Be Not Afraid

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

We stood, the three of us, in a crooked row, our arms wrapped around one another, palms flat on each other’s backs.  I felt warm with nervousness at the intimacy.  And so I concentrated, one deep breath, two deep breaths, then three deep breaths, eyes closed, as if distraction of my mind, and not lack of faith was the problem.  Yet, isn’t faith being certain of what we do not see? (Hebrews 11:1)  So perhaps the sight of my eyes wasn’t necessary, only the sight of my heart.

We stood close to one another and each in our own way, called for the Holy Spirit to come, with words unspoken and spoken.  Veni, Sancte Spiritus.  I tried my best to clear my mind of all unnessecary thoughts – my right arm hurts, my nose itches, I’m thirsty, what time is it?, how is John Paul?, what am I supposed to be thinking, feeling, hearing?  I knew I must decrease so God could increase, in my mind, my heart, and my life.  But I was afraid.

For I am stained and sinful, and I fear being intimate with God, let alone my friends.  How often do I wonder, “If only they knew what went through my head, what would they think of me?”  But, doesn’t God already know the deepest parts of me?  Doesn’t he search me and know me – when I sit and when I rise?  He knows the thoughts in my mind and the words on my tongue, even before they enter my mind or leave my mouth.  (Psalm 139)  And yet, He loves me, you, all of us, still, despite this, maybe even in spite of this.  Such knowledge is indeed too wonderful for me to comprehend, but I tried to let this beautiful truth wash over me and fill every empty, fearful place in my heart.

I breathed in deeply, eyes tightly closed, and strained to see what is unseen with my heart.  At first I barely heard her when she leaned over and softly said, “I hear God telling me to tell you that your dreams are not too big.  He wants you to know that with Him, anything is reachable.”  Taken back, I struggled to receive this truth.  So I merely stood still, feeling warmth move through my body, no longer from nervousness, but from an outpouring and overflowing of love, communion, and grace.

Autumn Sunshine

“Come, holy Ghost, and bring from above
The splendor of thy light.
Come, father of the poor,
come, giver of graces,
Come, light of our hearts.

Best of consolers, sweet guest of the soul,
And comfort of the weary.
Thou rest in labor, relief in burning toil,
Consoling us in sorrow.

O blessed light, fill the innermost hearts Of those who trust in thee.
Without thy indwelling there is nothing in man,
And nothing free of sin.

Cleanse what is sordid, give water in dryness,
And heal the bleeding wounds.
Bend what is proud, make warm what is cold,
Bring back the wayward soul.

Give to the faithful who trustingly beg thee
Thy seven holy gifts.
Grant virtue’s reward, salvation in death,
And everlasting joy.
Amen. Alleluia.”

Veni, Sancte Spiritus (The Golden Sequence)

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