4853 Princess Anne Rd Virginia Beach, VA 23462-4446

Responding to God's Invitation to Learn More about the Holy Spirit

I love you and I am inviting you to learn more about the Holy Spirit, love God

“If you then who are imperfect know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13)

Prayer

Holy Spirit, I adore and worship you.  I am incredibly grateful that you choose to live within me: the same Spirit that hovered over the waters at Creation; that danced over King David in Jerusalem; that amazed Mary at the Annunciation and led Peter to preach to thousands at Pentecost. 

I thank you for being the active expression of the Father’s personal love for me.  As Jesus promised your guiding hand to his 
disciples, I thank you for guiding me through all things in this life.  Through your words of wisdom, prayers, boldness, and mercy, help me to be attentive to your nudges and promptings; to love the person you place in front of me. Help me to step away from my selfish desires and trust you.

We proclaim that in this place, in this parish, Jesus is alive, 
welcoming the lost and leading us all to lives of merciful compassion.  We ask this through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit as one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Questions for Reflection:

What holds me back from asking God for His gift of the Holy Spirit?

Do I truly wish to receive the Holy Spirit in my heart?

Am I lukewarm when it comes to the Holy Spirit? Do I want to be "heated up?"

Will I commit to praying,  "Spirit of the living God, fall on me"?

Thoughts for Reflection: 

"When Jesus had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit." (John 20:22)

 “If you then who are imperfect know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13)

 "To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.  To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues.  But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes. (1Cor12:7-11)

 "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

 "God, by his sheer grace, draws us to Himself and makes us one with Him. He sends His Spirit into our hearts to make us His children, transforming us and enabling us to respond to His love by our lives." (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, #112)

Respond to God’s Invitation to Grow in Understanding of the Holy Spirit

In a recent homily, Pope Francis reminds us to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us.  "It is the Holy Spirit that is in us, that accompanies us, that transforms us and is triumphant within us . . . Heed Christ's words to the disciples: receive the Holy Spirit."

Christ promised "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you" (Acts 1:8) and on Pentecost, the disciples "were all filled with the holy Spirit." (Acts 2:4)  Those humble folks changed the world!  Scripture abounds with examples of acts performed by this band people from common, daily life who were transformed into bold ambassadors for Christ.

"To each individual . . . for some benefit . . . distributing them individually to each person" (1Cor12:7-11)

The Holy Spirit marks our souls in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation and gives us gifts and graces.  Paul reminds us that we are all part of the Body of Christ and that each part has a specific purpose.  The gift of the Holy Spirit is God's gift of himself to those who are baptized. From the Spirit flow other gifts, some of which are for our personal sanctification while others are for the building up and support of the body of Christ. Many of the gifts are very familiar to us (wisdom, counsel, love) while others are somewhat foreign (healing, prophecy, tongues). Whatever our experience, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for all Christians, and no one should think that the gifts are not for them.

The only way we are able to live a life of faith, a life full of love, peace, joy and power is by the Holy Spirit. We see this most clearly in the lives of the Apostles. They had every advantage in being with Jesus and hearing him preach and seeing the many miracles that he had done. And yet, even with that advantage they were frightened men living their faith life in a locked room before they received the Holy Spirit. What took place in the upper room changed the lives of these men and women. This experience of the Holy Spirit is an encounter available to everyone; it is not reserved for a select few.

What is my purpose in the Body of Christ?  What are my gifts and graces?  Are they alive or are they dormant (like the man who buried his master's talent in the ground)?

Receive the Holy Spirit!

Resources:

WATCH The Wild Goose is Loosean online series on the power of the Holy Spirit

READ  "Let Us Pray to Receive The Spirit" by Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM