Pentecost season – and the second half of the liturgical year - leads us to seek a deeper understanding and appreciation of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost not just in the Church, but particularly in each of our souls, to yield a closer union and greater love of God.
This beautiful and very inspiring book (1918 Imprimatur) starts with a Preface from the author, Bede Jarrett, O.P., telling us the value of explaining heretofore hidden doctrines to those in English-speaking countries; he says he has compiled these meditations, “since hardly anything can render us more sensible of our worth and Christian dignity than does the teaching of Our Lord on the indwelling of the Spirit of God.”
Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical Letter for Pentecost, 1897, is next reproduced in full, which is an invaluable resource in itself, including the document of the Decree of the Annual Novena including details of various indulgenced prayers leading up to and immediately following Whitsunday.
“God’s Presence” is the opening chapter by this Dominican spiritual master. The reader could easily get stuck on this short chapter for ages, reading and rereading, meditating on arguably the most important and sublime reality to us – the essence of our life with God:
He is the ‘soul’s soul.’ Not only, therefore, must I train myself to see with reverence that everything contains Him, but I must especially realise His intimacy and relationship to myself…I have in my prayers, in my troubles, in my temptations, to turn to God, not without but within…right at the core of my being.
The “Degrees of God’s Presence” is then discussed. We are told such things as, “Thus we say that God is more in a man’s soul than anywhere else in creation, since in a man’s soul God is more perfectly expressed.” This leads into “God’s Special Presence in the Just” wherein the distinction is made of how He dwells in the just by grace, noting the Scriptural use of the word ‘dwelling’ to express the particular way that God is present in the souls of the just, as well as by the words, ‘sent’ and ‘given’ – “’Because you are His children God has sent into your hearts the Spirit of His Son whereby you cry Abba: Father’ (Galatians, 4:6). From the beginning the Holy Ghost had been within them; now His presence there is new and productive of new effects.”
Subsequent chapters provide indescribably edifying and consoling explanations about the Nature of This Presence – Modes of this Presence: Object of Knowledge and Object of Love – This Presence is of the Same Nature as that in Heaven – This Presence is Common to the Whole Trinity – such as:
To think that within the borders of my being is conducted the whole life of the Ever Blessed Three in One; that the Father is for ever knowing Himself in the Son, and that Father and Son are forever loving Themselves in the Spirit; that the power and eternity of the Father, whereby creation was called into being, and by Whose fiat the visible world will one day break up and fall to pieces; that the wisdom and beauty of the Son which catch the soul of man as in the meshes of a net..that the love of the Holy Spirit which completes the life of God…that the power and eternity of the Father, the wisdom and beauty of the Son, the love and joy of the Spirit, are for all time in my heart.
Every page is filled with doctrinal instruction about this unspeakable gift offered to us of our participation in the Divinity, even starting here on earth. A careful perusal of its contents would surely profoundly and positively impact the attitude and spiritual life of every Catholic who is fortunate enough to do so!
Similar to what it says about the Gift of Piety: The result then is a sweetness, a gracefulness, a natural lovingness towards God and all holy persons and things, as opposed to a gloomy, respectable, awkward, self-conscious hardness towards our Father in Heaven.
Obtain copies here: The Abiding Presence of the Holy Ghost in the Soul