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A Meditation On The Incarnation Of Christ, Sermons On The Life And
Passion Of Our Lord And Of Hearing And Speaking Good Words. -Thomas A Kempis

THEY were all filled with the Holy Ghost: and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. To-day, in holy Church, is solemnized the glorious feast of the Holy Ghost; to-day on all sides the gathering of the faithful is glad with votive joys: the choirs of clerics sing joyously in hymns and psalms; the priests celebrate masses: and all together praise God most highly in the coming of the Holy Ghost. For to-day the apostles openly received the Holy Ghost in tongues of fire: and at once they sweetly burned with love within: and without they boldly preached the word of God. To-day the faith of Christ began to be proclaimed: and the number of believers in Jerusalem to be increased. To-day there was great joy among the people: and by the apostles great signs were wrought upon the sick. For FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD: SO ABUNDANT A GIVING OF THE HOLY GHOST WAS UNHEARD OF. To-day holy religion and the apostolic life took its rise; which afterwards became the mirror of holiness for all religious: and the law of living in common without anything of one’s own. To-day the holy apostles were so strengthened in the love of Christ, and enlightened in the grace of the Holy Ghost; that they could not be crushed by any adversity, or softened by any prosperity: or beguiled by any errors, or drawn away from the entirety of the faith by any arguments. To-day men, lowly and simple, have been made wise: and poor fishermen become GREAT TEACHERS; and what they learnt not in the schools by disputation: this they have received from Heaven BY DEVOUT PRAYER. To-day men, illiterate and fearful, have become eloquent and bold; and they that had known but one tongue: by the teaching of the Holy Ghost, speak of God in the words of all tongues. To-day earthly-minded men have become heavenly: and they that were before despised, are become a WONDER to EVERY nation under the sun; and they that were thought to know little or nothing: bring forth and expound testimonies to Christ from the law and the prophets. To-day an angelic life sprang up on earth, and a new heaven appeared in the world: because the faithful learnt to raise the mind from the flesh to the spirit, from lukewarmness to fervour, from earth to Heaven.

O how FERVENT they were, who were CONTENT WITH SO LITTLE; how devout and obedient they became: who of their own accord submitted themselves to the direction of the apostles. These are the works of the Holy Ghost, Who gathered the hearts of the faithful from divers nations into one faith; raised them to Heaven by the hope of eternal goods: and suddenly kindled them with the torches of His love. By these holy apostles the primitive Church was established and spread through the world; imbued with sacred teachings: and strongly confirmed by many miracles. From these holy apostles and followers of apostles, the saintly hermits of old first received the pattern of perfect renunciation: and left after them many disciples as an example to us. From these apostolic men also and solitaries, dear to God, our glorious Father Augustine, the noble doctor, learnt contempt for the world: who, being afterwards made priest and bishop, founded a community of clerics; and began to live with many servants of God in common after the manner of the life of the apostles: to whom also he gave his rule, which he wrote, for their observance. In like manner the holy father Benedict, a strenuous follower of the apostolic life, brought forth another rule of monastic discipline, full of virtues: by which monks living religiously might tend to the glory of everlasting blessedness. But very many others also, religious men inspired by the grace of the Holy Ghost, desiring to follow the counsels of the gospel perfection: in different parts of the world instituted orders of sacred religion; and obtained such great grace from God, as to shine with apostolic signs: and illumine holy Church by teaching and example. Rightly then should all the faithful honour this most sacred day with special devotion, and call upon the grace of the Holy Ghost: that they may merit to be penetrated and comforted by His visitation: enkindled by His love, cleansed by His dew from every stain of vices.

For all the saints and elect from the beginning of the world were drawn to the service of God, and called away from the errors of the gentiles, BY THE BREATHING OF THE HOLY GHOST; AND WHOEVER HAVE RECEIVED DIVINE GIFTS: HAVE CHIEFLY PLEASED GOD IN HUMILITY.

Even yet the Holy Ghost works in His faithful many good works of charity pleasing to Him, and profitable to others; and, if not evident miracles: nevertheless often He grants the comforts of interior devotion. HE OPENS ALSO TO THEM THAT PRAY and recite the psalms attentively THE SECRETS OF HOLY WRIT: WHICH ARE THE TRUEST TOKENS of His knowledge AND LOVE: He also bestows holy remedies of spiritual strength, against the manifold temptations of human frailty. For He it is, Who instructs the faithful by holy discourses; rules them by prelates, ministers the sacraments by priests: lest on the pilgrimage of this life, they turn aside from the right road, and faint in their labours. He Himself touches man’s heart with sorrow for past sins; reproves for daily failings and the smallest defects: NOR SUFFERS THE GUILT OF A SLIGHT STAIN TO REMAIN ON THE CONSCIENCE OF THE FAITHFUL SOUL. He Himself arouses to renewed fervour: to devout prayer, to earnest reading, TO READY OBEDIENCE: TO SEEKING LOWLY THINGS, AND PERSEVERING IN DEVOUT EXERCISES. He Himself withdraws from earthly things: calls to quit of heart, blames light words; soothes wrath, drives out lust: takes away envy, curbs greed. He urges to shun sloth, to keep discipline: He teaches what is to be done, what is to be guarded against, within and without. He Himself is present to the troubled of heart: He comforts the lowly, lifts up the weak; hears the mourning, pities the weeping: grants pardon to the penitent.

As often therefore as thou art anxious and tempted, at once have recourse to heavenly aid: humbly call upon the grace of the Holy Ghost; display to Him all thy distress: and wholly commit thyself to His compassion; that according to His good pleasure and honour, He may mercifully direct all thy griefs to the greater profit of thy soul: and bring all to a saving end. For He knows all, He searches and penetrates all; and suffers nothing to befall thee without cause: He scourges and heals; brings low and upraises. For this is the special operation of the Holy Ghost in this weak body, subject to many miseries, that by true contrition the stains of sins be washed away; THAT PAST EVILS BE TURNED INTO FULLER HUMILITY: that good begun grow to more perfect; so that thereby NO TIME PASS WITHOUT SPIRITUAL PROFIT: but that every work, word, and thought tend and continue to the honour of God and the glory of the most blessed Trinity. Which to our prayer may the Holy Ghost deign to grant by His most loving grace: Who most generously filled the hearts of the apostles this day. Amen.

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