Pentecost Novena – Day 4: “O most blessed Light divine”

O most blessed Light divine,

May that light within us shine

And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,

Nothing good in deed or thought,

Nothing free from taint and ill.

The Spirit of God penetrates deeply into our souls, that is, he wants to reach the very centre of our being and dwell there, together with the Father and the Son who abide in us, according to the words of Jesus (cf. Jn 14:23). Once established in our hearts, the Spirit of God will be able to mould us into the image of God, if we allow Him to do so. This is the great work of the Holy Spirit, once He has brought man to repentance and brought him back to loving obedience to God.

God created us in His own image and likeness and gave us an immortal soul. Unfortunately, this treasure has been deeply distorted by original sin and its consequences, so that the original beauty of the soul is sometimes hard to see.

Sin continued its destructive work, standing as an insurmountable obstacle between God and the soul. The laws and commandments of the Old Covenant showed man how to live and made him see the consequences of sin, but they did not give him the strength to fulfil the whole law.

But with the grace of forgiveness of sins, which Jesus obtained for us through His passion, death and resurrection, and which is given to us in baptism, we can begin a new life. In this way, what we had lost is restored to us; what was disturbed in us is put in order… Moreover, with the coming of the Lord into the world, humanity is offered a grace so great that it far surpasses what God had given to humanity in the Old Covenant.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit and His influence on us makes the new life we received at our baptism grow and mature. As we follow the Spirit’s guidance, a new beauty is given to us. It is not the beauty of original innocence in paradise, but the beauty of a redeemed soul clothed in Christ. For this to happen, the Holy Spirit begins His work of sanctification in the soul. Since He is the love between the Father and the Son, He infuses the same love into our souls.

In this way a very deep contact takes place between the human soul and the divine Host, which enlightens the depths of the heart.

In this encounter of love, the soul also perceives where it does not yet correspond to this great love; and it sets out to follow this light.

In this process, the soul recognises the enormous stains that sin has inflicted on it and makes use of the means that God offers it to purify itself. This is expressed in the Pentecost sequence when it calls on the Holy Spirit to wash away the stains.

Since sin and the wounds it causes are violations of love and truth, it is the Holy Spirit who can heal them, for He is love and truth. He ‘breathes the warmth of life’ into all that has dried up in the soul through lack of love and truth.

As a result of sin, our hearts can become cold and hard, closed to others, especially when it comes to the sins of pride and arrogance. But the Holy Spirit does the hard work of bringing us out of pride and all the attitudes that go with it, for pride makes man revolve around himself and closes him off from the work of the Spirit.

When a person loses his way, he falls into unhappiness on a personal level and at the same time has a negative influence on the lives of others. That is why the Holy Spirit leads the sinner to the cross of Christ to find forgiveness and mercy. Even when we have made a commitment to follow the Lord, He leads us to the cross again and again, whenever we fail in spite of our sincere efforts.

Listening to the Holy Spirit is a sure guide along the way, if we humbly accept His promptings. Just as He wants to guide the whole Church, He also wants to do so in each personal life. Therefore, the key to fruitful discipleship is in listening to the Holy Spirit and in intimacy with Him.

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