Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost 2021

Reflection by Sister Margaret Meaney, OSB

As we experience Pentecost, the sisters are calling upon the Holy Spirit within to aid in the discernment of the next phase of our monastic journey.

The Sisters of Benet Hill Monastery will soon be electing a new prioress, so leadership is on all the sisters’ minds. We pray and reflect on it daily.

I recently heard the poem “The Paradoxes of Being a Servant Leader” by Philip Clark Brewer Strong and I felt that it was a good example of what being filled with the Holy Spirit is, especially in meeting the daily demands of life.

Rich enough to be poor.

Compassionate enough to be disciplined.

Important enough to be last.

Free enough to endure captivity.

Loving enough to be angry.

Great enough to be anonymous.

Victorious enough to lose.

Leading enough to serve.

Think of the disciples hiding in the captivity of their fear and their joyful relief when receiving the Holy Spirit!

The bounty of gifts!

The gift of wisdom- to be able to direct human affairs according to divine truth.

The gift of understanding- insight; the ability to ‘see’ God.

The gift of Counsel- allows one to be directed by God.

The Gift of Fortitude- firmness of mind in doing good.

The Gift of Knowledge- to be able to judge correctly.

The Gift of Piety- reverencing God.

The Fear of God- avoiding separating ourselves from God.

God meets us where we are, as in Psalm 87 “n You all find their home” or the Indwelling finds a home in all of us. “in my Fathers house there are many rooms.” God living life in us, through us, for us. An ineffable gift. To express this ineffable gift seems only possible in the living of our lives, living into the holy paradoxes we hope are ours.

Pascal expresses it well:

“The serene, silent beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world, next to the might of the Spirit of God.”


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