Today we begin the Novena (nine days of prayer) to the Holy Spirit in anticipation of the Solemnity of Pentecost which is Sunday, May 31.
The tradition of the Novena was established by the Apostles when, at Jesus’ direction, they gathered in prayer to await the Holy Spirit in the days leading up to Pentecost. Pope Leo XIII at the turn of the century wrote: “We ought to pray and invoke the Holy Spirit, for each one of us greatly needs His protection and help. The more we are deficient in wisdom, weak in strength, borne down with trouble, prone to sin, the more we need to go to Him who is the never ceasing Fount of Life, Strength and Holiness.”
PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Lord, grant us the Spirit of Wisdom that we may aspire to the things that last forever;
The Spirit of Understanding to enlighten our minds with the light of your truth;
The Spirit of Counsel that we may choose the surest way of doing your will, seeking first the Kingdom;
The Spirit of Fortitude that we may bear our cross with you and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with our salvation;
The Spirit of Knowledge that we may know you and know ourselves and grow in holiness;
The Spirit of Piety that we may find peace and fulfillment in the service of God while serving others;
The Spirit of Fear of the Lord that we may be filled with a loving reverence toward you.
Teach us to be your faithful disciples and animate us in every way with your Spirit. Amen.
(Taken from the booklet “Novena to the Holy Spirit” published by the Holy Ghost Fathers, 11411 Amherst Avenue, Wheaton, Maryland 20902)