Imagine yourself in the Citadel with the Apostles just after Jesus has Ascended to His Father. Consider the anxiety and bewilderment present in the room. You Contemplate how the Master, after teaching and counseling for three years, after dying on the cross and rising again three days later, after spending forty glorious days with the chosen band in His risen body has just Ascended into Heaven. You and the other Apostles were speaking with Him and all of a sudden the tips of His toes are disappearing behind a cloud. You were all frightened that day so you fled to the only place that felt familiar – the Upper Room – and barricaded yourself in.
Now, six days later, you all are still in Citadel with the other Apostles. The immediate shock has left but you are still in a daze. You think “how could He abandon us like that.” Then you remember the Master’s promise “not to leave you orphans, but to send another.” Who was it He promised to send? You think hard. Then you remember His words, “I will send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit.” On one hand this brings a wave of relief, on the other hand it brings a new wave of anxiety. The thought of being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and Baptized in His fire is a little unnerving.
You go and seek Mary, Jesus’ Mother, also in the room with you. She was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit a long time ago, when in the Mystery of the Incarnation, His word was made flesh in her womb. She reassures you that there is nothing to fear. “God is Love!”
As you meditate on this, please join in praying the sixth day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit.
Novena to the Holy Spirit
The Gift of Understanding
“The Gift of Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion. By faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to ‘talk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God.’”
“Come, O Blessed 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 Your light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of You and the Father and the Son.” Amen
Our Father ~ Hail Mary ~ Glory Be to the Father (seven times) ~ Act of Consecration (see Novena to the Holy Spirit (Day 1))
Prayer for the Seven Gifts
“Almighty and Eternal God, Who has vouchsafed to regenerate us by the water and the Holy Spirit, and has given us forgiveness of all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from Heaven upon us Your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear.” Amen.
– Novena taken from Novena and Prayers to the Holy Spirit, Original Text by Daniel A. Lord, S.J., P. 2 & 11