Novena to the Holy Ghost Begins Tomorrow

CFF56DDC-02AF-4EA1-9297-6B7AAA190443The Easter candle is extinguished on Ascension Thursday, signifying that Jesus’ time on Earth has ended, and we must now prepare for the coming of the Holy Ghost

The novena in honor of the Holy Ghost is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Ghost on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian. To encourage devotion to the Holy Spirit, the Church has enriched this novena with the following indulgences:

The faithful who devoutly assist at the public novena in honor of the Holy Spirit immediately preceding the Solemn Feast of Pentecost may gain a partial indulgence for themselves or as an offering for the intentions of the faithful departed.

Those who make a private novena in honor of the Holy Spirit, either before the Solemn Feast of Pentecost or at any other time in the year, may also gain a partial indulgence for themselves or as an offering for the intentions of the faithful departed.” ~ Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals

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Lift Up Your Gates, O Ye Princes, and the King of Glory Shall Enter In!

REMBRANDT Harmenszoon van Rijn
(b. 1606, Leiden, d. 1669, Amsterdam)

Thursday, May 26th, is a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass attendance and refraining from servile work are obligatory. Fr. Stephen Sandquist, CMRI, will offer Holy Mass for Ascension Thursday at 6 pm in Chelsea, OK.

“This Ascension, which enthroned our Emmanuel as the eternal centre of light, was by His own decree, to take place on one of the days of the month which men call May, and which clothes in its richest beauty the creation of this same God, who, when He had made it, was pleased with it, and found it very good. Sweet month of May! Not gloomy and cold like December, which brought us the humble joys of Bethlehem; not lowering and clouded like March, when the Lamb was sacrificed on Calvary; but buoyant with sunshine, and flowers, and life, and truly worthy to be offered, each year, to Mary, the Mother of God, for it is the month of her Jesus’ triumph.” Dom Gueranger, OSB, The Liturgical Year

The Apostles between the Ascension and Pentecost

Ivory Diptych with the Ascension and Pentecost French, 1370-1380 Paris, Musée du Louvre, photo credit: Margaret Duffy, Ad Imaginem Dei blog

On this octave of the Ascension, Dom Gueranger gives us this glimpse into the transformation that has occurred in the apostles:

Before the Ascension the disciples were as inconstant in their love as they were in their faith. Jesus could not trust them. But no sooner had He left them, than they became warmly devoted to Him. Instead of complaining of their bereavement, they returned full of joy to Jerusalem. The thought of their master’s triumph made them forget their own loss, and they hastened, as He bade them, to the cenacle, where they were to be endued with power from on high.

Rogation Days this Week

Rogation Days Q and A
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week are the Rogation Days that precede Ascension Thursday. Historically the Catholic Church has encouraged the faithful to undertake processions on these days, asking God to bless the fields, so that farmers may have good harvests. In modern times we have tended to lose that connection. However, current events are bringing the farmer’s work back to the forefront of our concerns. There are readings and prayers for each day. You may find them and more on the history and explanation of the Rogation Days here.