Prayer to the Holy Spirit
by Father Thomas Keating
Inspired by the Latin hymn Veni Sancti Spiritus
Come, Holy Spirit, pour out of the depths of the Trinity a ray of Your Light–that Light which enlightens our minds and, at the same time, strengthens our wills to pursue the Light.
Come, Father of the poor, the poor in spirit, whom You love to fill with the fullness of God.
You are not only Giver of gifts, but Giver of Yourself, the supreme Gift–the Gift of the Father and the Son.
You are the best consoler! What a charming Guest You make! Your conversation, though all in silence, is sweetness itself. How refreshing Your consolation! Soothing like a caress. In an instant You dissipate all doubt and sadness.
In the labor of fighting temptation, you are there promising victory. Your presence is our victory You gently coax our timid hearts to trust in You.
In the greatest of labors, the struggle of self-surrender, You are our repose-our peace in the depth of our souls.
In the heat of battle; Your breath is cooling, calming our rebellious passions, quieting our fears when it looks like defeat. You dry our tears when we fall. It is You who give the grace of compunction and the sure hope of pardon.
Oh deliriously happy Light! Fill to the uttermost recesses the hearts of Your faithful children!
Without You, there is no divine life in us, no virtue at all. If Your breath is cut off, our spirit perishes; nor can it live again until You press Your lips to our mouths and breathe into them the breath of life.
Your touch is as dew, but You act with a strong hand. Gentle as the softest breeze, You are also in the whirlwind.
Like a giant furnace blast, You dry up all our faculties–but only to melt the hardness of our hearts.
You cast us before You like dead leaves in the winter’s gale–but only to set our feet upon the narrow way.
Now, as a mighty Wind coming, pour down torrents to wash away our sins. Drench with grace our dried out hearts. Soothe the wounds You have cauterized.
Give to all who trust in You–with that true trust which only You can give–Your seven sacred Gifts.
Grant the reward of virtue; that is, Your very Self! Grant perseverance to the end! And then, everlasting joy!
This hymn is preface to Fr. Thomas Keating’s new book Open Mind Open Heart, The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel.