The Holy Spirit wants to give us a spiritual freedom that will set our heart at peace. However, it’s not always easy to eliminate the various obstacles within our heart that prevent us from experiencing that spiritual freedom.
St. Josemaria Escriva describes what he believes is the secret to this freedom in his homily, “The Great Unknown.”
[U]nion with the cross, because in the life of Christ, the Resurrection and Pentecost were preceded by Calvary. This is the order that must be followed in the life of any Christian. We are, as St. Paul tells us, “heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ, provided, however, we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him.” The Holy Spirit comes to us as a result of the cross — as a result of our total abandonment to the will of God, of our seeking only his glory and renouncing ourselves completely.
Escriva goes on to explain, “Only when we are faithful to grace and determined to place the cross in the centers of our souls, denying ourselves for the love of God, detaching ourselves in a real way from all selfishness and false human security, only then … will we receive the fullness of the great fire, the great light, the great comfort of the Holy Spirit. It is then, too, that souls begin to experience the peace and freedom that Christ has won for us, and that are given to us with the grace of the Holy Spirit.”
This is a fundamental teaching of Jesus Christ, who said to his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25).
It is not an easy teaching to follow, but one that is necessary to achieve a true and lasting peace and freedom within a person’s soul. We must die to ourselves if we are to live in the Holy Spirit.
The next time you sit down to pray, consider what it is that holds you back from this spiritual freedom and what things need to be “denied” in order to find the peace you long for.
Pray a novena to the Holy Spirit and kindle a fire within
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