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 one of Fruits of the Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit.
Day 5: Knowledge (gift) and Kindness (fruit)
The knowledge that comes from the Holy Spirit … is not limited to human knowledge; it is a special gift, which leads us to grasp, through creation, the greatness and love of God and his profound relationship with every creature.
When our eyes are illumined by the Spirit, they open to contemplate God, in the beauty of nature and in the grandeur of the cosmos, and they lead us to discover how everything speaks to us about Him and His love. All of this arouses in us great wonder and a profound sense of gratitude! It is the sensation we experience when we admire a work of art or any marvel whatsoever that is borne of the genius and creativity of man: before all this, the Spirit leads us to praise the Lord from the depths of our heart and to recognize, in all that we have and all that we are, an invaluable gift of God and a sign of his infinite love for us.
In the first Chapter of Genesis, right at the beginning of the Bible, what is emphasized is that God is pleased with his creation, stressing repeatedly the beauty and goodness of every single thing. At the end of each day, it is written: “God saw that it was good” (1:12, 18, 21, 25): if God sees creation as good, as a beautiful thing, then we too must take this attitude and see that creation is a good and beautiful thing. Now, this is the gift of knowledge that allows us to see this beauty, therefore we praise God, giving thanks to him for having granted us so much beauty.
And when God finished creating man he didn’t say “he saw that this was good”, but said that this was “very good” (v. 31). In the eyes of God we are the most beautiful thing, the greatest, the best of creation …
~ Pope Francis, May 21, 2014
Kindness in God is the act of creation and the constant preservation of the world in existence. … Kindness is our imitation of Divine Providence. … If you are earnestly conforming yourself to the image of Jesus Christ, sharpness, bitterness, and sarcasm disappear. The very attempt to be like Jesus is already a source of sweetness within you, flowing with an easy grace over all who come within your reach.
~ Lawrence G. Lovasik, The Hidden Power of Kindness