Allow me to appeal to my Belgian heritage…. Joseph Mercier was a professor of philosophy at the University of Louvain and Archbishop of Brussels from 1906 to 1926, the year of his death. Mercier is noted for his staunch resistance to the German occupation of Belgium from 1914–1918, during the Great War. So noted was he that he was invited to visit the United States by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919.
Mercier is also noted for his deep spirituality, which radiated in his interaction with people. On this feast of Pentecost, when we celebrate the Holy Spirit, the Promise of the Father, the Consuming Fire, the Comforter, allow me to share with you a secret from Fr. Mercier. He won’t mind!
I am going to reveal to you the secret of sanctity and happiness. Every day for five minutes control your imagination and close your eyes to the things of sense and your ears to all the noises of the world in order to enter into yourself. Then, in the sanctity of your baptized soul (which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit), speak to that Divine Spirit, saying to Him:
Oh, Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do; give me your orders. I promise to surrender to all that you desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will.
If you do this, your life will flow along happily, serenely, and full of consolation, even in the midst of trials. Grace will be proportioned to the trial, giving you the strength to carry it, and you will arrive at the gate of Paradise, laden with merit. This submission to the Holy Spirit is the secret of sanctity and happiness.
Yours in the Holy Spirit,
From the desk of the Rector