I was excited to see that ‘The Wild Goose’ is inviting everyone to join them in a worldwide prayer vigil for Pentecost. If you don’t already know, ‘The Wild Goose’ is an online series, created in partnership between Fr. Dave Pivonka and 4pm Media. (You can see our introductory post on it here). Over a series of videos, resources, and reflection questions, Fr. Dave gently and interestingly introduces and explains the Holy Spirit. It may not be the case for everyone, but certainly in my experience, the Holy Spirit seems to take a bit of a back seat behind Jesus and God the Father. In some Catholic circles (not all!) we “don’t do” the Holy Spirit. Maybe because there has been a lack of education about Him and the Trinity, or He is harder to understand. All of these factors are what ‘The Wild Goose’ series aims to address, and it does so very well.
So this Pentecost, they are inviting everyone to join them in a Pentecost Prayer Vigil. They will be based that night out of New Orleans, where they will have prayer, liturgy, Adoration, worship, and finally, prayer for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Fr. Dave Pivonka says, “God wants to come with His power, with His fire on the world.”
These words may sound comforting, or they may sound weird or frightening. Maybe for me, I have shied away from the Holy Spirit because the language surrounding Him is too dramatic. Wind and fire and power and outpourings. Stories of people speaking in tongues, waving their hands in the air, proclaiming dramatically. If that was how an outpouring of the Holy Spirit worked, then I didn’t want it.
Yet over time, I have started to understand who the Holy Spirit is and how He works. His power is not frightening. It is a power that is warm and full of encouragement, a power that banishes fear and fills one up with strength and confidence. A priest once said to me, “the Holy Spirit is a gentleman.” This I have found to be true. He works quietly, carefully, with us, waiting for the right moment, never barging into the door of our hearts, but asking gently, whilst waiting to be invited.
When we look at our world today, scarred and fractured, where nothing can be certain and life is a commodity that can be done away with in many ways, including war and torture, do we not need an outpouring of God’s power over it? For how else can humanity find peace, between nations as well as in our hearts?
Pentecost falls on May 15th this year, and the Pentecost Vigil, held the night before, will therefore be on May 14th. As Fr. Dave encourages in the video, it doesn’t matter where you are, whether you want to meet in a parish group, with friends or just by yourself, the Holy Spirit brings us all together in prayer. On the website, you can find resources and information to help you take part in the vigil and discover more about the Holy Spirit. You can also register your own vigil that you might be hosting, so that everyone can see where around the world vigils are happening. Finally, you can check out their amazing booklet on how to host your own Vigil.
There is one purpose to the Pentecost Vigil, and that is: Come Holy Spirit. Come that you may pour out your power on our broken world, so in need of healing. Come that we ourselves may be healed. Come for all our friends who we know need healing. Come that you may bring peace to our world and our hearts. Come Holy Spirit.