Pentecost

Guidestar Joins the Targeting of Christian Groups

You may never have heard of the website Guidestar. It is an invaluable tool for those seeking information on nonprofits, everything from the Ford Foundation to your local pro-life group, provided they have nonprofit status with the federal government. All nonprofits are listed at Guidestar. Potential donors can peruse the tax returns of these nonprofits [...]

Three Feasts and Contraception

The flow of time in which we find ourselves, between Pentecost and Corpus Christi, is a bit strange liturgically. Pentecost ends the Easter Season and launches us back into Ordinary Time. The first weeks of post-Pentecost Ordinary Time include two major solemnities: Trinity Sunday (which used to be connected with Pentecost by a suppressed octave, [...]

Pentecost, Deism, and Secularism

Pentecost celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. That descent changed them. It made a difference in their lives. The Upper Room had previously been a chamber of fears. “Surely not I, Lord?” (Mt 26:22) was the question on a certain Thursday night. About 72 hours later, it was a locked room [...]

Pentecost Was Not An Occasion for “Enthusiasm”

The amiable classicist, John Bird Sumner, was the Protestant archbishop of Canterbury from 1848 to 1862. Amid theological controversies about baptismal regeneration and the like, his opposition to a parliamentary bill removing Jewish disabilities was unquestionably retrograde, but he assumed the progressive mantle in approving obstetric anesthesia which was opposed by some Christian fundamentalists, whose [...]

The Feast of Weeks and the Significance of Pentecost

The feast of Pentecost, known as the birthday of the Church, marks the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the bestowal of the Spirit’s gifts that enables the apostles to leave the Upper Room and preach the Gospel. The grace imparted by the Spirit causes the apostles to proclaim the Good News, [...]

Pentecost and the Prerequisites of True Devotion

When as a boy I exulted in seeing the splendid ocean liners docked along the Hudson River piers, it was not remotely possible to know that some of this would now be my dockside parish and I its pastor. The Cunard Line had piers 90 and 92 and French Line had pier 88. I shall [...]

No Pentecost Liturgy Should Exclude the Veni Sancte Spiritus

Something beautiful is supposed to happen on Pentecost, though you might miss it. The culmination of the Easter season offers us a gem of sacred art: Veni Sancte Spiritus, the Pentecost sequence, which has long been regarded as one of the most magnificent works of literature in the Church’s treasury. When set to appropriate music, [...]

Reclaiming the Spirit … Wholly and Unsurpassed

“The Holy Spirit is fire; whoever does not want to be burned should not  come near him.”  ∼ Pope Benedict XVI From the earliest moments of Christian existence, organized and sustained by a Church born from the side of Christ as he hung upon the Cross, there appeared a body of catechesis containing everything we [...]

Awaiting the Fire’s Fall: Pentecost in Art & History

Not since the impacted savageries of the late 8th century, when Viking raiding parties ravaged the coast of England, can anything compare to the protracted destruction wrought by the German Air Force during the Battle of Britain.  Between September of 1940 and May of 1941, countless incendiary bombs fell upon that brave island race.  A [...]

Pentecost: The Great Red Letter Day

The term “Red Letter Day” probably goes back to 325 AD when the First Council of Nicaea decreed that great feasts be marked in red on the calendar.  Pentecost is quite literally a Red Letter Day since its liturgical color is red to match the holy fire that came down on the apostles fifty days [...]

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