"Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful!" So the Church has prayed since the Spirit of God first descended upon the Apostles, together with The Blessed Virgin Mary and the other disciples, numbering about one hundred and twenty, who were gathered together in the Upper Room praying for His coming. "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak" (Acts 2:4).
Many devout Jews were in Jerusalem for the observance of the Jewish Pentecost, which was celebrated fifty days after the Passover. But now there was a New Pentecost to be celebrated, fifty days after the Resurrection of the Lord. The Gospel was preached by the Church for the first time as Peter stood up with the other Apostles and told his hearers: "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise and to your children and to all who are far off, even to all whom the Lord our God calls to Himself" (Acts 2:38,39).
The infant Church, until then like the newly created Adam before God breathed into him the breath of life, had now received her life principle, her soul. St. Augustine tells us, "What the soul is to the human body the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, the Church. The Holy Spirit is active in the whole Church in the same way that the soul animates all the members of the human body" (St. Augustine, Sermon 267, 4).
Through the grace of Pentecost the Church is fully equipped to preach the Gospel of Salvation to all the nations, fortified by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacraments, and the words of Holy Scripture. The Holy Spirit, soul of the Church, infuses His abundant gifts and charisms into the hearts of the faithful. He is the courage of the martyrs, the prayer of the saints, the faith of the confessors, the purity of virgins, the righteousness of fathers, the patience of mothers, the innocence of children, the wisdom of pastors and teachers. All that we need we have, through the great Gift of God, the Holy Ghost, as the Church prays constantly: "Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love!"
But in the mid-twentieth century, a modernist faction claiming to represent the Church came up with ANOTHER "New Pentecost," which they called Vatican II. At the council, they claimed, the Holy Spirit gave a new illumination to the Church, enabling her to look at herself in a new light.
What does the Church of Vatican II "see" with the aid of this "new illumination" provided by the Holy Spirit at the council? That we can relax! Don't get too excited about preaching the Gospel, since everyone is being saved, all following "different paths" which lead to the "common homeland." And we can relax about sin. Original Sin has been wiped out by the Incarnation of the Son of God, so that we are all conceived in grace. We can also relax about judgment. If there is a Hell it's only for the devil and the fallen angels. God is not judgmental.
This does not sound like the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of truth, Whom Jesus promised to send us from the Father: "But I speak the truth to you; it is expedient for you that I depart. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He has come He will convict the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of justice, because I go to the Father, and you will see Me no more; and of judgment, because the prince of this world has already been judged" (Jn.16:7-11).
Great things were expected as a result of the "reforms" of Vatican II. By now, almost forty years later, the face of the earth should have been renewed by this "new pentecost." But what actually happened? As Paul VI once remarked, the Church is "dismantling itself." Scandals have rocked the Church in America. In the archdiocese of Boston alone, sixty-five parishes are being closed because contributions are dwindling and attendance has dropped off. Similar things are taking place in diocese after diocese, new scandals coming to light almost every day.
Europe, where Christ the King once reigned, has lapsed into a "silent apostasy." Islam is the fastest growing religion there, and some speak of the "Islamicization" of Europe. A recent article declares: "A big deal was made of the fact that the first draft of the new European Union Constitution did not include a single mention of God. But most Europeans act as if the Christian God of history no longer exists. Although Europeans say they believe in some type of 'God,' church attendance in most European countries is less than five percent… There is a new 'dark continent' - the land that used to be known as Christian Europe. Today, many of its cathedrals are simply large museum pieces. They are 'artifacts of an ancient religion, and a dead faith'" (Dale Hurd, Is Europe the New 'Dark Continent'?, cbn.com).
Such is the "New Pentecost" of the Church of Vatican II!
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. By this is the Spirit of God known: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is of God. And every spirit that severs Jesus, is not of God, but is of Antichrist…" (1Jn.4:1-3).
"Long for Christ, confess Christ, and believe in Christ. The Spirit will be added to the letter, and you will be saved. If you take away the Spirit the letter kills, and then what hope will remain? But the Spirit gives life." (St. Augustine, Sermon 136, 5).
Breathe in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy; Act in me O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy; Draw my heart O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy; Strengthen me O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy; Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen. (Prayer of St. Augustine).