“God our Father,
let the Spirit you sent on your Church to begin the teaching of the Gospel
continue to work in the world
through the hearts of all who believe.
We ask this…for ever and ever. Amen.”
This is the opening prayer at Mass on this Pentecost Sunday. The Holy Spirit works through the heart. This may come as no surprise, but what did come as a surprise to me, when reading St. Gertrude the Great’s entries for the Vigil and Feast of Pentecost, was how much the Sacred Heart of Jesus figured in her Pentecost experience. There is much, much more than what I am able to put in one post, but just to give you an idea:
On the vigil of Pentecost, as she was feeling “utter unworthiness” in the face of receiving the Holy Spirit, she felt a cave being created in her heart. “Then she saw a stream of honey coming forth from the Heart of Jesus, and distilling itself into hers, until it was entirely filled. By this she understood that it was the unction and grace of the Holy Ghost which flowed thus sweetly from the Heart of the Son of God into the hearts of the faithful.”
Shortly thereafter there is an experience of breath in which, “His Divine breath entered into her soul”. The Lord told St. Gertrude that, “the respirations of her soul indicated her goodwill, and the breath of Our Lord His acceptance of her good intentions and desires.” The Lord then showed her the different gifts of the Holy Spirit, using images of trees which differed in their fruits. As she approached to receive Holy Communion, the Lord “refreshed her heart by a Divine exhalation, which came forth from His sacred Limbs”. After Holy Communion, she saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a Dove, “descending from Heaven upon the adorable Sacrament, with an impetuous flight like that of an eagle; and seeking the sweet Heart of Jesus, He appeared to enter therein, and find there a most agreeable abode.”
There was more to come. At Terce, as the sisters began to chant Veni Creator, “Our Lord appeared to her and opened His Heart, full of sweetness and tenderness…” St. Gertrude rested her head in the centre of His Heart, and the Lord pressed her head into Himself and united her will to His and sanctified it. Then, during the second verse, Qui, Paraclitus diciris, St. Gertrude placed “the hands of her soul [her actions] in the Heart of Jesus. At the third verse, Tu septiformis gratia (sic) [Thou Who art sevenfold in Thy Grace] St. Gertrude placed, “the feet of her soul [her desires] in the Sacred Heart…”
From The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude the Great (For the Vigil and Feast of Pentecost) pgs. 396-400)
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Dear Lord, please send your Holy Spirit to us in the weeks ahead to enlighten our minds, hearts, and souls. Help us to enter as fully as possible into the true meaning of Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They come so quickly one upon the other that we can scarcely catch our breath. Breathe your Divine Breath into us. Help us enter the Mystery.