Pentecost Novena to the Spirit of Wisdom
May 22, 2020
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Novena to the Holy Spirit of Wisdom

in Peparation for Pentecost

 

Drawn from the Writings of St. Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church (1098-1179)

This novena is prayed from the day after Ascension Thursday to the Vigil of Pentecost.

 

 

Day 1

Scripture: Wisdom 7:7-14

I prayed, and understanding was given me;

I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.

I preferred her to sceptres and thrones,

and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.

Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem,

because all gold is but a little sand in her sight,

and silver will be accounted as clay before her.

I loved her more than health and beauty,

and I chose to have her rather than light,

because her radiance never ceases.

All good things came to me along with her,

and in her hands uncounted wealth.

I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom leads them;

but I did not know that she was their mother.

I learned without guile and I impart without grudging;

I do not hide her wealth,

for it is an unfailing treasure for mortals;

those who get it obtain friendship with God,

commended for the gifts that come from instruction.

 

Hildegard:

I am Wisdom. Mine is the blast of the resounding Word through which all creation came to be, and I quickened all things with my breath so that not one of them is mortal in its kind; for I am Life. Indeed I am Life, whole and undivided -- not hewn from any stone, or budded from branches, or rooted in virile strength; but all that lives has its root in Me. For Wisdom is the root whose blossom is the resounding Word.... I flame above the beauty of the fields to signify the earth -- the matter from which humanity was made. I shine in the waters to indicate the soul, for, as water suffuses the whole earth, the soul pervades the whole body. I burn in the sun and the moon to denote Wisdom, and the stars are the innumerable words of Wisdom.

Prayer:

You soar, sustain, and animate,

climb, dive, and sing

Your way through this world,

giving life to every beating

heart.

You never end.

            You keep circling, crossing over us

on three wings –

            one speeds through heaven,

            one holds the earth together with a kiss as light as dew,

            and one whooshes over, under, and through our lives.

We praise You, Wisdom!

 

Day 2

 Scripture: Proverbs 8:1-12

Does not wisdom call,

Does not understanding raise her voice?

On the heights beside the way,

    in the paths she takes her stand; 

beside the gates in front of the town,

    at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:

“To you, O people, I call,

    and my cry is to all that live.

O simple ones, learn prudence;

    O foolish ones, pay attention.

Hear, for I will speak noble things,

    and from my lips will come what is right;

for my mouth will utter truth;

    wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

All the words of my mouth are righteous;

    there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.

They are all straight to the one who understands

    and right to those who find knowledge.

Take my instruction instead of silver,

    and knowledge rather than choice gold;

for wisdom is better than jewels,

    and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.

I, wisdom, dwell in prudence,

    and I find knowledge and discretion.

Hildegard:

Oh children of humanity, why have you corrupted tender Love, who gazes far into my depths and flows forth in works abounding? Because She flows within me, from Her in turn flow the living waters. She resembles a budding branch, for, as a virgin's embraces are most tender because of her integrity, even so Love's embraces are more tender than those of any other. But now She mourns, because audacious men tear her to pieces with their evil grumbling. Hence, She flees from them to that height whence She came, and weeps because Her children, whom She suckled at Her fertile breasts, fall sick and will not be cleansed from the corruption of their flighty minds.

O wretched humanity! Why do they take on themselves the misery of alienation and exile, tearing themselves away... She is always ready... Yet they separate themselves from the Bride, whence they are darkened and shadowed by clouds as if they had ruptured heaven.

Prayer:

The Holy Spirit animates all,

moves all,

roots all,

forgives all,

cleanses all,

erases alll,

our past mistakes, and then

puts medicine on our wounds.

We praise this Spirit of incandescence

for awakening

and reawakening

all.

Day 3

Scripture: Proverbs 8:17-31

I love those who love me,

    and those who seek me diligently find me. 

Riches and honor are with me,

    enduring wealth and prosperity.

My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,

    and my yield than choice silver.

I walk in the way of righteousness,

    in the paths of justice,

endowing with wealth those who love me,

    and filling their treasuries.

The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,

    the first of his acts of old. 

Ages ago I was set up,

    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

When there were no depths I was brought forth,

    when there were no springs abounding with water.

Before the mountains had been shaped,

    before the hills, I was brought forth;

before he had made the earth with its fields,

    or the first of the dust of the world.

