I have had the privilege of attending a number of masses with Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, the legendary President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame. In each of these masses, Fr. Ted has given different variations of the same homily, all of which advocate for the use of one simple prayer: Come Holy Spirit.
Fr. Ted oversaw years of rapid growth at Notre Dame becoming a national figure himself, being involved in many issues, the most memorable of which is the Civil Rights movement. Two buildings on campus bear his name, the including the iconic Notre Dame library with “touchdown Jesus” which he stopped at nothing to erect.
To hear such a great man–a man whose life spans over 90 years–speak so passionately about such a simple prayer, you can’t help but give it a try.
Praying Come Holy Spirit in the Classroom
Give students some time to quiet themselves.
Ask them to think about their days so far. What has gone well that we can be thankful for? What is on our minds for the day ahead?
Ask them to think about their week. What are the things that worry us? What are the things that excite us most.
Keeping in mind an intention or need, pray together: Come Holy Spirit.
They can either repeat after you or pray it quietly to themselves.
Suggest, of course, that they use this prayer as a part of their daily lives whenever they are in great need.
Praying the Come Holy Spirit Prayer as a Teacher
After all these years, I still get nervous before teaching. When I feel especially nervous or unsure of the day, I turn to the Holy Spirit for inspiration, guidance, and peace.
My favorite pre-class prayer (as you might imagine) is “Come Holy Spirit.”
This week, when everything leading up to the lesson seemed to be going wrong, I asked the Holy Spirit for help. I recorded this video right before my pre-class prayer.
Don’t worry, the class went well and though I can’t say whether anything we did had an immediate impact, I know that with the help of the Holy Spirit the seeds we planted will bear fruit somewhere down the line.
The Full “Come Holy Spirit Prayer”
Many people will be familiar with a longer version of this three-word prayer. In its entirety it is:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
V. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
The Latin Version of Come Holy Spirit (Veni Sancti Spiritu)
Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium: et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.
V. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur.
R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.
Oremus. Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere; et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.