A Rushing Wind

A Novena With The Holy Spirit

Day 2 – The Gift of Fortitude

Coming into God’s Presence

Before praying, we become aware of God’s presence and power in our lives.

God is all-powerful and created everything that is or was or will be. In fact, He keeps the entire universe in existence without even trying. If He were to stop loving us or thinking of us, we would cease to exist. This immensely powerful God is not distant. He wants to be with us so much, that through the sacrament of Baptism, He comes to live in our very souls—not far away, but inside of us. So during prayer there’s no need to look outward, but within. The awesome, all-mighty God wants to share His infinite strength with us right here and now… if we only let Him.

We take a few moments in silence to become aware of God’s presence.


+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

To enlighten our minds // Come Holy Spirit, giver of Fortitude
To enkindle our hearts // Come Holy Spirit, giver of Fortitude
To renew our lives // Come Holy Spirit, giver of Fortitude
With Your infinite strength in spite of obstacles// Come Holy Spirit, giver of Fortitude
With Your divine joy and inspiration // Come Holy Spirit, giver of Fortitude
With Your invincible confidence in any danger // Come Holy Spirit, giver of Fortitude

Optional Study: Living Fortitude

For people who want to delve deeper into the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Click here to jump to the study


A reading from the Acts of the Apostles 4:31

As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

The word of the Lord // Thanks be to God

Reading Options

Pope Francis, General Audience, 14 May 2014

We need not think that the gift of fortitude is necessary only on some occasions or in particular situations. This gift must constitute the tenor of our Christian life, in the ordinary daily routine… We need to be strong every day of our lives, to carry forward our life, our family, our faith… The Lord does not try us beyond our possibilities. He is always with us. “I can do all things in him who strengthens me”.


Dear friends, sometimes we may be tempted to give in to laziness, or worse, to discouragement, especially when faced with the hardships and trials of life. In these cases, let us not lose heart, let us invoke the Holy Spirit so that through the gift of fortitude he may lift our heart and communicate new strength and enthusiasm to our life and to our following of Jesus.

Pope Saint John Paul II, General Audience, 15 November 1978

Fortitude proceeds hand in hand with the capacity of sacrificing oneself. This virtue had already a well-defined contour among the Ancients. With Christ it acquired an evangelical, Christian contour. The Gospel is addressed to weak, poor, meek and humble men, peacemakers and to the merciful, but, at the same time, it contains a constant appeal to fortitude. It often repeats: “Fear not” (Mt 14: 27). It teaches man that, for a just cause, for truth, for justice, one must be able to “lay down one’s life” (Jn 15:13).

Interior Dialogue: Conversation Starters

We take time for a peaceful moment to converse with God. The goal is not just to reflect and speak, but also to listen, and to embrace His inspiration. Resist the urge to rush!

These questions may provide topics to begin this dialogue with the Lord. Do not be afraid to answer honestly, because the Lord already sees our heart and loves us despite our imperfections. For groups, a leader can read the following lines slowly, and allow a minute or two of silence after each.

Come Holy Spirit! I acknowledge my need for Your strength and guidance. Help me to be humble enough to recognize the areas of my life where I need You most. I especially look to where I am most confident, because it’s there that I often forget the need for Your inspiration and support. Help me to accept Your gift of Fortitude.

Pause for personal prayer

Come Holy Spirit! So often my response to the hardships of life is to run away or rebel in confusion. Teach me to be patient and humble. In spite of obstacles, I know that I can turn to You for strength and peace. Help me see now the areas where I lack that peace so I can learn to rely on Your strength.

