“Oh, if only…unanimous and fervent prayers could be raised to Heaven in every part of Christendom, as they were one in the Cenacle [upper room] of Jerusalem for a rekindling of the Divine Spirit” Blessed Elena Guerra.
On the prompting of Blessed Elena, Pope Leo XIII asked all the faithful to celebrate a solemn novena (nine days of prayer) perpetually between the feasts of Ascension and Pentecost for the unity of Christianity.
It is an invitation “to return to the Cenacle” in adoration and intercession by beginning to pray, the day after Ascension, daily the invocation to the Holy Spirit and to intercede for the theme of the day. The themes can be prayed by: spontaneous prayers, praying in the Spirit- gift of tongues, prayers of repentance, thanksgivings and blessings, etc, in a variety of ways. Other intentions can be added, as the Holy Spirit would lead. It is prayer united in contemplation of the Eucharistic mystery in the power of the Holy Spirit and His Gifts.
Invocation of the Holy Spirit by Pope John XXIII
“Renew Your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost. Grant to Your Church that, being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and following the lead of blessed Peter, it may advance the reign of our Divine Savior, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen”
Come, Holy Spirit, in your power and might to renew the face of the earth.
Daily Themes for Intercession
1st Day – Intercession for Israel, the People of your Covenant
Come, Holy Spirit upon the Jewish people, Israel – the first to hear the Word of God and prepare them for the full realization of the “hope of Israel” – bless our elder brother, the people of your covenant. (Gen 12:1-3;Ps 122:6; Is 62:1-2; Acts 28:20; Rom 11)
Intercede: for the shalom peace of Jerusalem, for the righteousness of Jerusalem to shine before the nations and for the whole Jewish people – in Israel and the Diaspora, – in your nation, – in your city.
2nd Day – Intercession for the Renewal of the Church of Jesus Christ
Come, Holy Spirit, rekindle your fire and renew your Church (Mt 3:11; Acts 2:17-21)
Intercede: for the “Spirituality of Pentecost” to renew the Church, – in the world, – in your continent, – in your nation. Including all the Holy Father’s intentions, monthly and especially the desire of Pope John Paul II that the “Spirituality of Pentecost” be spread in the Church, as a renewed thrust of prayer, holiness, communion and proclamation. (John Paul II, Pentecost Solemn Vespers, 2004)
3rd Day – Intercession for the Unity of Christianity
Come, Holy Spirit, unite your Church – “Father, make them one that the world may believe.”
(Jn 17:21; Eph 4:1-6; 2:11-18)
Intercede: for reconciliation, the purification of memories and the healing of the divisions of Christianity – in the world, – in your continent, – in your nation.
4th Day – Intercession for the Renewal of Society
Come, Holy Spirit, and renew the face of the earth. – Transform society by the power of your Spirit. (Mk 16:16-20)
Intercede: for the “Culture of Life” born by the Spirit, to penetrate Society – in the world, – in government, – in your continent, – in your nation.
5th Day – Intercession for Conversion and Holiness
Come, Holy Spirit, let faith and hope arise in the hearts of peoples and let your glory be manifested in your Church. (Rom 8:28-30; 10:9-10; Jn 3:5-8)
Intercede: for conversion of sinners, – to grow in Holiness, – the revelation of His Glory, – in His Church, – the world, – your family.
6th Day – Intercession for Reconciliation and Healing
Come, Holy Spirit, help us live together in unity, in humility and love. (Ps 133:1-3; Eph 4:1-6)
Intercede: for reconciliation and healing to bring unity in your self and family – your diocese, – your parish, – your community, – your prayer group.
7th Day – Intercession for Empowerment for Evangelization
Come, Holy Spirit, empower us to fulfill your call to be witnesses to the ends of the earth – to be bearers of the Good News. (Acts 1:8)
Intercede: for new empowerment by the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses, – for bringing the Gospel to the whole of creation, – for New Evangelization in His Church.
“Today, from this Square, Christ says to each of you: Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole of creation (Mk 16:15). He is counting on every one of you, and so is the Church. “Go,” the Lord promises, “I am with you always to the end of the age” (Mt 28:20). I am with you.” John Paul II, Prayer Vigil, eve of Pentecost, 1998
8th Day – Intercession for the Victory of the Holy Cross
Come, Holy Spirit, let your victory be proclaimed and your glory be revealed upon the face of the earth. (Eph 1:15-23; 2:16; 1Cor 1:17,18)
Intercede: for the proclamation of the power and victory of the Holy Cross and its saving power to be manifested over all the earth.
9th Day – Intercession for a new out pouring of the Holy Spirit and His Gifts
“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift that I told you about… be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Act 1:4)
Oh Jerusalem, City of David – City of God – City of the Last Supper, the Eucharist – City of His Passion, Death and Resurrection – City of the Victory of His Holy Cross – City of the Upper Room, where Mary and the disciples waited – City of Pentecost, where His Holy Spirit came in Fire and birthed His Church – City of the Return of the Lord, where the Spirit and the Bride say “Come”.
Intercede: to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and to receive His Gifts for the building up His body in love and to bring all things in heaven and on earth under his headship. (Eph 4:12; 1:10; 1Cor12:1-11)
Join the prayer of Pope John Paul II of Pentecost 2004:
…what took place in Jerusalem over two thousand years ago,”… be renewed again; As the Apostles then, we too find ourselves gathered in a large cenacle of Pentecost, longing for the outpouring of the Spirit …Today, from this upper room…, a great prayer rises: Come, Holy Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth! Come with your seven gifts, Spirit of Life; Come, Spirit of Communion and Love! The Church and the world need you. Come, Holy Spirit, and make ever more fruitful the charisms you have bestowed on us.” Pope John Paul II, Prayer Vigil, eve of Pentecost 1998
Respond to the call of Pope John Paul II of Pentecost 2004:
“For this reason, I also say to you: “Open yourselves with docility to the gifts of the Holy Spirit! Receive with gratitude and obedience the charisms that the Spirit does not cease to offer! Do not forget that all charisms are given for the common good, that is, for the benefit of the whole Church!”
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love, though the peoples spoke different tongues you united them in proclaiming the same faith, alleluia.” Pope John Paul II, Pentecost Solemn Vespers, 2004
The Burning Bush Pentecost Novena can be prayed personally or communally by praying daily the invocation and intercession theme of the day. Intercession in the gift of tongues, in the simple “abc” model, is well suited to this form of prayer (See my book, Burning Bush, a Return to the Upper Room in adoration and intercession, Appendix III). The themes are meant to guide the intercessions, which should flow in the liberty of the Holy Spirit.
The “Day and Night” Burning Bush Experience is well suited for this Pentecost Novena. Ideally it can be prayed in the context of incessant adoration, day and night, before the Blessed Sacrament from Ascension to Pentecost or, alternately, as a Pentecost Triduum, on Thursday through Saturday.
This can be done by praying the nine intercession themes daily in two-hour modules, with one module of silence after every three themes. When day and night prayer is not possible it can be adjusted for shorter daily time periods. There are many variations and different ways possible, always allowing the Holy Spirit to lead as He wills.