The Novena to the Holy Spirit presented below is written by George E. Schulhoff, A.H.S., and can be found at http://www.aoths.org/pages/Novena.html.
Nihil obstat: Edward J. Gratsch 02/13/1997.
Imprimatur: Most Rev. Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, 02/19/1997.
Published by Apostles of the Holy Spirit, 2709 Woodburn Ave., Cincinnatti, OH, 45206, USA.
If you follow the instructions strictly, and listen to the Holy Spirit, you will find this exercise very fruitful.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you and whom you received from God?” (1 Cor 6:19).
NOVENA TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
(Help me to know You)
THE FIRST NOVENA
After Jesus ascended to Heaven His Apostles, together with Mary and other members of the original Christian Church, continued to pray together until the feast of Pentecost when, in accordance with Jesus’ promise, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” These nine days of prayer, reported in Acts 1:14 and 2:3-4, were the first Novena on which all later Novenas have been based.
IN THE YEAR 1879
Pope Leo XIII issued an encyclical on the Holy Spirit, in which he ordains that a novena should be held throughout the Church in preparation for the feast of Pentecost.
It is the desire of the Supreme Pontiff that all the faithful should unite in imploring a new abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit, since it is only through this divine Spirit that the blessings of redemption can be brought to the world.
A Novena to the Holy Spirit is the most excellent of all novenas and most appropriate for our times, to give new impetus to devotion to the Holy Spirit.
No one could possibly love you more than God the Holy Spirit. You have given and received only natural love. God’s love is supernatural. His love for you is unlimited.
He created you. Just as you are. Just as He wanted you to be. He wants you to know Him. He wants you to be happy and enjoy this world and this life He gave you.
With His gifts, He gives you all you need to accomplish this. He wants to give you unlimited Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding. He wants to Counsel you and give you Fortitude. He wants to make it easy for you to be close and intimate with Him through His gift to you of Piety. He wants to create in you a love for Him that will satisfy every want and desire you have.
When Jesus lived on the earth with His disciples, they were content to give up everything to follow Him, just to be near Him. With Him, they were safe and if they needed any Counsel they knew He could give them the answers. The disciples had never experienced or even heard of such a source of comfort and Wisdom on earth. So when it was time for Him to leave they were very upset. He assured them by telling them He would send the Paraclete, the Comforter to be with them and with all of His followers.
When He lived as a man He could only be touched and seen and known by as many as humanly possible. By sending His Spirit He could be present, in Spirit, to all, at all times.
The Holy Spirit speaks to you in your thoughts. He prompts or speaks to you in your language, using your grammar and the words you are familiar with and use daily. These thoughts or promptings that come from the Holy Spirit are so natural that unless you are sensitive to His promptings you could easily ignore them or not recognize them as important.
During these nine days of reflection on the Holy Spirit, you will pray, meditate, contemplate, ponder, concentrate, reflect, use your imagination and listen.
The author has practiced this devotion from the age of five to the present day (76 years). He has explained this devotion to numerous others who have accepted the information they received from him. Many have been able to apply the devotion to their own lives and are astonished it has not been taught to a greater extent.
Those who have been instructed personally by the author have been able to acquire the devotion in a matter of weeks, months or several years, and even surpassed what he himself has experienced.
Each day, mull over the thought presented to you, for as long as you can. Read and re- read the day. Each time you get a thought, stop and ponder it. Exhaust it before continuing. Your goal is to listen to your thoughts, not to get through it. Imagine there is no such thing as time. Avoid advancing to the following days in an effort to get new information and ideas to fill in the time and blanks you will have. This is precisely what kills meditation. Too much information. Remember, you are not trying to find thoughts and answers from the same sources you are accustomed to using, such as reading. You are trying to hear new thoughts from a different source. This will not be information, this will be Knowledge. The Holy Spirit will be putting words in your thoughts.
At times the author takes the liberty to talk to you as he believes the Holy Spirit has talked to him.
O Holy Spirit, I begin this Novena by admitting that I do not know you. I know about you, from what I have been told. I have been told how God the Father, my Creator, and God the Son, my Savior, sent You, God the Holy Spirit, to be with me, to comfort me, to be my advocate and to sanctify me.
I am ashamed, after all You have done for me, that I have never taken the time to learn how to open my heart and let You in.