When he established the heavens, I was there,

    when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,

when he made firm the skies above,

    when he established the fountains of the deep,

when he assigned to the sea its limit,

    so that the waters might not transgress his command,

when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

    then I was beside him, like a master worker;

and I was daily his delight,

    rejoicing before him always,

rejoicing in his inhabited world

    and delighting in the human race.

Hildegard:

May the Holy Spirit cleanse you from all faults of malice, and win you the friendship of Love, most sweet, most tender; who captured the mighty Stag and poured forth song above all heavens; who entered the bridal chamber of all the King's mysteries; and who revealed Herself in all Her beauty in the mirror of the Cherubim.

Prayer:

Spirit of fire,

Paraclete, our Comforter,

You’re the Live in alive,

The Be in every creature’s being,

The Breathe in every breath on earth.


Day 4

Scripture: Wisdom 6:12-19

Wisdom is radiant and unfading,

and she is easily discerned by those who love her,

and is found by those who seek her.

She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her.

One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty,

for she will be found sitting at the gate.

To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding,

and one who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care,

because she goes about seeking those worthy of her,

and she graciously appears to them in their paths,

and meets them in every thought.

The beginning of wisdom is the most sincere desire for instruction,

and concern for instruction is love of her,

and love of her is the keeping of her laws,

and giving heed to her laws is assurance of immortality,

and immortality brings one near to God.

Hildegard:

I heard a voice saying to me, "This Lady whom you see is Love, who has Her dwelling place in eternity. When God wished to create the world, He leaned down, and with tender Love, provided all that was needed, as a parent prepares an inheritance for a child. And thus, in a mighty blaze the Lord ordained all His works.

Then creation recognized its Creator in its own forms and appearances. For in the beginning, when God said, "Let it be!" and it came to pass, the means and the Matrix of creation was Love, because all creation was formed through Her as in the twinkling of an eye.

Prayer:

Fire of the Spirit, life of the lives of creatures,

spiral of sanctity, bond of all natures,

glow of charity, lights of clarity, taste

of sweetness to sinners, be with us and hear us.

Composer of all things, light of all the risen,

key of salvation, release from the dark prison,

hope of all unions, scope of chastities, joy

in the glory, strong honor, be with us and hear us.  Amen.

 

Day 5

Scripture: Wisdom 7:22-30

There is in [wisdom]  a spirit that is intelligent, holy,

unique, manifold, subtle,

mobile, clear, unpolluted,

distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen,

irresistible, beneficent, humane,

steadfast, sure, free from anxiety,

all-powerful, overseeing all,

and penetrating through all spirits

that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle.

For wisdom is more mobile than any motion;

because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.

For she is a breath of the power of God,

and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;

therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.

For she is a reflection of eternal light,

a spotless mirror of the working of God,

and an image of his goodness.

Although she is but one, she can do all things,

and while remaining in herself, she renews all things;

in every generation she passes into holy souls

and makes them friends of God, and prophets;

for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.

She is more beautiful than the sun,

and excels every constellation of the stars.

Compared with the light she is found to be superior,

for it is succeeded by the night,

but against wisdom evil does not prevail.

Hildegard:

I am the Supreme and Fiery Force who kindles every living spark....As I circled the whirling sphere with my upper wings (that is, with Wisdom), rightly I ordained it. And I am the fiery life of the Divine essence: I flame above the beauty of the fields; I shine in the waters; I burn in the sun, the moon, and the stars. And, with the airy wind, I quicken all things vitally by an unseen, all-sustaining life. For the air is alive in the verdure and the flowers; the waters flow as if they lived; the sun too lives in its light; and when the moon wanes it is rekindled by the light of the sun, as if it lived anew. Even the stars glisten in their light as if alive.

Prayer:

O comforting fire of Spirit,
Life, within the very Life of all Creation.
Holy you are in giving life to All.



Holy you are in anointing
those who are not whole;
Holy you are in cleansing
a festering wound.


O sacred breath,
O fire of love,
O sweetest taste in my breast
which fills my heart
with a fine aroma of virtues.

O most pure fountain
through whom it is known
that God has united strangers
and inquired after the lost.

O breastplate of life
and hope of uniting
all members as One,


O sword-belt of honor,
enfold those who offer blessing.



Care for those
who are imprisoned by the enemy
and dissolve the bonds of those
whom Divinity wishes to save.



O mightiest path which penetrates All,
from the height to every Earthly abyss,
you compose All, you unite All.

