Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Rediscovering Pentecost the Forgotten Feast

Katrina Cooper writes about preparing for Pentecost: Pope John XXIII when he called for the Second Vatican II Council, prayed that God might “renew the Church as by a new Pentecost.” Since then many popes have repeated this message, especially Pope Benedict who has called upon the Church, particularly in the West to spread the culture of Pentecost in the Church. How in practice might we co-operate with this?

Firstly I would suggest raising the bar of expectation of what it means to be a Catholic and seeing ourselves as contemporary disciples of Christ rather than simply Mass goers or nice people. We also need to concretely and actively prepare for the feast of Pentecost during the Easter-tide period, which should be a time of study and expectation for the outpouring of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit on us today.

We could do this by :
- prayerfully reading the Book of Acts during Easter tide with the awareness that the Holy Spirit who operated them is still alive and will operate in us in the same way if we are open.

- Attending Life in the Spirit seminars, an excellent renewal course – usually seven evenings or a weekend, which has brought many people new fervour in faith. A version of this called “This Promise is for You” is available on dvd from Goodnews Books (01582 571011). See http://www.pentecostnovena.org/  or www.ccr.org.uk/pentecost  for a list of seminars and Pentecost events or ring 020 7352 5298.

- Obtaining copies of the CTS pamphlet “Road to Pentecost” with prayers and meditations for Easter-tide to Pentecost or their Pentecost novena leaflet for ourselves, friends or fellow parishioners (available see above)

- Organizing a Pentecost vigil – all night perhaps – to recreate the Upper Room experience

- Organizing a Pentecost event with other Christians or other nationalities with food to celebrate the birthday of the universal Church.

The more we prepare and the more we focus, the more we receive!

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