Thursday before Pentecost.
On Simplicity and Sincerity of Heart as the Chief Requisite for the Profitable Celebration of Pentecost.
PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.
My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.
Thursday before Pentecost.
On Simplicity and Sincerity of Heart as the Chief Requisite for the Profitable Celebration of Pentecost.
Recall to mind, my soul, the pleasing scene described in the Gospel, when our Lord placed a little child in the midst of the disciples, and proposed that little one, whose charm lay in the simplicity and sincerity of his heart, as a model for the imitation of His apostles. And as it pleased our Lord, so nothing pleases the Holy Ghost more than childlike simplicity and candor; hence it would be another and a serious obstacle to the reception of the graces of Pentecost, were you to celebrate that feast with a deceitful, dissimulating heart, a secretive, reticent spirit.
1st. Consider that Holy Scripture tells us that “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord.” (Prov. xii. 22.) And Sirach the Wise Man declares: “A lie is a foul blot in a man.” “A thief is better than a man that is always lying, but both of them shall inherit destruction.” (Ecclus. xx. 26, 27.) From these passages of Holy Scripture you see, my soul, how repugnant to the Holy Ghost—for He it is who speaks by the mouth of the wise men of the Old Testament—is lying and all that is included in it; double-dealing, cunning, dissimulation, for that is acting a lie continually; you see how intensely He hates everything that is opposed to simplicity and uprightness of heart. A soul in which these two virtues are lacking resembles a broken mirror from which the grace and the light of the Holy Ghost can only be reflected in a distorted manner. The Apostle tells us that the Church, the bride of the Holy Ghost, must be stainless, “not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing” (Eph. v. 27); accordingly, it follows that you, who are a spiritual church, a mystic temple of the Holy Ghost, must likewise be without stain, that your soul must be free from spots and wrinkles, that all about her must be smooth and even like the polished surface of a mirror, for then the sunbeams of grace, the light of the Holy Ghost, will be most perfectly and beautifully reflected in it.
2d. Consider that in the world the evils most opposed to simplicity and uprightness, i.e., duplicity and concealment, are so common, that the words of the prophet Osee may be fitly reechoed in the present day: “There is no truth in the land.” (Osee iv. 1.) Everywhere lying, falsehood, deceit and guile have got the upper hand; the words of the lips are at variance with the feelings of the heart, and he who in speech and behavior appears your friend is in reality your enemy. On account of all this St. John declares that the world cannot receive the Holy Ghost. How necessary, how all-important it is for you, who as a Priest, as a Religious have forsworn the world, to guard yourself carefully against this vice which is so prevalent in the world, otherwise in spite of your renunciation of the world you would not be in a state to receive the Holy Ghost. Nay more, you would be doubly incapable of receiving Him, since you would be an arrant hypocrite, hiding a worldly heart, a heart, that is, full of craftiness and cunning, beneath a habit which proclaims you a stranger to the ways of the world. Examine yourself therefore; ascertain whether you possess the virtue of simplicity which gives itself out for what it is, whether you have the sincere heart of a Nathanael, without guile or artifice, for upon this it depends whether you receive in greater or less measure the graces of the approaching feast, when the celestial Dove, descending from above, loves to alight in hearts that are innocent, guileless, dovelike.
3d. Consider of what vast importance it is for ordinary Christians, and pre-eminently for members of a Religious Order, to cherish mutual candor and uprightness of soul, and how much mischief on the other hand is caused by underhand dealing, a want of candor and outspokenness. Frank, guileless, candid natures are like children easily contented and they are beloved by all. Brethren who are of a suspicious, sly, secretive disposition cannot live at peace with themselves or with others. St. Dorotheus says: “Some persons are in the habit of assigning one reason or another for the falling away of every Religious who is not faithful to his vocation. This one, they say, was obliged to leave the monastery on account of the delicacy of his health, and so on; but I say the real cause was that when the temptation first assailed him he kept it to himself and did not manifest his inmost heart to anyone.” Learn hence to walk before God in simplicity and sincerity of heart, to be open with His representative, your Superior or the director of your conscience; towards your Brethren or Sisters be also frank and straightforward, without however at the same time forgetting the counsel given you in that inestimable little book: “Discover not thy heart to every man. Have charity towards all, but familiarity is not expedient.” (Imit. B. i. ch. 8.)
PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.
My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.
May Devotion: The Blessed Virgin Mary
Virtues to practice: Meekness, purity, the spirit of poverty
O holy Mary, my Mistress, into thy blessed trust and special keeping, into the bosom of thy tender mercy, this day, every day of my life and at the hour of my death, I commend my soul and body; to thee I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life, that through thy most holy intercession and thy merits, all my actions may be ordered and disposed according to thy will and that of thy divine Son. Amen. (St. Aloysius Gonzaga)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
(For either of the above prayers: An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this prayer.)
The faithful who during the month of May take part in public exercises in honor of the B.V.M. may gain: An indulgence of 7 years on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence if they assist at the exercises on at least 10 days, and moreover, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.
Those who perform their devotions privately during the aforesaid month are granted: an indulgence of 5 years once on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if they perform these devotions every day during the month; but where public exercises are held, this indulgence is granted only to those who are lawfully hindered from taking part in the same. (Raccolta).
