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Monday, May 24, 2004

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Pentecost Novena - Day 4

Acts 19:1-8
Psalm 68:2-7
John 16:29-33

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growing pains

"As Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down on them and they began to speak in tongues and to utter prophecies." —Acts 19:6

Most of you reading this have the Holy Spirit living and working within you through your Baptisms and Confirmations. So for you this Pentecost novena should result in growth in the Spirit. However, human beings, even Christians, usually don't have a strong desire to grow. This is why the Lord commands us to grow (e.g. Eph 4:15; 2 Pt 3:18). Otherwise, we wouldn't try to grow. Nevertheless, we may even ignore the Lord's commands for us to grow and thereby disobey Him.

The need for growth implies that we have not yet fully matured and developed. It takes humility to accept this. We must crucify our pride in order to be willing to grow. Growth also implies sacrifice and "growing pains." Therefore, we must die to ourselves in order to grow.

Twelve men of Ephesus grew in a few hours from being non-Christians to being Christians filled with the Spirit. "They began to speak in tongues and to utter prophecies" (Acts 19:6). They grew so much so quickly. They were humble enough to admit their ignorance about the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:2) and to listen to Paul's invitation to Jesus. May we imitate the attitude and growth of these Ephesian men.

Prayer:  Father, on this fourth day of the Pentecost novena, break through my pride and selfishness.

Promise:  "I have overcome the world." —Jn 16:33

Praise:  It was always when Diane was at the end of her rope and threw up her hands that God moved the most powerfully in her life.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Growth Gifts on audio AV 3B-1 or video 3-B.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003