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Pentecost Novena Day 2, for understanding and joy

Holy Spirit

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Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 05/15/21

In this first of all novenas, we will pray each day for the Holy Spirit's fruits and gifts.

The Church’s tradition of novenas — nine days of prayer — is rooted in the nine days the Apostles and Mary spent in the Upper Room between the Ascension of Christ into Heaven, and his gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

During this novena, we will spiritually place ourselves in the Upper Room, asking each day for a fruit and a gift.

Day 2: Wisdom (gift) and Charity (fruit)

Understanding

The Apostle Paul, addressing the community at Corinth, aptly describes the effects of this gift — that is, what the gift of understanding does in us — and Paul says this: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him, God has revealed to us through the Spirit” (1 Cor 2:9-10).

This of course does not mean that a Christian can comprehend all things and have full knowledge of the designs of God: all of this waits to be revealed in all its clarity once we stand in the sight of God and are truly one with Him.

However, as the very word suggests, understanding allows us to “intus legere,” or “to read inwardly”: this gift enables us to understand things as God understands them, with the mind of God. For one can understand a situation with human understanding, with prudence, and this is good. But to understand a situation in depth, as God understands it, is the effect of this gift. And Jesus desired to send us the Holy Spirit so that we might have this gift, so that all of us might understand things as God understands them, with the mind of God. What a beautiful gift the Lord has given us. It is the gift with which the Holy Spirit introduces us into intimacy with God and makes us sharers in the plan of love which he has for us.

~ Pope Francis, April 30, 2014


Joy

The Christian identity card is joy, the Gospel’s joy, the joy of having been chosen by Jesus, saved by Jesus, regenerated by Jesus; the joy of that hope that Jesus is waiting for us, the joy that – even with the crosses and sufferings we bear in this life – is expressed in another way, which is peace in the certainty that Jesus accompanies us, is with us.

~ Pope Francis, May 23, 2016

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