Over the last two weeks, I’ve heard(/sung) the ancient hymn Veni Creator Spiritus as many times as I’ve heard it throughout my life–it’s been a spirit-filled few weeks (see: holy week). This poem has been used by Christians since the 800’s to pray for the Holy Spirit to be present and come upon those who are gathered. It’s used in the Episcopal church at ordinations, though its text is appropriate for any time one wants to invoke the Holy Spirit (every day, anyone?).
At the weekly Sunday morning breakfast here at the cathedral, someone asked me, “How do you get the Holy Spirit?” I told him, “I think all you can do is pray for it. It will come–probably when you don’t mean for it to show up.” Another person asked, “Why are there so many different Christian churches, like Episcopalian, and all that?” My response was immediately on my tongue, as if inspired, “Because we humans are really bad at listening to the Holy Spirit. We have such trouble being truly sensitive to God’s movement and work, correcting our myopias, and practicing humility with each other that we break apart Christ’s body–the church–again and again and again instead of laying down our pride and committing to unity.”
With that lament, we pray: Come, Holy Spirit… enable with perpetual light the dullness of our blinded sight.