I missed last week, but the topic was recommendations for encouraging books, blogs, and so on. I wrote about that a while ago, and all those recommendations still stand. I’m behind on my blog reading, but I’m not ready to pull the trigger on feed bankruptcy quite yet.
On to this week! The prompt is the Holy Spirit. He and I are basically besties. Thus, my first draft of this post launched into a huge defense (rant) about how it’s not actually still Pentecost. That’s not the point of this one, though, so I gave that its own post.
Pet peeve aside, I am always willing to talk about the Holy Spirit. I have been reading Augustine Day by Day courtesy of the Villanova University Center for Worship & Spirituality since the summer. I have a patched-together tech solution that sends each day’s reading and prayer to me by email. I think the Holy Spirit sent me this one especially for today:
“That the soul is to the human body the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, the Church. The Holy Spirit is active in the whole Church in the same way that the soul animates all the members of the human body.”
When I was in undergrad, I was part of the student team staffing a retreat focused on the Holy Spirit. We celebrated a Mass of the Holy Spirit, performed a great Lost parody skit starring the Holy Spirit (because no retreat is complete without a skit), and gave witness talks connecting the Spirit to each of the sacraments. I volunteered to give one on the Holy Spirit and the Eucharist, not acknowledging until I returned to my apartment after the planning meeting that I had absolutely no idea what to talk about or why I’d volunteered.
It was not until I took it to prayer that I realized I knew exactly what to say. I’d had an experience of the Eucharist that I’d never shared with anyone, and I understood immediately that I had been given the gift of that vision specifically to share it with my fellow students on that specific retreat. It was so well suited for that time and place that, when I tried to describe the same experience with my roommates during grad school in Birmingham, the moment was all wrong. I didn’t feel the same peace, the same courage, the same wisdom, and the same holy fear I had when I’d shared it the first time.
You’re probably dying to know what it is now! I’ve written it down, so it will be part of my spiritual writings if I come up for sainthood after I die. Until then, I’m content to wait for the call to share it again, if ever, on this side of heaven.
Since then, the Holy Spirit and I have been best friends. We have quality time during the Pentecost novena (I pray a version I found via EWTN), and it is a beautiful relationship. Anytime is a good time for a novena, so I encourage you to try that one if you’d like to get to know the Spirit better. For reference, the italicized verses for each day can be sung to the tune of the Stabat Mater.
Don’t be put off by the idea of having a relationship with a dove. He only did that once. The fire and wind manifestations are much cooler anyway.