The Holy Spirit beckons to each of us every minute of every day. Have you ever had a personal encounter with this person of the Trinity? He is gentle and kind. He is merciful and mighty. He has your best interest at heart. He wants to woo you into a deeper relationship with our Triune God. Will you let him?
What does life in the Spirit mean? In truth, I am a bit of a novice, but here is what he has showed me so far.
He is very much invested in each and every decision that you make every day. He wants to see you standing in the light of God during this life and in Heaven. He wants to bring you out of darkness and into the healing light of his sun, the Son. There are no supplements for this type of vitamin D. Only deep prayer and an ever growing knowledge of God.
He is the answer to freedom in Christ. He will lift you up and away from your sinful inclinations. He will give you the ability to choose the greater good. Just call on Him. He will show you the way.
This is not to say that the answers come quickly. Like I said, I am a novice. I am just learning to hear him and to rely on him. I learning how he leads me away from addiction and vice. These addictions are not necessarily “bad” addictions, like alcohol and drugs. They can be as simple as watching too much TV or not being able to move yourself to do regular household chores or homework. As he shows me how to exercise my freedom in him, I often turn down his help. At least I know his help is there. As I learn to love God more, I know I will more often choose his help.
Love takes time. St. Catherine of Siena says that self-knowledge and practice of ordinary virtue come before love. [Dialogues, Chapter 1]. So, I am learning to sit in awareness of my deeper sinful state, and have faith that he will lead me to this place of greater love. I am learning to be gentle with myself, but this doesn’t mean complacent. It means continuing to learn to rely on him. It means forgiving myself immediately when I screw up. It means being humbled in my imperfection. It means trusting in his ability to lead me to this place of freedom in this life.
I am seeing where a greater reliance on him leads to peace. Bad things will happen, but he will only allow the less than favorable things to happen so that I can grow in holiness. He will not allow anything else to happen. As I learn to accept bad things as something he is using to lead me closer to him, the less I will resist the process. The more peaceful and accepting I will become; I am becoming. I feel like there is a softness around my face. Not constantly, but more and more regularly. I feel like the words of Scripture are speaking to me and affirming all that I am seeing. I am sensing that soon, I will experience life in a more full sense, but I have a lot of bad habits to undo; for him to undo.
Spend sometime today asking the Holy Spirit to lead you into a deeper awareness of his presence. Ask him to help you be open to his gentle nudgings. Make sure you invite him into the depth of your being. He will not override your free will, so make your free will choice to allow him in. Ask him for patience to enter into this relationship for the long haul. It is not an overnight process, but it begins with immediate choices that are remade each and every day.
Ms. Debra D. Weldon, O.P.