The theme that has been entrusted to me for our reflection, formation and prayer is that of Pentecost.
And I believe that following the liturgical year is the best way to grow in faith, strengthen in hope and work in charity.
The feast of “Pentecost” has Old Testament origins. It was the feast, which was celebrated (and Jews still celebrate) fifty days after Easter. It was the celebration of thanksgiving for the products of the earth.
In this context there was the Christian Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the Apostles gathered in the Upper Room.
How many things happened in that place:
It is the place where at least four Sacraments were instituted by Christ:
Confirmation with the outpouring of the Spirit
Apparently the Lord Jesus, by linking the birth of these four sacraments to a specific place, wanted to link these sacraments to each other for the birth, development and strengthening of the nascent Church.
“Take and eat: this is the body”; “Take and drink, this is the cup of my Blood”.
To understand this first sacrament we must necessarily take a leap into the distant past, at the beginning of the history of our salvation.
The question I ask you and me is: Why did God create?
God created for an explosion of love.
God doesn’t need me, He doesn’t need you, He doesn’t need anything. It is perfect in itself, in the substantial unity of the Trinity of persons.
But I suppose that love was so great that he also wanted to love someone and something that was not himself.
And so he created the world with plants and animals.
And he created man and woman, in his image and likeness.
But if we read the first chapters of the book of Genesis carefully, we realize that the Lord did not create and abandon the work of his hands.
He wanted to weave with man a pact of love, of friendship, of (today this term is used a lot) reciprocity.
And this pact, in biblical language, is called ALLIANCE.
But like any pact, the contractors are both required to keep their commitments: God and man had an agreement. But the man and the woman did not make the pacts and committed the first sin, the one that is the foundation of all perverse (original) moral action.
But what does God do?
At that very moment when he curses the devil / snake, he promises salvation.
Of course, not immediate salvation, but it promises it.
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and her offspring; this will crush your head and you will sneak up on its heel ”.
So, now, it is a question of reassembling the alliance!
And with whom will it be done?
 The Lord saw that the wickedness of men was great on earth and that every plan conceived by their hearts was nothing but evil.
 And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on earth and it grieved him in his heart.
 The Singore said: “I will exterminate the man I created from the earth: with man also the cattle and the reptiles and the birds of the sky, because I am sorry to have made them”.
 But Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord.
After the flood…:
 God said to Noah and his sons with him:
 “As for me, behold I am establishing my covenant with your descendants after you;
 with every living thing that is with you, birds, cattle and wild beasts, with all the animals that have come out of the ark.
 I am establishing my covenant with you: no one will be destroyed by the waters of the flood, nor will the flood devastate the earth. “
 God said:
“This is the sign of the covenant,
that I place
between you and me
and between every living being
who is with you
for the eternal generations.
 My bow I place on the clouds
and it will be the sign of the covenant
between me and the earth.
 When I gather
the clouds on the earth
and the arch will appear on the clouds
 I will remember my covenant
which is between you and me
and between every being that lives in every flesh
and there will be more waters
for the flood, to destroy all flesh.
 The arch will be on the clouds
and I will look at it to remember the eternal covenant
between God and every being who lives in every flesh
who is on earth ”.
 God said to Noah: “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on earth.”
But even with Noah’s sons things did not go well. Canaan transgressed the law of modesty, and thus this covenant also fell apart.
To make a new one, one must reach Abraham, the friend of God!
 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said:
“I am God almighty:
walk in front of me
and be whole.
 I will make my covenant
between me and you
and I will make you numerous
 Abram immediately fell on his face and God spoke to him:
 “Here I am:
my covenant is with you
and you will be a father
of a multitude of peoples.
 You will no longer be called Abram
but your name will be Abraham
because father of a multitude
I will make you of peoples.
 And I will make you very, very fruitful; I will make you nations and kings will be born of you.
 I will establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you from generation to generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be your God and your offspring after you.
 I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land where you are a stranger, all the land of Canan in perennial possession; I will be your God ”.
 God said to Abraham: “For your part you must keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you from generation to generation.
But when the Israelites entered Egypt as masters with Jacob, through Joseph, the covenant broke once again.
Then, God wanted to stipulate yet another covenant with man, and he did it through Moses on Mount Sinai.
God would have pledged to be God with them and for them, men would simply have to respect 10 rules. But as we can well imagine, man was unable to keep faith, even this time, in the covenant established with God.
 But when the fullness of time came, God sent his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we could receive adoption as children.
