Friday, 16 May 2008

Ember Friday in the Octave of Pentecost - on the gifts of the Holy Ghost

I mentioned on Wednesday the tradition of the three ember days of the Pentecost octave (fasting and abstinence), directed particularly toward the ordination of priests and sacred ministers (normally the ordinations would take place tomorrow; ours are delayed a week!). Today is another of these.

The other interesting tradition is to associate each of the days of Pentecost with one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Vultus Christi has a couple of nice posts (as ever) on the subject, particularly for yesterday on knowledge:

But I noticed something very strange - the order of the list Fr Mark gives differs from that in Dom Geranger. Is there a novus ordo list of the gifts of the Spirit!?

Actually from what I can see Dom Gueranger's list seems to reflect Benedictine thinking (fear of the Lord is the first step of humility in the Rule), with the Vultus Christi list more closely following St Thomas. But I'd be interested if anyone knows, and knows anything about the origin of the association between the gifts and the days of the Octave!

Here are the two lists. First from Vultus Christi:

Pentecost Sunday: Wisdom

Monday: Understanding

Tuesday: Counsel

Wednesday: Fortitude

Thursday: Knowledge

Friday: Piety

Saturday: Fear of the Lord.

And from Dom Gueranger:

Sunday: Fear of the Lord

Monday: Godliness (Piety)

Tuesday: Knowledge

Wednesday: Fortitude

Thursday: Counsel

Friday: Understanding

Saturday: Wisdom

Certainly Dom Gueranger suggests that there is a logic to the order he gives: the first five gifts are about the active life and the action of the Holy Ghost in the Church; the remaining ones relate to his mission to unite us to Christ, and relate to the contemplative life.

Either way, a useful reminder that we should be using the octave to pray for the gifts of the Holy Ghost in our lives, and for those who guide us, such as our bishops and priests.

1 comment:

Father Mark said...

Thank you for your kind comments. I took the list of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as given in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I am a great admirer of Dom Guéranger!