Novena to the Holy Ghost
The novena in honor of the Holy Ghost is the original novena, of which all other novenas are only imitations. Our Lord himself instituted this novena when, on the day of His ascension, He sent His Apostles back to Jerusalem to pray for nine days that they might be ready on the tenth day, which was Pentecost, to receive the Holy Ghost. Therefore, the Church has richly indulgenced novenas in honor of the Holy Ghost, and they may be made, not only at Pentecost, but at any time of the year.
INDULGENCES—(1) 300 days, each day. (2) Plenary, once during the novena, or octave on the usual conditions, i.e., confession—communion—prayer for intentions of the Pope. This novena may be made at any time, with any form of prayers approved by competent ecclesiastical authority. (Nov. 26, 1876.)
INDULGENCES__(1) 7 years and 7 quarantines, each day. (2) Plenary, once during the novena or on the feast or on any other day during the octave on the usual conditions, i.e., confession—communion—prayers for the intentions of the Pope. This novena may be made publicly or privately. Any prayers to the Holy Ghost may be used. (Leo XIII, May 9, 1897.) Another plenary indulgence can be gained by those who say some prayers in honor of the Holy Ghost each day of the octave and go to the sacraments any day of the octave and pray for the intentions of the Pope.
Since no particular prayers are prescribed, the following devotions are suggested as appropriate for the novena.
The Gift of Understanding.
CONSIDERATION – Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Ghost, helps the Christian, in the state of grace, to grasp according to his mental capacity, the meaning of the truths of our holy religion, Perhaps, to many of us, the articles of the creed are but dry disconnected truths, God gives us the gift of Understanding to enable us to penetrate the truths of our holy religion in a manner that will enable us to live them. Many Catholics find the Catholic newspapers flat and unsavory. On Sundays they would like to hear the Priest speak of the topics of the times rather than give catechetical instructions. That is because they are imbued with the spirit of the age. They have never become accustomed to thinking seriously of religious subjects. They have no religious, no Catholic, no supernatural ideals. Perhaps one of the reasons why we do not duplicate the majestic cathedrals of Europe is, because we do not live the religious mysteries and ideals which inspired those monuments of faith. We need an increase of understanding to make our religion something real and living. Therefore let us pray fervently for that intention.
COME, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.
To obtain the special favors and blessing for which you are making this novena and also an increase of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost recite 7 times the “Glory be to the Father.”
Prayer to the Holy Ghost.
O HOLY SPIRIT, divine spirit of light and love, I consecrate to Thee my understanding, heart and will, my whole being for time and for eternity. May my understanding be always submissive to Thy heavenly inspirations, and to the teaching of the Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible Guide; may my heart be ever inflamed with love of God and of my neighbour; may my will be ever conformed to the Divine Will, and may my whole life be a faithful imitation of the life and virtues of our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, to whom with the FATHER and Thee be honour and glory for ever. Amen.
300 Days, once a day.
Pius X, June 5, 1908.
Indulgences for a Novena for Pentecost.
i. Seven Years and Seven Quarantines, each day.
ii. Plenary, once during the Novena, Feast or Octave.
This Novena may be made publicly or privately, and the same Indulgences are granted for special prayers said every day during the Octave. Any prayers to the HOLY GHOST may be used.
Act of Perfect Contrition
Oh my God! I am heartily sorry
for having offended Thee and
I detest all my sins because
I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell;
But most of all because I have offended Thee, My God,
Who art all-good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace,
To confess my sins, to do penance,
And to amend my life. Amen.
Vexilla Regis prodeunt
The royal banners forward go;
The Cross shines forth in mystic glow,
Where Life for sinners death endured,
And life by death for man procured.
Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life’s torrent rushing from His side,
To wash us in that precious flood
Where mingled, Water flowed, and Blood.
Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old;
‘Amidst the nations, God,’ saith he,
‘Hath reigned and triumphed from the Tree.’
O Tree of beauty! Tree of light!
O Tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
Those holy Limbs should find their rest.
On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world’s ransom hung:
The price of humankind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.
O Cross, our one reliance, hail,
Thou glory of the saved, avail*
To give fresh merit to the Saint,
And pardon to the penitent.
*Instead of: ‘Thou Glory of the saved,’ during Passiontide, say: ‘This Holy Passiontide’, during the Paschal Season: ‘Thou joy of Eastertide’, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: ‘On this triumphant day.‘
To Thee, Eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done;
Whom by the Cross Thou dost restore,
Preserve and govern evermore. Amen.
Vexilla Regis pródeunt,
Fulget Crucis mystérium,
Qua vita mortem pértulit,
Et morte vitam prótulit.
Quæ vulneráta lánceæ
Mucróne diro, críminum
Ut nos laváret sórdibus,
Manávit unda et sánguine.
Impléta sunt quæ cóncinit
David fidéli cármine,
Regnávit a ligno Deus.
Arbor decóra et fúlgida,
Ornáta regis púrpura,
Elécta digno stípite
Tam sancta membra tángere.
Beáta, cuius bráchiis
Prétium pepéndit sæculi,
Statéra facta córporis,
Tulítque prædam tártari.
O Crux, ave, spes única,
Gentis redémptæ glória!*
Piis adáuge grátiam,
Reísque dele crímina.
Te, fons salútis, Trínitas,
Colláudet omnis spíritus:
Quibus Cricis victóriam
Largíris, adde præmium. Amen.
(ex. Breviario Romano)
An indulgence of 5 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this hymn throughout an entire month (S.C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S.P.Ap., April 29, 1934).
Prayers in Time of Calamity
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