Are you facing a challenge or a difficult problem? The prayer to the Holy Spirit can help you handle it with grace. When Jesus told the apostles at the Last Supper that the Holy Spirit (pictured at left as He is often symbolized, as a dove) would instruct them in His Word and be their advocate and comforter, He meant for His Spirit to help us as well.
We can see right away how simply and elegantly the prayer to the Holy Spirit invokes His aid:
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful
And kindle in them the fire of Your love
V: Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created
R: And You shall renew the face of the earth
Let us Pray:
O God, Who instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, Grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen
The prayer to the Holy Spirit is also called Come Holy Spirit (or Come Holy Ghost, another name for the Holy Spirit) in some prayer books and websites. Its verse and response lines make this a wonderful addition to any set of group prayers. You can pray it alone as well.
The verse and response lines are taken from Psalm 104:30 (Psalm 103 in some older versions of the Bible) describing God’s sending forth His Spirit as He creates “all that is seen and unseen,” as we pray in the Nicene Creed.
(Keep in mind as always, to avoid confusion, that when we speak of God we are referring to Him in three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, acting as one.)
The reference to fire brings to mind the Holy Spirit’s essential role in the creation not only of the world, (“moving about the face of the waters,” from Genesis 1:2) but also of the Church as well! We read in the Acts of the Apostles how the Holy Spirit came as “tongues as of fire” (Acts 2:3) enlightening the disciples to spread God’s Word with power and love.
Fire is a particularly fitting image. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once noted that “fire has two great qualities: light and heat. Light is the symbol of truth. Heat is the symbol of love.”
When you’re “on fire” about something, aren’t you passionate about it? We are called to be that way in expressing our love for God’s truth in how we live and spread our Faith!
The prayer to the Holy Spirit has an intriguing variation, shown below:
Lord, by the light of the Holy Spirit You have taught the hearts of your faithful. In the same Spirit help us to relish what is right and always rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen
We see how being “truly wise” (as in the first example of the prayer to the Holy Spirit above) allows us to “relish what is right” (as in the second example)! It’s important in this regard for us to try to graspGod’s meaning of wisdom and righteousness, however.
As St. Paul put it “the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God” (1 Cor 3:19). Valuing power, prestige, and possessions above everything and everyone else, with little or no thoughts for God and His desires for us is indeed foolish. As our Lord said once, it is like building a house on a foundation of sand (Matt 7: 26). We can’t equate status with wisdom.
Do you know people who are very clever, full of worldly wisdom, and yet are duplicitous? You can’t really trust them but they’re “good at politics.” (You might think of these people in less than Christian language!) Perhaps you’ve been like that on occasion!
(And speaking of worldly wisdom, how often do some of our worldly desires wind up being mainly about gratifying our animal instincts? Should we be surprised then when we feel like we’re living in a “dog-eat-dog” world or in a “rat race”?)
We can look for God’s wisdom in several ways:
• By humbly listening to His Spirit in prayer,
• By studying scripture and our Church’s teachings and,
• By receiving His guidance in the sacraments of the Eucharist (at Mass) and of Penance (in Confession) to serve others and show them His love.
We see here from the two versions of this prayer to the Holy Spirit how being truly wise means relishing what God thinks is right, including “patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness [and] self-control,” as St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians (Gal 5:5).
The implication of this is quite beautiful: If you’re living in this world focused on Eternal Life with God in the next, and are sincerely seeking to do His will, in good times and bad, you will be blessed with the consolation of His great comforter: the Holy Spirit. May this prayer help bring you His support!
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