Tomorrow begins the Pentecost Novena, nine days of intense prayer to receive the Holy Spirit when He comes in a new way on Pentecost Sunday. The nine days of this Holy Spirit novena correspond closely to the nine months of a woman's pregnancy. The baby dwells within the mother during the pregnancy. Similarly, the Holy Spirit dwells within us (1 Cor 3:16).
As the baby grows within the mother's womb, the mother undergoes dramatic changes. Everything in her lifestyle changes. She wears a completely different set of clothes. She sleeps and eats differently. At times during the pregnancy, she may "weep and mourn" (Jn 16:20). As the baby matures within her, she becomes more attuned to the baby's movements and rhythms. Her entire life is wrapped up in the welfare of the baby. In her final month, her main thought is: "Come, baby!"
We must approach the Holy Spirit novena with a like mindset. We must undergo dramatic changes in lifestyle. We may sleep differently, rising early (Mk 1:35) or staying up late (Lk 6:12) to pray. We must "weep and mourn" in repentance and in sorrow for our sins and the sins of others (see Ez 9:4), all of which grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30). As our immersion in the Spirit progresses during the novena, we will become more attuned to the Spirit's movement and rhythms. Our entire life will be centered in whatever concerns the Holy Spirit. By the end of the novena, all we can say is: "Come, Holy Spirit!" Do you want to be filled with the Spirit enough to immerse yourself in the Pentecost Novena?
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2007 through May 31, 2007.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 16, 2006.