SOL – October 2016

NH Cursillo School of Leaders
Saturday October 15, 2016

The new Pilgrims Guide by Holly Wentworth
Prayer to the Holy Spirit by Deacon Geoff Ashman

New Pilgrims Guide

Why do we have a new edition of the Pilgrim’s Guide?

The official translation of the Guia del Peregrino, 6th revised edition

To answer this question, we need to begin with the memo from Huang Tran, Cursillo’s National Director. Huang explains that the National Language Coordinators worked on revising the Pilgrims Guide based on the Mallorcan version, which was “prepared under the light of the Foundational Charism.

The English revised Pilgrims Guide became available in January 2016. We need to remember that the Pilgrims Guide is primarily for the “far aways”. The guide was used as a tool to pray together with other pilgrims that were on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Later Cursillo used the Pilgrims Guide on Cursillo weekends to help the candidates at the beginning of their faith journey.

The criterion for the recent revision is to simplify the Pilgrims Guide for anyone to use. The guide is not intended to teach candidates about praying the Liturgy of the Hours, the history of the Rosary, the Canticles of Zechariah and Mary, or anything Catholic.

The prior edition will not be available for purchase going forward. Please do not discard your old Pilgrims Guides as they are great resources full of information . If you have a prayer life that includes the existing Pilgrims Guide, you can still use it for your personal study and growth.

With the fall weekends NH Cursillo is using the new edition of the Pilgrims Guide. Rectors and Rectoras will work with their teams on the use and implementation of the new guide. The Secretariat and School of Leaders committee will address questions, and set guidelines for weekend use of the guide as needed.

The new Pilgrims Guide has the Holy Spirit prayer in two places; pages 28 and 129. I would suggest that the prayer on page 129 may be the easier one to find for reference. The new edition also has a lot of blank space for personal notes. The simple table of contents is very easy to follow. Here are two examples:

Beginning on page 31, the entire order of the Holy Mass is provided so that everyone has the necessary prayers and responses with them in the guide.

The section “Memories of My Pilgrimage” beginning on page 121 provides a concise outline of what Cursillo is, or in other words, a snapshot of Cursillo.

Please remember that change can have some bumps that need to be smoothed out. If you have questions or thoughts about the new Pilgrims Guide, please share them with the Secretariat and /or the School of Leaders committee.


Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Lots of things in our world come in Threes. I’ll now give you three examples: In the Olympics you can win a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Medal. Back in the 1990’s a popular operatic singing group was known as the Three Tenors: Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and the other guy… Jose Carreras. In ordained Ministry we have Bishops, Priests, and humble deacons.

And in each of these three examples there’s kind of a pecking order – from most important to less important. Gold medals are better than bronze. The “other guy – Jose Carreras” wasn’t nearly as well-known at Pavarotti and Domingo, and the humble deacon is certainly down a few notches from Bishops and Priests.

So when it comes to something else that comes in threes – the persons of our God, the Trinity – our brains might be tempted to, for some reason place the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit in some kind of pecking order as well, most important to less important. This we must never do. The Three Persons of God are all equal.

And yet when I speak to people old enough to understand this following reference, I like to jokingly refer to the Holy Spirit as the Rodney Dangerfield of God – I suspect Rodney Dangerfield’s tag line of “I don’t get no respect, no respect at all” sometimes rings true to the Holy Spirit as well.
When I speak with Candidates and Catechumen within RCIA, and we talk about the Trinity, I’m always concerned that those new to the faith might think of the Three Persons of God, as if they were running some kind of a relay race.

In the Old Testament we have GOD – generally thought of as God the Father. He created everything, and watches over us as we await the Messiah: Jesus Christ to come and save us.

That’s when the New Testament Begins.
We have the Gospels all about Jesus Christ.

Then 10 days after Jesus ascends to heaven we get the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. And yet, the Holy Spirit’s arrival may seem a little anti-climatic compared to Creation in the Old Testament and the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ we find in the New Testament.

In both the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed, God the Father and Jesus the Son get far more lines than the Holy Spirit does. And yet these creeds do point out that it was through the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus became man, and that when the Old Testament Prophets had something to tell us, it was the Holy Spirit speaking through them to us.

So that’s why it’s so important to stress to those new to the faith that the three persons of God is NOT a relay race.

That Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have all been around since – well, before the beginning. And that all three Persons are involved in all aspects of everything that has ever happened. And yet we can’t deny, the three different Persons of God, do seem to take turns in grabbing our attention.

So if God the father grabbed our attention in the Old Testament, and Jesus the Son grabbed our attention until his ascension into heaven nearly 2000 years ago, who should be grabbing our attention now? The Holy Spirit.

Shortly before His death, Jesus tells us about the paraclete/ the advocate he’ll be sending us after He’s gone:

This is from John Chapter 16
Jesus’ Departure; Coming of the Advocate.
* “I did not tell you this from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me,* ‘Where are you going? But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

* And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me;f righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.

* But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.h He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.

