The ancient Litany to the Holy Spirit gives us a great summary of who he is and his actions in our lives.
When speaking to his apostles before his crucifixion, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit when his time on earth ended. “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever … the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. ” (John 14:16,25)
This promise was fulfilled at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the apostles. The Holy Spirit continues to be present and active in the world. However, we don’t always turn to the Holy Spirit as much as we should. Frequently, perhaps, we address our prayers to the Father or to Jesus, but how often do we invoke the Holy Spirit?
One of the reasons may be on account of our unfamiliarity with the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. We simply do not know how the Holy Spirit can influence our lives and so we naturally turn to the persons of the Trinity that we are most familiar with, instead of turning to the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit as Divine Artist
Without going into the depths of Trinitarian theology, a simple way to draw closer to the Holy Spirit is to pray the ancient Litany to the Holy Spirit. Besides giving various titles to the Holy Spirit, such as “Comforter,” or “Sanctifier,” it also describes the activity of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can be invoked to “inflame us with the flame of Thy love,” or “enlighten us with Thy heavenly inspirations.”
During this month dedicated to the Holy Spirit, let us pray the Litany to the Holy Spirit and learn more about the gift God has given us on our pilgrimage to Heaven.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Father all-powerful, have mercy on us. Jesus, Eternal Son of the Father, Redeemer of the world, save us. Spirit of the Father and the Son, boundless life of both, sanctify us. Holy Trinity, hear us. Holy Spirit, Who proceedest from the Father and the Son, enter our hearts. Holy Spirit, Who art equal to the Father and the Son, enter our hearts. Promise of God the Father, have mercy on us. Ray of heavenly light, have mercy on us. Author of all good, [etc.] Source of heavenly water Consuming fire Ardent charity Spiritual unction Spirit of love and truth Spirit of wisdom and understanding Spirit of counsel and fortitude Spirit of knowledge and piety Spirit of the fear of the Lord Spirit of grace and prayer Spirit of peace and meekness Spirit of modesty and innocence Holy Spirit, the Comforter Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier Holy Spirit, Who governest the Church Gift of God, the Most High Spirit Who fillest the universe Spirit of the adoption of the children of God Holy Spirit, inspire us with horror of sin. Holy Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth. Holy Spirit, shed Thy light in our souls. Holy Spirit, engrave Thy law in our hearts. Holy Spirit, inflame us with the flame of Thy love. Holy Spirit, open to us the treasures of Thy graces. Holy Spirit, teach us to pray well. Holy Spirit, enlighten us with Thy heavenly inspirations. Holy Spirit, lead us in the way of salvation. Holy Spirit, grant us the only necessary knowledge. Holy Spirit, inspire in us the practice of good. Holy Spirit, grant us the merits of all virtues. Holy Spirit, make us persevere in justice. Holy Spirit, be Thou our everlasting reward. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Send us Thy Holy Spirit. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, pour down into our souls the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, grant us the Spirit of wisdom and piety. V. Come, Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful, R. And enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Let us pray. Grant, O merciful Father, that Thy Divine Spirit may enlighten, inflame and purify us, that He may penetrate us with His heavenly dew and make us fruitful in good works, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, forever and ever. R. Amen.