Pause for personal prayer


To prepare our hearts to be receptive of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, light, and strength, let us turn to Him now and ask humbly

// Spirit of Fortitude, fill our hearts with Your strength

In the daily fulfillment of our responsibilities towards God, family, and society, that we might learn to be heroic in faithfully carrying out the little things with love. Let us pray

// Spirit of Fortitude, fill our hearts with Your strength

In moments when we experience hardships in our lives, that we would turn to God and not always ask Him to make life easier, but humbly ask for strength to carry the cross. Let us pray

// Spirit of Fortitude, fill our hearts with Your strength

When the opportunities arise, that we might find the courage to bear burdens freely, as a way to prepare ourselves to receive God’s joyful gift of Fortitude, which will push us to do great things for Him and for others. Let us pray

// Spirit of Fortitude, fill our hearts with Your strength

Let us pause to ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen us where we need more Fortitude.

What rough seas are we afraid of? What do we want to ask God for the strength to face with invincible confidence?

This is a moment to insert our own petition. It should be very personal.

Let us pray

// Spirit of Fortitude, fill our hearts with Your strength

Closing Prayer

Let us pray,

Holy Spirit, we turn to You in this Novena to ask for Your divine fortitude: for that extra impulse and invincible confidence in doing what is right. We humbly recognize our weakness and human frailty. Without You we are nothing. You created us and Your very love is what keeps us in existence. Help us to remember that You desire our happiness more than we do. And so we thank You for Your love! You alone give our lives meaning; You alone fill us with true peace and joy; and with You we can do anything. We offer our lives for whatever You have planned for us. Guide us as we try to be faithful to that calling.

We ask this through Christ our Lord // Amen

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Buy the Book

Get a hard copy of A Rushing Wind: A Novena with the Holy Spirit that you can pray as often as you'd like.

The book is beautifully designed to pray on your own or with a group of friends.

Free Email Version

Sign up today to receive a daily novena email.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Optional Study

What is the Gift of Fortitude?

Human fortitude is strength in times of adversity. This virtue is also called “courage,” to avoid confusion with the gift of Fortitude, which has the same name. The “gift” and “virtue” are not the same thing.

Often in life, human strength (courage) is not enough. The gift of Fortitude builds on and perfects the virtue of courage, by giving our will a push and an energy which enables us to do great things joyfully and fearlessly despite all obstacles.

Foundation of Virtue

In a whirlwind combination of human efforts and God’s grace, we make our best attempt to do good things that are hard or challenging. Our lives are often filled with difficult responsibilities. With practice, over time, we get better and better at things like humility, generosity, and trust, because we do these actions again and again. We develop good habits—this is what we call virtue. Fortitude (courage) as a virtue is a good habit—we practice it every time something good is hard to do, but we push through and make it happen, while relying on God’s help.

The gift of Fortitude is when God begins to take over. This happens when, where, and however God wants, but only if we’ve first built up a solid foundation of virtue. It’s very much like the wind in your sail, that the Spirit blows if you’re willing to first row your boat out onto the rough sea.

What can we do?

Because the gifts of the Holy Spirit are precisely that, freely given gifts, we really can’t choose to have or do them on our own. Just like no one can turn the wind on or off. These gifts are God’s extra free push in our lives. We can, however, prepare our hearts to be receptive for moments when the Holy Spirit pushes us in a way that goes beyond our own abilities.

Prepare Our Hearts!

Most of us have a natural habit of making decisions based on our preferences. We spend five to ten minutes at a restaurant choosing the meal that best matches our current mood. We argue about which show to watch on television based on what we like. If we’re not careful, this self-focused attitude can seep into our dealings with God as well. When we go to prayer we might only thank God for the things that we like and not for his “blessings in disguise.” We might beg God to make life easier, to take away our illnesses, or to give us what we want.

Looking back at the sailboat metaphor, God wants us to be able to face rough seas with courage and invincible confidence. If we rush back to the shore every time there’s a wave, then we’re not preparing our hearts to accept the challenge and the extra gusts of wind.

To prepare ourselves for the gift of Fortitude, it’s helpful in prayer to ask God frequently for the strength to bear our struggles without fear and with great joy, and to even be willing to thank God for the crosses He allows us to carry.