Part VII of a series on “The Ten Wellsprings of Grace for an Evangelical Catholic Spirituality.
“While Jesus was in their company he told them not to leave Jerusalem. “You must wait,” he said, “for the promise made by my Father, about which you have heard me speak: John, as you know, baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit, and within the next few days” (Acts 1:4-5).
The Great Gift of the Father
The Holy Spirit is the great gift of the Father, made possible to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. The presence of the Holy Spirit within us is, in fact, so great that Jesus himself said it was better that he go so that the Holy Spirit could come (John 16:7). What an amazing gift — the presence of God not manifested through oracles or divination, not even limited to temples and Churches — but in us. This often-neglected person of the Triune God is God’s active presence on our earth today. He is the person that gives direction and inspiration to our daily lives. The promptings we receive each day to serve this person or encourage that person, to pray or deny ourselves, come from the Holy Spirit. The more we listen, the more He directs us. The more He directs us, the more we live in the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, generosity, faith, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
In baptism, we receive this precious gift of the Holy Spirit. Through reception of the Eucharist, we grow string in it. Through reconciliation, we are freed from impediments to living a life in the Spirit, and in Confirmation we receive an outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including those necessary to fulfill our special role in the body of Christ. The gifts that come to us all from the Holy Spirit in baptism are wisdom, understanding, knowledge, fortitude, counsel, piety and fear of the Lord. There are also specific gifts given to each of us so that we may fulfill our function in the body such as wisdom in discourse, power to express knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, interpretation of prophecy, speaking in tongues, which the Holy Spirit distributes to each as He wills (I Corinthians 12).
Sometimes Catholics who experience interior conversion later in life regret that they did not comprehend or fully appreciate the experience of the Confirmation as a teenager. Don’t worry. You still recieved the gift of the Sacrament at that time, and as God is generous — especially when it comes to pouring his Spirit out upon his children, You can always pray and ask God for a greater outpouring or a release of any latent gifts. You can do this by yourself or have fellow beleivers lays hands on you as you pray together.
A Catholic Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
V. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.