The Novena of the Holy Spirit is the chief of all novenas because it was the first that was ever celebrated, and that by the Apostles and Mary in the upper room, and was distinguished by so many remarkable wonders and gifts, principally by the gift of the same Holy Spirit, a gift merited for us by the Passion of Jesus Christ himself. Jesus himself made this known to us when he said to his disciples that if he did not die, he could not send us the Holy Spirit: “If I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you”. We know well by faith that the Holy Spirit is the love that the Father and the eternal Word bear one to the other; and therefore the gift of love, which the Lord infuses into our souls, and which is the greatest of all gifts, is particularly attributed to the Holy Spirit, as Saint Paul says, “the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who is given to us”. In this novena, therefore, we must consider, above all, the great value of divine love, in order that we may desire to obtain it, and endeavor by devout exercises, and especially by prayer, to be made partakers of it, since God has promised it to him who asks for it with humility: “your Father from heaven [will] give the good Spirit to them that ask him!”.
O Most Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, we adore thee with all humility; and with the most lively affections of our hearts we beseech thee to assist us in this thy Novena, that we may rightly prepare ourselves to receive thy heavenly gifts. We cannot, O Divine Spirit, receive thee without thine own aid preventing us. Without thee we cannot please thee. Do thou then, who preparedst the heart of Mary to receive the Word Incarnate, vouchsafe so to dispose our hearts that we may happily conceive the blessed flames of thy love. Amen.
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, and in our hearts take up Thy rest; come with Thy grace and heav’nly aid, To fill the hearts which Thou hast made. O Comforter, to Thee we cry, Thou heav’nly gift of God most high, Thou Fount of life, and Fire of love, and sweet anointing from above. O Finger of the hand divine, the sevenfold gifts of grace are thine; true promise of the Father thou, who dost the tongue with power endow. Thy light to every sense impart, and shed thy love in every heart; thine own unfailing might supply To strengthen our infirmity. Drive far away our ghostly foe, and thine abiding peace bestow; if thou be our preventing Guide, no evil can our steps betide. Praise we the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit with them One; and may the Son on us bestow the gifts that from the Spirit flow. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us Pray:
O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost: give to us, in the same Spirit, to know what is right, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who with Thee livest and reignest in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, God. World without end. Amen.
Meditation – Love Is a Fire That Inflames the Heart
God has ordered, in the ancient law, that there should be a fire kept continually burning on his altar: “The fire on the altar shall always burn”. Saint Gregory says that the altars of God are our hearts, where he desires that the fire of his divine love should always be burning; and therefore the eternal Father, not satisfied with having given us his Son Jesus Christ to save us by his death, would also give us the Holy Spirit, that he might dwell in our souls and keep them constantly on fire with love. And Jesus himself declared that he had come into the world on purpose to inflame our hearts with this holy fire, and that he desired nothing more than to see it kindled: “I am come to cast fire on the earth: and what will I, but that it be kindled?” Forgetting, therefore, the injuries and ingratitude he received from men on this earth, when he had ascended into heaven he sent down upon us the Holy Spirit. Oh, most loving Redeemer, You do, then, love us, as well in Your sufferings and ignominies, as in Your kingdom of glory! This is why the Holy Spirit chose to appear in the upper room under the form of tongues of fire: “And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire”. And therefore the Church teaches us to pray: “May the Holy Spirit, we beseech You, O Lord, inflame us with that fire which our Jesus Christ came to cast upon the earth, and which he ardently desired should be enkindled.” This was the holy fire which has inflamed the saints to do such great things for God, to love their enemies, to desire contempt, to deprive themselves of all earthly goods, and to embrace with delight even torments and death. Love cannot remain idle and never says, “This is enough.” The soul that loves God, the more she does for her beloved the more she desires to do, in order to please him and to attract to herself his affections. This holy fire is enkindled by mental prayer. If, therefore, we desire to burn with love for God, let us love prayer; that is the blessed furnace in which this divine ardor is enkindled.
Affections and prayers
O my God, up to now I have done nothing for You Who has done so much for me. My coldness could well make You cast me away from You. But, O Holy Spirit, make warm what is cold. Deliver me from my lack of fervor and make me burn with the desire to please You. I now wish to deny all that pleases me. I would rather die than displease You in the least thing. To You Who has appeared in the form of fiery tongues, I consecrate my tongue that it may not offend You again. You did give it to me to praise You, but I, I have used it to injure You and cause others to offend You. I am sorry for my sins. For the love of Jesus Christ Who honored You so much by His tongue when He walked this earth, grant that henceforward I may honor You by praising You, by asking often for Your help and by speaking of Your goodness and the infinite love You deserve. I love You, my supreme Good; I love You, O loving God. O Mary, most beloved Spouse of the Holy Spirit, obtain for me this holy fire.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O, let us fall down and worship him, The love of Father and Son, The consubstantial breath of God, The co-eternal One! See, how like the Incarnate Word, His blessed self he lowers, To dwell with us invisibly, And make his riches ours. Most loving Spirit! Mighty God! Sweet must thy presence be, If loss of Jesus can be gain, So long as we have thee!