Day 9 COTL Holy Spirit Charisms and Fruits Novena
Novena for the Charisms and
Fruit of the Holy Spirit
Fruit of the Spirit
Acts 2: 1-4
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”
Tomorrow is the big day! Pentecost has been called the “birthday of the church” Why? It was the Inauguration of our primary mission as a church to spread the Gospel of Jesus to all the nations! With the coming of the Holy Spirit, believers were animated and gifted in a powerful new way. Pentecost was the beginning, but the process of the Holy Spirit empowering and gifting the church has never ended and continues to this moment.
Our Catholic tradition teaches that at confirmation, there is a completion of Baptismal Grace by the impartation and sealing of the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon the believer. Billions of Catholics around the world over millennia have received the sacrament of confirmation, but in our age, sadly, a very high percentage do not progress into a lifelong deepening of their baptismal call. Many devoted and holy Catholics have experienced the Holy Spirit as an unseen force, the power behind conversion and all that is holy, but unfortunately as a “great unknown”. Yes, the movement and will of the Holy Spirit will always be a mystery, as are most things of God. But the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. Jesus came to re-establish our unity with the Father, but the Father and the Son sent us the Holy Spirit! Although the Trinity is the mystery of all mysteries, logic follows that if we can have an intimate relationship with the Father and Son, as co-heirs with Christ, we can also have an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, in so far as we are docile to Him and He wills to be known through his power, supernatural graces and gifts. After all, Jesus called the Holy Spirit in John 14:16 the “parakletos” which is is translated comforter, advocate, and counselor among other descriptions. These are words that convey intimacy.
A new movement of the Holy Spirit upon Catholics in the late 1960’s has seen many millions of believers worldwide were had a taste of intimacy with the Holy Spirit through the “baptism in the Holy Spirit” as a tangible, transformative, and authentic experience. The Holy Spirit was no longer an unseen force, not just a great unknown, but a real and powerful life-changing third person of the Trinity. Many describe the experience as going from knowing “about” God to actually knowing Him. Those that have stayed the course and matured in this transformation, have tasted of the intimacy with God more and deeper, and borne fruit beyond what they were capable of without this encounter.
One manifestation of the experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is the gift of tongues. Unfortunately, the gift of tongues is not widely understood or trusted by many in the church, primarily because of a misunderstanding of the gift and the immature use of the gift by some believers. Paul in 1:Corinthians 14 instructs the Corinthian church extensively about self-control and proper use of the gift. The gift of tongues, like all nine of the charismatic gifts, must be exercised in love as 1 Corinthians 13 exhorts. This chapter describes many facets of love, but most of the descriptions are supported by the fruit of self-control. Controlling your own desires and ego to benefit another in love, is at the heart of the fruit of self-control.
Although not scriptural, the gift of tongues has been described as “the least of the gifts” by some. Perhaps because it is the only one of the nine charismatic gifts that the believer can develop and use at will as a prayer and praise language after it has been received by the Holy Spirit, as opposed to gifts such as healing or miracles that manifest solely at the sovereign will of the Holy Spirit.
We will close our Novena with an image drawn from Jewish tradition to describe the importance of tongues upon the other Charismatic gifts. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday. The Hanukkah menorah used to celebrate the eight days has nine candles. The center candle is called the “shamash” translated “servant” or “helper.” The Shamash is lit first and then is used to light the other eight candles on the successive days of the festival. This is a beautiful illustration of how many believers experience the gift of tongues. Praying in tongues, and praising in tongues acts to light up the other gifts. Tongues is the servant gift that is initially lit in order to help ignite more and more of the gifts as the Spirit wills, for the building up of the church, until the light of Christ burns brightly.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 gives a nice summary for today’s reflection and the end of our Novena
“Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control”
Holy Spirit, reveal yourself to me in a new way this Pentecost. I desire a deeper intimacy with you and to be fully equipped with all of the graces and gifts necessary to participate in your work of salvation. I desire to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and to move in the gift of tongues, according to your will. I hunger for more of you in every way. Grant me the grace of self-control so that I can love as you love, and be a worthy steward of the gifts you entrust me with. Amen
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.
Lord, by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts of your faithful.
In the same Spirit help us to relish what is right
and always rejoice in your consolation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen. Come Holy Spirit!
City of the Lord Arizona Branch
on Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 1:04PM