Come, Holy Spirit Novena Day 7
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” I Corinthians 12:4-11
When the Holy Spirit baptized His disciples on the day of Pentecost, He came bearing gifts. The first evident gift was speaking in other tongues. Acts 2:4 says, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul lists many other gifts: the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, the effecting of miracles, prophecy, distinguishing spirits, various tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. (More lists of spiritual gifts appear in other Scripture passages, such as in Romans 12 and Ephesians 4). St. Paul also tells us to “earnestly desire the spiritual gifts” (1 Cor 14:1).
Why should we desire the spiritual gifts? Doesn’t wanting gifts feel a little self-centered? And after reading the list of the Holy Spirit’s gifts, perhaps it seems scary to allow the Holy Spirit so much freedom to work in and through us. Why then should we desire the spiritual gifts? St. Paul gives us the answer in the same verse, right before he encourages us to seek the gifts, he tells us to “pursue love.” He writes, “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts” (I Cor. 14:1). Love and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are interconnected.
We love the Giver of the spiritual gifts, and so we desire His gifts. A man in love desires to receive everything he can from his beloved. It is the nature of love. In the same way, we will desire the spiritual gifts because we love the Holy Spirit.
We should also desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit because we love one another. The Spirit bestows gifts on individuals for the common good (I Cor 12:7). In the third century, Novatian, a Christian writer wrote:
It is the Holy Spirit who … bestows and directs [gifts] like jewels to the Church, the bride of Christ. It is in fact he who raises up prophets in the Church, instructs teachers, guides tongues, works wonders and healings, accomplishes miracles, grants the discernment of spirits, assigns governance, inspires counsels, distributes and harmonizes every other charismatic gift. In this way he completed and perfects the Lord’s Church everywhere and in all things.
By accepting the Holy Spirit’s gifts with gratitude and humility, we offer ourselves as channels of His presence and instruments for His work on earth.
Holy Spirit, baptize me and give me every gift You have for me. I love You with all my heart, and I desire to be Your hands and feet here on earth. Give me the spiritual gifts You want me to have so that I can glorify You through them, and so I can use them for the good of others. Amen
Traditional prayer invoking the Holy Spirit: 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.
Meditation and first prayer by Adriana Gonzalez