As we are preparing for Pentecost, we are praying for the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit to come alive in us and be made manifest in our lives. St. Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians that although eye has not seen nor ear heard what God has prepared for those who love Him, God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit, and the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:9b-10). So when we ask for the Holy Spirit to come live in us, we are asking for the graces to be able to contemplate and examine everything about God, even the highest and most sublime attributes and concepts concerning Him.
In chapter 17 of the Gospel of John, Jesus says in a prayer to His Father, “Now this is eternal life, that they should know You, the only true God, and the One Whom You sent, Jesus Christ” (1-11). When we think of knowing somebody, we might think about knowing their name or what they look like or their likes and dislikes. But when it comes to knowing God, we should think of it more in terms of the way that Mary used the word know at the Annunciation: “How can this be, since I know not man (Luke 1:34)? She was asking the angel Gabriel how She was to conceive Jesus since She was not intimate with a man, but in asking She used the word know. This is how we are to know God, so intimately that the Holy Spirit conceives in us a new heart and a new spirit that lives entirely for God. This is ultimately what we want when we ask for the graces to contemplate God and His truths. The Holy Spirit opens our minds and hearts to know the wisdom of God and to fall deeper in love with Him, aligning our wills with His and acknowledging that He is our Supreme Good and that He wants what’s best for us. Preparing for Pentecost readies us for this journey and gives us the disposition to receive the gifts and fruits of the Spirit.
This preparation of course requires prayer and meditation on the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. The novena to the Holy Spirit leading up to Pentecost is a great way to pray and ask God for the gift of His Holy Spirit in order to get to know Him more intimately. When we prepare well, we will more fully experience Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit, leading us to truly know God as intimately as He wants.