From: Novena to the Holy Spirit
Hymn: Veni Creator Spiritus
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come
from thy bright heav’nly throne;
come, take possession of our souls,
and make them all thine own.
Thou who art called the Paraclete,
best gift of God above,
the living spring, the living fire,
sweet unction and true love.
Thou who art sevenfold in thy grace,
finger of God’s right hand;
his promise, teaching little ones
to speak and understand.
O guide our minds with thy blest light,
with love our hearts inflame;
and with thy strength, which ne’er decays,
confirm our mortal frame.
Far from us drive our deadly foe;
true peace unto us bring;
and through all perils lead us safe
beneath thy sacred wing.
Through thee may we the Father know,
through thee th’eternal Son,
and thee the Spirit of them both,
thrice-blessed three in One.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they will be created.
And you will renew the face of the Earth.
Merciful Father, your kindness endures forever. May the same Holy Spirit who filled the heart of Saint Philip fill our hearts also, and make himself known in the kindness we show to those around us. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Do not grieve the Spirit of God, with which you have been sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. (Ephesians 4:30-32)
The love of God has been poured into our hearts. Alleluia.
By his Spirit living in us, alleluia.
The words that Saint Thomas uses to discuss the fruit of kindness – also called benignity – are particularly apt in this discussion of the saint with the “heart of fire.” Kindness disposes a person to treat other people well, “for the benign are those in whom the salutary flame (bonus ignis) of love has enkindled the desire to be kind to their neighbor.” The flame of love in Saint Philip showed itself constantly in the cheerful kindness which he showed to all those around him, so much so that Newman can call him “winning saint” and “sweetest of fathers” without exaggeration. A poem that the Cardinal wrote about his patron has become a favorite hymn of the Oratory, and begins, “This is the saint of gentleness and kindness.”
“Cheerfulness strengthens the heart,” Saint Philip says, and so “in dealing with our neighbor we must assume as much pleasantness of manner as we can, and by this affability win him to the ways of virtue.” He was convinced that the way to win someone over was by kindness, rather than harshness, and so far this approach seems obvious. He advised priests hearing confessions to be compassionate, and dozens of his penitents bear witness that he followed his own advice. But Saint Philip’s kindness was not affected or insincere; rather, we find its source in his real humility, and in his basic conviction that he was addressing Christ in every person whom he encountered. He was kind to friends and strangers alike: “Philip welcomed those who consulted him with singular benignity, and received them, though strangers, with as much affection as if he had been a long time expecting them.”
In dealing with others, benignity requires that we always assume the best of them, and not impute bad motives to the things we see them do. “We should never remind anyone of his natural defects,” Saint Philip counsels, and “we must sometimes bear with little defects in others; we ought to hate no one.” Several centuries later, Cardinal Newman would incorporate these and similar sentiments into his definition of a gentleman (in The Idea of a University). Kindness is at the heart of the community life that is the essence of the Congregation of the Oratory, and a necessary protection against the dangers that threaten fraternal love. “Our enemy, the devil, who fights with us in order to vanquish us, seeks to disunite us in our houses and to breed quarrels, dislikes, contests, and rivalries. While we are fighting with each other, he comes and conquers us and makes us more securely his own.”
But cheerful kindness was not something Saint Philip advised merely for the sake of winning others. It likewise strengthens the heart of the one who practices it, for by being cheerful we are cooperating with the Spirit of kindness, and allowing the “salutary flame of love” to bear fruit in our actions. “The true way to advance in holy virtues is to persevere in a holy cheerfulness,” he says, and “the cheerful are much easier to guide in the spiritual life than the melancholy.” The connection between cheerful kindness and growth in spirituality is found in the freedom that comes with humility, and Saint Philip saw a lack of cheerfulness to be connected with too much self-concern. “Excessive sadness,” he insisted, “seldom springs from any other source than pride.”
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Father all-powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Eternal Son of the Father, have mercy on us.
Redeemer of the world, save us.
Spirit of the Father and the Son, boundless life of both, sanctify us.
Holy Trinity, hear us.
Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.
Holy Spirit, co-equal to the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.
Promise of God the Father, have mercy on us.
Ray of Heavenly light, have mercy on us.
Author of all good, have mercy on us.
Source of Heavenly water, have mercy on us.
Consuming fire, have mercy on us.
Ardent charity, have mercy on us.
Spiritual unction, have mercy on us.
Spirit of love and truth, have mercy on us.
Spirit of wisdom and understanding, have mercy on us.
Spirit of counsel and fortitude, have mercy on us.
Spirit of knowledge and piety, have mercy on us.
Spirit of the fear of the Lord, have mercy on us.
Spirit of grace and prayer, have mercy on us.
Spirit of peace and meekness, have mercy on us.
Spirit of modesty and innocence, have mercy on us.
Holy Spirit, the Comforter, have mercy on us.
Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, have mercy on us.
Holy Spirit, who governs the Church, have mercy on us.
Gift of God, the Most High, have mercy on us.
Spirit Who fills the universe, have mercy on us.
Spirit of the adoption of the children of God, have mercy on us.
Holy Spirit, inspire us with horror of sin.
Holy Spirit, come and renew the face of the Earth.
Holy Spirit, shed your light in our souls.
Holy Spirit, engrave your law in our hearts.
Holy Spirit, inflame us with the flame of your love.
Holy Spirit, open to us the treasures of your graces.
Holy Spirit, teach us to pray well.
Holy Spirit, enlighten us with your Heavenly inspirations.
Holy Spirit, lead us in the way of salvation.
Holy Spirit, grant us the only necessary knowledge.
Holy Spirit, inspire in us the practice of good.
Holy Spirit, grant us the merits of all virtues.
Holy Spirit, make us persevere in justice.
Holy Spirit, be our everlasting reward.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, send us your Holy Spirit.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, pour down into our souls the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us the Spirit of wisdom and piety.
Come, Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of your faithful,
And enkindle in them the fire of your love.
Grant, O Merciful Father, that your Divine Spirit may enlighten, inflame, and purify us, that he may penetrate us with his Heavenly dew and make us fruitful in good works, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who with you, in the unity of the same Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, forever and ever.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Heavenly Father, hear the prayers that we make in the name of your son, and give us the Paraclete whom he promised you would send. May your love for us give us strength to respond to you, and to bear fruit in our love for you and for our neighbor. We ask this through Christ our Lord.