A Rushing Wind

A Novena With The Holy Spirit

Day 4 – Piety

Coming into God’s Presence

Before praying, we become aware of God’s presence, as He waits for us like an affectionate Father hoping to spend time with His children.

God looks at us with the gentle eyes of a loving Father. He gazes down on the good we do with the joy and pride of a Father seeing their child take their first steps. He sees our suffering with the same tenderness as a Father looks on a child crying with a scraped knee. In our weakness and failures, He is not filled with shame or anger, but becomes our champion and encouragement to pick ourselves up and overcome our trials. Just like a good Father, He wants nothing more than for His children to share that same love with one another. With confidence, trust, and affection we become aware that our Father waits for us now.

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, Spirit of the Father’s love
To enkindle our hearts // Come, Spirit of the Father’s love
To renew our lives // Come, Spirit of the Father’s love
To fill us with affection for the Father// Come, Spirit of the Father’s love
To help us recognize that all people are really brothers and sisters// Come, Spirit of the Father’s love
To give us unfailing trust in God’s care// Come, Spirit of the Father’s love

Optional Study: Living Piety

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 1:13

When they entered the city they went to the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

The word of the Lord // Thanks be to God

Reading Options

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2780-2785

We can invoke God as “Father” because He is revealed to us by His Son become man and because His Spirit makes Him known to us… [We] recognize Him with an ever new sense of wonder. The new man, reborn and restored to his God by grace, says first of all, “Father!” because he has now begun to be a son. A humble and trusting heart enables us “to turn and become like children” for it is to “little children” that the Father is revealed.

Tanquerey, The Spiritual Life, 1327

All christians stand in need of this gift if they are to fulfill joyfully and readily their duties. (…) Without it they will act towards God as towards a master, prayer will be a burden rather than a comfort, and God’s providential trials will appear as severe or even unjust punishments. Under the influence of this gift, on the contrary, God appears to us as Father; it is with child-like joy that we render Him our homages, and with a sweet resignation that we kiss the hand of Him who strikes us only to cleanse us and unite us even more closely to Himself.

Interior Dialogue: Conversation Starters

We take time for a peaceful, receptive pause to converse with God, to listen, and to embrace God’s inspiration and consolation. 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! It is easy to forget what You have done in my life: the trials I’ve made it through, the times You have responded when I begged for help, the simple joys of every day. Help me to see and remember Your goodness in my life. Where do I need to rediscover Your Fatherly love for me? Help me to see it, even in the dark moments of pain and difficulties.

Pause for personal prayer

Come Holy Spirit! I often forget how simple a relationship with You can be. Teach me to be as trusting and affectionate as a child. You want my relationship with You to be based on love, not guilt or fear or shame. Let Your perfect Fatherhood heal any brokenness in me that may come from the times in my life when human love has failed me.

Pause for personal prayer


We bring our needs to God like small children, confident in their Father’s goodness and generosity. As we come together in prayer, we ask that we might see others as real family, as we say

// Spirit of Piety, give us the confidence of children

In moments of darkness and trials, that we would learn to rely on God’s care, and truly believe Jesus’ promise that the Spirit would be with us always. Let us pray

// Spirit of Piety, give us the confidence of children

There is so much conflict, anger, and hatred in the world. Help us to deeply love others as real brothers and sisters, so no one who meets a Christian would ever feel like a stranger. Let us pray

// Spirit of Piety, give us the confidence of children

That we would always see material things as gifts from our loving Father, and that love for these gifts would not turn into selfishness or make us forgetful of the generous giver. Let us pray

// Spirit of Piety, give us the confidence of children

Let us pause to ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten us where we need a greater spirit of Piety.

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

Do we carry anger, hatred, jealousy, or resentment in our hearts towards any groups or individuals? Do we see God primarily as a loving, creating Father? Where do our hearts need to be more childlike?

Let us pray

// Spirit of Piety, give us the confidence of children

Closing Prayer

Let us pray,

Holy Spirit, we come before You in awe of the Father’s love for us! Help us to see the Church as a real family, and in being a member, learn how to truly love. Let that love grow in us each day, so that we make our Church an image of heaven. Don’t let us forget that time is short and what really matters are the things that will never end. Instill in us Your gift of Piety, so we live with a bold trust in the Father’s plans. Let the gift of Piety make us so aware of our adoption as Your children, that we treat each other with the profound love and respect we deserve

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 Piety?

Based on our virtuous efforts alone, it’s impossible for us to find harmony in our obligations towards God and others.

First of all, we find that in Scripture, encounters with God show Him as both terrifying (“Do not let God speak with us, or we will die.” Exodus 20:19) and tender (“Though a mother may forget her child, I will not forget you.” Isaiah 49:15). God is perfect in all things, so He is the most attractive being—beautiful, wise, loving. But, He is also the supreme, omnipotent being who created everything, which means that He is all-powerful, capable of anything, and truly the Lord of life and death—potentially the most utterly terrifying. We therefore struggle to balance awe for God’s infinite power with His tender invitation to accept His loving embrace. 

Secondly, our experience is that life is full of obligations: justice is due to people to whom we owe something; gratitude is due to those who are generous with us; there is a special obligation to our parents and family; and we are called to respond to God, as our Creator and Redeemer, with reverence, adoration, and gratitude. Our obligations seemingly pull us in so many directions.

This is where the gift of Piety comes to our rescue. The Holy Spirit allows us to overcome both of these challenges by instilling in us an absolutely new perspective, one of childlike love for God as Father, which also allows us to see all mankind as our spiritual brothers and sisters.

This divine wind in our sails helps us first of all to intuitively see how it is possible that God—as Father—is both of these seemingly polar opposite attributes: just and merciful, all-mighty but also most tender and affectionate. “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Rom 8:16) And, secondly, having one Father makes us members of one family. This gives us a new perspective that helps us find balance in all our relationships and obligations.

In addition, because of our limited human experience, when we hear that God is Father, we might be tempted to conclude that God is like earthly fathers, since that’s what we know first. However, before the first human family, He first was Father! The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist from all eternity. This should help us to remember that being a child of God is even more important than our belonging to a particular earthly family.

What Can We Do? Prepare Our Hearts!

One simple way to prepare our sails for the Holy Spirit to push us, is to reflect frequently on the fact that all mankind was created by the same loving God, and that, in His plan, everyone is meant to live in heaven as the same eternal family.

This reflection is especially helpful when there are human conflicts among groups, races, or nations.