Novena for Pentecost
John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
In the Gospel reading for the Feast of the Ascension we hear the words Jesus spoke just before He took leave of them for heaven: In a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Imagine! This promise was made to the disciples of Jesus, and it’s made to each of us. It makes our hearts sing.
There is great hope in those words, ‘in a few days.’ Nine, to be exact! The experience of the movement of the Holy Spirit in His coming is unique for each person. It’s not the same as experiencing the presence of God when we pray. Rather, it’s a kind of drenching with His power. But even the word ‘power’ is imprecise. There is a profound peace in His coming, a stillness that one wants never to end. Without words the Spirit of Jesus speaks to our heart and in our heart in ways beyond understanding, as St. Paul says (Romans 8:26). The Spirit’s baptism invites us to a relationship with Him that sets us apart for God by opening us up to the mysterious transformation that He wants to carry out in us.
Three indisputable signs of the Grace of the Holy Spirit which Jesus promised to all of us are:
a growing desire for prayer, including Scriptural prayer,
a greater striving for holiness, especially through charity,
and a transformation that manifests itself in a deepening stillness in the midst of the trials and disappointments of every day.
St. John Paul told us over and over not to be afraid–not of God, not of holiness, not of becoming a saint. Surely we must never be afraid of the Holy Spirit, who is the Very Breath of God, the Source of all holiness and the Way to sanctity. As we enter this novena in which Mary prays with us for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, let us place all our longing for Him in Her Immaculate Heart. Let us ask Her today:
Dear Mother of my soul, bring about in me a great desire for the Holy Spirit in the manner in which He chooses for me. Open my heart to Him and to all the Graces that accompany His presence within me. Remove from me, at whatever cost, all obstacles that might prevent His outpouring of Grace. Fill me with the desire, especially at Holy Communion, for Him who is the Breath of God, the Spirit of Jesus. Grant above all, dear Mother, that in these days of waiting I may come to prayer with great hope and expectation. Let me never fear the Work of God in my soul. Make of me a new creation by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Don’t lose heart. 8 more days…
Veni Sancte Spiritus