On Thursday, this week, we celebrate the feast of the Ascension of the Lord and the next day Friday 22nd May we are encouraged to begin a Novena to the Holy Spirit which is nine days before the feast of Pentecost.
We read in the Acts of the Apostles that during the period between the Ascension and Pentecost “all…joined in continuous prayer, together with several women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers” while they awaited being “clothed with the power from on high” (Lk 24, 49). The Pentecost novena, widely practised among the faithful, “emerged from prayerful reflection on this salvific event.”
Here is my suggestion for nine days of prayer as we prepare for Pentecost.
Friday 22nd: Wisdom
Come Holy Spirit, fill me with the clear light of your wisdom. Help me to pray for what I need to follow Jesus faithfully. Help me to use the gift of wisdom to serve others. Help me to see that wisdom is a gift for all those you have gathered, not just a few. Give me the wisdom to embrace the truth wherever I may find it.
Saturday 23rd: Understanding
Come Holy Spirit, make alive in me the gift of understanding that I may grasp how immeasurable is your love for me, for the earth, for all creatures. Help me to understand how I might better live my faith in my ordinary everyday life. Guide me as I struggle with the difficult moral and spiritual issues for this time.
Sunday 24th: Counsel
Come, Holy Spirit, nourish in my heart the gift of counsel that I know when to speak and when to be silent. By your gift of counsel, strengthen in me my ability to advise and guide one another as I respond to your guidance in my life. Help me, as part a community of faith, to counsel society in ways of love not condemnation.
Monday 25th: Fortitude
Come, Holy Spirit, fill me anew with your gift of courage. Help me to see life’s sufferings and troubles are temporary. Help me always to see the life at the end of the tunnel. By your gift of courage, I face each new day with the determination to act in all things with love.
Tuesday 26th: Knowledge
Come, Holy Spirit, increase in me the gift of knowledge that I may know you more intimately and for me to see more clearly what to believe and what not to believe. Help me to recognise how you would have me act so that my behaviour may show forth your infinite love.
Wednesday 27th: Reverence
Come, Holy Spirit, renew in me your gift of reverence that I might treat others with honour and respect my home, help me to be respectful towards others. In my relationships at work and with people I don’t know, help us to show respect. Help me above all, to have faith that is deeply reverent.
Thursday 28th: Fear of the Lord
Come, Holy Spirit, increase in me your gift of fear of the Lord. Help me to see with the eyes of faith God’s tremendous love for me. Through this gift, deepen the spirit of prayer in my life, and help me to share more generously my time, talent and financial resources.
Friday 29th: Our Family and Home
Come, Holy Spirit, bring a new birth to countless families that make up the foundation of the church. Heal and renew marriages, parent-child relationships, and all the human intimacy that constitutes family life. Help family members feel God’s love for them through their love for one another.
Saturday 30th: Our Parish Family
Come, Holy Spirit, open our hearts to receive and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our parishes. Help us to see and respond to the needs our people. Help us to support and encourage the variety of vocations found in our parishes. Above all, help us all be the Body of Christ in the world.
(Thanks to Mitch Finley “Pentecost Reflections—Come with our Grace” for the prayers)