Holy Ghost (St. Josemaria Institute)
He is SUPREME LOVE alas,
And is the Power in the Holy Mass!
First, let us recall that the Holy Ghost formed the Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was the Holy Ghost that created Christ's human soul and united it to the Divinity. It was He who brought the work of man’s redemption to a happy consummation on the day of Pentecost when He descended upon the Faithful in the form of Fire, enkindling them with Divine Love and giving them His Seven-fold Gifts of Supernatural power!
All these are great, but as Fr. Cochem says very well:
"We may justly say that Holy Mass is the chief and sublimest work of the Holy Ghost, and for this reason: All theologians agree that the mystery of the Incarnation is the greatest marvel the hand of God has wrought, because thereby the infinite Godhead was united to the manhood of Christ in one Person. This was accomplished through the operation of the Holy Ghost, as we say in the Creed, “who was conceived by the Holy Ghost.” Although this wonder is unspeakably great, yet the miracle worked in Holy Mass seems still greater because herein the omnipotent Godhead and the perfect humanity of Christ are so abased that they are present in the minutest particle of the Sacred Host."
This prayer in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass proves beyond doubt that the Holy Ghost descends from Heaven to work this great miracle and mystery of the the Faith:
“Come, O Sanctifier, Almighty, Eternal God, and bless this sacrifice prepared to Thy holy name.”
To further this point we will now inquire in what manner the Holy Ghost accomplishes the Transubstantiation. This vision from the abbess St. Hildegarde will show you how wondrous a manner the Transubstantiation of the bread and wine is effected by the penetrating power of the Divine Fire, the Holy Ghost:
“On one occasion when the priest, vested, went up to the altar, I saw a brilliant light coming from Heaven irradiate the whole altar. This light was not withdrawn until the celebrant left the sanctuary at the conclusion of the Mass. I noticed that when the priest got to the Sanctus and began the Canon, a flame of extraordinary brightness shot down from above upon the bread and wine, illuminating them with its light as the rays of the sun make glass to shine. Upon this stream of light the sacred elements rose to Heaven, and when they descended, they were transformed into true Flesh and Blood, though to the eye of an they yet appeared to be bread and wine. As I gazed upon this Flesh and Blood, I saw the signs of the Incarnation, the birth, the Passion of Our Saviour reflected in them as in a mirror, and just as we know these events to have been accomplished when the Son of God was on earth.”
Know well that this happens at every single Mass! The Holy Spirit, as a Divine Fire, descends from Heaven to change the elements of bread and water into Christ’s Sacred Body and Blood. And although our poor eyes have not the grace to behold this mysterious proceeding, yet it takes place none the less. Baronius [1538-1607, considered the Church’s greatest historian] relates the following story, which bears evidence to the presence of the Holy Ghost in Mass:
At Formello, near Rome, there was in early times a bishop who acquitted himself most conscientiously of all the duties appertaining to his office and was most reverent in his manner of saying Mass. Notwithstanding this, he was accused by some evil-minded persons to Pope Agapetus of having given scandal to his flock by using one of the sacred vessels at table. The Pope, believing the accusation, caused the bishop to be brought to Rome and put into prison. On the morning of the third day after his unjust incarceration, a Sunday, an Angel appeared to the Pope in a dream and said to him, “On this Sunday neither shalt thou nor any other prelate say Mass, but only the bishop whom thou hast placed in confinement.” The Pontiff awoke and, thinking over this dream, said to himself: “Shall I allow a prelate to say Mass who lies under so grave an accusation of sacrilege?” Before answering his own question, he fell asleep again and again heard the same voice saying: “I told thee, no one but the imprisoned bishop is to say Mass.” While the Pope still hesitated whether he should comply with this injunction, the voice spoke for the third time: “Beware that thou not permit any other than the bishop who is in prison to celebrate in thy presence today.” There upon, the Pope in some alarm sent for the bishop and inquired of him what was his manner of life and bade him give an account of his actions. The prelate answered with only these words, “I am a sinner.” Then the Pope asked, “Is it true that you ate and drank out of the vessels consecrated to the service of the altar?” The bishop replied as before: “I am a sinner.” As no other answer could be elicited from him, the Pontiff proceeded: “You will celebrate Mass in our presence today.” And when the bishop in his humility begged to be excused, he only repeated the command: “You will officiate at a Solemn High Mass today before ourselves and all the cardinals.” Upon receiving this express order the good bishop expostulated no longer, but prepared to obey. Attended by many acolytes, he went to the altar and commenced the Mass. When he got to the prayer which is said at the time of making the first Sign of the Cross over the host and chalice, “Come, O Sanctifier, Almighty, Eternal God, and bless this sacrifice prepared to Thy holy name,” he repeated it four times, and then stopped. The people grew impatient; at length the Pope said, “Why do you delay and repeat this prayer so often?” The bishop answered, “Pardon me, Holy Father; I repeated the prayer because I have not yet seen the Holy Ghost descend upon the altar. May I request your Holiness to bid the deacon leave my side? I cannot venture to do so myself.” The Pope then told the deacon to move to a little distance; no sooner had he done so than both the Pope and the bishop beheld the Holy Ghost come down from Heaven, while the celebrant with the deacon and acolytes was enveloped in a luminous cloud. This miracle convinced Pope Agapetus of the innocence and sanctity of the bishop, and he much regretted having put him into prison. He resolved for the future not to act so precipitously and to investigate a charge carefully before giving credence to it.
How ineffable is the goodness of the Holy Ghost, who interests Himself in our salvation and not only prays for us, but intercedes for us with unspeakable groanings, as St. Paul says: “The spirit helpeth our infirmity: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself asketh for us, with unspeakable groanings. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what the Spirit desireth, because He asketh for the Saints according to God.” (Rom. 8:26-27).
What a True Friend we have in the Holy Ghost! Let us love and trust in Him who is indeed our true and faithful friend. And since it is pre-eminently at Holy Mass that He pleads for you, you would do well to hear Holy Mass sometimes for His special honor, to please Him and give Him delight.