Counsel gives us prudence in difficult situations. If you live in this world, surely you will pray for this gift.
The novena in preparation of Pentecost is the first and therefore the oldest novena in the Church. It begins the day after the Ascension, which is 40 days after Easter. It commemorates Mary and the apostles waiting in the upper room for the Advocate, the Holy Spirit to come to them. For nine days, they waited. Praying together that Jesus’ promise would be fulfilled. They were scared and not sure what they should do next now that Jesus had ascended to his Father in heaven.
I imagine that they spent time reminding one another of the words he spoke, “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.” (John 15:26); “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)
There are a few sources for a Pentecost Novena.
From Presentation Ministries, there are prayers for each and you read the daily Mass readings as well.
From Pray more Novenas, which you can have delivered to your inbox each day.
From EWTN, the Novena for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. (This is the one I pray and I’ll post it each day)
No matter which you choose, you are asking for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life. You are asking for the gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord are increased as you need. You are praying that the gifts given to you strengthen you and fill you with a holy boldness to do what God needs you to do as his disciple.
May is the month traditionally set aside for us to honor the Blessed Mother. The Blessed Mother is not only Jesus’ mother; she is ours as well. In John’s Gospel, as Jesus is dying on the cross, he turns to his mother and says, “Woman, behold your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” (John 19:26-27) Jesus not only wants John to take care of his mother because of his concern for her but he is also reminding us that she is the Mother of all Christians. As the mother of all of us, she is worthy of honor and veneration always. Mary is the first Christian. Her “fiat”, her yes gives life not only to Jesus but to all of us.
Mary is considered the new Eve. Eve was the first woman but through Eve, sin and death entered the world. Mary gives herself to us in her bearing of Christ and through her yes, new life and salvation comes to us by his birth, passion, death, and resurrection. While Eve hides herself in the garden after her sin, Mary stands by her son as he dies on the cross bearing our sin.
Think for a moment about Mary standing by the cross, watching her son die. Like many of you, I have watched my children get hurt, physically and emotionally, and it aches when I am unable to take their pain away. How often have we sat, waiting and holding a hand, praying that all would be okay? I think Mary knew that no amount of praying was going to take her son’s pain away. And yet she stood there, waiting and praying, until he died and then lovingly buried him.
When we think of Mary in that light it seems natural that we honor her. Her example to us is one of strength and fortitude. She is always pointing us to her son and reminding us, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5b)
During this month of May set aside time to ask Mary to help you know her son more deeply and fully. Look to her as an example of love; a mother who will never fail you but always lead you to the One who saves us.