MAY 27, 2018 - "THE PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT"
As we celebrate PENTECOST, it is our pious custom to sing the prayer to the Holy Spirit. The words of the hymn are: “O Heavenly King and Comforter, Spirit of truth, Who art in all places and fillest all things, the treasure of blessings and giver of life, come and dwell in us. Cleanse us from all impurity, and save, O blessed One, our souls.”
Let us consider its meaning:
- O Heavenly King: We do not often think of the Holy Spirit as King, but He is the One who has come to reign over our hearts and souls. He has come to rule over our lives, to influence them, to inspire them, that we might live as our Lord has bid us.
- And Comforter: What a meaningful and beloved name this is! In all the difficulties of life in our sorrows, mourning, pain and illness, the Holy Spirit comes to comfort and strengthen us.
- Spirit of truth: There is so much that is false in life, so much twisting of the truth on earth. So we turn to Him, Who is truth itself, in Whom there is not even the shadow of falsehood.
- Who are in all places and fillest all things: No matter where we go in life, no matter to what deep recesses we may descend or heights we may ascend the Holy Spirit is already there.
- Treasure of blessings: He is the source of all that is good. People talk about certain places on earth as being “paradise.” There is no paradise in any material place; the blessed life is in our soul.
- Giver of life: All life comes from God, He is the source of life. He is in particular the source of spiritual life. At baptism, a new-born child is filled with the Holy Spirit.
- Come and dwell in us: St. Paul wrote, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are . . .” Jesus, too, spoke of this, saying “I will ask the Father and He will send you the Holy Spirit . . .you know Him for He dwells with you, and will be in you.”
- Cleanse us from all impurity: Remember the time the Lord breathed on the apostles and said: “Receive ye the Holy Spirit . . . whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven . . .and whose sins you retain, they are retained . . .” So it is through the Holy Sprit that we are cleansed from all that defies body and soul.
- And save, O Blessed One, our souls: Our Lord once asked, “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?” We ought to be concerned with our salvation. It is the Holy Spirit that does this by inspiring us to have the strength to persevere until all things have come to pass.