This past Sunday we celebrated the feast of Pentecost, one of the greatest feasts in the Church. As we celebrate this great feast, we should ponder the coming of the Holy Ghost to the apostles and renew our devotion to Him who came to us in the Sacrament of Confirmation. In the upper room on Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Ghost was the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to be with the Church always, “and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”[1] Many see this feast simply as a commemoration of the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles two thousand years ago; a feast which we remember for a short while before moving on with our busy day to day lives. This view completely neglects the fact that the Holy Ghost still guides the Church and guards it from error and destruction. After two thousand years, the Holy Ghost continues to come to us today in the “laying on of hands” in the sacrament of Confirmation just as He came to the apostles in the upper room on Pentecost.

“This laying on of hands is considered by Catholic Tradition the beginning of the sacrament of confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the Pentecostal grace in the Church.”[2]

The Holy Ghost shows His love for us by watching over the Church, guarding it, and especially by coming to us in Confirmation. Through Confirmation, the Holy Ghost plants in our hearts the seeds of His seven gifts, namely, wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and the fear of the Lord. Now it is up to us to grow these seeds in our heart so that we may fully acquire the great graces promised by the Holy Ghost at Confirmation. To make full use of this abundant aid, we have but to ask, and it is in devotion to the Holy Ghost that we ask Him to increase in us His grace and gifts. Devotion to the Holy Ghost is vital to spiritual growth, for it is here we find the necessary fortification to survive in the hostile world today. The Holy Ghost also enables us to fully and fearlessly profess the Faith, properly carry out our duties to God, and become the person God made us to be.

The coming of the Holy Ghost in Confirmation is so important that it is to our faith, as growth is to our body,

“In order to appreciate the importance of confirmation in the Catholic liturgy, we should see it as a stage in the sacramental progress of the Christian, comparable to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are reborn to a share in the divine nature by baptism, are strengthened by the sacrament of confirmation, and finally are sustained by the food of eternal life through the Holy Eucharist.”[3]

Since the devotion to the Holy Ghost is so important to us spiritually, how can we implement it in our daily lives?

To start a devotion to the Holy Ghost, we do not have to pray for hours each day. We can begin by simply saying a single prayer devoutly to the Holy Ghost every day. There are many prayers that one can use, such as St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Ghost. Whether we say one prayer, a litany, or many prayers as our devotion, what matters is that we say them with great love.

Now that it is the season of Pentecost we should concentrate our efforts to renew our fervor and devotion to the Holy Ghost, who is our spiritual life, who watches over the Church with loving care, and who comes to us through the “laying on of hands.” Let us renew with great devotion that spirit of love and joy that was planted in our soul on that day of Confirmation. Let us seek perfection and love of God through devotion to the third person of the Blessed Trinity.

Prayer of St. Augustine to the Holy Ghost

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit,

That my thoughts may be holy.

Act in me, O Holy Spirit,

That my work, too, may be holy.

Draw my hear, O Holy Spirit,

That I love but what is holy.

Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, To defend alll that is holy.

Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit,

That I may always be holy.


Hardon, John A. The Catholic Catechism. Doubleday, 1975.

The Douay Rheims Bible

[1] Mt. 28:20

[2] The Catholic Catechism, pg. 514

[3] The Catholic Catechism, pg. 513