Recently, the weather in Columbus has been very hot. The sweltering temperature reminded me of the intensity of the Holy Spirit when I feel him burning within me. Praying to the Holy Spirit was an integral part of this past week for me because I was preparing for a presentation in a new geographical area to a new audience. It is always awesome when I feel the warmth of his love guiding me. I hope you have experienced the third person of the Trinity acting within you, but if you haven’t recognized his power and his presence, I will try to describe them for you in this blog.
Initially, I didn’t notice or credit the Holy Spirit alive within me, because He came as a still quiet voice. Once, I felt the intense energy of being used by the Spirit, I noticed, appreciated, and sought after it even more. If you have ever seen the movie Ghost, I can better describe the feeling to you. If you have never seen the movie, it is worth viewing: there is a powerful depiction of the forces of good and evil in it that is good food for thought.
I will try to describe the feeling to you through the characters of Patrick Swayze and Whoopie Goldberg. Patrick dies violently and uses Whoopie, who is a medium, to communicate with Demi Moore, the woman he deeply loved and was forced to leave behind. Each time he entered Whoopie’s body to use her to connect with Demi, Whoopie felt both exhilarated and exhausted afterwards: kind of a goose bump, pass out on the couch experience!
That same experience is what I feel when God uses me, and the Holy Spirit inspires me to spread Jesus’ message of unconditional love and mercy. Yesterday, I was blessed with the opportunity to present my message of love on a farm to 120 upper class high school youth who were on retreat. It was a beautiful setting surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. There was a true feeling of all of us being “One Body in Christ.” It was rooted in the selflessness and the servant hearts of a family who for the fifth year was conducting a retreat for a community of young people from the local high school, on their homestead, at their own expense.
The matriarch and the patriarch built games and community building activities throughout their farm land. Each of their five adult children took days off work to help prepare the farm for activities to bring teenagers a true sense of community. Each unselfishly used their gifts to build a safe, fun place for kids to grow in their faith. Father Rick was present; the Eucharist was shared; sweat was prevalent in the teamwork challenges; laughter resulted from the quickly designed favorite Star Wars costumes, and people prayed and learned from speakers how to make decisions which honored God, themselves, and others.
We talk of the Gifts of the Spirit. Each of us is gifted in ways unique to us. Praying to the Holy Spirit; listening for God’s direction; being open to saying “YES” as Mary and so many others of our rich Catholic tradition have done, will allow us and empower us to do God’s will, to be the people God created us to be, to spread God’s love and mercy in all of our relationships, and to come to know a burning desire to build the kingdom of heaven on earth. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work though us, we will know the peace and joy that Christ desires for us. Mother Teresa called herself a pencil in God’s hand. Let the writing begin!
Peace and Love,