In the School of the Holy Spirit

In my RCIA classes, we discussed the Holy Spirit.  One of the questions asked of us is how do we pray to the Holy Spirit.  I was a little gobsmacked.  Pray to the Holy Spirit?  

I don't know.  My church growing up believed in the Trinity.  But the Holy Spirit is more of an afterthought.  I think any time my church was uncomfortable with something it brushed it under the rug.  

Some of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives can make people uncomfortable.

Any how, I thought I might need to learn a bit more and I picked up this little book.  The main part of the book is only 66 pages with a total of 90 pages.  But it has a lot of good meat and gets right to the point so I would definitely recommend this oversized pamphlet 😂

 Here are my highlights:

"God has such high esteem for the hope possessed by souls that are ceaselessly turned toward him and rely on him alone, that one can truly say that they obtain all that they hope for." St. John of the Cross, Maxim 119.

When you seek God with all your might, you find God.  If you aren't finding God, are you truly seeking?  It reminds me of little children trying to do something hard and they don't even really try and then flop there arms out and hunch their shoulders and whine, "you do it."  If you have a heart that wants to seek God, that is God reaching out to you.  You do your part and reach out to him.

"It can happen that we make superhuman efforts to improve on one point, while God is asking us for something else. For example, we may be making a supreme effort to correct a character defect, while what God is asking us to do is accept it with humility and gentleness toward ourselves!" page 20.

I think that's powerful.  Are you trying to be a perfect Christian and failing?  Is that what God wants from your or does God want you to accept that you aren't perfect.  Go beyond that, what are you doing that is "for" God but not from God?

This next quote begins with St. Faustina's writings, " soul was penetrated with a great love for God and I understood that we should pay great attention to inner inspirations and follow them faithfully.  And faithfulness to one grace attracts others." to which Philippe responds, "It underlines a central point: each act of fidelity to an inspiration is rewarded by more abundant graces, especially by more frequent and stronger inspirations." page 22. 

"But it remains true that inspirations are not an optional extra in spiritual life, because they can be decisive for spiritual progress, an it is a matter of the greatest importance to welcome them into our lives." page 28.

Inspirations are the movement of the Holy Spirit in your life calling for action or change.  If you can't be faithful in a little...

"Praise purifies the heart and prepares it marvelously to receive divine grace and the motions of the Holy Spirit." page 29.  

Something good comes, praise God.  Something bad comes, praise God.  Just praise God and you will be more receptive to what is coming.

"'Inspire me in all my decisions, and never let me neglect any of your inspirations.'...At more critical moments, when we are faced with important choices, or when we have the impression that our life with our Lord is limping a little and needs revivifying, it can be very good to to on retreat for a few days and pray more intensely for the light of the Holy Spirit." page 29.

I think we often forget, and even me when I preach so much on it, that we need space in our days.  We need space in our lives.  Our brains need space.  Our souls need space to expand.  Give the Sacred space to be Sacred!

I am going to leave the remaining quotes comment free due to respect for my time this morning.  What thoughts would you add?

"When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you." Matthew 6:6.

"Docility to God sets our hears free..." page 56.

"Out of all created beings, the Virgin Mary is the one who most lived in the shadow of the Holy Spirit." page 65.

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you." Luke 1:35.

A Prayer by Cardinal Mercier:

    "Holy Spirit, soul of my soul, I adore Thee.

    Enlighten me, guide me,

    strengthen and comfort me, 

    Tell me what I ought to do

    and order me to do it.

    I promise to submit

    to anything that you requirest from me,

    and to accept everything

    that Thou allowest to happen to me

    Just show me what Thy will is." 

page 69.

"At the beginning these souls do not know where they are being led, but little by little a light shines within and makes them see all their actions and the guidance of God on their actions, so that they have almost nothing else to do than let God do whatever he chooses in them and through them; so that these souls advance marvelously." page 70.

"...if one give himself wholly to good works and the other applies himself entirely to purifying his heart and cutting away what there is in it that opposes grace, this second person will achieve perfection twice as quickly as the first." page 76.

"And they waste a lot of time in such choices; while they are worried about deciding which is better, they uselessly lose chance to do good things which would be far more to God's glory than this distinguishing between the good and the better (which has taken up their time) could possibly be." page 81.

"All this means that if we want the (apparent) contradictions between God's will and our freedom to be resolved, we ought to ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to love God more, and the problem will solve itself.  Loving God is the most demanding thing of all--it demands a total gift: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. But at the same time it is the least restricting thing of all: loving God is not a restriction, because his splendor and his beauty are so great that loving him is infinite happiness.  God is infinite good, so that loving him does not constrict the heart but enlarges it infinitely." pages 89-90.

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