Monday, May 14, 2018

Novena to the Holy Spirit: Day 4

Oldest of all novenas, this is still the only one officially prescribed by the Church.

Descent of the Holy Ghost (Pentecost), Durer

(Monday, 7th Week of Easter)
The virtue of fortitude, perfected by the gift of the Holy Spirit, enables us to overcome the obstacles that in one way or another we encounter along the path of holiness, but it doesn't remove the weakness of human nature, the fear of danger, pain or weariness. A person who is strong can still experience fear, but can overcome it thanks to love. Precisely because of love, a Christian is able to face greater risks, even though one may feel repugnance not only at the beginning, but also for as long as the trial lasts or the desired-for object is still being sought. Fortitude does not always eliminate the deficiencies inherent in all created beings.

This virtue can bring one to offer one's life willingly in witness to the faith if our Lord so desires it. Martyrdom is the supreme act of fortitude, and God has demanded it of many of the faithful throughout the history of the Church. The martyrs have been -- and are -- the Church's crown, another testimony to her divine origin and her holiness. Every Christian ought to be prepared to give his or her life for Christ if circumstances demand it. The Holy Spirit would then give one the strength and courage to face this supreme test. Normally, though, what is asked of us is heroism in the little things, in the daily fulfillment of our duties.
Prayer: The Gift of Fortitude

Thou in toil art comfort sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

The Gift of Fortitude

By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to under take without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from You, my God and greatest Good. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE.

Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

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