Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Rosary Mysteries for Lent: The Descent of the Holy Spirit

In yesterday's post on The Ascension, I wrote about how the Apostles were probably a bit lost and confused after Jesus departed from them.  They had a pretty big order, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15), but no specific instructions as to how to carry it out. 

We can often feel the same emotions.  We too are called to spread the Good News, but it can be difficult to discern just how to do that.  The answer can be found in today's mystery, The Descent of the Holy Spirit.  Once filled with the Holy Spirit, the Apostles took action.  They spoke in tongues, converted thousands and began their work of establishing Jesus' Church on earth.  The Holy Spirit can lead people to do great things.

We receive the Holy Spirit at Confirmation, but it is important to continue to pray for His help to become a true soldier of Christ.  The Holy Spirit is often overlooked in prayer, but He is a very powerful Advocate.  If you are ever in doubt as to what to say when questioned about your faith, say a quick prayer to the Holy Spirit before replying.

You might also add this Prayer of Consecration to the Holy Spirit to your daily prayers:

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth."  Amen

I really love the painting above, Pentecost, by Jean Restout II because Mary is the central figure. (The original is hanging at the Louvre, one more reason to go someday...)  She stands tall with her hands over her Immaculate Heart, looking toward heaven with a serene expression while the Apostles turn away in fear.  Mary is not afraid because she is again encountering her Holy Spouse.  Just imagine the graces she receives!  Recall that at the Annunciation, she was full of grace before the Holy Spirit overshadowed her, filling her with even more grace.  Now at Pentecost, she again receives the grace of the Holy Spirit.  It is clear, to me at least, why the Blessed Mother was chosen by God to give graces to us through her intercession.  One of the best ways to receive her favor is to pray the Rosary every day.


Anonymous said...

I like all the paintings on your blog but the light in this one is truly remarkable. Easy to see how some people fall back when the Holy Spirit is present. Overwhelming Light and Power. And Love.

Peggy Bowes said...

It IS an amazing painting, isn't it? I could spend hours in art museums looking at the religious art. I think that viewing the mysteries of the Rosary in art really helps my meditation. God bless!