I was privileged to be alive during the time of Vatican II.  I believe it was one of the most exciting times in Catholic Church history.  At the beginning of the Conference the windows were opened as a symbolic gesture to show that we were inviting and welcoming the Holy Spirit to come in and take charge of the Conference and the Church.  In the days and years that followed Vatican II, that happened.

The Holy Spirit wanted more participation at Mass, and there were dramatic changes to bring that about.  The Holy Spirit inspired volumes of new music that was uplifting, joyful, and lively, but also reverent and prayerful.  The words were mostly based on Scripture and the melodies were easily sing-able.  The Holy Spirit wanted the Mass language to be based on true meaning rather than literal translation.  He wanted us to say what we mean and mean what we say.  Mass was no longer a spectator event.  There was a new excitement in the Mass.  It was something we really looked forward to.  The focus was on Jesus, not on ritual and religion.  There was a new zeal and enthusiasm for our Catholic faith.

In 1967 there was a powerful outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  It spread like wildfire through the Catholic Church and other mainline denominations.  There was a new discovery of and intense interest in the Bible.  Countless lives were transformed as Catholics invited Jesus into their hearts and experienced a new personal relationship with him.  The Holy Spirit desired unity in the Body of Christ.  The ecumenical movement grew and flourished.  There were many large gatherings and conferences where Catholics and Protestants joined together in powerful praise and worship.  The Holy Spirit desired community in our parishes.  Many small faith sharing groups developed where parishioners really got to know and love one another.

As we approach Pentecost we need to open the Church windows once again.  We need to invite the Holy Spirit to come in and take charge of our lives and our Church once again.  We need to allow him to take us where he wants us to go.  We need to sincerely pray that he will rekindle in us the fire of his love, his joy, his peace, his mercy, his power, his gifts, his fruits, his zeal and his enthusiasm for our precious faith. You can make this a Novena to the Holy Spirit by praying it every day for nine days beginning this Friday.

The early Church grew and prospered because it was a true Pentecostal Church.  They were filled with and led by the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit was in charge.  That’s what we need if we are to grow and prosper individually and as the Church today.



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