Discovering the Spirit in Our Lives


It is often said that the Holy Spirit is the forgotten Person of the Blessed Trinity. However, it is only when we discover the Spirit, Divine Love in action, that we begin to live a spiritual life.

A few years ago, I heard a theologian, Fr. Robert Imbelli, talk on the Spirit. He emphasized that the main mission of Christ was to give us His Spirit. That would mean the Spirit should be the focal point of our spiritual lives, not just inserted occasionally. All of which forced me to ponder: Is the Spirit alive and working in my life?

To my surprise, I found frequent mention of the Spirit in my daily meditation. But certainly not the focal point. It struck me then that to be truly Christian, one must be charismatic, not necessarily in the sense of seeking to experience the Spirit’s extraordinary gifts, but striving for a lively relationship with the Spirit.

Subsequently, I heard a presentation on the Charismatic Movement. The speaker mentioned the idea that if we expect the Spirit to work in our lives, He will. I was attracted by the term “expect” since it suggested the right intentionality, the right mindset that prepares us to be open to the Spirit.

I happen to read some books on the 12 step programs. One of the techniques recommended when one was not sure what to do was to pray for an intuition, relax for a while and wait for enlightenment. In effect, asking the Spirit to enlighten us. That seemed a clear manifestation of dependency on the Spirit and a lively relationship with the Spirit.

Then I found an article entitled The Spirit in My Life, attempting to answer the question: How can we know that the Holy Spirit is alive and working in our lives? As I read the piece, I became very impatient with the author, but persevered. I figured that the author had asked the right question, so he may have something worthwhile to say. In the last paragraph he states: “Finally, we ought not miss the many ways Jesus gently breathes the Spirit upon us: the sacraments, the love of others, the beauty of nature, the intimacy of prayer.” I thought to myself: “What a weak statement!”

What the author should have said is: The Spirit is alive and working in all the positive moments of our lives, in all our insights and understandings, in our feeling of strength and renewal, in all our caring and loving of others. These are all Spirit moments. All the points of light in our lives are signs of the Spirit’s presence in our lives.

The Spirit is the power source of our humanity. We don’t have to insert the Spirit in our lives; he is alive and working in our lives already. We don’t have to find space for the Spirit in our lives; he is already a permanent dweller. We have only to wake up to His presence and expect the Spirit’s empowerment. We have only to admit our powerlessness to live a fully human life, recognize that a Higher Power exists within us and turn our lives over to the Spirit.

Very simply, spirituality is a life lived with, in and through the Spirit. Present within us, the Spirit is always ready to burst into our consciousness, always ready to surprise us. The potential for Spirit empowerment is always present; we need only open ourselves up to the Spirit to actualize that potential, remembering always that it is the Spirit’s gift to give or not to give.

With this realization, we can encounter life more dramatically. We can ask ourselves such questions as: Where will the Spirit burst out in my life? When will the Spirit surprise me today? We greatly increase our expectancy for the Spirit to operate in our lives, because we are approaching life with the right intentionality. This mindset feeds our desire to search and deepens our sense of wonder, almost childlike wonder. This mindset frees us. We are no longer event-dependent or circumstance-dependent for our experiences of joy or growth; we can take our lives into our own hands, aggressively seeking Spirit moments. When we are online and interactive with the Spirit, great and wonderful things can happen.

 

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