All the gifts of the Holy Spirit are available to us. God can give us the one we need now, knowing that what we need changes from moment to moment.
God works powerfully in the world today, as he always has, but sometimes it’s hard to see how he is moving in our lives.
We can hear his voice and see him at work through circumstances and events outside ourselves, through reading Sacred Scripture, growing in faith with other spiritual books, and through listening to the words of wise people.
But most of all, we can hear his voice directly in our hearts.
This feast of Pentecost is a reminder that the Holy Spirit’s work did not end on that sacred, long-ago day.
When the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles in the upper room, they were strengthened with courage to witness publicly to Christ.
That’s why Brother Silas Henderson, SDS, writes:
Pentecost is a celebration of possibilities, both for individual believers and for the Church. The Pentecost of the first Christians was a witnessing of the power of the Spirit for the future.
We are living in that future, and the power of the Spirit surrounds us.
The holy feast of Pentecost reminds me that his fire is still burning, still kindling Christ’s eternal light in my soul. I just need to pay attention to how.
I was talking about all this with my kids as we approached this feast. I shared with them that the Holy Spirit brings seven gifts (listed here traditionally and as they are translated in the Rite of Confirmation):
- Counsel (Right judgment)
- Fortitude (Courage)
- Knowledge (Reverence)
- Fear of God (Wonder and awe)
We had a brief chat about what each of these gifts mean, and then we talked about which gift of the Spirit we would ask him to give us.
Two of my kids wanted strength. One wanted understanding. I wanted wisdom, and offered a heartfelt prayer right then and there that God would give me a little of this gift that feels so elusive.
Later I reflected how wonderful it is that we don’t actually have to pick just one gift. We can receive all of them, asking God to give us the gift that we need at that time, knowing that what we need will change from moment to moment.
Which gift of the Spirit do you need today, in this time and place of your life? How will you ask the Holy Spirit to move in your soul and in your life on this, his holy feast?