Forty days after Jesus rose from the dead, He ascended into heaven.
Today is the fortieth day of Easter, known as Ascension Thursday.
(Your diocese determines whether you celebrate the Ascension today or this coming Sunday.)
Jesus promised the Apostles He would not leave them alone. He would send the Holy Spirit — the Paraclete — to give them the power to proclaim the Gospel to the entire world.
After the Ascension, the Apostles waited for the Lord’s promise to be fulfilled.
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away; and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers (Acts 1:12-14).
Ten days after the Ascension, on Pentecost, they received the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost is celebrated fifty days after the Resurrection. This year, it’s celebrated on May 23rd.
To prepare for the feast of Pentecost, I’ll pray a novena to the Holy Spirit.
The novena in honor of the Holy Ghost is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His Apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Ghost on the first Pentecost … To encourage devotion to the Holy Spirit, the Church has granted the following indulgences:
“The faithful who devoutly assist at the public novena in honor of the Holy Spirit immediately preceding the Solemn Feast of Pentecost may gain a partial indulgence for themselves or as an offering for the intentions of the faithful departed.
Those who make a private novena in honor of the Holy Spirit, either before the Solemn Feast of Pentecost or at any other time in the year, may also gain a partial indulgence for themselves or as an offering for the intentions of the faithful departed.”
Each day, for the next nine days, I’ll pray the Litany of the Holy Ghost.
Begin: Friday, May 14
End: Saturday, May 22
I invite you to join me in praying this beautiful litany. The text is below.
Note: Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit were both used to refer to the Third Person of the Trinity well before the twentieth century, but the former was more commonly used in the text of the bible and prayers
(For private use only)
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Father all powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Eternal Son of the Father, Redeemer of the world, save us.
Spirit of the Father and the Son, boundless life of both, sanctify us.
Holy Trinity, hear us.
Holy Ghost, Who proceedest from the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.
Holy Ghost, Who art equal to the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.
Promise of God the Father, have mercy on us.
Ray of heavenly light, have mercy on us.
Author of all good, have mercy on us.
Source of heavenly water, have mercy on us.
Consuming fire, have mercy on us.
Ardent charity, have mercy on us.
Spiritual unction, have mercy on us.
Spirit of love and truth, have mercy on us.
Spirit of wisdom and understanding, have mercy on us.
Spirit of counsel and fortitude, have mercy on us.
Spirit of knowledge and piety, have mercy on us.
Spirit of the fear of the Lord, have mercy on us.
Spirit of grace and prayer, have mercy on us.
Spirit of peace and meekness, have mercy on us.
Spirit of modesty and innocence, have mercy on us.
Holy Ghost, the Comforter, have mercy on us.
Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier, have mercy on us.
Holy Ghost, Who governest the Church, have mercy on us.
Gift of God, the Most High, have mercy on us.
Spirit Who fillest the universe, have mercy on us.
Spirit of the adoption of the children of God, have mercy on us.
Holy Ghost, inspire us with horror of sin.
Holy Ghost, come and renew the face of the earth.
Holy Ghost, shed Thy light in our souls.
Holy Ghost, engrave Thy law in our hearts.
Holy Ghost, inflame us with the flame of Thy love.
Holy Ghost, open to us the treasures of Thy graces.
Holy Ghost, teach us to pray well.
Holy Ghost, enlighten us with Thy heavenly inspirations.
Holy Ghost, lead us in the way of salvation.
Holy Ghost, grant us the only necessary knowledge.
Holy Ghost, inspire in us the practice of good.
Holy Ghost, grant us the merits of all virtues.
Holy Ghost, make us persevere in justice.
Holy Ghost, be Thou our everlasting reward.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, send us Thy Holy Ghost.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, pour down into our souls the gifts of the Holy Ghost.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, grant us the Spirit of wisdom and piety.
V. Come, Holy Ghost! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful,
R. And enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
Let us pray.
Grant, O merciful Father, that Thy Divine Spirit may enlighten, inflame and purify us, that He may penetrate us with His heavenly dew and make us fruitful in good works, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, liveth and reigneth forever and ever. Amen.