Wow! Perhaps there is no more difficult passage in all of scripture to believe than the line when Jesus tells us: “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.” The Apostles are grief stricken at the thought of Jesus leaving them. How difficult it must have been for them – and for us to imagine that things will be better if Jesus leaves.

And yet at Pentecost we learn just how true Jesus’ words are. The confidence, the boldness that overtake the Apostles and the rest of Jesus followers at Pentecost is profound. No more hiding out in locked rooms for fear of the Jews. Now the early Christians are ready to spread the Good News.
So what about us? What’s keeping us from being just as confident, just as bold as the early Christians? Perhaps we need a strong dose of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s take a look at the Prayer to the Holy Spirit.
“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of us your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love.”

That’s a good start. We invite the Holy Spirit into our heart. The first time that happened was at our baptism when we were infused with the gift of – who? – the Holy Spirit. But we were just babies – most of us anyway. What did we know? Well, at our Confirmation we take responsibility for our faith. We renew our baptismal promises and the Bishop seals us with – who? – The Holy Spirit.

Back to our prayer:
“Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created, and you shall renew the Face of the Earth.”

We shall be created? That’s another baptism reference. I just learned last week that the reason why baptismal fonts have 8 sides is because everything was created in 7 days, but at our baptism on the 8th day we become a new creation.

Collectively, all these new creations would then, in fact, help God renew the face of the earth.
At our baptism the priest or deacon claims us for Christ. At Confirmation we accept our role in Christ’s mission on earth. We direct our whole lives to God. That sounds like piety to me.

Back to our prayer:
“Oh God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit instructs the hearts of the Faithful,”

Wait a minute, isn’t this what Jesus told us would happen back in the Gospel of John Chap 16:
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” That sounds like Study to me.

Back to our prayer for one final time:
“grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His Consolations,”

Okay, now if you’ve really been paying attention you’ll recall I started off talking about things coming in threes: Olympic Medals, Tenors, Degrees of Ordination.
That brought us to the Trinity – the three persons of God, and one last thing that comes in threes is the tripod: I’ve tied Piety, and Study, to the Prayer to the Holy Spirit right?
So you just know I’m going to tie Action to this last line of the prayer:
“grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His Consolations,”
Consolation, what does that word even mean?

When I think of: “Consolation” the first thing I think of is: Turtle Wax!
Remember on game shows, if you don’t win the big prize, you get a Consolation Prize. Which always seemed to be a case of Turtle Wax. I’m guessing, the word Consolation doesn’t mean that in our Prayer to the Holy Spirit. Especially since it’s preceded with the phrase: “Ever rejoice”. People never seemed to rejoice when they got their case of Turtle Wax.

So we’re going to use St. Ignatius of Loyola’s definition for Consolation, Spiritual Consolation that is.

I went on an 8-day silent retreat over the Summer at an Ignatian Retreat Center. The Champion Center down in Weston, MA. I learned about Spiritual Consolation and Spiritual Desolation. It’s sort of like having that good angel on one shoulder, and the little devil on your other shoulder. There’s the Good spirit and the bad spirit. When we take action and follow the Good spirit, we are led to a place of spiritual consolation. When we take action and follow the bad spirit, we are led to a place of spiritual desolation.

From the Spiritual Exercises Rule #3
Third Rule: “Of Spiritual Consolation. I call it consolation when some interior movement in the soul is caused, through which the soul comes to be inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord;
I call consolation every increase of hope, faith and charity, and all interior joy which calls and attracts to heavenly things and to the salvation of one’s soul, quieting it and giving it peace in its Creator and Lord.”

Now that’s something we can rejoice in. By taking Action to follow the guidance of the Good Spirit, the Holy Spirit we achieve Spiritual Consolation: joy, peace, and salvation for our soul. That’s Action.

Desolation incidentally, being led by the bad spirit is define in Rule #4
“I call desolation all the contrary of the third rule, such as darkness of soul, movement to things low and earthly, lack of confidence, without hope, without love, when one finds oneself all lazy, tepid, sad, and as if separated from his Creator and Lord.”

Let’s do all we can to avoid that, and use this prayer to remind us to follow the Good Spirit, the Holy Spirit who will lead us into the light.

So there we have it. Our little Prayer to the Holy Spirit. Which we recite so many times during our Cursillo Weekend and throughout our 4th Day.

This prayer is a great reminder to call upon the Holy Spirit. A reminder of our Baptism promises and our being sealed by the Holy Spirit at our Confirmation. A call to piety, directing our whole lives to God. Inviting the Holy Spirit to guide us as Jesus instructed us to do. To tap into this Holy Spirit in our study as we strive to become wise, and to take action by following the Good Spirit all the way to our salvation, where we will live in peace for all eternity with Christ our Lord. Amen.

This is a powerful little prayer. So let’s all stand and say it together, with hopefully a renewed sense of how the Holy Spirit can help us become the people we were made to be.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of us your faithful, and kindle in us the fire of Your love. Send forth Your spirit and we shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the earth.
Oh God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit instructs the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolations, through Christ our Lord. Amen.