~Paulist Press Ordo 2013
While it is true that more people will celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension because it is being transferred to a Sunday, I will admit that there is a sense of chaos in my linear mind. I like the numbers to add up the way I expect them. Basically, I miss the set-up that celebrating the Ascension on Thursday provides for the nine days of prayer between the Ascension and the great Solemnity of Pentecost.
I realize that I can still pray during these nine days and enjoy my novena just as I have for years. However, it is also true that I feel a sense of disruption within the liturgical calendar. In my mind there is something special about these days when I reflect upon life in the early Church. Have you ever thought about how the disciples of Jesus Christ used the days between His "Ascension into Heaven" and the "Descent of the Holy Spirit" on Pentecost? Can you imagine the intensity of their prayer during these days? It just intrigues me to think about how they internally processed everything that they had witnessed from the time of His passion and death, His resurrection, and then His ascent into heaven. Their prayer during this particular transition must have been phenomenal. Oh, that my prayer life would be so fervent and faithful!
My annual novena will begin on Friday and will continue through the Saturday before Pentecost Sunday, (and I will celebrate the Ascension this coming Sunday like everyone else except those in the six areas listed above). It won't all add up exactly the way I want it to in my structured mindset, but it will be okay. I will still be focused on seeking a fresh outpouring of the power of the Holy Spirit in my life during these days leading up to Pentecost. I encourage you to offer a novena of prayer during these days as well. If you want to pray with others in a quick easy way, sign up here: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/
A daily prayer will be sent to your inbox. I have been signed up for quite a while already and it really is a good and simple way to pray a variety of novenas on a more regular basis. (It is free.)
It is my prayer that these days of Easter have filled you with hope. It is my prayer that the celebration of the Ascension this Sunday will fill you with immense joy. Lastly, it is my hope that the power of the Holy Spirit impacts you in a profound way as we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost on May 19.
"Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. Kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and You will renew the face of the earth!"