Sr. Bernie Claps is the Formation Director for the Sisters of Bon Secours and she also provides spiritual companionship and direction for many of the Retreat and Conference Center guests. Sr. Bernie shares this reflection as we prepare our hearts for Pentecost.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate who will never leave you.” John 14:16
This promise made by Jesus to His deciples and to us was that He would send us the Spirit who would never leave us and be with us forever. In some translation of this passage, the Advocate is called the Comforter, in others the Helper. All three names convey some of what the Spirit has been sent to do—to advocate and intercede for us and our needs, to comfort us in our distress and sorrows and to help us in our struggles.
When I received an email with this prayer/hymn, the Pentecost Sequence, used at the Sunday Mass on Pentecost, I felt a comforting feeling of nostalgia. Besides hearing it at Mass, I think I had a prayer card with these words that I prayed long ago, perhaps as I was growing up. I still remember most of the words so I think they touched and comforted me then and still do today, especially during this very difficult time of pandemic.
As we prepare to celebrate the feast of Pentecost today, let us remember the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit who is with us in our current struggles. Let us pray for ourselves and everyone in the world for all that is asked for in this prayer, including the gifts of the Spirit that will strengthen, nourish and sustain us through this time of personal and global suffering.
Come Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine.
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best,
You, the soul’s most welcome guest,
Sweet refreshment here below.
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed light divine,
Shine within these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew.
On our dryness pour your dew.
Wash the stains of guilt away.
Bend the stubborn heart and will.
Melt the frozen, warm the chill.
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
And confess you evermore,
In your sevenfold gift descend.
Give them virtue’s sure reward.
Give them your salvation, Lord.
Give them joys that never end.