I don’t know why, but I’m actually excited about Pentecost tomorrow. In all my life, I cannot remember being excited about this feast. I mean, Christmas & Easter – those are exciting – but Pentecost, hmmm. All of the feasts in the Church are supposed to be special (hence the term “feasts”), but I guess I’ve never REALLY given much thought to Pentecost. It’s the day that Jesus’ promise was fulfilled – to never leave us alone – to send us an advocate – His Spirit. At Pentecost, the birth of the Church, God literally set the hearts and minds of his apostles ablaze, so they were prepared/compelled to courageously go “where no man had gone before” – to preach the gospel in some super hostile places. Just read the Acts of the Apostles!
I guess, I see the celebration of Pentecost as a hope for us today. The world has become a very hostile place once again – especially where Christians are concerned. We are called (as always) to stand up for our Faith – to protect it – to do what we know is right – to love Christ with everything we’ve got – even when (not if) it makes us unpopular, persecuted, made fun of, tortured or killed because of it. It’s getting more and more difficult to do that in a world that has sold its soul to the devil. We cannot muster this courage of our own accord, my friends! We NEED a stirring up of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in every Christian, because the battle we are in is the Ultimate one.
I have to admit that sometimes I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are only for those “special people” – Charismatics or Pentecostals. I mean, I don’t speak in tongues or anything. If I had the gift of the Spirit, surely I would be able to speak His language, right? I came across this quote from a very wise person concerning the Holy Spirit:
The spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe plan edition of Christianity. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people.” A.W. Tozer
I suppose at times in my life, I have felt somehow that I’ve gotten the “basic” Holy Spirit package and not the “Deluxe Version.” Have you ever felt that way?
The bible tells us, however, that the Spirit is for all who love and obey Christ: “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 3:11 And how about this one: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
God’s Spirit DWELLS in you and me. That’s some pretty profound stuff there! If we truly believe this, shouldn’t we be living accordingly?
I love this quote from St. Catherine of Sienna:
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
Oh how I wish the world were ablaze with love for God (1st) and one another. “Come, Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love…”
This is my favorite Holy Spirit prayer that I say a lot:
O, Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul,
I adore you.
Enlighten me, Guide me,
Strengthen me, Console me,
Tell me what I should do.
Give me your orders.
I promise to submit myself
to all that you desire for me
and to accept all
that you permit
to happen to me.
Let me only know your will.
by Cardinal Mercier
The Lord says He will give His spirit to those who ask. Have we asked? Do we long for it or do we spend our lives trying to resist the Spirit – afraid to know God’s Will for us as it may not match our own.
If I’ve learned one thing in this life it is that God’s plans are infinitely better than mine. Come, Holy Spirit!