Through you clouds stream, ether flies,
stones gain moisture,
waters become streams,
and the earth exudes Life.

You always draw out knowledge,
bringing joy through Wisdom's inspiration.



Therefore, praise be to you
who are the sound of praise
and the greatest prize of Life,

who are hope and richest honor
bequeathing the reward of Light.

 

Day 6

Scripture: Wisdom 8: 1-8

She [Wisdom] reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other,

and she orders all things well.

Solomon’s Love for Wisdom

I loved her and sought her from my youth;

I desired to take her for my bride,

and became enamoured of her beauty.

She glorifies her noble birth by living with God,

and the Lord of all loves her.

For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God,

and an associate in his works.

If riches are a desirable possession in life,

what is richer than wisdom, the active cause of all things?

And if understanding is effective,

who more than she is fashioner of what exists?

And if anyone loves righteousness,

her labours are virtues;

for she teaches self-control and prudence,

justice and courage;

nothing in life is more profitable for mortals than these.

And if anyone longs for wide experience,

she knows the things of old, and infers the things to come;

she understands turns of speech and the solutions of riddles;

she has foreknowledge of signs and wonders

and of the outcome of seasons and times.

Hildegard:

She is Divine Wisdom. She watches over all people and all things in heaven and on earth, being of such radiance and brightness that, for the measureless splendor that shines in Her, you cannot gaze on Her face or on the garments She wears. For She is awesome in terror as the Thunderer's lightening, and gentle in goodness as the sunshine. Hence, in Her terror and Her gentleness, She is incomprehensible to mortals, because of the dread radiance of divinity in Her face and the brightness that dwells in Her as the robe of Her beauty. She is like the Sun, which none can contemplate in its blazing face or in the glorious garment of its rays. For She is with all and in all, and of beauty so great in Her mystery that no one could know how sweetly She bears with people, and with what unfathomable mercy She spares them.

Prayer:

Come, kind Spirit of the ages,

visit the hearts of your people,

casting out ill conduct;

fill with supernal grace

each earth-born heart.

You who are the gift

of the most high God,

perpetual fount,

balm for the spirit,

promised gift of the almighty:

you merit our faith.

Upon the holy apostles

you poured forth fiery tongues.

Give light to hearts,

strengthening the wretched

with abiding courage.

Impart true love

and the manifold gifts of charity.

Drive away the envious foe,

grant the joy of heavenly peace.

Thus lead, going before us,

that we may have the strength to climb up

to the vault of heaven.

 

 Day 7

 Scripture: Wisdom 9:1-4, 10-11

O God of my ancestors and Lord of mercy,

who have made all things by your word,

and by your wisdom have formed humankind

to have dominion over the creatures you have made,

and rule the world in holiness and righteousness,

and pronounce judgement in uprightness of soul,

give me the wisdom that sits by your throne,

and do not reject me from among your servants.

With you is wisdom, she who knows your works

and was present when you made the world;

she understands what is pleasing in your sight

and what is right according to your commandments.

Send her forth from the holy heavens,

and from the throne of your glory send her,

that she may labour at my side,

and that I may learn what is pleasing to you.

For she knows and understands all things,

and she will guide me wisely in my actions

and guard me with her glory.

Hildegard:

And again I heard a voice from heaven instructing me thus. And it said:
Write therefore what I tell you in this manner.

And I saw as amid the airs of the South
in the mystery of God a beautiful and marvelous image of a human figure;
her face was of such beauty and brightness
that I could more easily have stared at the sun. On her head she had
a broad band of gold.

The figure spoke:
I am the supreme fire and energy.
I have kindled all the sparks of the living, and I have breathed out no mortal things, for I judge them as they are.
I have properly ordained the cosmos, flying about the circling circle
with my upper wings,
that is with wisdom.
I am the fiery life of divine substance,
I blaze above the beauty of the fields,
I shine in the waters,
I burn in the sun, moon and stars.

Prayer:

Doctor of the desperate,

Healer of everyone broken past hope,

Medicine for all wounds,

Fire of love,

Joy of hearts,

fragrant Strength,

sparkling Fountain,

Protector,

Penetrator,

in You we contemplate

how God goes looking for those who are lost

and reconciles those who are at odds with Him.

Break our chains!

You bring people together,

You curl clouds, whirl winds,

send rain on rocks, sing in creeks,

and turn the lush earth green.

You teach those who listen,

breathing joy and wisdom into them.

