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April - Month of the Holy Spirit and of the Eucharist

The month of April is dedicated to the Holy Spirit. To believe in the Holy Spirit is to profess that the Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father and the Son: "with the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified." 

Indeed, it is impossible for the human mind to understand how God can be three and one.  Yet, our ancestors in the faith professed belief in the third person of the Blessed Trinity even though there is not much by way of reference to the Spirit in the Sacred Scriptures.  We believe that God the Father loved God the Son (Jesus), and that Jesus loved the Father.  That love that bound the two together and which flowed from one to the other is the person of the Holy Spirit.  We are created in God's image.  We know from our own experience that we are at our best when we connected to another.  From the moment we are separated from our mother's womb, we spend the rest of our lives trying to connect with another person.  It is part of who we are as human beings.  Likewise, God exists in relationship.  The Trinity speaks of community, or relationship, of love that binds. 

The Church often refers to the Trinity as a mystery.  Unfortunately, most of us think of mysteries as a form of popular literature, the "who done it."  However, this is not what the Church means as mystery.  Though every analogy limps, the best analogy to a mystery of faith is the rose.  As it grows and matures, the rose begins to open, and its petals reveal a little more of itself each day.  Our experience of God is similar.  As we relate to God through prayer, meditation, and contemplation, we begin to see a little more clearly who God is and who we are in relationship to God.  The Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity which helps us to explore that relationship by leading us to prayer and contemplation.  The Holy Spirit is the Person of Love in the life of God. He is also like a breath, an aspiration of infinite Love, from which we draw the breath of life. 

On the day of Pentecost the Divine Spirit communicated such an abundance of life to the whole Church that to symbolize it "there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they (the Apostles) were sitting." 

But it is also for us that the Holy Spirit has come, for the group in the Cenacle represented the whole Church. The Holy Spirit came to remain with the Church forever. This is the promise of Jesus Himself. He dwells in the Church permanently and unfailingly, performing in it without ceasing His action of life-giving and sanctification. He establishes the Church infallibly in the truth. It is He Who makes the Church blossom forth with a marvelous supernatural fruitfulness, for He brings to life and full fruition in Virgins, Martyrs, and Confessors those heroic virtues which are one of the marks of true sanctity. 

Titles of the Holy Spirit 

When he proclaims and promises the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus calls him the "Paraclete," literally, "he who is called to one's side," ad-vocatus. "Paraclete" is commonly translated by "consoler," and Jesus is the first consoler. The Lord also called the Holy Spirit "the Spirit of truth." 

Besides the proper name of "Holy Spirit," which is most frequently used in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles, we also find in St. Paul the titles: the Spirit of the promise, the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Lord, and the Spirit of God — and, in St. Peter, the Spirit of glory. 

MONTH OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST

The month of April is also traditionally dedicated to devotion to Jesus in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The Catholic Church teaches that the Blessed Sacrament is the real and living presence of Christ—His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity—received into our souls with every reception of Holy Communion. Our Eucharistic Lord is the source and summit of our Christian life, the ultimate proof of His infinite love for us.


Litany of the Holy Spirit

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Father all powerful, have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal Son of the Father, Redeemer of the world, save us.

Spirit of the Father and the Son, boundless Life of both, sanctify us.

Holy Trinity, hear us.

 

Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.
Holy Spirit, Who art equal to the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.

Promise of God the Father, have mercy on us.
Ray of heavenly light, (etc.)
Author of all good,
Source of Heavenly water,
Consuming Fire,
Ardent Charity,
Spiritual Unction,
Spirit of love and truth,
Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
Spirit of counsel and fortitude,
Spirit of knowledge and piety,
Spirit of the fear of the Lord,
Spirit of grace and prayer,
Spirit of peace and meekness,
Spirit of modesty and innocence,
Holy Spirit, the Comforter,
Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier,
Holy Spirit, Who governs the Church,
Gift of God the Most High,
Spirit Who fills the universe,
Spirit of the adoption of the children of God,

Holy Spirit, inspire us with horror of sin.
Holy Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth.
Holy Spirit, shed Thy light into our souls.
Holy Spirit, engrave Thy law in our hearts.
Holy Spirit, inflame us with the flame of Thy love.
Holy Spirit, open to us the treasures of Thy graces.
Holy Spirit, teach us to pray well.
Holy Spirit, enlighten us with Thy Heavenly inspirations.
Holy Spirit, lead us in the way of salvation.
Holy Spirit, grant us the only necessary knowledge.
Holy Spirit, inspire in us the practice of good.
Holy Spirit, grant us the merits of all virtues.
Holy Spirit, make us persevere injustice.
Holy Spirit, be our everlasting reward.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, send us Thy Holy Spirit.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, pour down into our souls the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, grant us the Spirit of wisdom and piety.

V. Come, Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful,

R. And enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

Let Us Pray.

Grant, O merciful Father, that Thy Divine Spirit may enlighten, inflame and purify us, that He may penetrate us with His heavenly dew and make us fruitful in good works, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, lives and reigns forever and ever. R. Amen.


Prayer Intention of the Holy Father for March, 2020

Freedom from Addiction

We pray that those suffering from addiction may be helped and accompanied.

March

The derivation of the name is unknown, though as far back as Varro we find the traditional etymology: omnia aperit, "it opens every thing," which is supported by comparison with the modern Greek use of the word "opening" for Spring; while some would make out a connection with Aprodite, and Grimm suggests the name of a hypothetical God or hero, Aper or Aprus.  Among the Romans this month was sacred to Venus.

The name of this month is derived from the Greek word for “opening.”  In many countries of Europe, the first of April has for long been appropriated to a facetious custom for which no satisfactory origin has been assigned.  To send an ignorant or unsuspecting person on a bootless errand is the great endeavor of the day.  In England such an one is designated “April fool.”  In Scotland he is said to be “hunting the gowk,” while in France he is called “poisson d’Avril” or April fish.

April 1: All Fools’ Day
April 23: St. George’s Day
April 24: St. Mark’s Eve.

Mottos:

“April weather, rain and sunshine both together.”
“When April blows his horn tis good for both hay and corn.”
“An April flood carries away the frog and his brood.”

“When daisies red and violets blue
And ladie’s smocks all silver white
And cuckoo buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight.”

Holy Spirit