John Paul II was once asked, "How does the Pope pray?"
He replied, "You would have to ask the Holy spirit! The Pope prays as the holy spirit permits him to pray."
Saint John Paul the Great is an incredible role model for the Church. He led the Church as Pope, but also lead it's religious and laypeople as a venerable example of a prayerful man. What a holy man! From his speeches and writings, it's clear that he distinctly understood and leaned on the Holy Spirit in his prayer life. This brotherhood with the spirit was something he prayed for beginning at a young age.
I recently read Jason Everet's book, Saint John Paul the Great: His five Loves. (It's a wonderful book if you'd like to learn more about this great Saint.) In it, he reveals that when Karol Wojtyla was a young man his father taught him to pray to the Holy Spirit.
His father taught him the following daily prayer, which he kept with him on a handwritten note, even into his papal years:
Holy Spirit, I ask you for the gift of Wisdom to better know You and Your divine perfections, for the gift of Understanding to clearly discern the spirit of the mysteries of the holy faith, for the gift of Counsel that I may live according to the principles of this faith, for the gift of Knowledge that I may look for counsel in You and that I may always find it in You, for the gift of Fortitude that no fear or earthly preoccupations would ever separate me from You, for the gift of Piety that I may always serve Your Majesty with a filial love, for the gift of the Fear of the Lord that I may dread sin, which offends You, O my God.
Download a printable version of this prayer here.
The Pope later said that this daily prayer revealed to him what was later written in his encyclical on the Holy Spirit, Dominum et Vivificantem.
Saint John Paul's example teaches us to build a relationship with the Holy Spirit, and to do it every day! Thinking about the Saint praying this prayer every day shakes me, and makes me realize how much I try to rely on myself, rather than asking for the spirit to guide me. I encourage you to give this prayer a try and let the Holy Spirit really go to work on your insides. Let the Spirit wash over your soul.
Learn to pray the prayer just like Saint John Paul, get a free printable card here.
Please let me know how your journey with the Rosary is going, I'd love to hear from you. Send me a message an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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