 And that you are children, the proof is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts who cries out: Abba, Father!
 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if you are a son, you are also an heir by the will of God.
 But once, because of your ignorance of God, you were subjected to divinities, which in reality are not;
So … God sent his Son!
And we have arrived at the institution of the Eucharist.
The reading should be done keeping in mind the words of the consecration of the Chalice.
In every Mass the priest says: “Take and drink all of it: this is the Cup of my Blood, for the new and ETERNAL COVENANT, poured out for you and for all in the remission of sins”.
The Cenacle, then, becomes the new Sinai!
It is the place of the stipulation of the new alliance, which is characterized, however, by another adjective: ETERNAL.
That is, God himself gives himself, in a certain sense, the “shot in the foot”. The alliance remains standing, even if the man fails to agree! The initiative is of God; He wanted it so. And all this in that one word pronounced by the Lord Jesus, before undergoing the passion.
But the Cenacle is the place of the institution of confession.
 After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit;
 whose sins you forgive will be forgiven, and whoever you do not forgive them will remain not forgiven ”.
Obviously we understand, from what we have said so far, that confession is linked, yes, to the mission that Jesus gave to the Apostles and their successors, but it remains, however, first of all linked to the Most Holy Eucharist: “… poured out for you and for all IN REMISSION OF SINS “.
And in this regard, we must keep in mind that the priesthood is also linked to that fateful moment: “Do this in memory of me”!
But, to read correctly, Jesus does nothing without this being the will of the Father, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit: “Receive the Holy Spirit”.
Here it is not a question of the full outpouring that would have taken place on the day of Pentecost, but of the prodromes, of the promise: “
 Now I tell you the truth: it is good for you that I go, because if I do not go, the Comforter will not come to you; but when I’m gone, I’ll send it to you.
 Many things I still have to tell you, but for the moment you are unable to bear the burden.
 But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you to the whole truth, because he will not speak for himself, but will tell you all that he has heard and will tell you about future things.
 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
 All that the Father has is mine; that is why I said he will take mine and announce it to you.
 As the day of Pentecost was drawing to a close, they were all together in the same place.
 Suddenly a roar came from heaven, like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were.
 Tongues appeared to them as of fire, which parted and rested on each of them;
 and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them the power to express themselves.
The outpouring of the Spirit gave life to the Church!
And it is the action that the Holy Spirit God still performs today. In the individual Christian for the good of the whole Church.
This is so that we can be fully – as the Catechism of Saint Pius X said – perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ with the Sacrament of Confirmation.
 You therefore, my son, always draw strength in the grace that is in Christ Jesus
 and the things you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, pass them on to trustworthy people, who are able to teach others too.
 Together with me you also take your share of suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
I would like to say – and in fact I say it – that every good Christian, every true Christian should be a soldier of Christ, that is, Templar, if not in the juridical form, at least in the spirit!
And so we come to the “battle strategies”.
What is our battlefield?
We must not delude ourselves: ours is no longer a Christian society. When I taught religion in high school, I always started from the justification of that teaching. I told the students that the teaching of the Catholic religion (and not the history of religions) is exact from the fact that Italy was a culturally Christian society.
I pointed out that all the works were to be read in the light of the faith of their authors: sculpture, painting, architecture, music, toponymy and even the cuisine (see for example the chestnuts of the priest or the strozza priests).
But is this really the case today?
With great suffering we must acknowledge that the Polish philosopher Zygmunt Bauman was right when he called our society a liquid society.
It means that, while in the modern age everything was given as a solid construction, in our days, instead, every aspect of life can be artificially reshaped.
Therefore nothing has sharp, defined and fixed outlines once and for all. This can only affect human relationships, which have now become precarious as one does not want to feel trapped; there is no lack of influences even in the political world: in fact, now we no longer try to build the “perfect world”, following a rigid and predetermined political system, strong in a consolidated ideology, as it was in the past.
Nor, I add, consolidated by a common faith.
Then an arduous task awaits us.
The Spirit has enabled Mary and the Apostles to be understood by all. And we too, invested with the Spirit on the day of Baptism and Confirmation, must be not only believers, credible. And if the first Christian community was a “family” around the Mother, the ever Virgin Mary, we too form a true, strong, credible, combative family, under the attentive and caring gaze of Mary that our Father in spirit, St. Bernard of Chiaravalle, has so admirably announced, sang and loved.
Thanks for your patience and your welcome.
Don Antonio Cannatelli
Spiritual retreat of the Catholic Templars of Italy