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Tuesday, May 26, 1998

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Pentecost Novena - Day 5
St. Philip Neri

Acts 20:17-27
Psalm 68:10-11, 20-21
John 17:1-11

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have spirit or half-spirit?

"I am on my way to Jerusalem, compelled by the Spirit and not knowing what will happen to me there — except that the Holy Spirit has been warning me from city to city that chains and hardships await me." —Acts 20:22-23

The Holy Spirit will touch, bless, and enlighten us. He can be like a refreshing breeze, a warm fire, and cool waters. The Holy Spirit will also compel, warn (Acts 20:22-23), and convict us of our sins (Jn 16:8). He can be like a strong, driving wind (Acts 2:2), a purifying, consuming fire (see Heb 12:29), and raging rivers of living waters (Jn 7:38). The Holy Spirit will be ever so gentle, yet will also shake us by His almighty power. The Spirit will give us what we've always wanted and what we've always avoided. We both want and don't want the Holy Spirit. It is a peaceful and fearful thing to receive the Holy Spirit.

We feel like receiving half of the Spirit, but the Spirit doesn't come that way. For five days in this Pentecost novena, we have been praying to resolve this dilemma. Our sin, selfishness, and our fear are strong, but God's grace is stronger. By faith, repent, obey, and surrender. Cry out: "Come, Holy Spirit!"

Prayer:  Father, "let it be done unto me according to Your word" (Lk 1:38, our transl).

Promise:  "Eternal life is this: to know You, the only true God, and Him Whom You have sent, Jesus Christ." —Jn 17:3

Praise:  Philip's method of starting to evangelize Rome was to be out in public among the people, meeting them, conversing with them, getting to know them, and being available to them. Large numbers of Romans eventually came to faith in Jesus as the result of his outreach.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997