Come, O Holy Spirit! Enlighten my understanding in order that I may know your commands; strengthen my heart against the snares of the enemy; enkindle my will. I have heard your voice, and I do not want to harden my heart and resist, saying, "Later . . . tomorrow." Nunc coepi! Right now! Lest there be no tomorrow for me.
O Spirit of truth and of wisdom, Spirit of understanding and of counsel, Spirit of joy and of peace! I want what you want, because you want it, as you want it, when you want it.
The Church: the body of Christ, enlivened by the Holy Spirit
Let me tell you about an event of my own personal life, that happened many years ago. One day I was with a friend of mine, a man who had a good heart but who did not have faith. Pointing toward a globe, he said, "Look, from North to South, from East to West." "What do you want me to look at?" I asked. His answer was: "The failure of Christ. For twenty centuries people have been trying to bring his doctrine to men's lives, and look at the result." I was filled with sadness. It is painful to realize that many people still don't know our Lord, and that, among those who do know him, many live as though they did not. But that feeling lasted only a moment. It was shortly overcome by love and thankfulness, because Jesus has wanted every man to cooperate freely in the work of redemption. He has not failed. His doctrine and life have been effective in the world at all times. The redemption carried out by him is sufficient, and more than sufficient. God does not want slaves, but children. He respects our freedom. The work of salvation is still going on, and each one of us has a part in it. It is Christ's will, St. Paul tells us in impressive words, that we should fulfill-in our flesh, in our life-that which is lacking in his Passion, "for the good of his body, which is the Church."11
It is worthwhile to put our lives on the line, to give ourselves completely, so as to answer to the love and the confidence that God has placed in us. It is worthwhile, above all, to decide to take our Christian life seriously. When we recite the Creed, we state that we believe in God the Father Almighty, in his Son Jesus Christ, who died and rose again, and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life. We affirm that the Church-one, holy, catholic, and apostolic-is the body of Christ, enlivened by the Holy Spirit. We rejoice in the forgiveness of sins and in the hope of our own resurrection. But do those words penetrate to the depths of our own heart? Or do they remain only on our lips? The divine message of victory, the joy and the peace of Pentecost, should be the unshakable foundation for every Christian's way of thinking and acting and living.
Holy and divine Spirit! Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, your spouse, bring the fullness of your gifts into our hearts. Comforted and strengthened by you, may we live according to your will and may we die praising your infinite mercy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.