Saturday before Pentecost.
On the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles.
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.
Saturday before Pentecost.
On the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles.
Imagine yourself, my soul, seated among the disciples in the upper room of the house where the descent of the Holy Ghost is about to take place. Endeavor in some measure to realize the state and dispositions of that devout assembly waiting with expectant hearts for the things that were to come.
1st. The longer the advent of the Comforter was delayed, the more ardent the longing of the apostles became. Now the day of Pentecost had come, the fiftieth day after our Lord’s Resurrection. Concerning this day St. Chrysostom writes thus: “Pentecost is a day of remission, of reconciliation, of release.” We read in the book of Leviticus that the Jews considered the number fifty to be a sacred number, and they made the fiftieth year a year of jubilee, in which according to the law of God all debts were cancelled and all lands and inheritances that had been alienated were restored to their former possessors or to their heirs. Now our inheritance is the land of the living, the eternal possessions for the enjoyment of which we were created. Through Adam’s prevarication this inheritance was lost; we have forfeited our right to those possessions through our transgressions, but now the fiftieth day has come, a year of jubilee for us all; we are reinstated in our inheritance, and the newly founded Church, confirmed and endowed with graces by the Holy Spirit, receives back the eternal goods to dispense them to her children. Rejoice therefore, my soul, be glad of the coming of this day, and remember that it depends solely on yourself whether or no all the debt you owe to God shall be cancelled on the morrow.
2d. Consider that the Holy Ghost is said to come down with the sound of the wind. This is to denote the power of the Holy Ghost, whose action is beneficial as that of the wind frequently is. The wind purifies the air and dispels miasma, so the Holy Ghost cleanses the soul and banishes hurtful influences from it. The wind promotes rain and disperses fog, so the Holy Ghost moistens the soul with grace descending like rain and banishes the mists of pusillanimity and doubt which rest upon and obscure it. The wind cools excessive heat and tempers the air, so the Holy Ghost reduces the fire of concupiscence and refreshes the soul, imparting greater repose and equanimity to it. The wind propels ships on their course and works mills, so the Holy Ghost urges the soul forward on the way of holiness and will not allow her to stand still in the work of her own sanctification and the salvation of others. Finally the wind blows the faint spark to a clear flame, and scatters the chaff far and wide. God grant that the Holy Spirit may find in your breast to-morrow a spark of divine charity, which He may kindle to a bright and glowing fire, not mere empty chaff which the wind carries away.
3d. Consider the mystic meaning of this rushing sound which accompanied the descent of the Holy Ghost. The expression made use of in Scripture is the sound not of the approach of an actual storm, but as it were of a mighty wind. “Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty wind coming.” (Acts ii. 2.) As in the beginning the Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters with His vivifying breath, He now manifests Himself as the fashioner and life-giver of the new creation. This sound may also be regarded as an echo of the terrific thunder which on a day of Pentecost long past pealed from the height of Sinai. As Jehova then completed the giving of the law to Israel amid thunder and lightning, so the Holy Ghost, as a whirlwind which nothing can withstand, comes down from Heaven to establish the law of the New Covenant. According to the explanation given by St. Cyril, all that survived of the Old Dispensation tottered and fell beneath the shock of the mighty spiritual impetus descending from Heaven. But all the latent negative force present in the new creation will be roused to its depths and called into action; it will be purified by the might from above and will receive power to take Heaven by storm. Beware, my soul, lest the force of the Holy Ghost, coming down to-morrow from Heaven as it were a mighty wind, should break you off as a dead, a useless, a rotten branch from the tree of the Church. May it rather on the contrary awaken in you the dormant force for higher, spiritual things; that is, may it kindle more hotly in you the aspiration after perfection and give you power to use that violence by which we are told the kingdom of heaven is borne away.
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.
Zeal for the Glory of God and the Propagation of the Faith.
CONSIDERATION – The first great novena in honor of the Holy Ghost was crowned with an abundant outpouring of the Divine Spirit upon the Apostles. It enkindled within their bosom a zeal that knew not fear of starvation or death, that defied the sword and the cross, that braved storms at sea and bloody persecutions on land, for the propagation of the faith of Jesus Christ. Before we close the novena, let us beg the Holy Spirit to fill the world with zeal for the triumph of right over might, for the triumph of truth over error, for the triumph of honesty and purity over deceit and sensuality. Let us pray that the Divine Spirit may fill many of our young men and young women with zeal for the propagation of the faith, with courage to sacrifice the comforts of home and the company of parents, to labor in the service of Christ and the Church. Let us pray that he may pour out an abundance of the apostolic spirit upon our priests, missionaries and nuns. Let us pray that he may draw the hearts of heretics and pagans to the one true fold of Jesus Christ, so that from every quarter of the earth the cry will ascend heavenward: Praised be the holy and adorable Trinity; to it be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
HOLY, Divine Spirit, by the infinite merits of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, deign to pour abroad thy most ardent and omnipotent charity into all hearts, so that there may be one fold and one shepherd in the whole world; and that we may all come to sing thy divine praises in heaven forever. 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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