MEDITATION ON PENTECOST: Of The Manner How The Holy Ghost Came Upon The Disciples, The Day Of Pentecost ~ Luis De La Puente

San Pier Maggiore Altarpiece: Pentecost 


Of the manner how the holy Ghost came upon the Disciples, the day of Pentecost.


And when the days of Pentecost were accomplished, they were altogether in one place. Upon these words are to be considered the mysteries, continued in the place, time, and day, wherein the holy Ghost came, and in the assembly of persons, upon whom he came.

1. First therefore is to be considered, that by the instinct of the same holy Ghost, upon the day of Pentecost, all the Disciples of Christ assembled themselves together, with the Blessed Virgin our Lady, in the house and chamber wherein they were wont to assemble at other times, who were in number at the least, a hundred and twenty, as St. Luke reporteth a little before. All these with one consent did pray and beseech the eternal Father by the merits of his Son, and the Son also, to send unto them the holy Ghost which he had promised them, whose prayers were presented before almighty God, by the holy Angels: which conjoined with the prayers of Christ our Lord, as he was man it was decreed, that upon the same day, he would give them what they asked, because there is no term of time so long, to which he cometh not at length, who persevere in asking, and expecteth with patience the coming of our Lord.

2. Ponder secondly, how this house and chamber (as hath been said elsewhere) represents the universal Church, wherein all those assembled themselves, which are the disciples of JESUS Christ, united together in the same faith, in the worship of the same God, and in the observation of the same law. And as ion this day, the holy Ghost was given only to them who were in this house, and not to those who were out of the same: even so the holy Ghost is only given to those which do remain within the Church, disposing themselves for to receive him, nor shall ever any receive him, who liveth not within the same. For as the Dove found no place, whereon to rest her foot, out of the Ark of Noe: even so the holy Ghost, figured by that Dove, findeth none on whom to rest out of the Church, which is represented by the Ark: and therefore Christ our Lord said, that the world could not receive the holy Ghost, calling the world the congregation of those which have made shipwreck of his faith, reprove his doctrine, and resist his holy law. This ought to move men, to render exceeding thanks to almighty God, for having brought me to this house of his holy Church, wherein if I myself be not in fault, I may receive the holy Ghost, disposing me by prayer and union to receive him, as the Apostles did.

3. Ponder thirdly, the cause why the holy Ghost came upon the day of Pentecost, (which was a feast of the Jews instituted in memory of the law, which God had given them in the mount of Sinai, and was celebrated fifty days after the feast of the Paschal Lamb.) The cause was, to signify that the holy Ghost came principally to imprint in the souls of men, the law of grace, which Christ had preached, and to impose an end on the ancient law, which was a figure thereof: therefore upon the same day, that the one was given, the other was published, although in different manner, for the ancient law was a law of fear, and so was given when thunders, lightenings, and noise of trumpet sounded vehemently, and with threatenings of death upon the mount Sinai. It was also written in tables of stone: because it was most heavy, and was given to men of a stiff neck, and in the tables of their hearts, taking from them their hearts of stone, and converting them into hearts of flesh, as he had promised by his Prophets.


O sovereign Father, whose hand is thy Son which proceedeth from thee, by whom thou greatest all things, and whose finger is the holy Ghost which proceedeth from both, by whom thou hast renewed the face of the earth, writing by him thy holy law in the hearts of men: write it in mine with this finger of thy right hand, with so great force that it never more be blotted forth. And since thou commands me, that I do likewise write it in the tables of my heart, cooperating by love to the accomplishment thereof, grant what thou commands, that so I may accomplish what thou willest, Amen. 

4.The holy Ghost also came Fifty days after the passion and resurrection of Christ; to signify, that with his abundant coming, he gave a plenary jubilee, signified by the number Fifty, giving a plenary pardon of all debts and sins, in virtue of the passion of our redeemer. And for this cause the Church saith of the holy Ghost, that he is. Remissio peccacorum. The forgiveness of sins.


O most holy Spirit, come with plenitude into my soul, and grant unto her, this plenary jubilee, pardoning her all her sins, whereof discharged, she may in great jubilee, ascend to the joys of thy eternal glory, Amen.

Luis De La Puente S.J.


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