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My Favorite Hymn

My First Blessing
Ordination Day – May 6, 1944

The hymn I treasure most is Come, Holy Ghost: “Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, and in our hearts take up Thy rest.  Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which Thou hast made, to fill the hearts which Thou has made.”

On weekday mornings, when I would celebrate Mass in neighboring parishes, I would always begin with Come, Holy Ghost.  Certainly hearts in this context does not refer to our physical hearts, but rather to our inner spirit, our soul, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.

Often, each day, I whisper a prayer: “Create in me, O Lord, a clean heart” – words taken from the Psalms.  Let us treasure our hearts!  My heart is the seat of all my emotions: joy, peace, love, kindness, forgiveness.  From my heart proceeds my ideals, my hopes, my ambitions.  How priceless a possession I have in my heart where the Holy Spirit lives in glory and everlasting Beauty!

If I saw the Holy Spirit in my heart, I would die of intoxicating joy.  This Beauty outshines all beauty of Nature as the sun outshines the light of a candle.  In life, we face an array of powerful enemies – the world, the flesh, and the devil – determined to deface our hearts and rob them of their holiness.  Television, the great communicator, pours a torrent of pagan ideas and ungodly messages into our front rooms all hours of the day.

In the Gospels, we hear of even Jesus being tested by the devil.  Jesus had prayed for 40 days in the desert just before these temptations, so He had quick answers to the wiles of the devil.  How encouraged we should be that Our Savior showed us the way to deal with temptations.  Our weapons of defense lie in prayer, the Eucharist, and the help of the Blessed Mother.

Years ago, at a Priests’ conference, a nationally known priest speaker made these amazing remarks to 600 priests: “We priests would do much better ministry for the Lord if we worked four days a week, spent another two days in study and prayer, and then took a day off . . .”

Prayer was to hold the top place in the priest’s daily life.  Whatever my vocation in my life, prayer and vigilance will enable me to keep a clean heart in all my temptations!

If I keep my heart pure and unspotted from the world, then my thoughts, my ideals for life, and my holy ambitions will flow from an unpolluted source.  Peace, only the kind of peace that Jesus can give, will possess my being.  Use my favorite prayer often . . . “Create in me, O Lord, a clean heart.”


Fr. George Mc Kenna

May 27, 2012 - Posted by | Bulletins


  1. Delighted that “Come Holy Ghost” is one of your favorite hymns . . . One of our daughters, Kim, marched down her wedding aisle to this hymn . . . i never hear it without thinking of her joyously stepping down the long white runner . . . inviting the Holy Spirit to join in with us all . . .

    Also recently read somewhere that the Holy Spirit is always within us once we’re baptized . . .
    and that the Holy Spirit is closer to us that our souls! Wow! What a comforting thought!
    Hope to see you soon.
    Blessings galore and a hug, mary lou wingert

    Comment by Mary Lou Wingert | June 1, 2012 | Reply

  2. Hi Fr. George. I too love that song. I like the ‘old’ songs that I grew up singing in church. But I do like the newer ones too. So many of the hymms touch my soul. I have such a greater appreciation for the Mass since coming back to the church. I wish all fallen-away Catholics could feel this revival that I feel in my heart. Thank you for steering me back to the church, Father. You were there for me when I needed it the most, I guess. I only wish that we could have met years earlier. But I gues there is a time for all things. I am trying to remember every day to wake up and say “All praise and honor to you, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.” Now I will add this one to my daily prayers. “Create in me, O Lord, a clean heart.” What a beautiful request. As usual, Fr. George, you touch my heart and make me a better person just by my reading your posts. I am deligihted to keep up with you in this manner!! May our Lord bless you and keep you all your days, Fr. George!


    Comment by Nancy Westvang | June 10, 2012 | Reply

  3. P.S. I also enjoy seeing your photos from your earlier days. What a treat!! Thank you for including them!

    Comment by Nancy Westvang | June 10, 2012 | Reply

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