Friday, May 22, 2020
Holy Spirit Friday, settle in for a short chat :)
To that point, my biggest struggle in our current crisis is the way that it has led to our social interactions being significantly cut away. Despite being an introvert, I'm very social, and love talking to people! I'm grateful for modern technology that allows to chat virtually, but a screen does not replace actual human interaction. It's definitely taken a toll on me (and I expect most people) as we are well into our third month of managing all this.
This is a roundabout way of getting to the fact that I have felt very spiritually dry since this all began, and not being able to receive the sacraments certainly isn't helping. I was watching the streaming masses at first, and then...it's just not doing it for me. I mean, of course it isn't, nothing can replace receiving the Eucharist. But I know that many people enjoy the streaming masses. I just find it so difficult to concentrate on them, and next thing I know, mass is over, and all I can remember is the row I'm on in the shawl I'm currently knitting. It's a struggle, for sure. We're dispensed from attending mass, the streaming services are simply a way of trying to fill a gap right now, but for me, I'm finding that I need to fill the gap in other ways. My daily rosary is out the window since I'm barely in my car anymore (and you all know how I love to drive and pray the rosary), but I've been trying to focus on novenas more. They keep me centered and provide a sense of purpose in coming up with intentions for them and keeping track of the days.
I've also picked up my Great Adventure Bible and have been using the reading plan in the front to make a scripture study for myself each night before I go to sleep. There is a little spot to check passages off as you make your way through their recommended sections pertaining to salvation history, and though I don't get through an entire segment every night, within 3 nights I will, and so I check it off then. It'll take me longer than the suggested 3 months to make my way through the plan, but no biggie. If I read a chapter every single night, I am happy, and feel like I'm making positive progress towards a goal. This has been helping me A LOT. I'm really enjoying it.
So I'm doing the best that I can. It seems like public masses won't start back up in my diocese until late June or early July, so I just have to keep hanging in there. I'm mourning the loss of Anne's traditional springtime First Holy Communion (no word yet on that being rescheduled), and on Henry's altar serving days. The diocese has said that when masses resume, there will be no altar servers, and he was reaching that age when kids want to step down from doing it. This was probably going to be his last liturgical year. Those are small things, but with a lot of emotional resonance.
In the meantime, we have the Holy Spirit novena starting today, and I'm so glad that we'll be praying this one together! You can sign up with Pray More Novenas to receive the prayers in your email inbox each morning, which is how I'm praying it. I'll also paste the prayers for Day 1 down below. If you'd like to leave a comment with your intentions for the novena, we can all join you in praying for them!
Novena to the Holy Spirit - Day 1
Charity (tomorrow is Joy, we can all look forward to that! :-))
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.
Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus’ name. By Your love, we are protected from evil.
And so, we ask with humility and a beggar’s heart for Your gift of Charity within us. The great charity of all the the host of Saints is only made possible by your power, Oh Divine Spirit. Increase in me, the virtue of charity that I may love as God loves with the selflessness of the Saints. Amen.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle 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. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord, Amen. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.