Day 1

We Begin

Let us begin by lighting a candle, making the sign of the Cross, quieting ourselves and welcoming God into the space where we dwell and into our mind and heart. 

Play this Taizé chant to aid in coming into this space of prayer. Veni Sancte Spiritus – Come Holy Spirit

Laudate – Veni Sancte Spiritus

Read the following slowly and reflect on the words as you read and pray them.

Where the Spirit is there is creation and new life. Where the Spirit is, there is the living Christ. The Spirit is the breath of God’s creative love, so that whoever lives in the Spirit lives in the ever newness of God.

Sr Ilia Delio OSF

Scripture Reading

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was a formless void and the breath (spirit) of God swept over the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light and there was light.” (Gen 1:1-2)

Reflection

Our upbringing furnishes us with mental models that inform our outlook and help us to negotiate life’s difficulties and questions. These models or maps are a way of organising the things we know into useful information that we can call upon when needed. This is also true of our religious upbringing.

So, it may be that as we approach Pentecost we think of the Spirit as something given on some wonderful once off occasion, 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus, a gift that gave rise to the community of faith called Church. We may also associate it with our confirmation and the seven gifts of the Spirit that were poured out on a given day.

However, such a perspective is quite limiting especially when we consider that in the Scriptures the movement of the Spirit of God is not restricted to a particular feast, day or time. In the Bible the Spirit or breath of God (ruah) is an expression of the activity of the utterly mysterious Other, the Creator who causes everything to be and who sustains all that exists. That this is so is subtly expressed in the beautiful opening words of Genesis. According to some experts in Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, it would be perfectly acceptable to read those words as:

“When God began to create the heavens and the earth…”

In other words what is put before us is not a one-off moment that occurred “in the beginning” but rather a process, a process that is a breathing (inspiration) of the breath of God.

What that means is then expressed symbolically in the first outcome of the creative activity of God who breathes “Let there be Light!” The mystic who wrote Genesis 1 intuited that when we contemplate creation and ourselves in it, we are somehow drawn to the mystery of God, the source of Light and all that is good. Perhaps this is what the writer of Psalm 36 has also grasped when he, considering the gift around him gave voice to this prayer:

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; In your light we see light.

(Ps 36:7-9)

A Moment of Contemplation:
What word or phrase resonates with or challenges you?
What sensations do you notice in your body – as a reaction to what you have read?
What is the Spirit inviting you to do?

Bring this moment of contemplation to a close by praying

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Concluding Prayer
Creator God,
Fill us with your creative Spirit
that we may learn to contemplate
with wonder and gratitude
the world in which we live and on which we depend.
Let it speak to us of you and the movement of your Spirit through which you renew the face of the earth everyday. AMEN

End with playing this piece of music form Bernadette Farrell, Spirit of God

Spirit of God – Bernadette Farrell

And we end – In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

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