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Friday, May 30, 2003

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Pentecost Novena - Day 1

Acts 18:9-18
Psalm 47
John 16:20-23

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the first and greatest novena

"You are sad for a time but I shall see you again; then your hearts will rejoice with a joy no one can take from you." —John 16:22

Today throughout the world, the Church enters the upper room and begins to pray for a new Pentecost. On May 4, 1897, Pope Leo XIII ordered that the Pentecost novena be celebrated in all parish churches in the world. Pope John Paul II reiterated Pope Leo XIII's command.

After years of being partially ignorant and partially disobedient to the Church's command to pray the Pentecost novena, I prayed part of the novena in 1975. This was one of the greatest events in my life. I renewed my Baptism and Confirmation in ways that I had never imagined. The Holy Spirit saved my life and I promised Him that I would spend the rest of my life telling as many people as possible about life in the Spirit.

These nine days of praying the Pentecost novena can parallel the nine months of pregnancy. They can be hard, painful days. But our sorrows can "become joy" (see Jn 16:20), if we but persevere in praying the novena. Fear and even violence can cast a shadow on these days of prayer (see Acts 18:9ff). Nonetheless, "there is One greater in you than there is in the world" (1 Jn 4:4). Therefore, we need not give in to fear. We are on the threshold of a new Pentecost. Cry out unceasingly: "Come, Holy Spirit!"

Prayer:  Father, make my novena Masses and Confession life-changing.

Promise:  "Do not be afraid. Go on speaking and do not be silenced, for I am with you. No one will attack you or harm you. There are many of My people in this city." —Acts 18:9-10

Praise:  In the past ten years, Sandra has led hundreds of youth and adults to the Holy Spirit through her involvement in numerous Life in the Spirit seminars.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, October 17, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2002