Who would think that a simple mortal could believe that The Holy Spirit of God might become like another mortal and be a friend one that we would be able to confide in, speak with, and share so many intimate thoughts? I hope to enforce that idea with this reflection.
Listen to the words from Jesus when he appeared to the disciples in the upper room after the Resurrection; “Peace be with you, as the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said to them; “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Then at the Commissioning he said; “I am sending the promise of my Father upon you……………” Finally, at Pentecost; “And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each 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.”
My reflection begins with the assurance from Jesus that our Father is sending Their Spirit into the world to teach us, support our needs, and to remain with us all of our days. As I search for the words to find the correct essence of God and put them on paper, my thoughts go back to each of my reflections and how the words came to me within each one and realizing they were not my words at all, but the Holy Spirit inspiring me and using the talents He gave me and the grace imbued within me. In more than one of my previous writings I alluded to the fact that one Sunday I couldn’t remember the homily I was to give, and after preaching went home and asked the poignant question; “what are you doing to me?” His answer was, “you’re always talking about faith, today I tested yours.” I never forgot that and am totally aware that the Holy Spirit not only dwells within my soul, but never leaves me on my own. He is deep in the recess of my persona and guides my steps even beyond my wildest imaginings. Once I realized that there is a power beyond us that is more than power as we might know it, I am certain the Lord’s Spirit is at work within us. This power is a heavenly strength and He wants us to rely on it and seek His presence within our lives.
So my thoughts were it is easier to write about the things of God, i.e. the grace, forgiveness, free will, and so many other entities I expressed, how can I now write about the giver of these gifts? It’s almost like writing a biography about someone and not certain where to begin. Then I thought, “If He was with me when searching for prose on things of God, why would I think He won’t be with me on His own existence? This is not to place myself in a position of saying I know God and His workings. I can feel His presence, listen as best I can to His promptings, and try to spread His Will to others, but speaking for God I can’t do. However, I can be open to His inspiration and trust in His guidance and most of all His friendship for me. I feel I know God wants us to seek him, rely on the words He will place within us, and again trust that He will give to me what He wants to give to the readers of this reflection.
First, a friend will never leave you or turn away when things become intolerable. He will go to bat for you even placing his own reputation at risk because a friend portrays love and stands up for you. I have learned over a lot of years that the Spirit has always been around me and has so often granted me peacefulness and tranquility. In retrospect I must always remember to be thankful for each time He went to bat for me, especially when I wasn’t aware of these events keeping me safe and sound. As I reflect on many of these events my emotions at times well up when I see Him at the helm of my life protecting and guiding. I also am aware that one prayer I spoke to God so many years ago when I asked Him to bless all those I have or had any connection with. Over the years this has come to fruition and as humble as I can be I have seen this to be a common occurrence. My God, what is it that with me that you see that You my gracious and loving God has answered that prayer? I have learned that as humans we can never on our own be perfect enough to even remotely be given even the smallest amount of grace. Yet, it is grace that gives us Your love, and grace that keeps us seeking You. Without overstepping my smallness and standing before You as a Saint, I in my weakest moments find Your peace and love within me, not because of me, but in spite of myself.
Second, a friend is ever known to us, that is he isn’t in the shadows of our life but very visible and always present. Of course the Holy Spirit can’t be seen by the naked eye, or can He? There are times when even though a person isn’t visible, the very essence of their presence, though unseen, is ever present to us. When I didn’t remember my homily, He spoke through me and for me. And when I asked the question, I heard His words very plainly and without hesitation. The time when Marsha had a serious affliction and I had a vision of healing the words again were; “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.” The words were very clear and pronounced. I saw Him, though through my mind and sense of knowing. I understand what Moses meant when he said God spoke to his heart. That is seeing Him only in a way that those who are chosen can believe.
Third, a friend is more than another person. He is part of you, in a way that can not be described. I have learned over a long period of ministry that when I am alone and in prayer, or with others and become oblivious to my surroundings I know He is there. Just the peace alone that seems to be inside tells me that it is because of the Holy Spirit dwelling within me and comforting my needs and at times my anxieties. I can assure you I wouldn’t trade this feeling or strong attraction to the Holy Presence inside of me.
Fourth, I want to speak to my friend the Holy Spirit who has never left me; O’ Spirit of God, You are my solace, my hope, and my everlasting strength. May You, the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; be with me and with all those under my charge,” May You grant me the Grace to always share the Will of an Almighty God in three persons, with the hurting world and all to whom You send me.
Understanding the Holy Spirit’s connection within my life and those of other persons is not a simple task, yet to believe that He is with us and the ability to somehow reach within our persona and know He is there should be enough to feel consolation in the throws of uncertainty.
Be assured, God did not create us to let our wavering and wandering nomadic sense become corrupted by sin. Yes, sin will corrupt the weak soul if left alone in its cosmic existence. But, God sent His Spirit to be with us always and he constantly reaches our weakness with the balm of Gilead. (metaphorically something with healing or soothing powers).
God’s Holy Spirit constantly convicts us of the wrong direction we tend to turn to, never condemning but bringing us back to the way our Lord Jesus wanted to impress upon us so often when directing our thoughts to His Father’s forgiving heart.
My friend the Holy Spirit is not a metaphor, but an actual direct address to the One who is with us from Baptism/Confirmation (receive the gift of the Holy Spirit) until we are blessed at our entrance from this life to the life with God. The time allotted us between these two Sacramental events finds us never alone. He remains steadfast within us, always there to keep us from falling away from His endearing love.