Parish Novena to the Holy Spirit
Day Two: Sunday 24th May 2020
‘So that she can fulfil her mission, the Holy Spirit bestows upon [the Church] varied hierarchic and charismatic gifts, and in this way directs her. Henceforward the Church, endowed with the gifts of her founder and faithfully observing his precepts of charity, humility and self-denial receives the mission of proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God, and she is on earth the seed and the beginning of the kingdom.’ (CCC #768.)
The above quote from the Catechism reminds us of our vocation to be disciples. We are part of the Church, founded by Him on the rock of Peter, and from the moment we are baptised we become part of His Church. Our vocation in the Church is to witness to the power and glory of God in Jesus Christ. All our thoughts, words and actions should daily reveal to the world around us the love of God. We are not alone in this endeavour but have fellow brothers and sisters who are on the same journey. Every person, every family, every parish, every deanery, every diocese are all part of the One Church, praying, edifying and contributing to its witness, mission and prayer everyday. Through the work and life of each faithful member, the visible Church becomes the sign of God’s presence in the world. A sign of Faith, Hope and Charity.
The Holy Spirit, as the Catechism teaches, bestows gifts on the Church to help her in this mission. In our ‘virtual’ Novena we are going to look particularly at the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. These Gifts, if we are open to them, allow us to live more virtuous and holy lives which of course leads to embracing God’s will and building up His Kingdom, here on earth.
The Gift of Wisdom
Today, let us reflect on the Gift of Wisdom with King Solomon from the Old Testament.
After his father, King David, had died the crown passed to Solomon. The new King recognised that the crown came with responsibility. The ornate, jewel encrusted band of gold, was a symbol of God’s anointed one and it was the duty of this anointed one to serve God and lead His people. Many in the past had failed but now it was Solomon’s time. His first action as king was not to count his new wealth or organise a triumphant coronation but to turn to God and pray.
‘Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in succession to David my father. But I am a very young man, unskilled in leadership. Your servant finds himself in the midst of this people of yours that you have chosen, a people so many its number cannot be counted or reckoned. Give your servant a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil, for who could govern this people of yours that is so great?’ (1 Kings 3: 7-9)
Solomon’s prayer is simply for wisdom, the wisdom to see and discern things through God’s eyes. Human wisdom is imperfect and can lead to confusion and misunderstanding, just look at the history of humanity. God’s wisdom is perfect and eternal.
It is through the Holy Spirit’s gift of Wisdom, that we are able to see things from God’s viewpoint. In the various challenges of life, the gift of wisdom allows us to respond to the ups and downs of daily living in the way of God rather than in the way of ‘I’ and ‘Me’. Maybe an image we can use to illustrate the Spirit’s gift of wisdom is to picture a married couple. The couple have an argument about something and nothing and imperfect human wisdom says:
‘Show him how angry he has made you, give him the silent treatment and he can make his own tea tonight!’; ‘Let her know with a scowl and a grunt that her actions have displeased you, she’ll soon get the message!’
The gift of Wisdom, of looking at the situation through the eyes of God says:
‘Why make a big show of my anger, it won’t help the situation but make it worse. Isn’t it better to come to some type of truce. I do love him at the end of the day.’; ‘I was in the wrong. My anger clouded my judgment and I need to make peace and say sorry. I do love her, that’s why I married her.’
If we all co-operated with the Holy Spirit and used this gift of wisdom wouldn’t there be a lot less tension and anger because of poor communication?
Veni Creator Spiritus
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator come,
From your bright heavenly throne!
Come, take possession of our souls,
And make them all your own.
You who are called the Paraclete,
Best gift of God above,
The living spring, the living fire,
Sweet unction, and true love!
You who are sevenfold in your grace,
Finger of God's right hand,
His promise, teaching little ones
To speak and understand!
O guide our minds with your blessed light,
With love our hearts inflame,
And with your strength which never decays
Confirm our mortal frame.
Far from us drive our hellish foe
True peace unto us bring,
And through all perils guide us safe
Beneath your sacred wing.
Through you may we the Father know,
Through you the eternal Son
And you the Spirit of them both
Thrice-blessed three in one.
All glory to the Father be,
And to the risen Son;
The same to you, O Paraclete,
While endless ages run.
In today’s few moments of silence let us, like wise King Solomon, turn to God in prayer. Let us pray that we may have the courage to use the gift of wisdom more frequently. It is easy to speak and act first and then think later, it is very human. God’s wisdom asks us to pause, to discern and then to respond. The results from using this divine wisdom are always more beneficial for everyone concerned. How else can we increase our wisdom of God? How can we see things more clearly from His viewpoint rather than our own? Do we need to pick up the Bible more and read it? When was the last time we picked up a decent spiritual book that helped explain and reveal more about our Catholic Faith? Do we need to sacrifice some time each day for more quality prayer? As we reflect on these thoughts let us be wise enough to put them into action and grow closer to God and become better disciples.
Come, Holy Spirit
Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your love.
V. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And you shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray:
O God, who taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
God Bless and keep praying.
We continue our Novena journey tomorrow.