I am sure that you have noticed that my posts for this 9-day Novena to the Holy Spirit through prayer and fasting do not happen at the same time every day. Sometimes I post in the morning or afternoon or like last night late into the evening. My original intention was not to do a daily blog for this 9-day Novena.  Nevertheless, I felt the Holy Spirit was inviting me to do so. Every day I would ask the Holy Spirit what I should write about today. Then I would just pray, wait and  trust that the Holy Spirit would give me some insight to blog about. 

This morning I was pleasantly surprised by the Holy Spirit. I was looking through some of my books on the Holy Spirit, flipping through the pages to see if there is anything that stirs my heart this morning. Stuck in between one of the pages in the book, The Gifts of the Holy Spirit According to St. Thomas Aquinas by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., was an Icon image of St. Mark with a prayer for Fr. Mark on the back of it. I have no idea who gave me this card that I had cut out at one time and for some reason put in this book on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I simply laughed this morning coming across this note.  My heart was filled with amazing grace. I thanked the Holy Spirit for this great and unexpected surprise. Apparently, the Holy Spirit knew I needed to be strengthened by the prayer of another person for me today. 

Pope Francis in “God of Surprises”, reminds us that God surprises us every day and we need to learn how to be more aware of this creative movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives. “The Spirit is the gift of God, our Father, who always surprises us. This is because he is a living God, a God who abides in us, a God who moves our heart, a God who is in the Church, and walks with us; and he always surprises us on this path. Thus, just as he had the creativity to create the world, so he has the creativity to create new things every day. He is the God who surprises”. (Pope Francis Morning Meditation – God of surprises Monday, May 8, 2017)

In his book, Holy Spirit Make your Home in Me: Biblical Meditations on Receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit, Fr. George T. Montague, SM, tells a delightful story of how fire is passed on to another. 

“My grandmother, whose memory went back before electricity even before matches, told me one morning when a neighbor boy rode up with a bucket in his hand and said “Ma’am, can I borrow fire?” The neighbors’ fire had died overnight, and he was asking for live coals to get it started again. Sometimes, we too, have to borrow fire.” 

For me, finding that prayer card of St. Mark and the prayer written for me personally, flamed into my heart the fire of the Holy Spirit. I am still beaming over this great find, tucked away in a book in my bookcase. 

I also thought of Judy Zetah, who is known for her prayer and texting, as she sits before the Blessed Sacrament in the evenings at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. As you continue to pray and fast through this Novena, ask the Holy Spirit to put someone on your heart and write a prayer for them and then send it to them. Perhaps through your prayer, the fire of their heart will be strengthened and renewed anew in the Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit – Come Now – Come as you May – God Bless Fr. Mark