Due to the aforementioned being sick yesterday, I was forced to break with my custom of attending both the Pentecost Vigil Mass and the Pentecost Day Mass.  Actually, I didn’t even make it to Mass until this evening!  It was… different. 

For the past two years, Pentecost has been a very rousing occasion, a time when I have felt the movement of the Holy Spirit, especially where my vocational discernment has been concerned.  On my first Pentecost after rejoining the Church, I was strongly prompted to attend a local vocations retreat.  (During that retreat, I became quite aware that I was not called to consecrated religious life.)  On the following Pentecost, I was prompted to make my move on becoming a Lay Dominican.  Once I got in touch with my local group, it took very little time for me to realize that I was called to that! 

None of this probably sounds particularly dramatic, but at the time, for me, it was very dramatic… and a little frightening.  The Holy Spirit is incredibly powerful when He chooses to take a more direct approach in dealing with us.  I could truly understand a little bit of what Mary and the disciples must have experienced on that first Christian Pentecost–the rushing wind and the fire.  There was no literal wind and fire for me, but my soul trembled nonetheless.

This Pentecost has been subdued.  I haven’t felt that overwhelming power this year.  I can’t decide whether I’m relieved or disappointed!  At the end of Mass this evening, the priest announced the ending of the Easter Season, and he extinguished the Paschal Candle.  It really hit me: Easter is over.  While I have still found it a wonderful time of renewal and reaffirmation, this Pentecost has been a little more of an ending than a beginning. 

It’s not a bad thing.  Just different.  But I cherish every Pentecost.  I have learned that religious experiences aren’t all about feelings.  Days like this don’t exist to make us feel good or feel excited or feel overwhelmed.  They exist to draw us to God, even when He seems silent or even far away.  The Holy Spirit is perhaps the hardest of the Three Persons to “grasp,” even though He is such an integral part of the Church and of the life of every Christian, having never left us since that Pentecost nearly 2000 years ago. 

I guess that this quiet Pentecost is its own special gift… an opportunity to meditate in silence, to meditate more deeply upon this third Person of the Trinity.  I think that is exactly what I shall do on this night.

I hope all my readers have been blessed as I have today!