Catholic Feasts · Prayer

The First Words on My Lips

 

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4

It’s Pentecost again and we as the Church call for a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon each one of our hearts, our families, our communities, the Church, and the whole world.  But what does that even mean to ask for more of the Holy Spirit, that Person often dubbed the “forgotten” member of the Holy Trinity?  Come, Holy Spirit, we pray.  But do we mean it?  Do we really believe that there is power from the Spirit wanting to move in and through us in a life changing way?  And what would happen if we let Him?

How often we think that the Holy Spirit is not for us!  What a lie that is!  The Holy Spirit…that part of God is not for me.  That’s not my style of prayer.  That’s for those other people.  Maybe it was like that for the Apostles, but He’s not like that now.  If we believe that then we make Christ a liar and reject His mission when He says He will send the Spirit, the promise of the Father.   He even says it is to our advantage that He ascended so that the Holy Spirit could come (see John 16:7).

That promise of the Father is for each one of us.  Not just for those Apostles and saints but for US.  Not just at the moment of our Baptism or Confirmation, but for NOW.  The Holy Spirit longs to live inside each one of us in a fuller and fuller way.  If we reject that?  Then we reject Christ.

There are a multitude of ways that we live in the Spirit.  Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how the Holy Spirit can move through us in our encounters with other people.  Many of us have experienced that interior knowledge after a particularly poignant conversation or moment when you just know that it wasn’t you working.  Sometimes it feels like we were given the right words for the moment, ones we couldn’t have come up with on our own.  We become keenly aware, at least for a few moments, that we can be conduits for God to work, that He can use even us (!) to touch another’s heart and soul in an especially difficult or crucial time.  That is the Holy Spirit.  And that Holy Spirit wants more and more access to our hearts and souls, to dwell deeper and deeper within us and work through us even more.

So many moments we encounter every day are opportunities for Him to work and be more fully alive and active within us.

In the awkward and transformative conversations with our children…Come, Holy Spirit.

In the critical comment in the check out line…Come, Holy Spirit.

In the conversation with person with whom we know the relationship should be more but we can’t quite figure out how to make it so…Come, Holy Spirit.

In the potential (or already real) argument with our spouse…Come, Holy Spirit.

In the encounter with that person whose temperament and personality and opinions vastly differ from yours…Come, Holy Spirit.

In the opportunity to speak with someone in crisis…Come, Holy Spirit.

In the email we need to send or the post we need to write…Come, Holy Spirit.

I want the first look of my heart to be to Him.  When those situations present themselves with my children or extended family or the woman at the grocery store or the boss, I want Him to give me the words that I need.  Because, Lord knows, if I’m on my own I’ll screw it up.

The amazing promise we have is that if we are Baptized and in a state of grace and surrender our own will for the moment, HE WILL SHOW UP.  

Always.  Every time.  

It may not look or sound like how we think it should.  It may be radically different than what would seem to make sense to say to someone.  It may make us a bit self conscious and draw us out of our comfort zones.  Sometimes it may even mean keeping our mouth shut.  But the peace comes when we realize that how the words are heard is not for us to worry about.  If we remain faithful and docile to the movement of the Spirit and what He would like us to say (or not say) in the moment, we have done our part and we can have peace that the fruits are up to Him.

So, my prayer lately is this:  that in those moments when I need help whether it be the right words, the right attitude, the right opportunity, or the right decision, that the first words on my lips and heart will be come, Holy Spirit.  And because He is always and ever faithful, He will.

Titian_Pentecost_525
Titian 1545, Public Domain
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