Saturday, October 22, 2011

Songs of the Spirit

I wish I could write a song for the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God.

I know how to write blues for Jesus. I know how to write blues for the disciples. (I've got many of those.) Once I almost wrote a blues for the Holy Spirit. But it's a blues minus the Holy Spirit. It's a song for the lowly who wait for all eternity in the upper room and never see, touch, or taste the tongues of fire.

Amen, I wish I could write a song for the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. Blues, spirituals, or whatever it may be given my tongue to sing.

One day I will be singing that song, and I won't even realize I am singing the song. But someone will hear it and tell me, "Friend, teach me the song you are singing." And then I will know the song; it will come to me because God's friends will recognize it. And then I will write it.

Until that day comes, I can ask the Holy Spirit to teach me how to sing my life as God sings the Word, Jesus Christ. And I can learn the songs of the Spirit that have come down the generations to lift up the souls of God's folk.

There is poetry in the liturgy of the Eucharist. "Come, Holy Spirit" (Veni Sancte Spiritus) is a jubilant hymn for Pentecost that has endured in Christian worship for twelve centuries. You can hear it here and pray the text below.

Come, Holy Spirit,
send forth the heavenly
radiance of your light.

Come, father of the poor,
come, giver of gifts,
come, light of the heart.

Greatest comforter,
sweet guest of the soul,
sweet consolation.

In labor, rest,
in heat, temperance,
in tears, solace.

O most blessed light,
fill the inmost heart
of your faithful.

Without your divine will,
there is nothing in man,
nothing is harmless.

Wash that which is unclean,
water that which is dry,
heal that which is wounded.

Bend that which is inflexible,
warm that which is chilled,
make right that which is wrong.

Give to your faithful,
who rely on you,
the sevenfold gifts.

Give reward to virtue,
give salvation at our passing on,
give eternal joy.

Amen. Alleluia.

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