Sunday, June 05, 2011

Spirit of the Cenacle

Fr. Nicolas Schwizer

To build a better world – the Kingdom of God on earth – we need the Holy Spirit. We are very few, and we feel very weak and helpless for such a great mission. More than ever, we need the power from Above. More than ever do we need to unite our smallness to the greatness of God. More than ever do we need the Holy Spirit, the enlivening and transforming Spirit.

A great moment in the history of the Church was the coming of the Holy Spirit on the apostles gathered in the Cenacle on the day of Pentecost. It was the power and the fire of the Spirit which cast us out to the four winds. It was that same Spirit which led them to consume themselves for their mission to change the world.

To revive the Spirit of the Cenacle

It seems to me that we would have to renew that great historic moment, we would have to revive that Pentecost happening and allow ourselves to be inundated by the Spirit of the Cenacle.

What is that Spirit? The Acts of the Apostles indicate it to us: “They all persevered in prayer, in one same Spirit, in the company of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.” The Spirit of the Cenacle is, therefore, a triple Spirit: a Marian Spirit, a community Spirit, a Spirit of prayer.

1. A Marian Spirit. As in the historic Cenacle, we also gather around the Virgin Mary, and especially by her powerful maternal supplication, will the Holy Spirit come upon us. Surely we know the words of St. Grignion de Monfort so often repeated by our Father Kentenich, founder of the Schoenstatt Movement: “The Holy Spirit wants to encounter the Blessed Virgin in our souls, wants to encounter Marian attitudes and spirit. And if the Holy Spirit finds Mary in a soul, there is no other recourse than to penetrate this soul with his gifts and work miracles there.”

And we all need miracles: miracles of understanding, transformation, conviction, enthusiasm, heroism.

2. A Community Spirit. We form part of a family, and as a Christian family, we must form a community of hearts and tasks.

A community of hearts: we are many and, therefore, it is more difficult. We are united by a great love for the Virgin. We want to be one heart and one soul. And the Holy Spirit is our great attachment of unity: we should be penetrated by his fire of love.

A community of tasks: in one way or another, we are the conductors of the community. The destiny of the community is in our hands. This should demand the greatest from us, but the homeland’s destiny also depends on us. In light of history, it is a very great responsibility.

3. A Spirit of prayer. All our activities are not only for reflecting and exchanging ideas, but also for prayer as community, as Family, like community… implore the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God has to illuminate us, guide us, support us. Only then will we be able to understand what God asks of us, of our community, of our parish today. Only in this way will we be able to understand ourselves anew and with greater power for our great mission: to convert our country into a new world, into a Nation of God. And we have the Shrines, our Cenacles. There the Holy Spirit wants to fill us with his fire. And from there He wants to send us forth to change the world, like He sent the Apostles more than two thousand years ago.

Questions for reflection

1. Will the Holy Spirit encounter Mary in my heart?

2. How is my participation in the community?

3. Do I consider myself a person of prayer?