A Rushing Wind

A Novena With The Holy Spirit

Day 3 – Counsel

Coming into God’s Presence

Before praying, we become aware of God’s presence.

If we could look at the world from God’s perspective, we would see everything from eternity—from outside of time. He created the very existence of time and space. From the largest galaxies to the tiniest molecules, our all-powerful God gave every atom its place and purpose. He sees the past and the present in one simple sustaining gaze and knows what is best for us in every moment. So we become aware of the God who knows every detail and cares about our life.

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 Counsel
To enkindle our hearts // Come Holy Spirit, giver of Counsel
To renew our lives // Come Holy Spirit, giver of Counsel
With Your help to decide correctly // Come Holy Spirit, giver of Counsel
With Your certainty in unexpected situations // Come Holy Spirit, giver of Counsel
With Your plan for our life // Come Holy Spirit, giver of Counsel

Optional Study: Living Counsel

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 1:8-9

“But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When Jesus had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.

The word of the Lord // Thanks be to God

Reading Options

Martinez, The Sanctifier, Part II, Ch. VI

How difficult to unite prudence and boldness.


We plan and arrange things without having the assurance that they will attain their desired result. Human life is so complicated, so difficult… we find so many contradictions in our life that if we had no other direction, we would never attain our end. When we work under its direction our decisions will be quick, sure, and audacious.


It is no simple thing to have this security.

Aumann, Spiritual Theology, p. 279

The gift of counsel provides the solution to many difficult and unexpected situations and problems. If a soul is habitually faithful to grace and intent on doing all for the glory of God, the gift of counsel will frequently come into play when human reason, either alone or enlightened by faith, would be incapable of making the proper judgment. The solution may not be one that human prudence would suggest or that reason would approve, but since it comes from the Holy Spirit working through the gift, it is always the right solution.

Interior Dialogue

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! Help me to humbly accept that I can’t figure everything out on my own and need to rely on Your guidance. Where in my life do I need to look more for Your inspiration to lead me? Where have I already made up my mind without consulting You?

Pause for personal prayer

Come Holy Spirit! What aspects of my life lack boldness? What holds me back from confidently doing Your will? Please show me areas of my life where I am hasty or rash. Give me Your Counsel to balance boldness with prudence.

Pause for personal prayer


To prepare our hearts to be receptive of the Holy Spirit’s Counsel and peace, we turn to Him now and ask with fervor and trust

// Spirit of Counsel, guide our minds with Your intuition

In circumstances that are difficult to discern or understand, that we would learn to reflect carefully, and then to calmly trust that God will enlighten us if, when, and how He pleases. Let us pray

// Spirit of Counsel, guide our minds with Your intuition

In our everyday lives, that we would learn the value of silence. That we might avoid the unnecessary noises of the world, as a path to enable us to be attentive to the voice of God. Let us pray

// Spirit of Counsel, guide our minds with Your intuition

In our workplaces and in our homes, that we would learn to seek the Holy Spirit’s constant friendship at our side and foster simple conversation with Him. Let us pray

// Spirit of Counsel, guide our minds with Your intuition

Let us pause to ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten us where we need Counsel. 

Where do we feel there is too much noise in our lives? How could we be more receptive to the winds of the Holy Spirit in the decisions we’re trying to make?

This is a moment to silently add our own personal petition.

Let us pray

// Spirit of Counsel, guide our minds with Your intuition

Closing Prayer

Let us pray,

Holy Spirit, You know our past and our future. You know what’s best for us and want our happiness even more than we do. Help us to learn to listen to Your inspirations and seek to understand Your will for our lives. Help us to trust in Your plans and to not try to go it alone. Fill us with your Counsel! Especially in the difficult moments of life, let Your Counsel guide us to know what is right and direct us to boldly pursue what is good.

We ask this through Christ our Lord // Amen

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

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Optional Study

What is the Gift of Counsel?

Before we can dig into the gift of Counsel, we first need to understand how to “row out to sea” with the virtue of prudence.

Living a virtuous life is about developing a loving relationship with God. The initial grace we receive from Baptism helps us, but we are also required to put in the hard work of developing good habits.

The virtue of prudence helps us to think things through in order to guide our choice of actions. Our decisions are based on remembering past experiences, following the guidelines of Church teaching, and looking forward with foresight and caution. Becoming prudent takes practice and time. It’s often those people who have lived long and gained much experience through past successes and failures who gain a great ability to know what is prudent and are able to guide others as well.

Beyond Human Capacities

With the gift of Counsel, the Holy Spirit helps us go beyond prudence. He pushes us beyond our human abilities with a divine “intuition.” With this gift we are able to know the best action to take even in situations where human reflection alone might not provide the answer. Those who are humble can be moved by the Holy Spirit to make right judgments promptly and rightly, especially in difficult cases.

Rowing is hard work and slow going with a large boat. However, when the wind picks up and catches our sail, moving forward is easy and fast—even in rough waters.

When Jesus sent out His Apostles, He told them: “You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Mt 10:19-20)

What Can We Do? Prepare Our Hearts!

A good way to cultivate attention to the Holy Spirit is silence. Our society is filled with noise almost everywhere we go. Bars have rows of screens; cars have radios; mobile devices have non-stop notifications; waiting rooms play music; “breaking news” is being broadcasted at every hour of every day… Making space in our lives for silence takes intentional effort and dedication!

Another means to cultivate a spirit of humbly following the Holy Spirit’s Counsel is by meditating calmly and frequently on the things that really matter, such as life, heaven, eternity, spiritual friendships, humility, sacrificial love, and peace.