Come, Holy Spirit!

God, Blessed Trinity, is always and ever Mystery, but I believe that the Holy Spirit is the most enigmatic of the three Persons. We have each experienced the human relationships of father/mother and son/daughter; not so much, spirit. Even harder to relate to than a spirit was the Third Person of the Trinity introduced to me as the “Holy Ghost” when I was a child. Though my teachers were quick to point out that the Holy Ghost was not to be imagined as a Halloween goblin, this latter image was difficult to ignore.

As we celebrate the feast of Pentecost my thoughts turn again to this Mystery of God as Trinity, and the Person we have come to know as Holy Spirit. At a recent Mass I attended, the homilist developed the concept of the Holy Spirit as Advocate in a way that touched me, so I share it here. Just as a human advocate is one who supports another person, especially in the face of trial or difficulty, so the Spirit is our advocate when the enemy comes from either within or without.

When the words or actions of others are hurtful or demeaning we can call on our Advocate for healing. Even when the disparaging words of shame or blame are those we say to ourselves in our inmost heart, our loving Advocate counters with assurances of support and encouragement. The Spirit hastens to remind us of our worth as beloved daughters and sons of the Father to protect us from inner emotional pain and heartache.

“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and kindle in them the fire of thy love.” These opening words of the traditional prayer still soothe my soul when I reach out to my Advocate and beg to know the touch of God’s healing love. May the Spirit-Advocate bless us with the eternal warmth of unconditional love that God pours upon us.

Sister Virginia DeVinne