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O God, who by the light of the Holy Ghost, didst this day instruct the hearts of the faithful: grant that, by the same Spirit, we may relish what is right, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through our Lord…
The Collect tells us what favors we should petition for from our heavenly Father on such a day as this. It also tells us that the Holy Ghost brings us two principal graces: a relish for the things of God and consolation of heart. Let us pray that we may receive both the one and the other, that we may thus become perfect Christians.
After learning about the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost and the twelve fruits, memorizing them and studying their meaning, I still didn't realize what's behind it all. We are supposed to delight in, to savor our Faith. Our Faith encompasses all the things of God. We are not oddballs if every time we turn around we are seeing God in the ordinary. We are not crazy, as the world would have us believe, if we are eagerly listening to hear God's will for us. We are not off the wall if we share our Faith with others and speak enthusiastically and indefatigably of the great things God has done for us. This is normal for the Christian. This is a gift of the Holy Spirit. This irrepressible relishing is what Peter and the others did on the first Pentecost Sunday when some scoffers accused them of being drunk.
The second grace, consolation of heart, flows naturally from the first. The lies and pressures of the world cannot shake up the heart of one relishing the things of God. We can discover the hand of God even though experiencing evil. It's all in our spiritual orientation. Truth is our true North on God's compass. To know it and carry it in our hearts is the greatest consolation and cause for rejoicing.
How can we develop a habit of relishing the things of God? The simple answer is, structure in our spiritual life. The Ignatian Daily Examen is only one method. Set times for prayer and set prayers help. Even in times of dryness in prayer we can do our daily duties out of love of God and they become a structure conducive to relishing the things of God. Living according to a Rule such as that of St. Benedict can be part of our structure, or imbibing the spirituality of the Carmelites, Franciscans, Dominicans, Passionists, et al. Everything is there for us. All we need do is commit. In today's Collect we have already asked for the grace. God will not refuse. Amen. Alleluia.