Happy birthday, Holy Mother Church!
This Sunday’s feast of Pentecost is the official “birthday” of the Church. On this day the Holy Spirit—as promised by Jesus—descended upon the Apostles and Our Lady nine days after His Ascension.
The Holy Spirit is the soul and animating principle of the Church. At Pentecost, the “Giver of Life”—as we name Him in the Nicene Creed—gave life to the Church, to remain with her and guide her till the end of time.
Our Lady’s presence is an oft-overlooked—but enormously important—aspect of this event. She is the Mother of Christ, Who is the Head of the Church, and she is the Mother of His members as well. Fulton Sheen notes in his Marian masterpiece, The World’s First Love, that Pentecost is directly connected to—and mirrors—the Annunciation:
“As the Son of God in the Incarnation took upon Himself a human body from the womb of the Blessed Mother overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, so now on Pentecost He takes from the womb of humanity a Mystical Body, as the Holy Spirit overshadowed the twelve Apostles with ‘Mary in the midst of them abiding in prayer.’”
Our Lady truly is the Mother of the Church. It is she who prepares us to receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Indeed, the Holy Spirit comes wherever He finds His holy spouse, so that devotion to Our Lady is a surefire way of cultivating our receptivity to the Holy Spirit.
Get to know the mysterious and wonderful Third Person of the Trinity in Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit. This lovely little book offers short Scripture readings and minute meditations that will lead you, step by step, into a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit. Available today at The Catholic Company!