Thursday, 2 June 2011

Happy Feast of the Ascension!

We celebrated in our parish with a Missa Cantata with a splash of violet: Mass was said by a visiting Monseigneur. I learned something new about clerical appareil: until today I didn't realise that, like a Bishop, a Monseigneur wears violet (apparently it's a different violet, but we didn't have a Bishop there to compare). The way to tell which is which is that the Monseigneur has a black biretta with a violet pompom, but the Bishop's biretta is entirely violet. Is pompom the right word here - it just doesn't sound dignified enough. Clearly this only works at a traditional Mass; I have no idea how to tell the difference otherwise.

...and today's feast is a wonderful opportunity to say the oldest of all novenas, the Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts. This is the only novena  officially prescribed by the Church. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1831) states:
" The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.

Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God . . . If children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ"

EWTN has a printable version of the novena and for those of you, like me, who lacked rigorous catechism in their youth, EWTN has a sort of "cheat sheet" about the gifts of the Holy Spirit here.. 

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