Today is the feast of St Philip Neri who lived through a period of great reform in the Church. His greatest achievement was to establish oratories where people gathered to pray, sing hymns and plan to do works of mercy. His example is especially apt nowadays when we cannot always get to Church and have to think of other ways to express our faith. Philip was a Roman Catholic so it will be a good idea to explore what Roman Catholics have to tell us about the faith. Here is what one saint wrote about the Holy Spirit to help us as we approach Pentecost.
“Think of the Holy Spirit like a sunbeam whose kindly influence benefits each creature as though it were present to that creature alone. Just as the sunbeam dissolves in the air and shines over sea and land so the Spirit shines on us if we are ready to receive, even if we do not see clearly.
Pray to the Spirit of God to raise your spirits, to lead the weak by the hand, to help the saints journey to perfection, to help you to be kind to your family and friends, to purify and bring each soul into union with God.
Think of a ray of light falling on a shining surface and making it ever more splendid so that it reflects the light to others. You can become enlightened by the Spirit and become a channel of grace yourself. You will be able to see the future more clearly, understand better the mysteries of God, receive spiritual blessings, be able to pray with your thoughts fixed on heavenly things and dance with the angels. If you persevere you will acquire a likeness to God and be able to receive joy unending. That’s what the Roman Catholics say about the Holy Spirit of God. Maybe we should learn from them?