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Monday, May 25, 2009

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Pentecost Novena - Day 4
Venerable St. Bede
Pope St. Gregory VII
St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

Acts 19:1-8
Psalm 68:2-7
John 16:29-33

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the spirit of unity

"You will be scattered." —John 16:32

The Holy Spirit gathers rather than scatters. At Babel (Gn 11:7-9), men were scattered. At Pentecost, the Spirit gathered and united. Jesus came to gather us together (Jn 11:51-52).

One thing is certain: unity is never reached by stifling the Spirit, the Source of unity (Eph 4:3). To achieve the unity desired by the Holy Spirit, we must be filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:4) and operate in the gifts of the Spirit, which are always given for the common good (1 Cor 12:7).

How sad that sometimes one of the effects of the Life in the Spirit seminar is to scatter a church into factions of charismatics and non-charismatics. Therefore, those who are filled with the Spirit and striving to daily operate in the gifts of the Spirit must "make every effort to preserve the unity" (Eph 4:3) the Spirit is always working to achieve.

Jesus wants unity very much. He prays that we all be one as He and the Father are one (Jn 17:21). Jesus is always working to break down the barriers of hostility (Eph 2:14) and bring reconciliation and peace through the blood of His cross (Col 1:20).

Pray for the Holy Spirit. Do not stifle the Spirit out of fear of further disunity. The Holy Spirit is the best Gift, and the Father is pleased to give the Spirit (Lk 11:13). "Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22) and "be united in mind and judgment" (1 Cor 1:10).

Prayer:  Come, Holy Spirit of unity! Jesus, pour out Your love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rm 5:5). Gather us together (Jn 11:52).

Promise:  "The Holy Spirit came down on them and they began to speak in tongues and to utter prophecies." —Acts 19:6

Praise:  Pope St. Gregory's last recorded words were "I have loved justice and hated iniquity."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 3, 2008

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