Suspension of public worship

The Bishops of England and Wales have suspended all public gatherings for worship until further notice.

All first Holy Communion and Confirmation groups are also deferred until further notice.

With churches closed, it won’t be possible to visit them. The celebration of Mass will continue, but without a congregation. We have a page of video of our Masses in church, and other locations will be streamed on Facebook. Do like our page and keep an eye out for updates. We’ll also publish homilies here. The Catholic Church is pressing for our churches to be opened for private prayer (1) (2) (3), and we await news of that and how public liturgies may resume.

We have a page entitled Liturgy in a Time of Crisis. Please make use of the resources available on that page. In the sidebar here, there are links to Offices from the Liturgy of the Hours through the day: perhaps you can call a friend who is self-isolating and say the service together. WhatsApp will allow calls between up to eight people, and many people are now used to getting together with Zoom. There are other apps too; and there’s always a simple phone call.

Pastoral visits are suspended, although in an emergency which requires the sacrament of anointing for the dying, a priest will be available. If you have a need for sacramental confession which cannot be satisfied by an Act of Perfect Contrition in the meantime, please make contact with a priest to work out together what’s possible.

It is imperative at this time to think of those most vulnerable and to have a eye for our neighbours.

The office phone and my mobile should be rung for those who need help and supplies. I am hoping that a few volunteers who are DBS checked will come forward and help in our endeavour. Those who wish to help but without DBS can still help with phone calls and dropping off gifted food parcels.

Above all, pray.

Fr Neil

Come, thou holy Paraclete

Fr Thomas’s homily for Pentecost

Video | Order of Mass

"Pentecost" (detail), Jean Restout the Younger (1692–1768), 1732; Musée du Louvre“What is soiled, make thou pure; what is wounded, work its cure; what is parched, fructify.” (Sequence for Pentecost)

Today we recall and celebrate that historical moment when the power of the Holy Ghost was first poured into the Church. When that gathering of bemused followers of Christ, hiding away in prayer, unsure of what was to come were suddenly transformed into powerful evangelists, when S. Peter went from denying Christ to proclaiming loudly to all who would listen “repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”

But we do far more than that — we do not merely recall an historical event, we enter into it. That outpouring of the Holy Ghost wasn’t a single event, rather it was the beginning of the working of the Holy Ghost in the Church. There has not been a single moment since that first Pentecost when the Holy Ghost has not been working within the Church — guiding and building us up, forming us as the Body of Christ. As those Apostles spread out through Jerusalem and its surroundings, up to Damascus and Antioch, to various parts of the Roman Empire — Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus and so forth — they did so receiving strength for their work from the Holy Ghost. When they gathered in solemn council to decide what to do with gentile converts, they did so under the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

What was true for the Apostles has continued to be true. Every generation of Christians has been given the gift of the Holy Ghost; in the Sacrament of Confirmation we have all been sealed with this gift. As missionaries spread the word of Christ across the world, they relied on the Holy Ghost to give them the strength to keep working. As monks and nuns sanctified their lives in quiet solitude, the Holy Ghost guided them into deeper truths and knowledge of God. And as countless thousands of normal Christians sought to grow in Christ, they have done so in the power of that same Spirit.

We heard in that magnificent Sequence what that Spirit can do. Make the soiled pure; cure the wounded; correct the erring; strengthen the weak…in short, to give the Christian the power to do everything which he should do. Without his power working within them, all of those generations were utterly powerless to do anything good. And this isn’t just something in the past — this is the truth of our lives too. We need the strength of the Holy Ghost if we are to live lives which are pleasing to God, are going to grow closer to him, are going to spread his word and build his kingdom.

First, though, we need to ask. Note that the entire text is that hymn is a request. We don’t simply note that the Holy Ghost can purify, can strengthen, can cure — we ask him to do so. We need to invite him into our lives. As with everything, God wants us to come to him, God invites us to come to him…but he does not force us to come to him. So too, the Holy Ghost wants to come into our lives, wants to cure our wounds, strengthen our weaknesses, purify our souls…but he won’t do so unless we ask him to. God will, with deep sadness, respect our choice if we reject him. So we need to ask for that working of the Holy Ghost in our lives. We need to imitate those Apostles who gathered with Our Lady in prayer — turning to God and asking for his strength in our lives, asking for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

When the Apostles received the Holy Ghost they had little idea what would happen — it was the first time after all. But the same is not true of us. We can know that inviting the Holy Ghost into our lives isn’t something which we can do on our own terms — it involves turning our lives over to him. It took those Apostles out of that place of refuge and to the very ends of the world. If we sincerely ask the Holy Ghost into our lives, then we have no idea where we will be led.

But we can be sure of two things. First, it will be to build up the Church, to further Christ’s Kingdom on earth, to seek to draw everyone around us into that same relationship of love with God which we experience. To be a missionary is the vocation of all Christians. We are not given gifts by God simply for our own satisfaction and happiness, rather we are given them to work his good works in the world. Secondly, whilst it will be a struggle (God never promised an easy life to his followers), it will be a struggle which is always undertaken with God working alongside us, God working through is, God holding us up…and if we are faithful to him through that struggle, it will bring us at last to him for eternal happiness.

