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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Preparing for Pentecost

We often associate flames of fire with the Holy Spirit who descended in tongues of fire according to the Scriptures. I have my own association because of a thirty-day retreat I made at the Jesuit Retreat House at Eastern Point. During the novena before Pentecost, another retreat (I was making a private directed retreat) was scheduled and one of the Jesuits making that retreat built a fire in the huge fireplace each night. I was one who always stayed to pray there just gazing at the flames and letting the Holy Spirit pray in me. It was a special time and so full of grace that I can recall it now with joy and gratitude.
In Miami, we have no need for a fireplace and therefore no fire. I do have very fond memories of our fireplace at home as my mother loved a fire and the entire family would gather around; if my grandfather was there, we would have some Irish songs. Sometimes we would roast marshmallows right there in our living room! Then, I remember the wonderful campfires when I was a counselor at camp; the sharing of stories around a fire, and somehow I know the Holy Spirit was always with us kindling the fire of love in our hearts.

“In these days of waiting for the feast of the Holy Spirit, we ask: Come, Holy Spirit, come and give me this big heart, this heart capable of loving with humility, with meekness, an open heart that is capable of loving. And let's ask this grace of the Holy Spirit. And may He free us always from the other path, the path of selfishness, which eventually ends badly. Let us ask for this grace.
–Pope Francis
Homily at Morning Mass
Chapel of the Holy Spirit
Vatican City
14 May 2013

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