This is part nine of a nine-day prayer series to the Holy Spirit.
Daily Opening Prayer
Come, Holy Spirit, come! And from Your celestial home shed a ray of light divine! Come, Father of the poor! Come, Source of all our store! Come, within our bosoms shine. You, of comforters the best; You, the soul’s most welcome Guest; Sweet Refreshment here below; In our labor, Rest most sweet; Grateful Coolness in the heat; Solace in the midst of woe. O most blessed Light divine, Shine within these hearts of Yours, And our inmost being fill!
Where You are not, we have naught, Nothing good in deed or thought, Nothing free from taint of ill. Heal our wounds, our strength renew; On our dryness pour Your dew; Wash the stains of guilt away. Bend the stubborn heart and will; Melt the frozen, warm the chill; Guide the steps that go astray. On the faithful, who adore and confess You, evermore in Your sevenfold gift descend; Give them virtue’s sure reward; Give them Your salvation, Lord; Give them joys that never end. Amen.
Day Nine – The Parish Church
The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Priscilla, together with the church in their house, greet you warmly in the Lord. -1 Cor. 16:19
The parish as we know it today developed during the Middle Ages. Other forms of local Christian community existed prior to the parish, and before that the domestic, or home Church, |was the form of faith community Christians identified with first. For most people, their parish is what they think of when they think of the Church. In our parishes we gather as a family of worship and we support and educate one another. In a world that can be cold and impersonal sometimes, parishes need to provide a place to gather as the friends and followers of the risen Christ. Parishes need to nourish the households that constitute the parish, including families, single people, widowed people, and couples whose children are grown and gone. At the same time, we parishioners need to share our time and other resources so that our parish can fulfill its mission. The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles at Pentecost is traditionally known as the moment the Church was born. In our day God’s people need to be renewed through the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, giving them the strength to live as faithful and loving Christians. They, in turn, help to build our parishes as communities of faith in Jesus Christ.
Come, Holy Spirit, open our hearts to receive and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our parishes. Help us to see and respond to the needs of our people. Help us to support and encourage the variety of vocations found in our parishes. Above all, help us all to be the Mystical Body of Christ in the world.
Daily Concluding Prayer
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, promised to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your apostles and disciples, grant the same Holy Spirit to me, that He may perfect in my soul the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may not be attached to the perishable things of this world, but aspire only after the things that are eternal; the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the Light of Your Divine Truth; the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven; the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You land that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation; the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself, and grow perfect in the science of the Saints; the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable; the Spirit of Fear of the Lord that I may be filled with loving Reverence towards God and may avoid anything that may displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
An Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit
On my knees — before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses — I offer myself, soul and body, to You, eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and the Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to avoid any sin against You.
Mercifully guard my every thought, and grant that I may always watch for Your light and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You, and give myself to You, and ask You — by Your compassion — to watch over me in my weakness.
Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus — and looking at His Five Wounds — and trusting in His Precious Blood — and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart — I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit — Spirit of the Father and the Son — to say to You always and everywhere, “Speak, Lord — for Your servant hears.” Amen.