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Thursday, May 5, 2016

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Acts 18:1-8
Psalm 98:1-4
John 16:16-20

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do you want to be filled with the spirit?

"I tell you truly: you will weep and mourn." —John 16:20

Tomorrow begins the Pentecost Novena, nine days of intense prayer to receive the Holy Spirit when He comes in a new way on Pentecost Sunday. The nine days of this Holy Spirit novena correspond closely to the nine months of a woman's pregnancy. The baby dwells within the mother during the pregnancy. Similarly, the Holy Spirit dwells within us (1 Cor 3:16).

As the baby grows within the mother's womb, the mother undergoes dramatic changes. Everything in her lifestyle changes. She wears a completely different set of clothes. She sleeps and eats differently. At times during the pregnancy, she may "weep and mourn" (Jn 16:20). As her child matures within her, she becomes more attuned to the baby's movements and rhythms. Her entire life is wrapped up in the welfare of the baby. In her final month, her main thought is: "Come, baby!"

As we approach the Holy Spirit novena with a like mindset, we may undergo dramatic changes in lifestyle. We may sleep differently, "rising early" (Mk 1:35) or staying up late (Lk 6:12) to pray. We may "weep and mourn" (Jn 16:20) in repentance and in sorrow for our sins and the sins of others (see Ez 9:4), all of which grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30). As our immersion in the Spirit progresses during the novena, we will become more attuned to the Spirit's movement and rhythms. Our entire life will become centered in whatever concerns the Holy Spirit. By the end of the novena, our hearts proclaim: "Come, Holy Spirit!" Do you want to be filled with the Spirit enough to immerse yourself in the Pentecost Novena?

Prayer:  Jesus, may I empty myself as You did (Phil 2:7). Give me life in the Spirit to the full (Jn 10:10).

Promise:  "Your grief will be turned into joy." —Jn 16:20

Praise:  After finally completing a Life in the Spirit seminar, Mary was filled to overflowing with the joy and the gifts of the Spirit.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 6, 2015

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