That is why today we pray ‘Come Holy Ghost’ — come and fill us, come and guide us.

The Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world

Fr Thomas’s article in the Pentecost 2020 edition of the Eastbourne Catholic Churches’ magazine

Magazine

"Pentecost", El Greco (1541–1614), c.1596; Museo del PradoWhen the day of Pentecost had come, the Apostles were all together in one place. (Acts 2:1)

We all hear the name of ‘Pentecost’, and we know that it is one of the major feasts of the Church’s year, but it is worth pausing to reflect a little more deeply on it and what it can mean for our lives today and our journey with the Lord.

As that quotation from Acts makes clear, this was not something new — Pentecost was already a feast within the Jewish nation, but it was a feast whose meaning was about to be transformed as Christianity was born.

The ‘Feast of Weeks’ fell fifty days after the Passover, and so gained the Greek name ‘Pentecost’, and this was celebrated as a double feast: it marked the beginning of the harvest when God would be thanked by giving him the first-fruits of that harvest (Deuteronomy 26:1–15), and also the annual celebration of God’s giving the Law to the Sons of Israel through Moses. Both of these illustrated the way the God cared for his people — by making the land productive and so giving them the food they needed to live; and by giving them the law which guided them and was seen as illustrating God’s presence among his people (cf. Deuteronomy 4:1–8). It was for this feast that so many people had gathered in Jerusalem on that day which became the first Christian Pentecost.

If the Jewish feast of Pentecost marks God’s presence among his people, his providing for them, and his guiding them through their lives; the Christian feast of Pentecost marks God’s presence among his people, his providing for them, and his guiding their lives — but doing so in a new and vastly more powerful manner, fulfilling all of the promises of the Old Testament (e.g., Ezekiel 36:26–27).

As Our Lady and the Apostles were gathered together, completing their novena of prayer, they received this powerful new gift from God. No longer an external set of laws, but now a power which reached deep within them; which touched their hearts, and inspired them from the very centre of their beings.

As we hear about the arrival of the Holy Spirit, the first thing which strikes us is the sheer immensity of the power. ‘A sound from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind…tongues of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them.’ (Acts 2:2–3) This is God’s power coming upon them in a truly dramatic fashion; working within them to perform mighty works: ‘they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:4)

We are now given a full revelation of God as the Trinity — as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Spirit comes as a distinct person, but also comes with divine power — this follows from the revelation of Christ as truly God in the Gospels, now we are shown that the Holy Spirit is also truly God (Catechism of the Catholic Church §732).

The effect which this descent of the Holy Spirit has on the Apostles is immediate and profound. Straight away S. Peter stands up and preaches boldly to the crowds gathered at the Temple for the feast (Acts 2:14–36) — this the same S. Peter who denied even knowing Christ a few days earlier, but he now speaks with the power of the Holy Spirit.

This work of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was not just a single event, it has continued ever since — Christ had promised that the Holy Spirit would come, and that through the working of the Holy Spirit, Christ would be with us to guide us until the end of time (Matthew 28:20); that the Holy Spirit would guide us and bring us into all truth (John 16:8–14).

This is why we often refer to Pentecost as the birthday of the Church. The Church was founded by Christ to carry out his mission — but if she is to do so, then she needs Christ’s power working in her, supporting her and ensuring that she does not stray into error. This is what is given at Pentecost — and which continues to this day. The work of the Holy Spirit supporting the Church as she continues to proclaim Christ to the world. It is the work of the Holy Spirit which ‘makes’ the Sacraments — as the Priest pours water over a baby’s head or recites the words of Christ over bread and wine, as a man and woman promise married fidelity to each other, in each of these cases it is the Holy Spirit which actually baptises the small baby, which actually transforms the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, which actually unites that man and woman in marriage.

So we see that as those ancient Hebrews celebrated God’s presence and guidance among them in the Law, and when they gave thanks for the fruits of the earth which gave them nourishment, when they did all of this is was pointing forward to the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church, the new Israel. The Holy Spirit now offers us God’s presence in our lives (most especially through the Sacraments); the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth and writes God’s law on our hearts; and the Holy Spirit gives us the nourishment which we need to live a good life in union with God. This is what Pentecost is all about — and as we celebrate it, we should pray fervently for an ever-greater presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of thy love.
Send forth thy Spirit and they shall be created. And thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Pentecost Novena: Day 9 (30 May)

The Holy Spirit as a dove in the Bernini window at St Peter's Basilica, Rome

« Day 1

Saturday the Vigil of Pentecost

Thou, on those who evermore
Thee confess and Thee adore,
in Thy sevenfold gift, descend;
Give Them Comfort when they die;
Give them Life with Thee on high;
Give them joys which never end. Amen.

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.

