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Apostles and the most holy Mary, in the upper chamber, and enriched with so many wonders and gifts, and principally with the gift of the Holy Ghost himself, who is a gift merited for us by the passion and death of Jesus Christ. This, Jesus himself makes known to us, when he says to his disciples: If I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. St. John, xvi. 7. We well know by our faith, that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, through their mutual love for each other, and therefore that the gift of love which the Lord infuses into our souls, and which is the greatest of all gifts, is particularly attributed to the Holy Ghost, as St. Paul speaks: The charity of God is poured abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us. Rom. v. 5. Hence in this novena we should above all consider the great excellence and value of divine love, that we may desire to obtain it, and labour to be made partakers of it by devout exercises, and especially by prayer, for God has promised it to him who asks for it with humility: Your Father from heaven will give the good Spirit to them that ask him. St. Luke, xi. 12.

Meditation First.

On the fire of divine love.

GOD ordained in the old law, that fire should be kept continually burning upon his altar: The fire on the altar shall always burn. Lev. vi. 12. St. Gregory says that the altars of God are our hearts, in which he desires that the fire of his love should always burn. And hence the Eternal Father, not satisfied with having given us his Son Jesus Christ, to save

us by his death, would also give us the Holy Ghost, to dwell in our hearts, and keep them continually inflamed with his love. And Jesus himself declared, that it was in order to influence our hearts with this holy love, that he came into the world, and that he desired nothing more than to see it kindled: I am come to send fire upon the earth: and what will I but that it be kindled? St.

Luke, xii. 49. Hence, forgetting the injuries and ingratitude he received from men in this world, when he had ascended into heaven, he sent down upon us the Holy Ghost. Omost loving Redemer, dost thou then love us not only in thy sufferings and ignominies but also in thy heavenly glory? Hence it was that the Holy Ghost chose to appear in the form of fiery tongues: And there appeared to them parted tongues, as it were of fire. Acts, ii. 3. And hence, the Church instructs us to pray: "May the Holy Ghost, we beseech thee, O Lord, "inflame us with that fire which our Lord Jesus "Christ came to cast upon the earth, and which he "ardently desired should be enkindled." This was the holy fire which has inspired the saints to do such great things for God, to love their enemies, to desire contempt, to renounce all worldly goods, and to embrace with cheerfulness, even torments and death. Love cannot remain idle, and never says: "It is enough." The soul that loves God, the more she does for her beloved, desires the more to do for him, in order to please him the more, and to draw down his love the more. This holy love is enkindled in mental prayer: In my meditation a fire shall flame out. Ps. xxxviii. 4. If therefore we desire to be on fire with the love of God, we must delight in prayer; this is the blessed furnace in which this divine ardour is enkindled.

Affections and Prayers.

O GOD, hitherto I have done nothing for thee, who hast done such great things for me. Alas, that my lukewarmness may not induce thee to vomit me out of thy mouth! O Holy Spirit, "Warm "with thy fire our hearts of snow," deliver me from my tepidity, and enkindle within me a great desire of pleasing thee. I now renounce all self-gratification, and will rather die than displease thee. Thou didst appear in the shape of fiery tongues : I consecrate my tongue to thee, that I may never use it to offend thee. Thou gavest me my tongue, O God, to praise thee, and I have made use of it to offend thee, and to draw others into offences against thee! I am sorry for these things with my whole soul. Oh, for the love of Jesus Christ, who in his mortal life honoured thee so much with his tongue, grant that I also from this day forward may honour thee, by always proclaiming thy praises, by frequently invoking thy assistance, and by speaking of thy goodness, and of the infinite love which thou deservest! I love thee, my sovereign good, I love thee, O God of love. O Mary, the most dear spouse of the Holy Ghost, obtain for me this holy fire.

Meditation Second.

On divine Love, as a light which enlightens us.

ONE of the worst effects which Adam's sin produced in us, was its blinding our reason by means of the passions, which darkened the mind. Ohow miserable is the soul that allows itself to be ruled by any of the passions! Passion is a vapour, a

veil, which will not suffer us to see the truth. How can he fly from evil, who knows not what is evil? Our mental obscurity increases in proportion as our sins increase. But the Holy Ghost, who is called "Light most blessed," with his divine rays, not only inflames our hearts to love him, but also dispels our darkness, and reveals to us the vanity of all worldly things, the value of eternal goods, the importance of salvation, the price of grace, the goodness of God, the infinite love which he deserves from us, and the immense love he has shown to us: The sensual man perceiveth not the things that are of the spirit of God. 1 Cor. ii. 14. Man absorpt in the pleasures of the earth, knows but little of these truths, and hence he unhappily loves that which he should hate, and hates that which he should love. St. Mary Magdalen, of Pazzi, exclaimed: "O love not known, O love not "loved!" And hence St. Teresa said, that God is not loved because he is not known. Hence the saints ever sought light from God: "Send forth thy light illuminate our darkness: open thou our 66 eyes. Yes, because without light, precipices cannot be avoided, and God cannot be found.

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Affections and Prayers.

O HOLY and Divine Spirit, I believe that thou art truly God, and one God with the Father and with the Son. I adore and acknowledge thee as the giver of those lights, by which thou hast discovered to me the evil which I have done by offending thee, and the obligation which I am under of loving thee: I thank thee for them, and am exceedingly sorry for having offended thee. I have deserved to be abandoned by thee in my darkness, but I am sensible thou hast not yet abandoned me. Continue, O Eternal Spirit, to enlighten me,

and make me know still more and more thy infinite goodness, and give me strength to love thee for the future with my whole heart. Add grace upon grace, that so may be sweetly overcome,

and constrained to love no other but thee. I thank thee through the merits of Jesus Christ. I love thee, my sovereign good, I love thee more than myself. I desire to be all thine, accept of me, and suffer me not to depart from thee any more. O Mary, my Mother, assist me always by your holy intercession.

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Meditation Third.

On divine Love, as a fountain which satisfies our thirst.

LOVE is called a "living fountain, fire, charity." Our blessed Saviour said to the Samaritan woman: But he that shall drink of the water that I shall give him, shall not thirst for ever. St. John, iv. 13. Love is the water which satisfies our thirst: for he that truly loves God with his whole heart, neither seeks nor desires any thing else: because in God he finds all that is good. Hence, happy in possessing God, he frequently exclaims with joy: "My God "and my all." Almighty God complains of many who seek for short and miserable delights from creatures, and leave him, who is infinite goodness, and the fountain of all joy: They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and have digged to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. Jer. ii. 12. Meanwhile God, who loves us, and desires to see us happy, cries out and makes known to all: If any one thirst, let him come to me. St. John, vii. 37. He who desires to be happy, let him come to me, and I will bestow

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