"Paul was pressed in the Spirit." —Acts 18:5, KJV
Tomorrow begins the Holy Spirit novena, nine days of intense prayer to prepare for receiving the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Like St. Paul, we are to be absorbed, that is, totally occupied with the coming of the Spirit, as if the Spirit was pressing upon us from all sides (Acts 18:5). Like the apostles and Mary in the upper room, we are to live and breathe for the purpose of receiving the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:14).
The nine days of a novena can be compared to the nine months of a pregnancy. A pregnant mother is completely preoccupied with the baby growing in her womb. She is in tune with the movements of her baby. As the months pass, the baby grows within her and presses more firmly upon her. Near the end of the pregnancy, all she can think of is "Come, Baby."
We need the Holy Spirit novena in order to become ever more attuned to the movements of the Holy Spirit. This is a time to come to Jesus and beg Him for the grace to thirst for the Spirit (see Jn 7:37-38). No matter how much we want the Holy Spirit, it's not as much as God desires us to want the Spirit. By the end of the nine days, we should constantly be thinking "Come, Holy Spirit." Desire to receive the Holy Spirit more than a mother with a full-term baby wants to give birth. "Come, Holy Spirit!"
Prayer: Father, pour out the Spirit in my life like a tidal wave. Carry me in the Spirit anywhere You wish.
Promise: "You will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy." —Jn 16:20
Praise: St. Mary Magdalene prayed to suffer even more before her death out of love for Christ crucified.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Seek the Gifts of the Spirit, or our series of four tapes on Gifts of the Spirit starting with audio AV 3A-1 or video V-3A.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 2016
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