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All Issues > Volume 27, Issue 4

<< Friday, June 3, 2011 >> St. Charles Lwanga
& Companions
Pentecost Novena - Day 1

Acts 18:9-18
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Psalm 47:2-7 John 16:20-23
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"I give you My assurance, whatever you ask the Father, He will give you in My name." —John 16:23

Today begins nine days of prayer, the Pentecost Novena, to ask God to prepare our hearts to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. God pours out the Holy Spirit beyond measure and without ration (Jn 3:34; Eph 3:20). Nevertheless, we need to prepare our hearts. We don't pray the Pentecost Novena because God needs persuading, but rather because we need docility to receive the Spirit.

Jesus revealed that our heavenly Father won't give us "a poisonous snake when we ask for a fish" (Mt 7:10), and that He is predisposed to give good things to those who ask Him (Mt 7:11). In Luke's parallel version of this passage, Jesus replaces the phrase "good things" with "Holy Spirit" (Lk 11:13).

At the first Pentecost Novena, the apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary gathered to pray communally and intensely for the promise of the Father, that is, the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14). Let us likewise gather with other Christians to pray earnestly to receive the Holy Spirit. We don't need to persuade God; rather, we need to dispose ourselves to fully receive the Spirit God is already lavishing on us (Ti 3:6).

God wants to send the Holy Spirit to open our minds to the understanding of the Scriptures (Lk 24:45). Therefore, let's give God opportunities to bestow the Spirit on us by reading the Bible frequently during the Pentecost Novena.

Prayer: Father, pour out Your love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rm 5:5). Come, Holy Spirit!
Promise: "Do not be afraid. Go on speaking and do not be silenced, for I am with you." —Acts 18:9-10
Praise: St. Charles opened his heart to receive the Spirit and was led to a martyr's death.
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2011 through July 31, 2011.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011.
The Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
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