- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

May 30, 2016

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO

8th Wednesday of Ordinary Time

Mass of the Holy Spirit
In preparation for tomorrow’s abbatial election
Romans 8: 26 – 27; John 15: 18 – 21, 26 – 27

Like a strong, driving wind heard by a large number, tongues of fire resting on the apostles, finding themselves able to speak in foreign tongues, astonishment, amazement – all this took place when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost.

In the reading from Romans for today’s Mass, St. Paul writes of a different presence of the Holy Spirit – not any less real than the coming at Pentecost but very quiet and extremely personal. Surely, because of its nature, this truth could only come to Paul by the grace of God not by any human reasoning. Paul, recognizing that this truth applied to all, shared this revelation.

He wrote, “The Spirit too helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought.” With that the Holy Spirit through St. Paul, reveals the reality, the mystery of God’s providence, mercy and love which are beyond words, really, a mystery that is comprehended by love and not by human intelligence.

Can we not say that the God prays to God for us – God intercedes with God for us – that our prayer life is greater than we can imagine – what our God desires for us – for each of us in our unique life-journey – is taking place at every moment in the depths of our hearts. Not fantasy – not wishful thinking – realty – revealed truth. “The Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be expressed in speech.”

Should we not pray – “Holy Spirit of God, my personal Intercessor, grant me the grace to know what is Your intercession for me, what is Your prayer for my life so that I can embrace Your prayer, so that I pray with, through and in You.

St. Paul wrote, “We do not know how to pray as we ought…” His words cut through any kind of spiritual pride we might have about our prayer. Our “not knowing” have nothing to do with ill will – rather, who among has perfect knowledge of our souls, who among us does not have blind spots, just plain unawareness of need – therefore, our prayer, not matter how pious, intense, passionate is always limited – and our God wants to draw us beyond this – such is God’s providence, such is the work of the Holy Spirit.

“Lord, grace to know Your intercession so that with desire, I desire what You desire for me. It can only be good, good beyond measure!”