Monday, May 21, 2007

Reflection for the Novena for Pentecost

The days between the Feasts of the Ascension and of Pentecost have traditionally been days of prayer focused on receiving anew the gift of the Holy Spirit, to strengthen one’s relationship with Him. Despite our busy schedules, this is a good time to remember who the Holy Spirit is and what sort of disposition we need in order to receive Him more fully and be more docile to His inspirations.

In John, we hear Jesus call the Holy Spirit the Advocate and the Spirit of Truth. He is our Advocate because He intercedes for the faithful before God with inexpressible groanings. Being the Spirit of Truth, He reminds us of all that Jesus has told us, He enlightens us and illumines our consciences to sin so as to lead us to repentance, forgiveness and greater holiness. As Fr. Cantalamessa mentions, the Holy Spirit’s role as Advocate counters Satan, literally “the accuser,” who “accuses humanity before God and accuses God before humanity.” The lies of the accuser are countered by the Holy Spirit who makes the words of Jesus resound in our hearts. He also reminds us that we are children of God.

The more we are in union with the Holy Spirit, the more the Father and the Son take up their home in the our hearts. This happens through the Holy Spirit precisely because He is the gift of God Most High, and, where there is one person of the Trinity, the other two are also present. And if His gift of intimate union with God were not enough, the Holy Spirit also provides us with His gifts and forms in us His fruits to counter our weaknesses and vices. The Holy Spirit is, in effect, the salve of the Good Samaritan that heals our wounds and gives us what we need in our poverty and weakness.

How do we regard the reception of the Holy Spirit? Do we think the Holy Spirit is something we can gain by our prayers or our own virtue? Or do we recognize the Holy Spirit as a free gift from the Father we? Do we truly desire that Holy Spirit come into our lives with His action and presence, or do we fear that we will no longer be in control or that we will be asked to give up the sins and ingrained vices that we have become attached to and familiar with?

During this week, let us ask the Holy Spirit to come into our lives and renew us we may be more authentic witnesses to the Gospel.

1 comment:

fmn said...

Hi Br Chris, just passing through! Are you getting ready for exams? If yes, good luck and God bless!