Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit, as our Helper and our Advocate. Only with the charisms the Holy Spirit bestows can any real change for the better come about in individuals, families, communities and nations. We need these charisms desperately, all of them. We need gifted intercessors, teachers, preachers, prophets, healers, words of wisdom, words of knowledge. We need those gifted with the charism of mercy, with the godly call to accept suffering in intercession for others, with gifts of administration, charisms of celibacy for the kingdom, charisms of hospitality and many more.
But to receive these most necessary gifts, we need to pray, and we need to dedicate ourselves to serious prayer. Holy Mother Church recommends the nine days preceding the annual solemnity of Pentecost as special days to implore the charisms of the Holy Spirit. The holy Apostles did that preceding the first Pentecost outpouring of the Holy Spirit. They prayed together with the early disciples and with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
No longer having the physical presence of Jesus with them (except in the Eucharist), all the disciples and Apostles looked to Mary for guidance, for help, and for inspiration. No one else knew Jesus as intimately as she did. No one else had prayed with Him as often as she had. No one else had been overshadowed by the Holy Spirit as she had. In the Mother of Jesus, each and every believer in Jesus found help. Help to persevere in prayer. Help to desire prayer. Help to pray more effectively. Help to pray more humbly. Help to welcome the Holy Spirit with whole-hearted trust.
They needed her. We need her. We need her unique help.
At Lourdes when Bernadette asked the beautiful lady her name, the beautiful lady replied, 'I am the Immaculate Conception'. We often refer to Mary, as the daughter of the Father, the mother of the Son and the spouse of the Holy Spirit. The name she gave at Lourdes was an eloquent and theologically rich way of saying, 'I am Mrs Holy Spirit'.
Can you see now, that having the feast days of Pentecost (Mr Holy Spirit) and Our Lady Help of Christians (Mrs Holy Spirit) united like this is extraordinarily significant? Good.
That's why we need to pray with special fervour for the release of the Holy Spirit's charisms this Pentecost - and to pray united with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Those nine days of special prayer start today (15 May 2015).
Here is a very easy set of prayers you might like to use during these nine days of special prayer. A little bit done everyday is far better than a lot to begin with and tapering to nothing within a few days. It is a double-sided A4 PDF that will give you three prayer cards per sheet. Cut or guillotine along the black borders on side two, and it should look OK on side one.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful. Enkindle in them the fire of Your love. Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray: O God, You instruct the hearts of Your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit. Grant us in the light of that same Holy Spirit always to be truly wise and ever to rejoice in His consolation. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.