The first of all novenas, we follow the example of the apostles and pray for nine days to prepare for Pentecost
And while staying with them [Jesus] charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “You heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”—Acts 1:4-5
Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he commanded his apostles to “wait for the promise of the Father” in Jerusalem. Nine days later the apostles celebrated the Jewish feast of Pentecost, and God fulfilled his promise by sending the Holy Spirit.
It was the first “novena.”
In a unique way, we can imitate their example and join them in the Upper Room, waiting for the Advocate to come. We can prepare our hearts for the coming of the Holy Spirit and kindle a fire within us that God can set ablaze.
How can we do that?
The most basic action we can do to prepare for Pentecost is pray the “Novena to the Holy Spirit,” meditating on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit each day.
It is a beautiful practice that puts us there with the apostles and Mary, experiencing the graces of Pentecost as if it was our first.
Here are the prayers to pray each day:
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
To be recited daily during the Novena
On my knees I 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 am. 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, and 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 and looking at His Five Wounds, and 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 heareth.” Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
To be recited daily during the Novena
O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence toward God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.
The Novena begins on the day after the Solemnity of the Ascension, Friday of the 6th Week of Easter, even if the Solemnity of the Ascension is transferred to the 7th Sunday.
FIRST DAY (Friday after Ascension or Friday of 6th Week of Easter)
Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!
The Holy Spirit
Only one thing is important — eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared — sin? Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness and indifference. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for “The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us.”
Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.
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