"Purifying Power of His Spirit"

Our Lord had said: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete, another Consoler, to abide with you forever” (John 14:16). When the disciples were gathered together in one place, suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were. At the same time, parted tongues of fire appeared and rested upon each one of them (Acts 2:1-2).

 

We should be aware of the work of the Holy Spirit all around us, and within ourselves. We should recognize the gifts He distributes, the movements and institutions He inspires, the affections and decisions He provokes in our hearts. The Holy Spirit carries out in the world the works of God. He is, as we read in a liturgical hymn, the giver of grace, the light of our hearts, the soul's guest, our rest in work, our consolation in sorrow. Without His help there is nothing innocent or valuable in man, since He is the one who cleanses the soiled, heals what is sick, sets on fire what is cold, straightens what is bent and guides men toward the safe harbor of salvation and eternal joy. It is worthwhile putting our lives on the line, giving ourselves completely, so as to answer to the love and the confidence that God has placed in us. It is worthwhile, above all, to decide to take our Christian life seriously. When we recite the creed, we state that we believe in God the Father Almighty, in his Son Jesus Christ, who died and rose again, and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life. We affirm that the Church, one, holy, catholic and apostolic, is the body of Christ, enlivened by the Holy Spirit. We rejoice in the forgiveness of sins and in the hope of the resurrection. But do those words penetrate to the depths of our own heart? Or do they remain only on our lips? The divine message of victory, the joy and the peace of Pentecost, should be the unshakeable foundation for every Christian's way of thinking and acting and living. Pentecost provides an unlimited variety of tongues, of methods, of forms of meeting God, not violent uniformity.

 

It is the Holy Spirit who, with His inspirations, gives a supernatural tone to our thoughts, desires and actions. It is He who leads us to receive Christ's teaching and to assimilate it in a profound way. It is He who gives us the light by which we perceive our personal calling and the strength to carry out all that God expects of us. If we are open to the Holy Spirit, the image of Christ will be formed more and more fully in us, and we will be brought closer every day to God the Father. "For whoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God."

 

If we let ourselves be guided by this life-giving principle, who is the Holy Spirit in us, our spiritual vitality will grow. We will place ourselves in the hands of our Father God, with the same spontaneity and confidence with which a child abandons himself to his father's care. Our Lord has said: "Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." This is the old and well known "way of childhood," which is not sentimentality or lack of human maturity. It is a supernatural maturity, which makes us realize more deeply the wonders of God's love, while leading us to acknowledge our own smallness and identify our will fully with God's will.

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