An infinite power is endeavoring to make us holy.
Pentecost Novena, Day 3
Come, O Holy Spirit: enlighten my understanding in order that to know your commands; strengthen my heart against the snares of the enemy; enkindle my will … I have heard your voice, and I don’t want to harden my heart and resist, saying “later … tomorrow.” Nunc coepi! Now! Lest there be no tomorrow for me! O, Spirit of truth and wisdom, Spirit of understanding and counsel, Spirit of joy and peace! I want what you want, I want it because you want it, I want it as you want it, I want it when you want it.
To become holy, we must endeavor to open ourselves as much as possible to the Holy Spirit. This is encouraging, because it means that our sanctity does not rely on our own feeble powers. Instead, our sanctity is in the hands of one who is infinitely powerful.
As spiritual writer Jacques Philippe points out, “We unfailing can obtain the help of that power and love for our weakness. All we have to do is peacefully recognize and admit the fact of our weakness, and place all our trust and hope in God alone.”
Holy and divine Spirit! Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, your Spouse, bring the fullness of your gifts into our hearts. Comforted and strengthened by you, may we live according to your will and may we die praising your infinite mercy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
According to St. Luke, Jesus ascended into heaven after “appearing to [the apostles] during forty days” (Acts 1:3) after his Resurrection. This means that the time between Jesus’ ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is nine days (not including the day of Jesus’ ascension). Many Christians through the ages have seen these nine days of prayer as a model, and thus developed devotions that consist of nine days (or months, or even hours) of prayer for a specific intention or to a particular saint. This number was seen as divinely inspired and so “novenas” (from the Latin word, novem, meaning “nine”), were viewed as a uniquely powerful way to pray.