A Meditation for Pentecost
This Tiffany window of the Transfiguration is best seen
from inside. Even on cloudy days, it glows with inner light,
revealing glass folds in Christ’s robe.
From the Rev. Anne C. Seddon
Scripture: John 1 6:13-15
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
VENI SPIRITUS SANCTE. — COME, HOLY SPIRIT!
These words were emblazoned in large letters, in gold leaf above the altar in the chapel of my college dorm. I can still picture myself sitting alone in the dark, late at night, in the last pew as the light from the candle by the tabernacle caused these golden words to shine in the darkness.
Fifty years later, I was invited to speak at my class reunion about what from my college experience had (and continues to have) an influence on my career. I thought back through all the coursework, the dances and football games, and the all night talk-a-thons with friends. They each made a mark on my life, but the longer I thought the more I realized that the most significant and continuous impact on my career was made by sitting alone in that chapel late at night meditating on those three little words: VENI SPIRITUS SANCTE — Come, Holy Spirit; guide me to a life that is meaningful and fruitful.
And ‘Come’ he did! To guide and shape my life. First in a call to sacramental marriage to a man who would lead me ever closer to Jesus and then, eighteen years later, in a call to priesthood to share I leading his people ever closer to Jesus.
That is what Pentecost (and the living of our Christian lives) is all about —the coming of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us; to deepen our knowledge and love of him, the Father and the Son, our Savior Jesus Christ; to lead us into all truth and protect us from all error; to comfort us in times of need and struggle; to rejoice with us in times of joy; to strengthen us always to spread the good news of Christ.
Just as Jesus promised the Holy Spirit comes! Not only to the original disciples and the infant Church but to each of us individually and to our 21st century Church. Sometimes his voice gets drowned out by louder, more worldly voices. But if we, like the psalmist, will only “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:11), we will hear him once again and awaken to his guidance toward union with God.
I still start my morning prayers with the simple request: VENI SPIRITUS SANCTE — Come, Holy Spirit, fill me with your love and your truth that I may know your will for me this day.
After you read this meditation, ask yourself:
When I pray or study scripture do I invite the Holy Spirit to direct and guide me? Do I believe he will?
Say this closing prayer after you reflect on what the meditation means to you:
Come, Holy Spirit, fill us with your love. Melt us, mold us, fill us, use us. Spirit of the Living God fall afresh on us. Amen.
While celebrating eucharist for the Feast of Pentecost, the priest wears a red stole. From then until Advent, which is called “ordinary time”, the priest wears a green stole for most services. These are a few of the stoles worn at Christ Church.