The Holy Spirit strengthens our faith, hope and charity

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

WE should never take for granted the crucial role of the Holy Spirit in our life. He is God who continues to guide us, to abidingly intervene in our life, prompting us about what to think, say and do.

This is simply because our life—we should never forget this—is actually a sharing of the life of God. We are his image and likeness. God and us share the same life and nature, that is, if we only follow God’s will and ways that precisely are shown to us by the Holy Spirit.

This truth of our faith can be gleaned from the gospel reading of the Mass on Monday of the 6th Week of Easter. (cfr. Jn 15,26-16,4) “When the Advocate (the Holy Spirit) comes whom I will send you from the Father,” Christ told his apostles, “he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.”

Christ said this to his apostles, and now to us, with the view to strengthen the apostles’ and our faith, hope and charity, given the fact that it would be unavoidable for us to encounter all sorts of trials and sufferings in this world for Christ’s sake. He is reassuring us that things will just be all right despite these trials and suffering.

At one point, Christ even told his apostles—and again, now to us—that “they will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God.” (Jn 16,2)

Those words, indeed, are very intriguing. They remind us that our enemies are not so much those who openly declare themselves to be so. They rather are those who can appear to be at our side but are sadly entangled in their own world of what is right and wrong and cannot go to the extent of the radical kind of love Christ is showing and commanding us to live.

We have to see to it that our relation with the Holy Spirit is strong, deep and abiding. We have to learn to discern his constant promptings, because only with him can we truly be authentic Christians, vitally united with Christ, with no other purpose in life than to carry out the will of God for all of us.

We have to disabuse ourselves from the thought that the Holy Spirit guides only some special people. He guides all of us. We have to do everything to keep this awareness of the Holy Spirit’s abiding interventions in our life alive and operative. This duty and task is not meant for some special people only but rather for all of us. And this we can do if we try to keep ourselves always in the presence of God, constantly asking him and consulting him.

“Oh, Holy Spirit,” we may start asking, for example, “how should I understand this thing that is happening to me now, how should I react and behave, what are you trying to tell me in this particular event and circumstance, etc.?”

If we ask these questions with faith, we know that we are not simply talking to the wind. We would be convinced that we are engaged in an intimate conversation with someone who is everything to us, the one who actually is the main shaper of our life!



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