Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ascension to Pentecost

The six weeks of Easter continue into the month of May. They are immediately followed by the Feasts of the Ascension, Pentecost and Holy Trinity Sunday. The Gospel readings are so rich for these feasts. They witness the timid and scared disciples seeing Our Lord’s return to heaven and then praying for nine days until the Holy Spirit comes and gives them Holy Boldness.

The practice of saying novenas is derived from these Scriptures. After Jesus' Ascension into heaven, he told his disciples to pray together in the upper room and devote themselves to constant prayer (Acts 1:14). The Apostles, the Blessed Mother, and other followers of Jesus prayed together for nine consecutive days, concluding in the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentcost

Novena is derived from the Latin "novem", meaning nine. We all need to have the Holy Spirit transform our lives this Pentecost.

One way to bring the liturgical year into your home, is to recognize and celebrate these great feasts of the Church. If you'd like to pray a novena with your spouse and children, here is a link:

Another idea is to read the Sunday readings at home with the family before going to mass, especially the first two chapters of the Acts of the Apostles.

You can pray the second Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary with the family and reflect on the Ascension too.

. How appropriate to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, the spouse of the Blessed Mother on Mother’s day, in Mary’s month! 

From the Ascension of our Lord, through the Feast of Pentecost, Our Lady and disciples prayed in the upper room at the command of Jesus and were there in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit descended. (See Acts 1 & 2)

Pentecost was one of the major Jewish feast days that many faithful Jews made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. That is why there were so many in the city, when the Holy Spirit came-Over 3,000 were baptized that day. All could understand each other, even though they came from many places and spoke different languages.
    With the family, memorize the gifts of the Holy Spirit  Wisdom, Knowledge, Counsel, Understanding, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord. 

    Pray the third mystery of the Holy Rosary and reflect on the descent of the Holy Spirit.

    Another great prayer is the Holy Spirit Sequence:
    Come, Holy Spirit, send forth the heavenly radiance of your light.
    Come, father of the poor, come giver of gifts,come, light of the heart.
    Greatest comforter, sweet guest of the soul, sweet consolation.
    In labor, rest, in heat, temperance, in tears, solace.
    O most blessed light, fill the inmost heart of your faithful.
    Without your grace, there is nothing in us, nothing that is not harmful.
    Cleanse that which is unclean, water that which is dry, heal that which is wounded.
    Bend that which is inflexible, fire that which is chilled, correct what goes astray.
    Give to your faithful, those who trust in you, the sevenfold gifts.
    Grant the reward of virtue, grant the deliverance of salvation, grant eternal joy.

    The Feast of the Holy Trinity is Sunday following Pentecost.
    The Feast of the Holy Body and Blood of Christ is next Sunday. This Feast is also referred to as Corpus Christi.

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