Announcing a Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts – from ASCENSION to PENTECOST
Begins Friday 11 May
As we continue to celebrate Easter in the Catholic World, we also begin to look forward to the pivotal moment in Church history, the day everything changed, the moment that Christ sent His followers the Holy Spirit.
The Novena begins on the Friday of the 6th Week of Easter, which is the day after the Solemnity of the Ascension (Ascension Thursday). Even where this Solemnity is transferred to the 7th Sunday of Easter, this Novena still begins on the Friday before. We all know that Jesus told his Apostles that He would send them a helper, that even though He would return to the Father, He would always be with us. “And eating together with them, he commanded them, that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father…” Acts 1:4
This Pentecost Novena in honour of the Holy Spirit is in a sense the first Novena ever taken by followers of Christ and it was Christ Himself who instructed His followers to undertake it. While the Apostles and Mary were gathered in the upper room they waited and they prayed, trusting in the promise that Christ made to them, not knowing what to expect but waiting with expectant hearts. Now more than ever, we too need to pray and wait for the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us and empower us to face the challenges of every day.
JOHN 16:5-11 – Bishop Robert Barron
“Friends, once again in today’s Gospel Jesus promises to send us the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the fuel of the Church, the energy and life force of the Body of Christ. And we can’t get Him through heroic effort. We can only get Him by asking for Him. That’s why, for the past two thousand years, the Church has begged for this power from on high.
Jesus told us that the Father would never refuse someone who asked for the Holy Spirit. So ask! And ask again! Realise that every liturgy is a begging for the Holy Spirit. Fr Hesburgh of Notre Dame once commented that the one prayer that is always appropriate—whether one is experiencing success or failure, whether one is confident or afraid, whether one is young or old— is “Come, Holy Spirit!”
He’s right, for this is the fundamental prayer of the Church. Mind you, we pray it, as the first Apostles did, in the presence of Mary and with her support. In the Hail Mary, we say, “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.” What are we asking her to pray for but the Holy Spirit?”