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    Third Day - The Gift of Understanding

    I. Opening Prayers

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

    All: Come, Holy Spirit, inflame the hearts of all people with the fire of your love.

    Leader: Send forth your Spirit that all may be reborn.

    All: And you will renew the face of the earth.

    Leader: We beg you, Lord, to send the Holy Spirit upon us so that, inspired and encouraged, we may fulfill the duties that are ours, to carry our cross with patience and to grow daily in Christian perfection. Grant us through the same Holy Spirit, the intentions of this novena, or whatever is best for us and for all God's people. Amen.

    II. Scripture Reading - Acts of the Apostles 1:1-5

    Luke tells us: "I dealt with everything Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day he gave his instructions to the apostles chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. He showed himself alive to them after his Passion and by many demonstrations, for forty days he continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God. When at table with them, he told them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait there for what the Father had promised. 'It is,' he said, 'what you have heard me speak about: John baptized with water but you, not many days from now, will be baptized with the Holy Spirit'."

    (Short Meditation)

    IlI. Thought for each day

    Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, opens our minds to grasp the meaning of the truths of our religion. By faith we know them but by Understanding we learn to appreciate them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be awakened to newness of life -to be reborn in the Holy Spirit. Our faith becomes alive because we see reality more clearly. God's Spirit gives us a clearer grasp of life and its meaning, and when we understand reality it is easier for us to live it.

    IV. Prayer of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

    O Lord Jesus Christ, before ascending into heaven you promised to send the Holy Spirit to finish your work in the souls of your Apostles and Disciples. Grant that I may be open to the work of that same Spirit within me.

    Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom
    that I may not be attached to the perishable things of this world but seek the things that are eternal.

    Grant me the Spirit of Understanding
    to enlighten my mind with the light of your divine truth.

    Grant me the Spirit of Right Judgment
    that I may choose the surest way of pleasing God.

    Grant me the Spirit of Courage
    that I may bear my cross with you and that I may overcome all the obstacles that oppose my salvation.

    Grant me the Spirit of Knowledge
    that I may know God and know myself.

    Grant me the Spirit of Reverence
    that I may find the service of God sweet and attractive.

    Grant me the Spirit of Wonder and Awe
    that I may be filled with loving reverence towards God and may avoid anything that would displease him.

    Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of your true disciples and animate me in all things with your Spirit


    V. Final Prayer

    O, Mary, by your humble obedience to the will of God and through the power of the Holy Spirit, you gave us the child Jesus. Help us to prepare our hearts so that we may receive and welcome the Holy Spirit and strive always to do what God asks. Grant this through Christ Our Lord.