• Sarah Raad


Veni Sancte Spiritus!... Come, Holy Spirit!”

Worship the Holy Spirit (Lance Brown)

I have been praying very much over the last few days for my little baby niece, who was so sick last year. It was while praying for that child that the Holy Spirit came to me, He found this lost sheep, and – through Grace and no merit of my own – I fell in love with Him.

Over the last few days and weeks, as I have been reflecting on the season of Easter and following the Gospel and Mass readings during this time, the Holy Spirit has come to my attention so beautifully, that it could hardly be considered a coincidence.

After Christ rose from the dead, He brought with Him the Holy Spirit in a marvellous way. Christ’s purpose in coming back to Earth was to entrust His Church to the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit – like the wind which we feel and do not see – is at work in His Church. Saint John XXIII described the action of the Holy Spirit so beautifully when he said… "The saints are the masterpieces of the Holy Spirit."

Masterpieces! A beautiful, loving description… Imagine Masterpieces of God!

It was Christ’s Baptism in the Jordon that brought the Holy Spirit – God Himself – to the water. Thereafter, all Baptism would never again be of water, but rather it would be of water and THE SPIRIT.

Christ told Nicodemus, “‘I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God: what is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the Spirit is spirit…’” (John 3:4-6).

Those who have been baptised with water have the Holy Spirit at work inside them, which is why we are called Temples of the Holy Spirit after our Baptism. This was the ultimate message of Christ.

Christ came to call us. Christ came to call sinners.

But where does He call us to go and what does He call us to do?

In the time of Christ, people could pray and worship only in the Temple in Jerusalem.

So, in the time of Christ, what happened to the outcast, the lame, the lepers, the widows, the orphans, the poor? What happened to the sinners? What happened to the sick, the mad, the lonely, the socially awkward? What happened to those who were isolated from the broader community?

In the time of Christ, what happened to the Samaritan woman, who being a Samaritan and a woman was restricted from worshipping in the Temple? Where would she worship? What happened to the Canaanite woman? In the time of Christ, where would I – being of Lebanese and therefore of Canaanite descent – worship?

I often wonder if I were that Canaanite woman in the Bible, I would have been content with the scraps from the children’s table, or would my pride have got in the way? Would I have called out to God over and over and over, or would I have given up and walked away, insulted by His apparent indifference to me?

“‘First let the children have their fill,’ He said. ‘For it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’ Then Jesus told her, ‘Because of this answer, you may go. The demon has left your daughter.’” (Mark 7:27-29).

When Christ said that He came to call sinners, He meant that He came to call all of us, who are outcasts…

I am outcast through loneliness, you through addiction, our neighbour through grief, our friend through illness. We live in a world populated with outcasts and each of us thinks we are the only one. And yet, just as the Holy Trinity is a relationship - our God is a relationship - so too is our communion with God the action of a relationship. And relationships bring all of us together… It is the Spirit who brings these outcasts together through love. Saint Josemaría prayed to the Holy Spirit in a way that I wish to emulate…

“Make me burn with eagerness for You, make me follow You and love You. Resolution: to 'keep up', without interruption as far as I can, a loving and docile friendship and conversation with the Holy Spirit. Veni Sancte Spiritus!... Come, Holy Spirit!”

“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. Let us pray.”

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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