On Pentecost the Church was born in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit promised by Jesus descended on the apostles and disciples.
Cardinal Newman reminds us that the Holy Spirit gives life to everything, and He turns “sinners into saints”:
Thou art the life of the whole creation, O Eternal Paraclete—and if of this animal and material framework, how much more of the world of spirits! Through Thee, Almighty Lord, the angels and saints sing Thee praises in heaven. Through Thee our own dead souls are quickened to serve Thee. From Thee is every good thought and desire, every good purpose, every good effort, every good success. It is by Thee that sinners are turned into saints. It is by Thee the Church is refreshed and strengthened, and champions start forth, and martyrs are carried on to their crown. Through Thee new religious orders, new devotions in the Church come into being; new countries are added to the faith, new manifestations and illustrations are given to the ancient Apostolic creed. I praise and adore Thee, my Sovereign Lord God, the Holy Ghost.
Without God, the Holy Spirit we cannot do anything that is good; we cannot live as God’s children:
I know, that if I attempt anything good in my own strength, I shall to a certainty fail. I have bitter experience of this. My God, I am only safe when Thou dost breathe upon me. If Thou withdraw Thy breath, forthwith my three mortal enemies rush on me and overcome me. I am as weak as water, I am utterly impotent without Thee. The minute Thou dost cease to act in me, I begin to languish, to gasp, and to faint away.
Blessed John Henry Newman experienced from an early age, like other saints such as St. Josemaría Escrivá, the closeness of the Holy Spirit:
O my dear Lord, how merciful Thou hast been to me. When I was young, Thou didst put into my heart a special devotion to Thee. Thou hast taken me up in my youth, and in my age Thou wilt not forsake me. Not for my merit, but from Thy free and bountiful love Thou didst put good resolutions into me when I was young, and didst turn me to Thee.
We pray with Bl. Newman to the Holy Spirit to be spared from lukewarmness and sloth and to become saints:
Thou wilt never forsake me. I do earnestly trust so—never certainly without fearful provocation on my part. Yet I trust and pray, that Thou wilt keep me from that provocation. O keep me from the provocation of lukewarmness and sloth. O my dear Lord, lead me forward from strength to strength, gently, sweetly, tenderly, lovingly, powerfully, effectually, remembering my fretfulness and feebleness, till Thou bringest me into Thy heaven.