After His Resurrection, Jesus remained with His disciples for 40 days. He Ascended into Heaven to return to the Father, and promised that He would send the Advocate (The Holy Spirit, a/k/a The Third Person of the Holy Trinity to guide us.) Pentecost was ten days after His Ascension, and after their day’s journey return to Jerusalem, the disciples gathered to pray for nine days.
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. 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.
Thus begins the Catholic tradition of praying a novena. It is a prayer of nine day’s duration. Not 24 hours a day for nine days, although the above Scriptural passage seems to imply that they prayed that intensely. Nowadays, it is a prayer of varying duration, said once a day for nine days.
The novena is usually prayed to a saint or angel, and only in request for their intercessory powers for a particular intention. It may be more accurate and correct to say “pray though a saint” instead of “pray to a saint”, as the latter implies idolatry. When a Catholic ‘prays to a saint”, they are only asking for the saint’s powers of intercession with God. A saint has no power whatsoever to grant any request, only God can at the behest of the saint. This is quite like when Protestants and Evangelical Christians engage in prayer circles (or whatever it’s called when they contact people to pray for someone’s health or something). Only a Catholic is asking someone in Heaven to intercede for them.
In commemoration, or better yet, in emulation, of the original novena, I recommend that you start a novena. You can find an excellent one here at Presentation Ministries. They are an apostolate in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, that publishes a daily devotional (meditations) called “One Bread, One Body”, (also known as “OBOB”). If you scroll to the top of Sober Catholic and look at the “Daily Mass Reading” section, click on the little link that says “Reflections”. That will take you to their website and that day’s meditation. There is also immediately below a link to the OBOB part of their site. Matters not which one you use.
Pray a novena to the Holy Spirit. What better “Higher Power” can one have?Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"