“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” – Acts 1-4
For many years while on my spiritual journey, I have prayed, recited the Rosary, attended Mass and Eucharistic Adoration, read the bible and assorted Catholic books, watched all sorts of Catholic related shows and documentaries, and delved headlong into all kinds of online Catholic forums. Yet, in all of my faith-related activities, I noticed that I really did not know much about our Lord our God, the Holy Spirit.
I know I have come across the Holy Spirit in all of the faith-related activities I have been involved in, but I never took the time to understand the Holy Spirit, meditate on the Holy Spirit, pray to our God the Holy Spirit.
It was not that I consciously ‘ignored’ the Holy Spirit, rather I simply skimmed over Him. I never heard much about Him. Many times in church sermons He was glossed over. In much of the Catholic reading material I had access to, there were small sections on the Holy Spirit, but not any in-depth writings. Perhaps I was simply filtering Him out since I knew very little of Him and my lack of understanding of Him made efforts to learn more about Him seem like ‘work’.
Then one day, while in prayer, I felt a call. For some reason, I started to meditate and think about the Holy Spirit. It was not like the clouds parted with an explosion of light and trumpets sounded. It was more like a gentle invitation. Like noticing a small store on main street that you have passed many times but have never bothered to enter. One day a small display just seems to catch your eye…and you slowly open the door and apprehensively walk in wondering if the store owner has watched you bypass his store over the years through the display window and yet he greets you with smile and great respect.
I immediately made a conscious effort to learn more about the Holy Spirit and His gifts. I started to pay more attention anytime I came across the mention of the Holy Spirit. I started to pray to the Holy Spirit and meditate on Him. I read as much as I could about Him. I was amazed. How can I have neglected my Lord My God the Holy Spirit who offers so much to us? His gifts to us: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord, are beautiful and offer so much to our Catholic faith.
I am still on my journey to know the Holy Spirit more fully. While on my journey I came across two excellent books that have helped me immensely and I would like to share them with you.
The first one is The Paraclete – A Manual of Instruction and Devotion by Father Marianus Fiege, O.M.C.A.P. Originally published in 1899, it has withstood the test of time and is full of prayers, devotions, litanies, and explanations expounding on the Holy Spirit. I read one morsel at a time whenever I went to Eucharistic Adoration. There isn’t one aspect of the Holy Spirit that Father Fiege failed to address.
The second book that I would like to share with you is The Sanctifier – The Classic work on the Holy Spirit by Archbishop Luis M. Martinez (unabridged). Originally translated into English in 1957, the text reads like one continuous meditation. It is deeply moving, putting into words what is almost impossible to describe. Both poetic and enlightening, it truly allows one to be touched deeply by the ‘Finger of God’.
I encourage you to pick up a copy of both books. You will not be disappointed. I also encourage you to read them in a prayerful manner; slowly savoring every word that you read.
Copyright 2017, Luciano Corbo