice ready to receive them.
Today there is no one who cannot say: Alleluia!

Today, even where there is nothing good
Goodness elects to dwell;
and where there is nothing holy
Holiness makes a tabernacle,
so that the broken, the sad, and the powerless
find their voices to sing: Alleluia!

Today, there is a balm for every wound,
a dew sprinkled over every dryness;
a cleansing water for every stain.
Today, the stubborn heart learns to bend
and the stiff spine learns to bow.
In the twinkling of an eye the frozen are thawed
and icy hearts warmed through and through,
making them declare as never before: Alleluia!

Today there are Seven Gifts
lavishly given for each according to his need:
Wisdom for the foolish,
Understanding for the dull,
Counsel for the hesitant,
Fortitude for the weak,
Piety for the feckless,
and Fear of the Lord for those who have forgotten to adore,
saying humbly: Alleluia

Today for sinners there is forgiveness,
for the stranger a home,
for the hungry a Holy Table,
for the thirsty a river of living water,
and for every mouth the long-awaited Kiss.
Today heaven is poured over the face of the earth,
while the children of men in amazement sing: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

I have another meditation for Pentecost here.

12 posted on 05/31/2009 3:13:57 PM PDT by Salvation ( With God all things are possible.)
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