According to Fr. Jacques Philippe in Fire & Light, Learning to Receive the Gift of God: “The most fundamental question of Christian life is this: How should we receive the grace of the Holy Spirit? How can we keep ourselves ever open to his action?”
“The true aim of our Christian life consists of the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God.” --St. Seraphim of Sarov.
So how do we do this...how do we “acquire” him?
Amazingly, if you are a baptized Christian, you already have Him living inside of you in a unique and beautiful way. And if you want to have more of Him, all you simply need to do is ask. “If you then, who are wicked, 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
As hard as it is to comprehend, what “defines you” (or me) is not the sum total of our thoughts, actions, and words but this uniqueness of God living inside each of us. He placed Himself there at baptism and so we are now defined by Him-- not by what others think of us or even what we may think of ourselves. Thanks be to God, grace is what defines you and me. God’s grace.
Our life should be an unending quest to receive more and more of Him into our lives through grace by remaining open to His promptings. His Spirit within us is like a homing device that leads us back again and again to the source of itself, Love Himself.
Our beginning and our end is God. I pray He will be, in greater and more amazing ways, our “middle” too. He can do in and through us, what we could never even think to do on our own.
Praises be to God.
“For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.” Philippians 2:13
We now come to the close of our walk along the Via Lucis. We will celebrate PENTECOST this Sunday! May Fresh Fire and Light come into your heart and set you ablaze with His love like never before.
Come HOLY SPIRIT! COME!
Mary and the Disciples Keep Vigil in the Upper Room for the Spirit's Advent
All:We adore You, O Christ and we praise You! Because by the Wood of the Cross and the Light of the Resurrection, You have redeemed the world!
Reading:"When they entered the city, they went to the upper room where they were staying.... All [the apostles] devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and His brothers" (Acts 1: 13a, 14).
Reflection: Throughout the history of the Church, there have been apostolic movements dedicated to prayerful contemplation, and others resulting in transforming action. As we have crossed the threshold into a new millennium, we look to the "Upper Room" as a symbolic place where we return over and over again, so that we can become "contemplatives in action." As persons who are both prayerful and energetic in service to the Gospel, we must always keep vigil for the advent of the Risen Lord, with the flame of faith alive in our hearts. Only the Lord can refresh our spirits and renew us in the ministries that flow from our Baptism and Confirmation.
Prayer: Father most holy, see Your Church gathered here in prayerful worship like the first disciples and Mary in the Upper Room. Grant that we may accomplish, in the joy of the Holy Spirit, all that You give us to do in the world. May we gladly share in Christ's sufferings so as to rejoice when His glory is revealed. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
All: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. On this most holy day of days, To God your hearts and voices raise, In laud and jubilee and praise. Alleluia!
The Risen Lord Sends the Holy Spirit
All: We adore You, O Christ and we praise You! Because by the Wood of the Cross and the Light of the Resurrection, You have redeemed the world!
Reading:"... Suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim" (Acts 2: 2-4).
Reflection:The power of the Holy Spirit drives the disciples from the Upper Room into the streets and marketplace. The Spirit compels them to take the message everywhere, in places familiar and unfamiliar, not stopping until they reach the ends of the world. We have been clothed with the same Spirit. We are called to be evangelizers and witnesses, near and far, wherever we go. The Spirit always goes before us, preparing the way and strengthening our hearts to be generous servants of the Risen Lord, Who ever guides us. Pentecost is an enduring and continuing event. We implore the Holy Spirit to renew the face of the earth by renewing us.
Prayer: Father in heaven, through this spiritual journey, You have reminded us of the fullness of the mystery of Your revealed love. See Your people gathered in prayer, open to receive the Spirit's flame. May it come to rest in our hearts and disperse the divisions of word and tongue. With one voice and one song, may we praise Your name in joy and thanksgiving. Grant this through Christ our Lord, and in the power of the Spirit, both now and forevermore. Amen.
All:Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. O sons and daughters of the Lord, The King of glory, King adored, From death to life has been restored. Alleluia.
Reading: " ... Jesus Himself, through them, sent forth from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. Amen" (Mark 16:8, the Shorter Ending).
Reflection: Through the Via Lucis, we have shared our pilgrim journey with the Risen Lord. As servants and witnesses of Christ, let us now pray in the way our Savior taught us:
All: "Our Father…"
Prayer: Lord, may everything we do, begin with Your inspiration, continue with Your help, and reach perfection under Your guidance. We ask this through Christ, our Risen Lord.
My favorite resources on the Holy Spirit:
The Alpha Course --Listen to talks here:
Talk 1: Who is the Holy Spirit?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsSc2qljZSU
Talk 2: What Does the Holy Spirit Do?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRih6DmURgI
Talk 3: How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrGRKrJN-Yc