It is my hope, at this moment, that You will give me the strength to be determined and persevere, and to constantly have You as my companion. I know how weak I am since I have had other good intentions and failed. I failed in the past because I did not realize it is You who must provide me with Your seven spiritual gifts.
Your gift of Fortitude will give me the strength I need to complete this Novena. Instill in me, O Holy Spirit, Your gift of Fortitude so that I can carry on, to do what I must do, to complete this Novena.
O Holy Spirit, my curiosity has tempted me to begin reading the second day of my Novena instead of spending this time trying to learn how to listen to Your promptings. I always knew better than my teacher and did not think it would make any difference. I do not let You guide me because I do not know how to listen to You. In fact, I do not even listen to those who have had the experience of learning how to listen.
WAKE ME UP
Give me Your gift of Counsel by reminding me numerous times during this day to talk to You as I would talk to my very best human friend. Counsel me by reminding me to dwell on these thoughts of my first and second day of this Novena.
GIVE ME A SHOVE
Remind me, O Holy Spirit, to express my gratitude to You who have given me so much: my faith, hope and ability to love; my home, friends, relatives and the fact that I have life.
Do not let me be one of the nine lepers who did not return to show gratitude.
Thank You, O Holy Spirit, thank You.
Already You are giving me, O Holy Spirit, an Understanding of how I must spend this moment thinking about You in my heart. You are beginning to let me Understand that simply by reading this information will not release Your grace. I am beginning to realize Your gift of Understanding comes to me from You, when I take the time to accept Your Counsel. For this realization and the gifts You have given me, thank You, O Holy Spirit.
“AND LEAD US NOT INTO … ”
Please do not lead me into temptation, O Holy Spirit! Do not put me to the test that I must prove to You my faith, by making me wait longer to experience Your presence, if for only one second. This second of knowing that You are in my heart will increase my faith. O Holy Spirit, I do believe, help my unbelief.
Make me Understand the only reason I am starting this third day of getting to know You is through and with the Fortitude You have provided.
If I listen to my pride, I would think I am doing it all by myself.
POSSESSED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
When I look back just these three days, I am beginning to be able to see how my life with You will be much richer as I willingly permit You to take possession of me. This ability to see as You see, to the extent that You wish for me to see at this moment, is Your gift of Knowledge.
Who, O Holy Spirit, in heaven or on earth, possesses the Knowledge that is Yours and Yours alone?
Why do I spend so much time seeking mere information from others when You are so willing and anxious to give me this gift that I need? If only I would take the time to learn how to listen to You.
Why do I put so much importance on money, sex, power, intellectualism – things that do not have a mere fraction of the power You have? Why do I spend so much time accumulating money when Jesus promised me that the Father would provide? What good would it do a man if he gained the whole world and suffered the loss of his soul?
Why do I spend so little time listening to You? Is it my lack of faith? Help me to Understand. Show me the way. Lead me, O Kindly Light.
THE CREATOR, THE REDEEMER, THE SANCTIFIER
Have you ever heard of anyone who created, or claimed to have created, a soul, as your Father in Heaven has done for you and millions and millions of times over? Have you ever heard of any creature who has paid the price for a soul in sin, and won salvation for them, as Jesus did for you and millions of others?
I am the Holy Spirit the Third Person of the Trinity. Just as no one other than the Father has the power to create a soul from nothing, and just as no one other than the Son has the power to pay the great price for salvation, no one other than I, the Holy Spirit, has the power to sanctify you.
My child, no one else can explain, teach or give you My gifts of Knowledge, Understanding, Counsel, Wisdom, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord.
I alone can sanctify you and make you worthy to enter Heaven. When you accept these gifts I will reward you with peace, happiness and joy in this life as well as the next. Give me a chance, have faith in me, ask me your questions.
Many of these questions have I put into your thoughts as a way of leading you. Keep pondering these questions until I give you the answers. Prove to Me your faith. Do not give up. Ask for My gift of Fortitude – but never give up. Your time has not come to know the answers to some of these questions. I want you to prove your faith to Me.
You want to know how to recognize the Holy Spirit when I talk to you? I am the only one who can answer this question. Never stop listening for my answer.
