Most of us need the occasional nudge to look up to heaven. So it was good to be reminded that with Pentecost round the corner, the time has come to follow Our Lady and the Apostles as they eagerly awaited the promised Paraclete. Their prayerful gathering in the Upper Room, from the Ascension to the powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, may perhaps be seen as the scriptural foundation of that most Catholic of devotions – the novena prayer.
With this in mind, here is a prayer from “the Treasury of Novenas”. This novena to the Holy Spirit can of course be prayed anytime, but as a lead up to Pentecost Sunday, it is a good and worthy preparation for the Feast:
Pentecost Novena (18th/19th May for 9 days)
Holy Spirit, third Person of the Blessed Trinity, Spirit of truth, love, and holiness, proceeding from the Father and the Son, and equal to Them in all things, I adore You with all my heart.
Holy Spirit, confiding in Your deep, personal love for me, I am making this novena for the following request, if it should be Your holy Will to grant it: (Mention Your request).
Teach me, Divine Spirit, to know and seek my last end; grant me the holy fear of God; grant me true contrition and patience. Do not let me fall into sin. Give me an increase of faith, hope, and charity, and bring forth in my soul all the virtues proper to my state of life.
Make me a faithful disciple of Jesus and an obedient child of the Church. Give me efficacious grace sufficient to keep the Commandments and to receive the Sacraments worthily. Give me the four Cardinal Virtues, Your Seven Gifts, Your Twelve Fruits. Raise me to perfection in the state of life to which you have called me and lead me through a happy death to everlasting life. I ask this through Christ our Lord.
Holy Spirit, Divine Spirit of light and love, I consecrate to you my understanding, heart, and will, my whole being, for time and for eternity. May my understanding be always submissive to Your heavenly inspirations and to the teaching of the Catholic Church, of which You are the infallible Guide. May my heart be ever inflamed with the love of God and of my neighbour. May my will be ever conformed to the Divine Will. May my whole life be faithful to the imitation of the life and virtues of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to Whom with the Father and You be honour and glory forever.
God, Holy Spirit, Infinite Love of the Father and the Son, through the pure hands of Mary, Your Immaculate Spouse, I place myself this day, and all the days of my life, upon Your chosen altar, the Divine Heart of Jesus, as a sacrifice to You, consuming fire, being firmly resolved now more than ever to hear Your voice and to do in all things Your most holy and adorable Will.
For the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Blessed Spirit of Wisdom, help me to seek God. Make Him the centre of my life and order my life to Him, so that love and harmony may reign in my soul.
Blessed Spirit of Understanding, enlighten my mind, that I may know and love the truths of faith and make them truly my own.
Blessed Spirit of Counsel, enlighten and guide me in all my ways, that I may always know and do Your holy Will. Make me prudent and courageous.
Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in every time of trouble or adversity. Make me loyal and confident.
Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, help me to know good from evil. Teach me to do what is right in the sight of God. Give me clear vision and firmness in decision.
Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart, incline it to a true faith in You, to a holy love of You, my God, that with my whole soul I may seek You, Who are my Father, and find You, my best, my truest joy.
Blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart that I may ever be mindful of Your presence. Make me fly from sin, and give me intense reverence for God and for my fellow men who are made in God’s image.
Grant, we beg of You, Almighty God, that we may so please Your Holy Spirit by our earnest prayers, that we may, by His grace, be freed from all temptations and merit to receive the forgiveness of our sins. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(You may add here any additional prayers you wish, such as the ‘Our Father’, ‘Hail Mary’, ‘Glory Be’ and the prayers below)
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful,
enkindle in them the fire of Thy Love.
Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created,
and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray. O God, You have taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending them the light of Your Holy Spirit. Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.