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Friday, May 10, 2013

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St. Damien of Molokai
Pentecost Novena - Day 1

Acts 18:9-18
Psalm 47:2-7
John 16:20-23

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"you will suffer" (jn 16:33)

"When she has borne her child, she no longer remembers her pain." —John 16:21

During World War II, four Allied soldiers who were encamped behind enemy lines in Germany discovered critical enemy battle plans. If the Allied leaders knew of these plans, thousands of lives could be spared. The four soldiers decided to ski into neutral Switzerland to communicate the plans. On the way through the steep mountains of the Alps range, one soldier fell and broke his leg. After careful deliberation, the other three soldiers told their fallen comrade that they must leave him alone overnight and would return for him the next day after the plans were communicated. Returning the next day, they asked the man how he fared through the night. "I was in agony," he replied. "But this morning God sent the most beautiful sunrise I had ever seen. When I think back on this ordeal of suffering, I will remember the beauty rather than the pain." That's what Jesus refers to in today's gospel (Jn 16:21). The Lord often saves the best for the moments we are most in need.

Today we begin the Pentecost Novena, nine days of prayer to "receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22) more deeply at Pentecost. We will suffer as we are challenged by the Holy Spirit, stretched by the call of the Lord, and persecuted by the enemy. After Pentecost, however, we will remember the joy, not the suffering. Therefore, make any changes necessary in the next nine days to make room for the Holy Spirit in your life.

Prayer:  Come, Holy Spirit! Do in me whatever You must in order to do through me whatever You will.

Promise:  "Do not be afraid. Go on speaking and do not be silenced, for I am with you." —Acts 18:9-10

Praise:  St. Damien spent his life ministering Jesus to a colony of lepers on the island of Molokai. In love, he so identified with them that he contracted leprosy himself and died with them.

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

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 2, 2012

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