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Descent of the Holy Spirit | by Lawrence OP
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Descent of the Holy Spirit

"Fifty days after Easter we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost, in which we recall the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit, who as wind and as fire descended upon the Apostles gathered together in the Upper Room, and enabled them to preach the Gospel to all nations with courage (cf. Acts 2: 1-13). The mystery of Pentecost, which we rightly identify with the event of the Church's true "baptism", is not, however, exhausted by this. The Church in fact lives constantly from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, without which she would exhaust her own strength, like a sailboat without the wind...

 

But the Church knows countless "pentecosts" that vivify the local communities. Let us think of the liturgies, particularly those experienced in special moments of the community's life, in which the power of God is perceived in an evident way, infusing joy and enthusiasm in hearts. We may think of many other prayer gatherings in which young people clearly feel the call of God to root their lives in his love, even consecrating themselves entirely to him.

 

Thus there is no Church without Pentecost. And I would like to add that there is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary. This is how it was at the beginning, in the Upper Room, where the disciples "with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with his brethren", as the Acts of the Apostles says (1: 14). And this is how it always is, in every place and in every time".

 

- Pope Benedict XVI.

 

Today is Pentecost Sunday, and this embroidered banner is in the Dominican sisters' convent at Stone in Staffordshire.

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Taken on September 29, 2008