Our Meeting with the Holy Spirit
Presence of God – Come, Holy Spirit, invade me with Your action.
Considering the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the beatitudes which are their fruits, we arrive at a better understanding of the marvelous riches God has bestowed upon us. Every Christian possesses these gifts from the day of his Baptism; hence, there is no temerity in the desire that they attain their full maturity in us, so that our soul may be completely invaded by the action of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, by this desire, we respond to a like desire on the part of God, who has given us these gifts that we may be moved and directed by His Spirit, “for whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). And if we desire to be true children of God, does not our heavenly Father, who for this very purpose created us and raised us to the state of grace, desire it infinitely more?
Let us, then, nourish great desires in our souls. It is not too much, it is not rash, it is not presumptuous: God wills it. “Voluntas Dei sanctificatio vestra” (1 Thessalonians 4:3); this is the will of God, your sanctification! If, however, our desires are to be effective, we must apply ourselves with ever-increasing generosity to dispose our soul for the action of the Holy Spirit. Let us be persuaded that before we can experience God and His divine union, the divine Paraclete must accomplish in us a work of thorough purification, for, as the green wood cannot be penetrated by the fire unless it is first dried and freed of all moisture, neither can our soul be invaded and transformed by the fire of divine love if it is not first purified of all its imperfections. Let us then prepare ourselves to undergo this indispensable purification courageously; or rather, let us try ourselves to anticipate it by mercilessly cutting all the ties which still bind us to earth, especially those which attach us to our self-love, our pride. “O humility, humility!…” exclaims St. Teresa of Jesus, “it is the lack of this … which prevents us from making progress, for the foundation of the whole [spiritual] edifice is humility, and, if you have not true humility, the Lord will not raise it very high for it lacks solidity.” (Interior Castle III, 1-2 – VII, 4).
“O Holy Spirit, You have taken, so to speak, a clear, luminous ray from the glory of the Father and from the Incarnate Word, a glowing dart of love to illumine and to obscure, to wound and to heal, to inflame and to cool, to cast down or to blind, in order to glorify the creatures who receive You into their hearts and to help them advance with love. Who can ever tell the quality and number of Your inspirations? They are innumerable.
“But where do You pour out Your gifts and graces? In souls that You find ready to accept them. You renew those souls and bring them to the knowledge of God. What then, O my God, deprives the soul of Your Spirit? It is perverse self-love, the source and origin of every sin. Alas! I well see that the world remains wholly submerged and drowned in self-love! Some persons are sunk in it by their intellect, some by their memory, some by their will and some, with their whole soul, submerge themselves in it. What is most displeasing to You, O God, is that this perverse self-love dwells even in Your priests and in Your spouses. The disorder of our self-love, of our attachment to our own will, is no small thing. It does not require mountains of enormous sins to block the course of this rapid stream, this ocean of love; the sands of our defects, which we think trivial, but which are not, suffice to do so.
“O Holy Spirit, purify the whole world, purify my soul of self-love, and do not permit it to return!” (St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi).
“O Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, omnipotent God, essential Love of the Father and the Son, adorable bond of the august Trinity, I adore You and I love You with all my heart. Inexhaustible fountain of grace and love, enlighten my mind, sanctify my soul, and inflame my heart. God of goodness and mercy, come to me, visit me, fill me, abide in me, and make my heart a living temple and sanctuary where You can receive my adoration and worship and where You can find Your delight. Fountain of living water, springing up to eternal life, water my soul and quench its thirst for justice. Sacred Fire, purify me, make me burn with Your flames and never let them be extinguished in me. Ineffable Light, illumine me; perfect Sanctity, sanctify me. Spirit of Truth, without You I am in error; Spirit of Love, without You I am cold; Spirit of Unction, without You I am in aridity; life-giving Spirit of Life, without You I am dead.
“O divine Spirit, do gentle violence to my heart, and force it to desire You, to seek You, to obey You, to love You, and to possess You in time and in eternity. Amen” (Fr. Aurillon)
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Art for this post on our meeting with the Holy Spirit: Christ the King Catholic Church (Ann Arbor, Michigan) – interior Holy Spirit window, Nheyob, 5 August 2013, CCA-SA 3.0 Unported, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.