We praise You for these gifts,

Light-giver,

Sound of joy,

Wonder of being alive,

Hope of every person,

and our strongest Good.

 

Day 8

 Scripture: Sirach 1:1-10

All wisdom is from the Lord,

    and with him it remains for ever.

 The sand of the sea, the drops of rain,

    and the days of eternity—who can count them?

 The height of heaven, the breadth of the earth,

    the abyss, and wisdom—who can search them out?

 Wisdom was created before all other things,

    and prudent understanding from eternity.

 The root of wisdom—to whom has it been revealed?

    Her subtleties—who knows them?

 There is but one who is wise, greatly to be feared,

    seated upon his throne—the Lord.

 It is he who created her;

    he saw her and took her measure;

    he poured her out upon all his works,

upon all the living according to his gift;

    he lavished her upon those who love him.

Hildegard:

And I saw in the midst of that
southern region three forms,
two of them standing in a most clear fountain encircled and crowned above by a round, porous stone.
One was in gleaming purple,
and the other in dazzling white.
The third stood outside that fountain
and beneath the stone,
clothed in glowing white.

And the first figure said:
“I am love, the brightness of the living God, and wisdom has done her work along with me. In the shadow, wisdom portions out
all things in equal measure
so that one thing may not outweigh another and so that nothing may be moved by another into its opposite.
For wisdom conquers and constrains
every sort of devilish malice.
In and through herself alone
she arranged all things lovingly and gently. They can be destroyed by no enemy,
because she sees perfectly
the beginning and ending of her works –
she who fully composed all things,
that all things might be ruled by her.”

Prayer:

O fiery Spirit, praise be to you who play on the timbrel and lyre.

Human minds take fire from you, and the tabernacles of their souls restrain their powers,

whence the will rises up and gives savor to the soul; and its lamp is desire.

With sweetest sound the intellect calls upon you and makes a place for you with reason,
which brings forth works of gold.

But you always hold a sword
to cut off
what the poisoned apple
produces through blackest murder.

When clouds darken the will and its desires,
then the soul flies about
and circles everywhere.

But the mind is the bond of the will and of desire.

And when the soul rises up to look into the eye of evil and the jaws of wickedness, you quickly consume it with fire as you will.

But when reason
falls prostrate through evil,
you restrain it through your power and strangle and smash it
through a flood of experiences.

And when evil draws its sword upon you, you shatter it in its own heart,
as in the beginning you did to the lost angel, hurling the tower of his pride down into hell.

And there you raised another tower
in publicans and sinners
who confess to you the sinfulness of their works.

Whence all creatures
who have life from you praise you,
because you are the most precious ointment for broken and fetid wounds,
which you change into most precious jewels.

Now deign to gather us all to you
and guide us on the right path. Amen.

 

Day 9

 Scripture: Sirach 4:11-16

Wisdom teaches her children

    and gives help to those who seek her.

Whoever loves her loves life,

    and those who seek her from early morning are filled with joy.

 Whoever holds her fast inherits glory,

    and the Lord blesses the place she enters.

Those who serve her minister to the Holy One;

    the Lord loves those who love her.

Those who obey her will judge the nations,

    and all who listen to her will live secure.

If they remain faithful, they will inherit her;

    their descendants will also obtain her.

Hildegard:

In a true vision of the spirit in a waking state, I saw the likeness of a beautiful girl
shining with a splendour so bright
that I could not look upon her properly.

She had a cloak whiter than snow
and brighter than a star.
And she had in her right hand the sun and the moon, gently embracing them.

And I heard a voice saying these things to me. The girl you see is Love,
who has her dwelling in eternity.

For when God wanted to create the world, he inclined himself in the sweetest affection,
and foresaw all things necessary,
just as a father provides an inheritance for his son; and in this way he ordered all his works
in a great burning fire of love.
Then every creature in every species
and form acknowledged its creator,
for in the beginning Love was the base matter from which all creatures came.
And God said ‘Let it be done’, and it was done, for every creature was made through Love
in the twinkling of an eye.

Prayer:

The year’s circle brings
blessed joys to us again,
when the comforting spirit shone forth among the disciples.

It brought a fire of shimmering light in the shape of a tongue upon them, that they might be fluent
with words and fervent charity.

You once filled devoted hearts with your grace:
forgive our sins,
grant us peaceful times.

Praise be to the Father, with the Son, and likewise to the Holy Comforter,

And may the Son send us the balm of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.