Pentecost is the ultimate manifestation to humankind of God’s glory, a theophany, the apex and crowning moment in the celebration of Our Lord’s Resurrection.
When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth (John 17:4) was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that He might continually sanctify the Church, and thus, all those who believe would have access through Christ in one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:18) […] The Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful, as in a temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16) In them He prays on their behalf and bears witness to the fact that they are adopted sons. (Galatians 4:6) The Church, which the Spirit guides in way of all truth (John 16:13) and which He unified in communion and in works of ministry, He both equips and directs with hierarchical and charismatic gifts… (Lumen Gentium 4)
In our preparation for the feast of Pentecost we spend nine days intensely devoted to prayer, as with Mary and the Apostles who gathered in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. This is a fitting time to review the gifts that we have already received, charisms dispensed for the benefit of all. In becoming more aware of these gifts and giving thanks for them, we become all the more receptive to God’s grace. We especially give thanks for the gift of our vocation, as "The vocation of the Discalced Carmelites is a gift of the Spirit, inviting us to a ‘secret union with God’ in Christ's friendship and intimacy of the blessed Virgin Mary, in a life of prayer and sacrifice united with a great love for the Church" (1991 Constitutions of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns 10.)
In being receptive to the breath of the Holy Spirit and the graces given to the Carmelite Order, we consequently refer to the invitation given to us by Our Father General, Father Saverio Cannistra, in his very encouraging and fraternal visit to the Holy Land last February. At this time he met with our Carmelite Fathers and also with each of our five Carmelite monasteries (one of which is in Egypt). On the 11th of February our Father General spent a day in the Bethlehem Carmel and met with approximately forty of us. Our exchange with him was very edifying and fruitful. He reiterated that charisma is something ongoing and evolving, it is a developing process. That is, in some way, charisma is the plan of God for me and I must discover and come to realize it gradually.
Among other things, he stressed the link between our spiritual life, our life led by God’s Spirit and our own humanity, with all its riches and weaknesses. The spiritual life is a never-ending effort directed towards our own being. We each have to reevaluate the spirituality of our own humanity; plunged as it is within the very depths of our person, to be the sons and daughters of God, a temple of the Holy Spirit ... we therefore need to remember that we should never lose sight of our humanity as is the true dwelling of our spirituality.
Moreover, in offering our own person and life to the works of the Holy Spirit, we consequently and especially renew our relations both with the Holy Spirt, our God, and accordingly with our brothers and sisters. We will subsequently be increasingly assured of the abundant gifts of the Spirit, in a buoyant abandonment. Lastingly, we evoke the words of our Father General, “it is not of ourselves that we can change, but rather in our ability to let go and let God work in us".