Praying Bravely at Pentecost

dandelion in wind - photo by Ivica Drusany/Shutterstock

In the Pentecost account (Acts 2:1–11), the Holy Spirit doesn’t sprinkle down like a gentle rain; it comes “like a mighty rushing wind.” I think about what we do when there are strong winds in Virginia where I live. We take in the wind chimes, secure loose objects, and batten down the hatches. We go inside where we will be safe from the wind.

We have the benefit of hindsight that those first Apostles did not have. They were completely vulnerable in the face of what was coming at them. We, on the other hand, know how the story goes. When we ask the Holy Spirit to come, we are, in essence, throwing open the sashes right as the winds are starting to get strong and just sitting there out in the open. It’s a vulnerable spot.

We can’t go into an interior room and hide behind something like one would when dangerous winds come, because the Holy Spirit fills the “entire house” and the people in it. It leaves no room for anything else. This wind occupies us completely. It will force out anything which is not of the Spirit.

Fortunately, the Holy Spirit is not like wind in Virginia or any other place on Earth. Instead of bringing chaos and destruction, it brings unity and newness. It finds us in a vulnerable spot and empowers us. It takes the community that is already gathered and knits it closer. With the Spirit comes fire that doesn’t destroy, but rather builds and transforms. Out of many peoples from all over the world, it makes one people, gifted abundantly with the ability to understand each other, serve one another, and live in peace as did that first apostolic community, who lived in “one accord” with one another.

And while this wind is not destructive, when the Spirit comes, it does disturb the status quo. The Holy Spirit does not leave us unchanged.

So, when we pray, “Come, Holy Spirit,” we should be aware of what we are praying. It’s a brave prayer.

On May 20, 2021, we entered the Ignatian Year. Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, says the Ignatian Year “is a call to allow the Lord to work on our conversion. We ask for the grace to be renewed by the Lord. We wish to discover a new apostolic enthusiasm inside ourselves, a new life, new ways to follow the Lord. That is why we have chosen as our theme for the year: to see all things new in Christ.”

What better time than Pentecost to ask the Lord to renew us?

Holy Spirit Prayer for the Ignatian Year

Come, Holy Spirit,
Fill us with the fire of your love.
Amaze us.
Astound us.
Occupy our hearts.
Drive out anything that is not of You.

Come, Holy Spirit,
Renew the face of the earth,
This tired and hurting earth.
Teach us to cherish it, care for it,
Recognize your breath in it.

Come, Holy Spirit,
Fill us with the fire of your love.
Open our eyes to see as you see, our hearts to love as you love.
Teach us to listen, dialogue, and understand.
Breathe in us words that console and bring hope
and actions that bring justice and renewal
to the poor, outcast, young, old, and infirm.
Teach us how to live in unity, as one family, with one accord,
Empowered by the winds of your abundant love.

Come, Holy Spirit,
We are ready
To let go of the status quo.
We give you permission to
Disturb us
with the fire of your love.


  1. Thanks Rebecca. Indeed conversion is the need of the hour. Ignatian year is an opportunity for replenishing our toll kit and relaunching in the right direction.
    Blow, blow, blow till I be, but a breath of the Spirit blowing in me.

  2. Wind is BIG in Oklahoma, too! I love this analogy and will share it with my candidates who are receiving the sacrament of Confirmation this Sunday.

    • Hi Faith,

      I’m so glad this imagery spoke to you. Prayers for the new confirmandi and for you too!



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