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Friday, May 30, 2014

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Pentecost Novena - Day 1

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

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praying in losses

"I tell you truly: you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices; you will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy." —John 16:20

When Jesus' disciples prayed in the upper room after His Ascension and before the first Christian Pentecost, they probably prayed with a sense of loss. Although Jesus had promised that He would not leave them orphaned (Jn 14:18) and that He would be with them always (Mt 28:20), Jesus' disciples couldn't understand what He meant, for the Spirit had not yet been received and the Church not yet born.

When we pray with a sense of loss, our prayer may sound the same but it is prayed on a different level. For instance, after Paul saw Sosthenes violently attacked and beaten by the Corinthians (Acts 18:17), he naturally lost any sense of security. He realized he could be killed at any moment. When he prayed "Come, Holy Spirit," he probably prayed it on a deeper level than most of us are accustomed to. I remember seeing a widow pray, "Come, Holy Spirit," a couple of hours after her husband's death. She received the Spirit as never before since she prayed for the Spirit as never before. I've seen people lose their health and lose the unity in their marriages. When these people, in their loss, pray, "Come, Holy Spirit," all heaven breaks loose.

When we think we've lost everything, we can pray for the Spirit and receive more than we can ever ask for or imagine (Eph 3:20). Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, on this first day of the Pentecost novena, I cry out to You in the pain of loss.

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

Praise:  Valerie spends an afternoon each week visiting a homebound neighbor. Her love has restored her neighbor's faith in God.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 30, 2013

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