Then the Holy Spirit pours out upon them tongues of fire and great gifts for mission.
I think the greatest gift was the part about driving out the fear. Fear for our lives, fear of the unknown, fear of making a fool of ourselves, fear of doing things in a way that's not up to our standard of perfection, fear of ____________? Whatever your favorite fear is.
I know the Holy Spirit has helped me so many times to shed my fear and do what I needed to do, to say what needed to be said, yes even to make myself understood in a second language, maybe not well but good enough.
With the Spirit help I have been able to do things like speak in front of large groups of people, travel on planes (which I hate to do cause I'm not in control!), get through graduate school, keep my mouth shut when I need to listen, hold my temper when everything in me wants to be violent, work in countless meetings, committees and groups to grapple with how to work together in mission.
The point is the mission, the mission which is God's mission to spread His love and Truth as made so very evident in Jesus Christ to all people.
So we pray for the gifts of the Spirit: wisdom,understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord - which enable us to show forth in our lives the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control.
In 1913 our religious family, the Missionary Cenacle Family, began a perpetual novena to the Holy Spirit. To this day there are always two or three groups of our sisters, our lay groups, or brothers and priests praying the Novena. During the nine days before Pentacost Sunday we all pray the Novena.
We offer the Novena for the following intentions:
- for the spread of devotion to the Most Blessed Trinity, in a particular way to the Holy Spirit
- for the spread of the knowledge of and devotion to the mystery of the Incarnation and all the mysteries of our Lord Jesus
- to exalt in the holy name of Jesus
- to console the heart of Jesus
- for priests
- for the success of the Ecumenical movement and for the coming of the reign of God among all God's people.
Here's a link to the Novena prayers: Holy Spirit Novenas Y en espaňol:Novenas al Espíritu Santo