A Rushing Wind

A Novena With The Holy Spirit

Day 8 – Wisdom

Coming into God’s Presence

We pause to become aware of God’s presence and ask for the grace to experience His company in our soul.

It could be easy to think that to know God it would be enough to study the catechism. However, the teaching of the Church for 2,000 years is unanimous: we really can experience God in this life. We can know Him like we know a close friend. We “taste and see how good the Lord is.” (Ps. 34:9). That direct, life-changing experience of God’s presence is not reserved for a few spectacularly holy people. It is actually a normal and necessary part of the Christian life that we are ALL called to. In this moment, we make every effort to silence the noise and distractions of the day. We let our hearts become focused on Him, and beg: “let us experience Your presence in our soul.”

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 Wisdom
To enkindle our hearts// Come Holy Spirit, giver of Wisdom
To renew our lives// Come Holy Spirit, giver of Wisdom
With an unspeakable joy in God’s presence// Come Holy Spirit, giver of Wisdom
With an experience of divine love poured into our soul// Come Holy Spirit, giver of Wisdom
With a knowledge of God that comes only from experiencing Him// Come Holy Spirit, giver of Wisdom

Optional Study: Living Wisdom

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 2:3-4

Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

The Word of the Lord // Thanks be to God

Reading Options

Gaudium et Spes 15

Wisdom gently attracts the mind of man to a quest and a love for what is true and good. Steeped in wisdom, man passes through visible realities to those which are unseen. Our era needs such wisdom more than bygone ages… For the future of the world stands in peril unless wiser men are forthcoming… It is, finally, through the gift of the Holy Spirit that man comes by faith to the contemplation and appreciation of the divine plan.

Dubay, Fire Within, p. 182

It is a characteristic of this spiritual marriage that “God works in and communicates Himself to her through Himself alone. … It is fitting that God Himself be the guide and means of reaching Himself.” As we have already explained, the union between the human and the divine is now so close, so intimate, that there are two principles of one action. Nothing is done without God’s innermost coaction. As St. Paul long ago pointed out, he is son of God who is led by the Spirit of God, and he is most profoundly introduced into the divine family life who is most penetratingly led by the Holy Spirit in all he thinks, wills, says and does.

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! Do I really know and love You as a friend? Help me to recognize when You have been present in my life and I might not have seen it. Give me perseverance in prayer and the desire to experience Your presence in my soul.

Pause for personal prayer

Come Holy Spirit! Don’t let me be content with being mediocre. I want to taste what the great saints write about when they describe their contemplative experiences of You. What do I need to change in my life in order to experience You more deeply?

Pause for personal prayer


In the words of the Apostle James: “if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it.” (Jam 1:5) Let us present our requests to the Holy Spirit with trust in His strength, as we pray

// Spirit of Wisdom, guide our heart to love like You

For all Christians around the world, especially for those who are involved in leading every area of society, that we would guide this world towards peace and purpose by keeping our eyes fixed on heaven. Let us pray

// Spirit of Wisdom, guide our heart to love like You

That the Church would recognize the profound need for saints in order to find renewal, and that each of us would respond to God’s invitation to a deeper prayer life. Let us pray

// Spirit of Wisdom, guide our heart to love like You

In ministering to the world, that as a Church we would remember that ALL people are God’s children, created for heaven, and that God is already calling them to Himself. Let us pray

// Spirit of Wisdom, guide our heart to love like You

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

Do we seek radical holiness in our lives? Do we persevere in begging the Holy Spirit to fill our sails in our prayer?

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

Let us pray

// Spirit of Wisdom, guide our heart to love like You

Closing Prayer

Let us pray,

Holy Spirit, in all Your gifts You raise us up and fill us beyond what we could imagine. But through Your gift of Wisdom, You let us experience You directly. We beg You to give us the grace to encounter You deeply in our prayer. Let every Christian be changed by that experience, and through it come to know You as deeply and love You as completely as we can in this life. Transform us into the image of Christ, and through our living of radical holiness, renew the entire Church.

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 Wisdom?

Wisdom is a deep understanding of things that comes from knowing what caused them. With a friend, once we know the story of their life—why they came to be the way they are—we feel like we understand them better. So, in spending time with them and learning about their past, we come to both know them better and love them more deeply.

We also know that the things we love the most are the things we come to know best. A young child who falls in love with trains, or baseball, or ice skating soon comes to know everything about it and enjoys sharing that love and knowledge with others.

The gift of Wisdom is a supernatural version of this very human reality. The Holy Spirit allows us to directly experience God in love. In this encounter, called “contemplation,” He loves us and we love Him. It is not an emotional, sentimental love that can be selfish and even empty. It is a deep sacrificial love that would give anything for the beloved. We come to know Him in a way that only comes from experience, from a place where loving and knowing are mixed together.

Is this something just for the saints or extremely pious? No! It is a normal and even necessary part of growing in the Christian life. Fr. Jordan Aumann, a Dominican friar and expert in the spiritual life, insisted that a deep experience of God is not reserved for special saints, but is possible for everyone.

Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, another leading theologian, explained that contemplative prayer is not an extraordinary experience, like visions and revelations, but is absolutely crucial for growing in holiness.

What Can We Do?

At some point we have to fully accept that God and sin cannot mix. “No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.” (Lk 16:13)

In our metaphor of the sailor, the gifts of the Holy Spirit come to push the ship so that we no longer have to row. But the essential first step is leaving the beach—that is, leaving sin behind. If we find ourselves anchored to some bad habit, then the boat will never really be able to go out to sea.

This would be like someone who’s boat is sitting on the sand because he wants to be close to his cooler. He might even be practicing how to row—through prayer and good works—but these are worthless if he’s not in the water.

The point is not that “sin is bad,” but rather that sin is boring and dull and keeps us from the wild adventure that is sailing the infinite rough sea which is God’s love.

Life in God can be infinitely better than whatever petty sin may be holding us back.

Prepare Our Hearts!

What should we do? Pray. 

Yes, it’s that simple.

However, we’re not talking about the familiar repetition of a few memorized prayers, but rather the kind of prayer that the Apostles did for nine days in the upper room. Their future hung in the balance; they felt utterly helpless in the face of evangelizing the entire world; they were desperately in need of God—and they prayed like everything depended on it.