If you take the time to learn to listen to Me, I will give you My gift of Piety. This gift will make you want to be near and close to Me. This gift, if you use it, will bring you to ecstasy in My intimacy. This gift will make everything easy for you, but will not interfere with your free will.
I will give you so much. Give Me your appreciation and gratitude.
I AM PEACE
When you learn how to dismiss all distractions and think only of Me in your heart, you will experience Peace. I, your God, My Holy Spirit, is in the midst of this peace that you experience. The more undivided attention you focus on Me, the greater and deeper will this peace become.
This peace surrounds Me. I am Peace. You will recognize My presence by this peace. Do not make the mistake that so many others do. Relaxation of the body is not peace. Peace, My peace that only I can give, is of the soul.
Relaxation can be obtained in numerous ways, including drugs, sex and money. These are of the body and in excess harm the soul. Your gratitude to Me will increase my gifts to you — just as you give more to those who appreciate you.
OUT OF ORDER?
Your soul was created to be attracted to Me like steel to a magnet.
If you do not take time to learn to listen to Me, my child, you will become confused, as many others have.
The confused try to satisfy their magnetic attraction to Me by substituting drugs that delight their bodies, and for a short time relaxes them. Some express their confusion by other delights of the body, but this is not the peace I offer you.
The confused not only destroy their bodies and minds, but also their souls.
The confused cannot tell the difference between relaxation of the body and the reward of My peace to their souls.
The confused have refused to listen to Me. All human creatures have been given this right – to refuse to listen. All were created with a will that is free, a free will to choose their Creator or reject Him.
If you learn to listen to Me, I will relieve you of your many anxieties and fears. Your doubts and frustrations will be resolved. You will have Peace.
Your will is free. Choose to make it My will.
LOVE – FEAR
No one, O Holy Spirit, not even You, can cite an occasion that could arise in my life here on earth that cannot be more than satisfied by Your seven gifts.
My love for You, O Holy Spirit, increases as I learn to listen to Your Knowledge, Understanding, and Counsel. My love grows as I experience the Fortitude and Piety that You give to me.
Increase in me, O Holy Spirit, Your gift of Fear of the Lord so that I will love You so much I cannot offend You out of Fear of losing You. Thank You, O Holy Spirit, for Your infinite love.
I know Your great love for me by the mere fact that You, and the Father and the Son, created me and gave me life. Just as I love what I have accomplished, so You also love what You have accomplished. It is GOOD.
The only other spiritual gift that You offer to us if we listen, O Holy Spirit, is the greatest of all Your gifts – Your gift of Wisdom. This gift of Wisdom is the highest compliment man can receive.
Your gift of Wisdom endows us with the ability to use all of Your other six spiritual gifts in their exact proper proportion.
The baker is wise, O Holy Spirit, when he does not use too much of any one ingredient in his cake. The ability to use each of Your spiritual gifts of Knowledge, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord in exactly the right proportion is the gift of gifts — the gift of Wisdom.
THE END OF THE BEGINNING
This is the ninth day, O Holy Spirit. My intended Novena is completed. I must recognize the fact that You gave me the Fortitude to persevere, the strength which made it easy. You gave me the determination to succeed as You will and in everything that You prompt me to do.
If only I take time to listen for Your gift of Fortitude.
I shall take the time to reminisce on my early childhood and each year up to the present time, to the best of my ability, with your help and Knowledge, O Holy Spirit. I shall dwell on the past few months in particular. You will let me Understand how You have been in my life daily, even though I was not aware of it; how You gave me the grace of Your seven gifts and how often I threw them away by neglecting to use them; how on many occasions Your gifts were there and I did use them, but was under the impression, due to my pride, that I did it all by myself.
But, why does it have to end? Why should it end?
If I have not experienced Your presence in my heart, I shall start over for another nine days if You will only give me the Fortitude.
If I have experienced Your presence in my heart, I will jealously preserve it, relive it, practice listening daily – a perpetual Novena.
My hope is that I will grow into the habit of experiencing Your presence every moment of my consciousness.
– Never stop trying
– The Holy Spirit demands faith
– Man invented time
– Time means absolutely nothing to God
– This novena cannot be exhausted
– Every time you make this novena, the Holy Spirit will add to it
– When you pray, you talk to God
– When God talks to you, do you listen?