One of the most important activities of the Holy Spirit working in our lives is that of INSPIRATION. The Holy Spirit inspires in us what is good, noble, pure, worthy, and of course, what is holy.
PROBLEM: RESISTANCE! Arriving at the heart of the matter is the word Resistance. Ever active in the lives of the saints and in our lives, the Holy Spirit often inspires, but we can resist. By resist we mean this: simply saying NO or rejecting the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
GENTLEMAN. The Holy Spirit is a Gentleman in the sense that He will never force Himself into our lives. Rather He gently invites us by means of His inspirations to a higher means of existence—to a life rejecting sin, to a life of purity, to a life of holiness. However, it must be reiterated: the Holy Spirit will knock on the door of your heart, but if you fail to open it, like a true Gentleman, He will leave. He will always respect your free will.
SILENCE. We are bombarded by countless sources of noise—radios, TVs, cars, motorcycles, helicopters and planes overhead—all of this militates against our ability to pick up the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. For that reason, spiritual writers insist on the necessity of silence. Elijah did not encounter God in the thunder or in the earthquake. Rather, he encountered God in the whispering breeze.
GOOD VIBES, BAD VIBES! The younger generation speaks about vibes. They might say a certain person is transmitting good vibes or bad vibes. It’s true that in our world we are bombarded by many noises which militate against picking up the heavenly inspirations. Still, there are the good vibes and the bad vibes; one comes from the Holy Spirit and the other from the devil. It is up to us to have proper discernment so that we can reject the bad and receive the good.
COMMON INSPIRATIONS. The following is a list of inspirations that the Holy Spirit often uses to bring us closer and closer to Himself and to our eternal salvation. Read, reflect, pray on these, and then apply them to your life.
INSPIRATIONS FROM THE GOOD SPIRIT—LISTEN TO THEM AND FOLLOW:
- PRAY! Known under the title of The Interior Master of Prayer, the Holy Spirit gently, but insistently, beckons us to pray. Listen and obey!!!
- SACRIFICE! The Holy Spirit will often challenge us to give up something we like, so He can give us something much better for us; this is what we call Sacrifice! Jesus reminds us: “Whoever wants to be my follower must renounce himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mt 16: 24)
- CONVERT! The first preaching and teaching of Jesus was the following: “Be converted because the Kingdom of God is at hand.” (Mk. 1:15) The Holy Spirit constantly challenges us to change what is sinful in our lives.
- CONFESS! Equally important is the Sacrament of Confession! When we have fallen into sin, one of the key operations of the Holy Spirit is to beckon us back to God through Sacramental Confession. The devil will attempt to paralyze us with fear.
- RECONCILE! Upon hurting another by word, action, omission, or even silence, the Holy Spirit is intent upon mending the breach through an act of reconciliation. This demands humility of heart. The Holy Spirit will inspire you to take the first step on the path to reconciliation.
- SERVE! Jesus said: “The Son of man has not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life in ransom for many.” (Mt 20:28) The Holy Spirit will inspire in us noble sentiments of service. When an opportunity presents itself in our lives, the Holy Spirit will inspire us to leave our comfort zone and serve the needy and suffering who are present and waiting for our helping hand.
- ENCOURAGE! The bad spirit is the Accuser, ready to condemn people and tear them down. The Holy Spirit will often move you to say a word of encouragement to the downtrodden, to lift up the fallen sometimes with something as simple as a gentle smile for the forlorn and abandoned. The Holy Spirit will inspire and encourage us to be a modern BARNABUS—meaning, Son of Encouragement. Accept the challenge!
- AVOID THROWING IN THE TOWEL! The expression throw in the towel is a term used in sports which means to simply give up the fight, abandon the struggle, call it quits! The Holy Spirit will often inspire us not to give up when all seems bleak, when the skies are cloudy, the mist is thick, and the sun is hidden. If you like, the Holy Spirit and His inspiration will inspire us in this way: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” When Jesus died on the cross, it seemed to the Apostles that for all intents and purposes, Jesus’ mission ended, fait accompli—done deal! But no! Jesus returned to console them and encourage them not to give up, but to hang in there and trust Him all the more! When all seems lost, do not be surprised if the Holy Spirit inspires you to try again and to trust in God’s power! As the Psalmist expresses it: “Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.” (Ps 124:8)
- SEEK ADVICE! In retrospect, looking back at our lives, how many of us regret certain decisions and actions that marked our lives in the wrong way leaving indelible scars or wounds? If only we had sought and asked for advice, those wrong thoughts resulting in wrong decisions and actions would have never have become a reality!!! The Holy Spirit will often inspire us to seek advice when we do not have clarity on a topic or issue at hand. This demands humility, the recognition that we do not know the answer to everything; to be honest, we do not know the answer to most things. A humble request for timely advice can prevent future tragedies!
- OUR LADY—TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT! The Holy Spirit cannot help inspiring us to call out to His Mystical Spouse, the Blessed Virgin Mary! Saint Louis de Montfort, author of the Marian classic on Consecration, True Devotion to Mary, asserts: “Those who love Mary, the Holy Spirit flings Himself into their souls.”
We hope and pray for all that by being open and attentive to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, you will experience greater peace and joy in your lives, a steady growth in holiness, long life and eternal life. Mary, Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit, help us to be open, to listen and to respond!