Seven years ago, when I was the pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Fort Pierre South Dakota, I invited the parishioners to join me for a nine-day Novena to the Holy Spirit, in which we would fast on bread and water as part of our Novena, preparing our hearts for the coming of Pentecost. There was dozen or more parishioner that joined together fasting and praying for a new Pentecost in our lives and in our parish community.
The graces received that Pentecost.
Fasting has become a part of my spiritual journey. Just as I pray daily and offer the prayers to the Lord so too I fast on a regular basis and offer the fast to the LORD. One of the fruits of fasting and prayer at St. John’s was a prayer group was established that continues seven years later.
Josie Tadriff Huck:
My husband and I to this day still pray together. Something we did not do until we did the novena. We both enjoy our time in prayer.
In the beginning of the fast, I noticed myself feeling sorry for myself when I felt hungry or jealous of the meals others were eating. Offering it up in each of those moments, those feelings/temptations were short lived, and I kept on. With regard to hunger and temptation, the second half did not get easier, but I did get stronger in overcoming them. The greatest fruit I received during the second half was an obvious increase in my awareness of the presence of my Lord throughout the day, in both bigger life events and seemingly trivial, everyday moments; I felt so much more attuned to and receptive of the Holy Spirit, and overall, nearer to Jesus…and that feeling improved my prayer life and improved every moment of my day.
On Pentecost Sunday, 2008, Pope Benedict XV spoke these remarkable words: “Today I would like to extend this invitation to everyone: let us rediscover, dear brothers and sisters the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit; let us be aware again of our baptism and confirmation, sources of grace that are always present. Let us ask the Virgin Mary to obtain a renewed Pentecost for the Church again today, a Pentecost that will spread and everyone the joy of living and witnessing the gospel.”
Pentecost is coming up on Sunday, May 31. I would like to extend another invitation to anyone who would like to join together in a nine-day Novena to the Holy Spirit, through prayer and fasting, preparing our hearts for power of Pentecost. Pope Benedict XV went on that Pentecost Sunday in 2008, “the Spirit of God was poured out in a superabundant way, like a waterfall able to purify every heart, to extinguish the flames of the evil and ignite the fire divine love in the world.”
We will begin the Novena to the Holy Spirit on Friday May 22 and end on Pentecost Sunday May 31. I encourage too fast on bread and water as part of the 9-day Novena to the Holy Spirit.
Here are some possible Novenas to the Holy Spirit that you could use.
Novena to the Holy Spirit by Bl. Elena Guerra: https://ccrno.org/?p=48026
Companions of the Cross: https://companionscross.org/novena-holy-spirit
Diocese of Oklahoma City: https://archokc.org/devotion-to-the-holy-spirit
To participate in a Novena to the Holy Spirit and receive daily text message reminders beginning May 22, text PENTECOSTNOVENA to 84576.
Catholic Charismatic Renewal: https://www.nsc-chariscenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/HS-Novena-SLCCRO.pdf
Come Holy Spirit – Come Now – Come as You May