Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ascension to Pentecost

The six weeks of Easter continue into the month of May.  Feast of the Ascension is 40 days after the Resurrection. In many dioceses in the United States it has been moved from Thursday (the 40th day) to the following Sunday so that it can be celebrated by all the faithful on a Sunday mass. Pentecost is 50 days after Easter and is celebrated the following 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 ApostlesBlessed Virgin Mary, and other followers of Jesus prayed together for nine consecutive days, concluding in the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. (Novena is derived from the Latin "novem", meaning nine.) We all need to have the Holy Spirit transform our lives this Pentecost.

Here is a great novena to pray from Ascension to Pentecost:

Pentecost. How appropriate to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, the spouse of the Blessed Mother, in Mary’s month. it was our Lady and disciples praying in the upper room at the command of Jesus from Ascension until Pentecost that constituted the first novena. (See Acts 1 & 2)
  • 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.
With the family, memorize the gifts of the Holy Spirit  Wisdom, Knowledge, Counsel, Understanding, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord. Who could use a little more of each in their life right now?
Together in your home, pray 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.

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