"Pentecost," John August Swanson (2013)
Thursday, September 17: "Come, Holy Spirit, come be with us now" at the Beginning of the Academic Year
Since 1548, Jesuit university communities have gathered at the beginning of each new academic year to ask for God’s blessing by invoking the Holy Spirit to imbue the institution, its members, and its labors with the gifts of the Spirit - wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence, and wonder and awe in God’s presence. This tradition hearkens back to its origins in Messina, Sicily where Ignatius Loyola sent ten Jesuits to lay the foundations for the first Jesuit school. Since that time, this tradition has spread beyond Jesuit institutions to Catholic schools throughout the entire world.
In our times, Catholic schools and universities set aside time to pray in churches, on lawns and athletic fields, in gymnasiums and anywhere two or three are gathered in God’s name to ask the Holy Spirit to bless the hearts, minds and human hands in the work that lies ahead in the coming year.
This year, we cannot be together, and, as our hearts yearn to be with one another, still, we pray by asking God to bless the students, faculty and staff of Loyola Marymount University with the gifts and blessings of the Holy Spirit. We pray that the gifts of the Holy Spirit may be bestowed on us individually, collectively, and on the LMU we know and love. We pray and commit ourselves to the work and the road that lies ahead to be persons for and with others so that all may be one and all may have life to the fullest, all for the greater glory of God. Finally, we look forward to that day when we will all be together again to celebrate the goodness God has done in our lives. May God know the sincerity of our prayers, the humility of our hearts, and the passion we have to study and learn in our time at LMU to make the world a better place for all God’s children.
As we begin this academic year, we invite you to take a moment to pause and pray from wherever you come and wherever you are in this beautiful and fragile world.
Come, Holy Spirit, come be with us now.
Creator of light,
from whom every good gift comes,
send your Spirit into our lives
with the power of a mighty wind
and by the flame of your wisdom
open the horizons of our minds.
Loosen our tongues to sing your praise in words
beyond our power of speech,
for without your Spirit one could never raise
their voice in words of peace
or announce the truth that Jesus is Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
To receive Manresa Moments by email, sign up here.