“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”John 14:15-17    

    “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” —St. Paul, Romans 8:26)

    “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

    Letter #30, 2023 Tuesday, January 24: Holy Spirit    

    In the present circumstances, we need to turn to the Holy Spirit.

    To invoke the Holy Spirit.

    And I have felt the need for this invocation strongly in these past days.


    On December 27, 2013, in the afternoon, I was alone in the back of the chapel of the Domus Santa Marta, where Pope Francis chose to live, rather than in the Apostolic Palace

    On that day, Pope Benedict chose to visit Pope Francis.

    To exchange Christmas greetings.

    That is, to exchange greetings in the light of the coming into the world through the power of the Holy Spirit of the one awaited for a thousand years, and more.

    Pope Benedict came into the main lobby and Pope Francis greeted him, both dressed in their white papal robes.

    They embraced.

    The Swiss Guard motioned to me to move away from them, so I went to the end of the lobby.

    The two walked through the lobby toward the end where I was standing, where there was a manger scene, a presepio.

    The Swiss Guard looked at me a second time and indicated that I should move again, still further away, to leave them their space alone.

    So I went behind me into the chapel.

    Then Benedict and Francis left the presepio and came into the chapel.

    I was sitting alone in the last row, and in the front of the chapel was the red light showing that the Eucharist was in the tabernacle.

    I turned to them as they came in, nodded, and then turned to look again upon the tabernacle, and closed my eyes.

    They stood in the back, side by side, and prayed.

    No one else was in the chapel.

    Over the altar were these words: “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful.”

    It seemed to me that that was the essence of their prayer.

    But I did not hear the prayer distinctly, just a few words.

    Words that seemed to me, that December day, to be like groanings.

    Then they departed, and I stayed behind.

    Now almost 10 years have passed by, and the events of recent years, and months, and weeks, have occurred, as we all know…  


    Here is the prayer to the Holy Spirit. (link)

    Note that, in this profound, ancient prayer, souls “shall be created” by the power of God’s Spirit.

    It is like the moment just before the creation, when all was formless and void…

    We pray for this… for the coming of the Holy Spirit, which brings with it all things, all reality, all truth, and especially, the human soul, personhood, dignity, logos, reason, meaning… all that germinates, blossoms and blooms into what is good, and true, beautiful, and able to love, and to forgive… and to bring, finally, true peace.

    The Prayer to the Holy Spirit

    Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.

    Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.

    Let us pray.

    O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations.

    Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.


    In Latin:

    Veni Sancte Spiritus, reple tuórum corda fidélium et tui amóris in eis ignem accénde.

    Emítte Spíritum tuum, et creabúntur.

    Et renovábis fáciem terræ.


    Deus, qui corda fidélium Sancti Spíritus illustratióne docuísti,

    da nobis in eódem Spíritu recta sápere, et de eius semper consolatióne gaudére,

    per Christum, Dóminum nostrum. Amen.

Benedict XVI special commemorative issue

    Inside the Vatican is dedicating our next issue (March-April 2023) to a presentation of the life, work, thought and faith of the late Pope Benedict XVI.

    It will be a longer issue than usual (we are presently planning for 100 pages, perfect bound, like our Special Issue on Mary, just published) and will feature reflections from bishops and cardinals, writers and theologians, musicians and poets, on Pope Emeritus Benedict the person, and on the rich spiritual legacy he has left behind.

    Subscribe now or give a gift of Inside the Vatican magazine. Your order today will ensure you receive the special “Benedict XVI” commemorative March-April 2023 issue of Inside the Vatican magazine included with your subscription!

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