Though the Pontiff's response was intended for the European community of nations, it can be applied in large measure to Americans. In the quotations given below, substitute 'USA' for 'Europe, and you will grasp the strength of his concerns, hopes, and dreams.
The question he asked in 2014, "Europe, what has become of you" was answered in last week's response. "I dream of a Europe that is young, still capable to being a mother: a mother who has life because she respects life and offers hope for life. I dream of a Europe that cares for children, that offers fraternal help to the poor and those newcomers seeking acceptance because they have lost everything."
"I dream of a Europe of families with truly effective policies concentrated on faces rather than numbers, on birth rates more than rates of consumption. I dream of a Europe that promotes and protects the rights of everyone without neglecting its duties toward all, of a Europe of which it will not be said that its commitment to human rights was its last utopia."
What do we need? A rebirth after years of world-wide conflict that rages on in Syria, the Middle East, and Africa.
What do we need? "A new European humanism" for the rebirth of a continent that cannot forsake her roots and her history. Indeed the Church "can and must contribute" to this process, he said: that is, men and women must witness to the Gospel and use its "pure water to irrigate the roots of Europe."
The Pope Speaks of Our Youth
The Pope stressed that all countries-the smallest and the greatest-have an active role to play in the creation of an integrated and reconciled society." He exhorted youth: 'you are not the future of our people but the present.' He posed some questions to those in attendance:
"How can we tell them that they are essential players in this rebirth when for so many there is widespread unemployment?"
"How can we avoid losing our youth who end up going elsewhere in search of their dreams and a sense of belonging because here in their own countries, we don't know how to offer them opportunities and values?"
Can the Spirit's outpouring transform us and our families? Can the Advocate's outpouring transform the community, the Body of Christ as it did the community at Pentecost? Yes, incrementally but with our cooperation.
Three Prayers for Pentecost
(Column continues below)
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Three prayers to the Holy Spirit stand out for their beauty, majesty and vitality. They form an integral part of the Church, East and West. In Eastern Christianity, the following prayer is chanted on Pentecost and at other times during the year: "Heavenly King, Consoler, the Spirit of Truth, present in all places and filling all things, the Treasury of Blessings and the Giver of Life, come and dwell in us, cleanse us of all stain and save our souls, O Good One!"
Veni Sancte Spiritus, known as the Golden Sequence, is the sequence for the Mass for Pentecost of the Roman Rite. It is commonly regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of sacred Latin poetry ever written. Praised by many for its beauty and depth, the hymn has been finally attributed to Stephen Langton (d 1228), Archbishop of Canterbury.
VENI, Sancte Spiritus,
et emitte caelitus
lucis tuae radium. COME, Holy Ghost,
send down those beams,
which sweetly flow in silent streams
from Thy bright throne above.
Veni, pater pauperum,
veni, dator munerum
veni, lumen cordium. O come, Thou Father of the poor;
O come, Thou source of all our store,
come, fill our hearts with love.
dulcis hospes animae,
dulce refrigerium. O Thou, of comforters the best,
O Thou, the soul's delightful guest,
the pilgrim's sweet relief.
In labore requies,
in aestu temperies
in fletu solatium. Rest art Thou in our toil, most sweet
refreshment in the noonday heat;
and solace in our grief.