In the Church universal, the solemnity of Ascension is on its traditional day, Thursday – so a blessed, if belated, and joyous one to all our readers – commemorating Our Lord’s return to heaven, whence He shall return at the end of time. The ‘nine days’ from here to Pentecost signifies the very first ‘novena’ of prayer, which the first Apostles and Our Lady made, to the Holy Ghost, and the only one still officially prescribed by the Church.
The diminution of this feast in the minds and hearts of Catholics is a sad thing, exacerbated by its transfer in so many regions (including Canada and many parts of the United States) to the nearest Sunday. But the Ascension is still ‘in reality’, and certainly historically and by Tradition, on the Thursday before Pentecost; the mitigated transfer only made for ‘pastoral reasons.’ Today, is the traditional day to begin the novena to the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the One Who will lead us into all truth.
We will post in these pages a novena that I can only find in the old booklet I have before me, and not on-line. Participate as amenable, or find another, so that all Catholics may join the Mother of God and the Spirit’s heavenly Spouse, and all the saints, in interceding for ourselves, for our relatives, friends, all men and women, the Church and the world:
Holy Spirit! Lord of Light!
From your clear celestial height!
Your pure beaming radiance give!
The Holy Ghost
Only one thing is important – eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared – sin. Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for “The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us.”
Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given us forgiveness of all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us Your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.
Our Father and Hail Mary, once.
Glory be to the Father, seven times.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts.
Act of Consecration
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God.
I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You.
Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness.
Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You.
Give me grace, O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to say to You always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Your servant heareth”. Amen.
Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost
O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me, that He may perfect in my soul the work of Your grace and Your love.
Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom, that I may despise the perishable things of this world, and aspire only after the things that are eternal,
The Spirit of Understanding, to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth,
The Spirit of Counsel, that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven,
The Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation,
The Spirit of Knowledge, that I may know God and know myself, and grow perfect in the science of the Saints,
The Spirit of Piety, that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable,
The Spirit of Fear, that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him.
Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your Spirit.