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Novena to the Holy Spirit: Bearing Good Spiritual Fruits
9 Fulfilling Fruits for Daily Living
Good Spiritual Fruits of the Holy Spirit
I bought this ‘Novena to the Holy Spirit’ book in 2009, and I have returned to it on a number of occasions between then and now because I love the way it reminds me each day of two (2) really important things:
- That I can do nothing without the help and grace of God’s Holy Spirit.
- That when I rely on Him, I am enabled to live out my life fruitfully as a Catholic Christian.
It is also interesting to note that there are nine (9) sub-themes in this Holy Spirit Novena and that they are most fittingly titled after the nine (9) fruits of the Holy Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control. Again, these are reminders that we must ‘bear good spiritual fruit’ in our lives.
A different sub-theme is tackled each day and the order of each day’s novena devotion, makes for a type of daily spiritual retreat. The order of each day’s novena is as follows:
- Hymn - Meditation
- Prayer - Litany
- Scripture Reading - Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
- Responsory - Concluding Prayer
The explicit form of each day’s novena prayer is that of asking the Holy Spirit for a specific spiritual virtue, so that we can achieve tangible results that bear fruit in our lives and the lives of others. So for example:
1) On Day 4 which focuses on the 4th Fruit of the Spirit – Patience:
- The reader’s prayer request of the Holy Spirit is to give him or her strength of heart.
- Why? So that he or she may patiently endure every trial and persevere in doing God’s will.
2) On Day 5 which focuses on the 5th Fruit of the Spirit – Kindness:
- The reader’s prayer request of the Holy Spirit is to fill his or her heart with kindness.
- Why? So that he or she can show kindness to others.
The meditations which follow, on each day, focus on the life, actions and sayings of St. Philip Neri (1515-1595), who was particularly known for his humility, great sense of humour and seriousness about prayer. He was not afraid to treat with issues that others considered “taboo”, such as sins against chastity and it was even said that “…he had a supernatural ability to know who had committed sins against chastity by their smell”.
Which Fruit of the Holy Spirit do you need to work on more?
About St. Philip Neri – A Heart on Fire
This Novena to the Holy Spirit booklet features Saint Philip Neri, who is nicknamed the Apostle of Rome and is often illustrated in art or paintings with a heart of fire. This is as a result of the following account given of his life:
“During his lifetime many people noticed that he seemed always to be warm… [and] several of his disciples reported that his heart used to beat violently when he prayed or preached, sometimes enough to shake the bench on which he was sitting. Some people could hear his heart beating across the room and others experienced unspeakable peace and joy when he embraced them and held their heads to his breast.” (Novena to the Holy Spirit, page 8)
When I read the account of St. Philip Neri, which is included in the novena booklet, one of the other things that stood out to me, was where it was said that “…he treated those who came to him to confess sins of impurity with the utmost compassion”.
This is particularly striking because as Christians, we sometimes tend to forget that had our circumstances been different, we could have been at the very place that a grievous sinner finds him or herself. Every day until death, we are in danger of succumbing to temptation and falling into sin. Therefore compassion rather condemnation of others should be our Christian response.
The Catholic Church officially celebrates the Feast Day of St. Philip Neri on May 26th each year. Make this powerful Novena to the Holy Spirit booklet another welcome addition to your spiritual library.
Another good reminder of the presence of the Holy Spirit.