Grace to you!
On this Day 2 of our Pentecost Novena, we pray for the grace of love from the Spirit of Love.
I begin with love. Love is a theological virtue. The Lord pours it into the heart of the believer. “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rm 5:5).
Scripture tells us that “God is love” (1 Jn 4:10). We learn from our Catholic Catechism that love is God’s “first gift containing all others.” (CCC, 2003). So, it is relevant to begin with love and to pray for such a special fervor, which itself is the fruit of the Holy Spirit too.
I read with keen interest the Lords inspiring words to us:“In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name. Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (Jn 16:23-24).
Here the Lord assures us that any intercession made in his name is welcome with divine approval. It is in his name that we receive the graces we need and the blessings of God. Some of the favors he grants us when we ask in his name are called charisms.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes charisms as “special graces, also called charisms, after the Greek term used by St. Paul and meaning "favor," "gratuitous gift," "benefit." (CCC, 2003).
Those special graces are given to us to build the Church and to build up one another. They are special blessings if we see them where they truly belong—flowing from the love of God poured into the heart of the believer through the Spirit.
“Whatever their character—sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues—charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church (1 Cor 12)” (CCC, 2003).
I would, therefore, ask we pray in a special way for God’s gift of love, charity. Love is everything. With love, pure love, we become the best version of ourselves through grace. With love, other special charisms find their perfection. Saint Paul tells us that the gift of love, also understood as charity, is the greatest (1 Cor 13:13). In love our gifts become a glory unto God. In love we use our gifts in a holy way. They become good and acceptable.
The North African Saint Augustine was spot-on when, in one of his Sermons on 1 John, he admonishes us to live and lead inspired by love. “Once and for all, I give you this one short command: love, and do what you will. If you hold your peace, hold your peace out of love. If you cry out, cry out in love. If you correct someone, correct them out of love. If you spare them, spare them out of love. Let the root of love be in you: nothing can spring from it but good.” (Augustine, Sermons on 1 Jn 4:4-12, nos. 8).
Pray, therefore, that we receive the Holy Spirit who pours into our hearts the oil of charity; and in our minds and spirit, the flame of love.
Pray with me: Come Holy spirit fill my heart with your love and my spirit ignite with the flame of love. Amen. Be sure to continue the Novena Prayer, Come Holy Spirit.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Saturday after Ascension: Acts 18:23-28; Jn 16:23-28]
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.