Today is Thursday in the Octave of Pentecost, or at least it ought to be in in the Novus Ordo as it is in the older, Traditional Roman Calendar.
This is the fourth PODCAzT for the Pentecost Octave.
Today we learn what St. Leo the Great (+461) thought about the fasting Christians should engage in after Pentecost, in other words on the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of this very week! These are our Ember Day’s those beautiful days which helped Catholics for may centuries regulate the rhythm of their lives in the consecration of the seasons of the year, and learn to use God’s creation with moderation. Leo has a fascinating insight about how we cannot truly be Christians, in a deeper sense, without fasting and almsgiving. These two necessary practices, shape in inner man in Wisdom…Sapientia.
Then we hear the Pentecost sermon of Pope Benedict XVI, [once] gloriously reigning. He speaks about the diversity of our Church which must, as a necessary characteristic have unity, without which a group cannot truly be called a Church. This has ecumenical implications, bet on it!
Of course, I have lots of comments along the way.
For music, there is a festive paschal Alleluia from the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, just to remind us of the connection of Easter and Pentecost. We have some Gregorian chant from the Monastery of Sant’Antimo is Tuscany, an Alleluia: Veni Sancte Spiritus and also the Sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus, which is one of my very favorite of all the chants of the year. Also, there is a text of Hildegard von Bingen, an O Sapientia. Moreover, Thomas Tallis‘s Loquebantur variis linguis helps us stay focused on what this Octave is about.
Finally, we have a prayer invoking the help of the Holy Spirit, appropriate in this Octave of Pentecost.