Mother Cabrini's words on the Holy Spirit

The spring of 1895 saw Mother Cabrini traveling from New Orleans to Panama. The intent of the journey was to comfort the Missionary Sisters who had been abruptly expelled from Nicaragua due to a sharp shift in the political environment. The Sisters had taken refuge in Panama, where they were well-received.

The Feast of Pentecost approached as the steamer crossed rough seas. Mother Cabrini’s used her time on board, as usual, to write a long letter to the Missionary Sisters. Her gentle good humor, love of nature, and spiritual wisdom shines through in her words:

“This time I am not as good a sailor as usual. Yesterday I did my best not to give in and to do honors to the Captain’s table, but I never longed so much to get away, and was forced to contradict my saying that I never suffer from seasickness. Fortunately I managed to stay on until the end of the meal, but shortly after I became the faithful companion of Mother Gabriella and had to resort to the expedient of lying very still…

“I slept sweetly and profoundly in the Sacred Heart of Jesus all last night, and am feeling very well this morning and quite myself again. The sun is shining in all its splendor, but the heat of its rays is tempered by a pure and gently breeze which renders our cozy corner on deck a most delightful place. The Captain has an awning put up especially for our comfort. The sky is clear and covered with white clouds, which now and then take the form of large shining masses.

“These clouds seem to remind us of the Novena of the Holy Ghost, and that the Sacred Heart of Jesus is calling us, as He did His Apostles of old to come apart from the multitude, and even here in the middle of the ocean, far away from the noise of the crowd, to implore the coming of the Holy Ghost. Our loving savior has promised to send the Holy Spirit, but we know also that the Divine promises are fulfilled by means of prayer and in the exercise of sublime charity and union with God…

“Our Divine Lord said that prayer is heard when two are united in His name – for example, when the exterior man and interior man are united; the soul and the body; the subjection of the body to the spirit; these two must join together. So, to pray we must unite the body with its feelings to the soul with its imaginations and desires, with its superior powers, memory, understanding and will. Christ then shall be in your midst, united in His name, helping you to pray with efficacy.”

May you have a blessed and Spirit-filled Pentecost.

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© 2015 St. Frances Cabrini Shrine.