Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Praying for Gifts of the Holy Spirit

A novena is a set of public or private prayers that are said in some unit of nine for a specific intention or special occasion. The word novena comes from the Latin word novem meaning nine. It refers to the nine days that the Apostles waited  - praying in Jerusalem after the Ascension of Our Lord - for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Christ Himself directed them to do this as a way to persevere in prayer. It is also a good way to follow His teaching on prayer.
Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. ~ Matthew 7:7-8
 And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, 'Vindicate me against my adversary.' For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.'" And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily.  ~ Luke 18:1-8
The Novena in honor of the Holy Spirit has its roots in the oldest of all novenas and prepares us also for the feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. It is prayed between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday and begins on the 6th Friday of Easter. So this Friday, May 14th, is the first day. I have adapted the novena prayers for each day that were composed in 1912 by the Holy Spirit Fathers. Let us patiently and prayerfully await a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit this Pentecost. Peace be with you all.

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and have my being. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion, to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus, looking at His Five Wounds, trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant is listening." Amen.

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