Thursday, October 22, 2020

Come Holy Spirit


I’ve been thinking about the Holy Spirit a lot lately, for a couple of reasons.  First, I am increasingly recognizing my need to listen to and follow promptings and movements of the Spirit.  Second, I am always so impressed with members of the Church who identify themselves as Charismatic.

Not surprisingly, those who move in unison with the Holy Spirit often have an attractive something about them.  Is it humility?  Is it trust and hope?  Is it a certain kind of freedom?  I don’t know, but whatever it is, it is a beautiful charism.

In his Letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 3, Verse 14 and following, St. Paul expresses his prayer for the strength of the people, saying, “that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith . . .”

Yes, indeed, his Spirit is in us, giving us the power and strength we need to be witnesses to the gospel.  And, yes indeed, Christ dwells within each of us, in our hearts, through faith.

And then Paul continues, praying that we “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

And finally, he says, “Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.”

Pulling this all together, we should hear quite clearly that the Holy Spirit is within us, giving us power and strength; that the love Christ has for us is beyond our comprehension, and that so much more than we can even imagine is possible when we walk by faith.

If you are faced with challenges, turn to the Holy Spirit and you will be given all you need.  When we do this in confidence, it also relieves us of some of the burden on our shoulders because we know that everything doesn’t depend on us alone.

I think more and more today, people need to know just how much God loves them.  It is beautiful to realize that he has given us the gift of St. Paul who is up in heaven, “kneeling before the Father” for each one of us.

Below I have posted the Holy Spirit prayer, which I hope you will pray often.

Janet Cassidy

“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.”

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.”



Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Overwhelmed by Division?



Today’s reading (Ephesians 2:14 ff) is perfect for what we are going through as a country right now.  If you feel overwhelmed by the news, COVID and the election, this is the reading for you!

In addressing the dispute between the Gentiles (non-Jews) and the Jews, Paul describes how unifying Christ is and that it is Jesus that breaks down the “dividing wall of enmity” and through his death on the cross, creates “in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace,” bringing reconciliation to all with God.  Through Christ’s preaching peace to all, everyone has “access in one Spirit to the Father.”

Maybe Jesus wasn’t dealing with a pandemic or an ugly election process, but the turbulent times in which he lived needed to hear this, as we do today.

The message is the same, and relevant.

It isn’t for us Christians to promote division by our words and deeds.  Our work is to speak a word of peace into chaos; to be witnesses to Christ and to be reconcilers who, like Jesus, bring peace into a place where divisions runs deep.

If we can stay above the fray and speak confidently and firmly of our belief that peace in the midst of violence is possible because of our access to the Father in one Spirit, we can avoid contributing to the problem.

I understand having strong convictions and the necessity at times to speak up, but in this challenging environment, perhaps more than my anger and frustration, the world needs a unifying perspective, a word of peace, the message for which Jesus died on the cross.

Do what you can today, to bring peace to your little corner of the world, offering love in place of hatred and healing in place of sickness. 

Janet Cassidy