“‘And my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him’ (John 14:23). My friends, consider the greatness of this solemn feast that commemorates God’s coming as a guest into our hearts! If some wealthy, influential friend was coming to your house, you would quickly put everything in order for fear something there might offend your friend’s eyes when he entered. Let all of us then who are preparing our inner dwellings for God cleanse them of anything our wrongdoing has brought into them.”
Today is the glorious solemnity of the Pentecost. Benedict XVI preached that with Pentecost we “reached the 50th day, it marks the fulfilment of the event of the passover, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus through the gift of the Spirit of the Risen One. In the past few days the Church has prepared us for Pentecost with her prayer, with her repeated and intense invocation to God to obtain a fresh outpouring upon us of the Holy Spirit. The Church has thus relived all that happened at her origins, when the Apostles gathered in the Upper Room of Jerusalem ‘with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with his brethren’ (Acts 1:14).”
Today we celebrate the birth of the Church with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Blessed 12, the Blessed Mother Mary, the many disciples, indeed, the whole Church.
What is meant by the Holy Spirit? The Pontiff said, “The Holy Spirit is Creator, he is at the same time the Spirit of Jesus Christ, but in such a way that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one God.”
How does the Spirit personally affect me? The Pontiff said: “The breath of God is life. Now, the Lord breathes into our soul the new breath of life, the Holy Spirit, his most intimate essence, and in this way welcomes us into God’s family. With Baptism and Confirmation this gift was given to us specifically, and with the sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance it is continuously repeated: the Lord breathes a breath of life into our soul. All the sacraments, each in its own way, communicate divine life to human beings, thanks to the Holy Spirit who works within them.”
Our prayer today, then, is to beg the Holy Spirit to bestow upon us the Seven-fold gifts and the Twelve-fold fruits for our sanctification and for the building up of the Mystical Body of Christ on earth.
Veni sancta Spiritus. Veni per Mariam.
Perhaps this poem by Geoffrey Hill speaks to the feeling of this solemn feast day:
. . . Or say it is Pentecost: the hawthorn-tree,
set with coagulate magnified flowers of may,
blooms in a haze of light; old chalk-pits brim
with seminal verdue from the roots of time.
Landscape is like revelation; it is both
singular crystal and the remotest things.
Cloud-shadows of seasons revisit the earth,
odourless myrrh bourne by the wandering kings . . .
Beginning today, we need to make the petition to the Holy Spirit through a Novena asking that the Holy Spirit to bestow onus His seven gifts and the twelve fruits. The seven gifts of the Spirit: “wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David” (Catechism, 1831).
And, “The  fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: ‘charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity’” (Catechism, 1832).
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body, to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring his opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hearth.” Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples.
Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in our lives the work of Your grace and love.
Grant us the Spirit of Fear Of The Lord that we may be filled with a loving reverence toward You.
the Spirit of Piety that we may find peace and fulfillment in the service of God while serving others;
the Spirit of Fortitude that we may bear our cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with our salvation;
the Spirit of Knowledge that we may know You and know ourselves and grow in holiness;
the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten our minds with the light of Your truth;
the Spirit of Counsel that we may choose the surest way of doing Your will, seeking first the Kingdom;
Grant us the Spirit of Wisdom that we may aspire to the things that last forever; Teach us to be Your faithful disciples and animate us in every way with Your Spirit. Amen.