The Holy Spirit is the most mysterious of the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. He is probably the most difficult to get to know and the most challenging to pray to. But the Holy Spirit is our Advocate and our Protector, the One Who guides our hearts and fills them with saving grace and with gifts beyond all telling. The Holy Spirit lives inside us when we are in a state of grace, dwelling in the deepest part of our souls. He is closer to us than we are to ourselves, and His love for us is beyond our understanding, for as saints and theologians have said, the Holy Spirit is the very love of God, so strong and powerful that it is a real Person.
We Catholics are lucky because when we can't find the words to pray, we can fall back on the words of others. For centuries, holy people have been composing prayers to the Holy Spirit, asking for His presence and His power to invade our lives. Below you will find a collection of traditional prayers to the Holy Spirit taken from the Raccolta prayer book. Use them over the next few weeks. Recite them attentively and devoutly. Make them your own. Before long, you will discover that you know the Holy Spirit better than ever and that your relationship with Him has grown and deepened.
Hymn to the Holy Spirit
Come, O Creator Spirit blest!
And in our souls take up thy rest;
Come, with thy grace and heavenly aid,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
Great Paraclete! to Thee we cry:
O highest gift of God most high!
O fount of life! O fire of love!
And sweet Anointing from above!
Thou in thy sevenfold gifts art known!
Thee, Finger of God's hand, we own;
The promise of the Father Thou!
Who dost the tongue with pow'r endow.
Kindle our senses from above,
And make our hearts o'erflow with love;
With patience firm, and virtue high,
The weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
And grant us thy true peace instead;
So shall we not, with Thee for guide,
Turn from the path of life aside.
O, may thy grace on us bestow
The Father and the Son to know,
And Thee, through endless times confess'd,
Of Both th'eternal Spirit blest.
All glory, while the ages run,
Be to the Father and the Son,
The same, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
Now and through all eternity. Amen.
Sequence to the Holy Spirit
HOLY Spirit! Lord of light!
From thy clear celestial height,
Thy pure beaming radiance give
Come, Thou Father of the poor!
Come, with treasures which endure!
Come, Thou Light of all that live!
Thou, of all consolers best,
Visiting the troubled breast,
Dost refreshing peace bestow;
Thou in toil art comfort sweet;
Pleasant coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
Light immortal! Light Divine!
Visit Thou these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill:
If Thou take thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turn'd to ill.
Heal our wounds — our strength renew;
On our dryness pour thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
Thou, on those who evermore
Thee confess and Thee adore,
In thy sevenfold gifts, descend:
Give them comfort when they die;
Give them life with Thee on high;
Give them joys which never end. Amen.
Prayer for the Church
O Holy Spirit, Creator, be propitious to the Catholic Church; and by Thy heavenly power make it strong and secure against the attacks of its enemies; and renew in charity and grace the spirit of Thy servants, whom Thou hast anointed, that they may glorify Thee and the Father and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for the Propagation of the Faith
O Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth, come into our hearts; shed the brightness of Thy light on all nations, that they may be one in Faith and pleasing to Thee. Amen.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus
Come, O Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love. Amen.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
O Holy Spirit, divine spirit of light and love, I consecrate to Thee my understanding, heart and will, my whole being for time and for eternity. May my understanding be always submissive to Thy heavenly inspirations, and to the teaching of the Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible Guide; may my heart be ever inflamed with love of God and of my neighbor; may my will be ever conformed to the divine will, and may my whole life be a faithful imitation of the life and virtues of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and Thee be honor and glory for ever. Amen.