May 22, 2022

This Thursday we begin the oldest novena in the Church:  The Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit.  This novena begins on the Feast of the Ascension of Our Blessed Lord 40 days after Easter and ends on the Saturday before Pentecost.  When Jesus came to Mount Olivet with his apostles 40 days after his resurrection, he told them to go to the upper room where the Last Supper was held and pray.  Mary also joined with the apostles in prayer.  Nine days later on Pentecost Sunday, the church was born and 6,000 people were baptized in the faith.

Since then, the Church has always held this as the first and most powerful novena and recommends it to be prayed by all in preparation for the great Feast of Pentecost.  I myself was recommended to pray this novena by my spiritual director and have prayed it ever since.  I often recommend this novena to those with complicated issues and it helps them gain insight into their problem and makes for a good decision.  It helps to be in the state of grace when making this novena, so I recommend going to confession, especially if you have mortal sin on your soul.  Also, try to assist at Mass during the novena and receive Holy Communion.

The following is a prayer you might say for the 9 days of the novena.  It was composed by St. Augustine and perhaps the oldest known prayer to the Holy Spirit:

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I may love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.  Amen

Remember that in the state of Ohio, the Feast of the Ascension is always celebrated on Sunday, not Ascension Thursday.  This applies to Roman Catholics only.  So Masses on Thursday at Assumption will be as on any other Thursday—6:30am and 8:30am.