I started humming a familiar litany of the Holy Spirit as I was preparing the prayers for a meeting for the sisters. This meeting begins by inviting the Holy Spirit to come, once again, as happened on that Pentecost we read about in the Acts of the Apostles. But this time, the room will be our Gathering Space, a place, we hope, familiar to the Spirit. We believe that a room where Christ’s disciples are gathered is the sacred place of the Spirit’s descent, not just once long ago, but repeated again and again as we have need.
Another sacred gathering happened recently in San Francisco. We sponsor a ministry in the Western Addition of 18 units of housing for people with low income. The Rose Court community came together to celebrate the retirement of its visionary foundress and resident manager.
But the gathering was more than a party…it was a Pentecost! God’s Spirit dwelling in each and every person reached out to the other, and another and still one more person. I would guess that, if asked, each person experienced an unique encounter with the Spirit that day. Over the many years that Sister Cathryn shaped the assembled into a community of residents, those she touched might hum their own litany: consoler, sweet anointing, welcome guest, heart’s unfailing light, sweet breath, tongues as of fire, forgiving love, fount of life, rock in times of trial, unquestioned trust, friend, grandma…
As we celebrate these days of the descent of the Spirit, reach deep within and recognize the Presence and name your own experience…what names will your litany create?
Carla Kovack, OP