Contemplation — Come, Holy Spirit

Contemplation — Come, Holy Spirit

Contemplation — Come, Holy Spirit 1080 1080 SVDP USA

Four hundred years ago, on the feast of Pentecost 1623, Louise de Marillac, known then as Mademoiselle LeGras, knelt in prayer at her parish church, Église Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs. Her husband was very ill, and unemployed. Her son was troubled. She blamed herself for these burdens, because she had never fulfilled her “first promise,” made when she was a teenager, to become a Capuchin nun. She felt all of her misfortunes traced back to this failure.

It didn’t matter that the decision not to become a nun had not been hers, but her spiritual director’s. Distraught, she was considering leaving her husband in order “to have greater liberty to serve God and my neighbor.” [SWLM, 1] She was wracked with doubts and uncertainty about her future, and even doubted the immortality of her soul. And so she knelt in prayer, alone with her thoughts, offering her cry of suffering to God.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, we are taught, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

It was at this lowest moment that she received what she called her lumière, her light, and her “mind was instantly freed of all doubt.” [Ibid] It was the light of the Holy Spirit that assured her that day, that eased the burdens weighing her down, that brought the hope and peace of God to her.

She would go on to care for her sick husband for two more years before being widowed. In the meantime, she would endure hardship and relative poverty. It would be ten years before, along with St. Vincent, she would found the Daughters of Charity, finally fulfilling that “first promise.”

But it wasn’t the founding, nor her many later works, in which she found her peace, it was in the hope and the light of the Holy Spirit, received in the depths of her sorrows.

Our neighbors cry out to us on days much like Louise’s. Like her, it is temporal crises that have often driven them to despair and left them in isolation and doubt about their futures.

Blessed are you who are now weeping.

In their dark night of the soul, God answers. He sends us to prove His love, and to bring His hope. At each Conference meeting we pray, “Come Holy Spirit, live within our lives.” Let us add, in our hearts, “Make me the bearer of Your light. Let me be, for the neighbor, their lumière, so they will know that whatever happens tomorrow or next week, You are with them, and so am I. Help me to bear the light of hope.”


Do I pray for the light of the Holy Spirit, for myself and for the neighbor?

Recommended Reading

Praying with Louise de Marillac

  • Thank You and Bless the neady.

  • Richard DeMarco May 30, 2023 at 11:48 am

    Thank you John.🙏🙏

  • “ But it wasn’t the founding, nor her many later works, in which she found her peace, it was in the hope and the light of the Holy Spirit, received in the depths of her sorrows.”

    So true, It is the Lord always that comforts deeply and everlastingly not material efforts.

  • Holy Spirit please come to me and be the light in my life Thank you.

  • John Morrissey May 30, 2023 at 1:22 pm

    It was in my darkest hour that the Holy Spirit was able to comfort me. A moment some 30 years ago that I will never forget and changed my life forever.
    I still thank God every day for that moment He held me in his arms and comforted me.

  • Thank you for this wonderful reflection. To have faith in Jesus means to trust fully in his love for us and trust that all things will work out according to the Will of the Father. But, such trust is only made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us. Come Holy Spirit, come! Fill our hearts with the fire of your Love!

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

    Skip to content