again read the beautiful words of the Sequence, Veni Sancte Spiritus.
It may be that in all ages Christians have turned to this prayer to find in it the help and courage they needed in order to face the difficulties of the life that was contemporary to them, but to our generation at any rate this prayer reads as though it had been specially written for us in our own peculiar troubles.
Conic, Thou Father of the Poor: Come, with all Thy gifts in store; Grant us, Light of hearts, our sight! Thou of comforters the best; Thou the spirit's gracious guest: Thou the soul's refreshment sweet— Thou in toil the deepest rest; Comfort for the laden breast. Cool as dew in heavy heat!
Do not these words pierce through the superficial ease and " slickness " of modern life to the suffering and strife and strain in the human soul ? It is easier perhaps than ever it was for us to find a temporary refuge or escape from reality, but as the days and months pass by the escape becomes visibly more insecure. Whether it be in the great world of politics, in which any attempt at pretence has now been given up, or in the world of industry, where the relationship between the nature of work and the needs of the worker grows more and more tenuous, or in private life, receding ever further from principles written in the heart of men long before Chistianity raised them to supernatural significance, the modem experiment, progress, declares its tragic failure by the loss of refreshment, rest, coolness and the increase of woe.
Light of beatific bliss, All our heart's dark secrecies Enter, and their void fulfil!
This surely should be the prayer of Christians today. Few men with experience of souls will deny the existence of good wili, of a desire for better things. Indeed an age of indifference has been succeeded by an age of determination to conquer what is thought to be evil. And the real tragedy lies in the law of life that an unenlightened will, however well-intentioned, can actually do more harm than mere indifference.
It is light, the blessed Light divine, that the world needs today, if it is not to be engulfed by its very efforts to seek its own redemption. Of the destruction that can be wrought by its own unaided and dark efforts practically every coun try bears witness. Blindness is the supreme evil of today, and only the Holy Spirit, prayed to on this Pentecost in thousands of churches and in thousands of monasteries and convents where men and women whom the world despises live lives of prayer and penance, can save this generation from itself.
We said above that there was much good will in the world. That is true, but between good will and sustained effort, between the desire for reformation and the habit of reformation there is a wide gap. With light we need strength to follow its guidance.
IIThat is filthied, purify: Slake the desert land and dry; Chafe and cherish what is chill.
May this Pentecost, the second feast of the Church's year, strengthen the growing devotion to the Holy Spirit, the devotion which perhaps answers best today to the needs of a generation that walks in greater darkness than any that have preceded it.