Prayer

Come, O Divine Spirit,
fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits,
Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity,
goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance,
that I may never weary in the service of God,
but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration
may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father,
who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace;
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Then the Gloria is said seven times

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself soul and body to Thee, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Thy purity, the unerring keenness of Thy justice, and the might of Thy love. Thou art the Strength and Light of my soul. In Thee I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve Thee by unfaithfulness to grace, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against Thee. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Thy light and listen to Thy voice and follow Thy gracious inspirations. I cling to Thee and give myself to Thee and ask Thee by Thy compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore Thee Adorable Spirit, helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Thy grace that I may never sin against Thee. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to say to Thee always and everywhere, “Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth.” Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, didst promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of Thy Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me, that He may perfect in my soul the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom, that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal; the Spirit of Understanding, to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth; the Spirit of Counsel, that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining Heaven; the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with Thee, and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation; the Spirit of Knowledge, that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints; the Spirit of Piety, that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable; the Spirit of Fear, that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God, and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

Pentecost Novena: Day 8 (29 May)

The Holy Spirit as a dove in the Bernini window at St Peter's Basilica, Rome

Friday of the seventh week of Easter

Bend the stubborn heart and will,
melt the frozen; warm the chill.
Guide the steps that go astray!

The Gift of Wisdom

Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written “all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands.” It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savour, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: “Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.”

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Wisdom,
and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things,
their exceeding greatness, power and beauty.
Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth.
Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen.

Our Father,
who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace;
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Then the Gloria is said seven times

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself soul and body to Thee, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Thy purity, the unerring keenness of Thy justice, and the might of Thy love. Thou art the Strength and Light of my soul. In Thee I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve Thee by unfaithfulness to grace, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against Thee. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Thy light and listen to Thy voice and follow Thy gracious inspirations. I cling to Thee and give myself to Thee and ask Thee by Thy compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore Thee Adorable Spirit, helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Thy grace that I may never sin against Thee. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to say to Thee always and everywhere, “Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth.” Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, didst promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of Thy Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me, that He may perfect in my soul the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom, that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal; the Spirit of Understanding, to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth; the Spirit of Counsel, that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining Heaven; the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with Thee, and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation; the Spirit of Knowledge, that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints; the Spirit of Piety, that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable; the Spirit of Fear, that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God, and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

Pentecost Novena: Day 7 (28 May)

The Holy Spirit as a dove in the Bernini window at St Peter's Basilica, Rome

Thursday of the seventh week of Easter

Heal our wounds—our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Thy dew,
Wash the stains of guilt away.

The Gift of Counsel

The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. “Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth.”

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Counsel,
help and guide me in all my ways,
that I may always do Thy holy will.
Incline my heart to that which is good;
turn it away from all that is evil,
and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments
to that goal of eternal life for which I long. Amen.

Our Father,
who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace;
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Then the Gloria is said seven times

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself soul and body to Thee, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Thy purity, the unerring keenness of Thy justice, and the might of Thy love. Thou art the Strength and Light of my soul. In Thee I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve Thee by unfaithfulness to grace, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against Thee. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Thy light and listen to Thy voice and follow Thy gracious inspirations. I cling to Thee and give myself to Thee and ask Thee by Thy compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore Thee Adorable Spirit, helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Thy grace that I may never sin against Thee. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to say to Thee always and everywhere, “Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth.” Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, didst promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of Thy Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me, that He may perfect in my soul the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom, that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal; the Spirit of Understanding, to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth; the Spirit of Counsel, that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining Heaven; the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with Thee, and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation; the Spirit of Knowledge, that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints; the Spirit of Piety, that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable; the Spirit of Fear, that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God, and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

Pentecost Novena: Day 6 (27 May)

The Holy Spirit as a dove in the Bernini window at St Peter's Basilica, Rome

Wednesday of the seventh week of Easter

If Thou take Thy grace away,
nothing pure in man will stay,
All his good is turn’d to ill.

The Gift of Understanding

Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion by faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to “walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Understanding,
and enlighten our minds,
that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation;
and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light;
and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father,
who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace;
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Then the Gloria is said seven times

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself soul and body to Thee, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Thy purity, the unerring keenness of Thy justice, and the might of Thy love. Thou art the Strength and Light of my soul. In Thee I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve Thee by unfaithfulness to grace, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against Thee. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Thy light and listen to Thy voice and follow Thy gracious inspirations. I cling to Thee and give myself to Thee and ask Thee by Thy compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore Thee Adorable Spirit, helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Thy grace that I may never sin against Thee. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to say to Thee always and everywhere, “Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth.” Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, didst promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of Thy Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me, that He may perfect in my soul the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom, that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal; the Spirit of Understanding, to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth; the Spirit of Counsel, that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining Heaven; the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with Thee, and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation; the Spirit of Knowledge, that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints; the Spirit of Piety, that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable; the Spirit of Fear, that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God, and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.