Spiritual Crusade – Day 24

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This is day 24 of our 54 day spiritual crusade. Please join us in prayer for the protection of unborn children in Ireland and in your own country. 

Intention: to obtain from God, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that Ireland may be entirely delivered from the evil of abortion and that the bishops may be granted the grace to preach the gospel fearlessly and to defend unborn children with all their strength.

Prayer: Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary

A reflection on the Third Glorious Mystery – The Descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost

“The heavenly gift of the Spirit fixes the eyes of our mind upon the Divine Author of our salvation. By nature we are blind and carnal; but the Holy Ghost by whom we are new-born, reveals to us the God of mercies, and bids us recognise and adore Him as our Father with a true heart. He impresses on us our Heavenly Father’s image, which we lost when Adam fell, and disposes us to seek His presence by the very instinct of our new nature. He gives us back a portion of that freedom in willing and doing, of that uprightness and innocence, in which Adam was created. He unites us to all holy beings, as before we had relationship with evil. He restores for us that broken bond, which, proceeding from above, connects together into one blessed family all that is anywhere holy and eternal, and separates it off from the rebel world which comes to nought.

“Being then the sons of God, and one with Him, our souls mount up and cry to Him continually. This special characteristic of the regenerate soul is spoken of by St. Paul soon after the text. ‘Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.’ Nor are we left to utter these cries to Him, in any vague uncertain way of our own; but He who sent the Spirit to dwell in us habitually, gave us also a form of words to sanctify the separate acts of our minds. Christ left His sacred Prayer to be the peculiar possession of His people, and the voice of the Spirit. If we examine it, we shall find in it the substance of that doctrine, to which St. Paul has given a name in the passage just quoted. We begin it by using our privilege of calling on Almighty God in express words as ‘Our Father.’ We proceed, according to this beginning, in that waiting, trusting, adoring, resigned temper, which children ought to feel; looking towards Him, rather than thinking of ourselves; zealous for His honour rather than fearful about our safety; resting in His present help, not with eyes timorously glancing towards the future. His name, His kingdom, His will, are the great objects for the Christian to contemplate and make his portion, being stable and serene, and ‘complete in Him,’ as beseems one who has the gracious presence of His Spirit within him. And, when he goes on to think of himself, he prays, that he may be enabled to have towards others what God has shown towards himself, a spirit of forgiveness and loving-kindness. Thus he pours himself out on all sides, first looking up to catch the heavenly gift, but, when he gains it, not keeping it to himself, but diffusing ‘rivers of living water’ to the whole race of man, thinking of self as little as may be, and desiring ill and destruction to nothing but that principle of temptation and evil, which is rebellion against God;—lastly, ending, as he began, with the contemplation of His kingdom, power, and glory ever-lasting. This is the true ‘Abba, Father,’ which the Spirit of adoption utters within the Christian’s heart, the infallible voice of Him who ‘maketh intercession for the Saints in God’s way.’ And if he has at times, for instance, amid trial or affliction, special visitations and comfortings from the Spirit, ‘plaints unutterable’ within him, yearnings after the life to come, or bright and passing gleams of God’s eternal election, and deep stirrings of wonder and thankfulness thence following, he thinks too reverently of ‘the secret of the Lord,’ to betray (as it were) His confidence, and, by vaunting it to the world, to exaggerate it perchance into more than it was meant to convey: but he is silent, and ponders it as choice encouragement to his soul, meaning something, but he knows not how much.”

– Bl. John Henry Newman, “The Indwelling Spirit”, Plain and Parochial Sermons, (Vol. II).