Despite what many dog lovers may believe, it turns out that man’s best friend is not our canine companions, although they are certainly high on the list.
Instead, the greatest friend to man is someone most of us spend precious little time getting to know, and this Person was someone whom Jesus Christ introduced us to before He ascended to the Father. In fact, man’s best friend was His going away gift—the Holy Spirit.
“But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me.” (John 15:26)
And not only would the Holy Spirit come to serve as our advocate and truth bearer, but far more importantly, and something we all need to be reminded of, the Holy Spirit would come with power. This power is at the disposal of each and everyone of us, if we would only use it, like the early Apostles.
“So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samar′ia and to the end of the earth.’” (Act 1:6-8)
Make no mistake, this power had a specific purpose, and it was intended to be put to use.
“For our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5)
There is a great deal of talk these days, in Christian circles at least, about the need for a new evangelization, a need to perhaps begin again to spread the message of the Gospel. There is a recognition, on the part of many, that society is slipping away from an understanding of and dependence on God in our modern lives. And therefore, it is sometimes argued, we must find new and better methods for spreading the message of the Gospel.
There is, of course, no shortage of methods and means of communication for this purpose. We have long had books and writing, but now we have radio, television, podcasts, websites and all manner of social media for getting the word out and spreading the Gospel. There is nothing wrong with any of this, and it should all be put to the full disposal and use of evangelization.
But unless we allow the Holy Spirit to do this work of spreading the Gospel, it will not succeed. The power for all of what we may desire to do as witnesses of the Gospel, and for what we may desire to experience individually within our communities, our families or within our own lives—this power and guidance can only come from the Holy Spirit. This is precisely the power and wisdom Jesus Christ instructed us to draw on when He promised us the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
The burning question is, “Do we live with this power today in our lives?”
Do we experience it?
Do we sense it, or for that matter, do we even really desire to tap into and use this power?
The power of the Holy Spirit is the power through which people are healed.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;” (1 Corinthians 12:4)
The power of the Holy Spirit is the power through which we experience three of the greatest gifts Jesus promised us—hope, joy and peace.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
Most importantly, if we wish to be guided and strengthened by this power, we must recognize and acknowledge that it is the Holy Spirit who teaches us even how to pray as we should, and how we can make our prayer truly effective.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26)
This week, may we all at least consider praying the following simple prayer on Wednesday night, and maybe for the rest of this week. May we allow the Holy Spirit to both direct our thoughts and actions, and also provide each of us with the consolation we most need right now.
A Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do; give me Your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that You permit to happen to me. Let me only know Your Will.
Copyright © 2019, Mark Danis
Both one-time and monthly donations are welcome. Just $10 a month will help cover the cost of operating Integrated Catholic Life for one day! Please help us bring enriching and inspiring Catholic content to readers around the world by giving today. Thank you!