Monday, May 29, 2006

On-Line RCIA: Waiting for Pentecost

Hearty congratulations to those who were confirmed this Easter Season, and to those who will be confirmed during the Nine Days leading up to Pentecost. These nine days of prayer are called a "novena," and while novenas can be prayed at any time of year, in imitation of the prayer of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the apostles during the period of anticipatory waiting between the Ascension and Pentecost, this is the "official" novena time.

If this is the first you've heard about it and just realized "Golly, I've missed the first three days of the novena!," don't worry about it: just join in today for Day 4. The link above gives a very Franciscan novena; others (somewhat less elaborate) are here and here. Or, of course, you can just pray as the Spirit guides you, perhaps including the traditional Catholic prayer to the Holy Spirit:

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful
And kindle in them the fire of thy love.
Send forth thy Spirit, and they shall be created
And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Anonymous caroline said...

Yes, "novena". Will the new terminology never end? Am I going to be periodically given vocab pop quizzes to make sure I am legitimately Catholic?

BTW, the glaring irony of my confirmation Mass is that I have been asked to read one of the Scriptures. Obviously there has been some sort of ghastly security breach.

10:42 AM  
Blogger The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

Yes, there's a short quiz during the neophyte (look it up) period. For extra credit, you raise and lower a kneeler quietly with your instep.

There's always some level of Catholic arcana which you won't have achieved, though. Now that Offspring #1 is an altar server, she says things like "They didn't put out the aspergillum, so I guess we're doing the Agnus Dei this morning," and "Can you believe the other server got the purificator and corporal confused? Good thing I put them back before Father saw, huh?" I just nod sagely.

5:03 PM  
Blogger The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

BTW congratulations on the quick promotion to lector!

5:04 PM  
Anonymous amy said...

Some fuel for your novena, from today's office of readings -

St Cyril of Jerusalem
The living water of the Holy Spirit

"The water I shall give him will become in him a fountain of living water, welling up into eternal life." This is a new kind of water, a living, leaping water, welling up for those who are worthy. But why did Christ call the grace of the Spirit water? Because all things are dependent on water; plants and animals have their origin in water. Water comes down from heaven as rain, and although it is always the same in itself, it produces many different effects, one in the palm tree, another in the vine, and so on throughout the whole of creation. It does not come down, now as one thing, now as another, but while remaining essentially the same, it adapts itself to the needs of every creature that receives it.
In the same way the Holy Spirit, whose nature is always the same, simple and indivisible, apportions grace to each man as he wills. Like a dry tree which puts forth shoots when watered, the soul bears the fruit of holiness when repentance has made it worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit. Although the Spirit never changes, the effects of his action, by the will of God and in the name of Christ, are both many and marvellous.
The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one man’s self-control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches another to fast and lead a life of asceticism, makes another oblivious to the needs of the body, trains another for martyrdom. His action is different in different people, but the Spirit himself is always the same. In each person, Scripture says, the Spirit reveals his presence in a particular way for the common good.
The Spirit comes gently and makes himself known by his fragrance. He is not felt as a burden, for he is light, very light. Rays of light and knowledge stream before him as he approaches. The Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend and protector to save, to heal, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen, to console. The Spirit comes to enlighten the mind first of the one who receives him, and then, through him, the minds of others as well.
As light strikes the eyes of a man who comes out of darkness into the sunshine and enables him to see clearly things he could not discern before, so light floods the soul of the man counted worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit and enables him to see things beyond the range of human vision, thing hitherto undreamed of.

7:56 PM  
Blogger MrsDarwin said...

I'm glad to see you post the prayer to the Holy Spirit. I've been praying it with my four-year-old, but I couldn't remember if it was "enkindle in them" or "enkindle in us". Consequently I would just mumble through the pronouns in the prayer and hope that the daughter didn't notice. You've corrected me, and my daughter will be glad that mom finally knows the words of her prayers.

9:11 AM  

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