Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8th Lk. 11: 5-13 “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
The Prologue of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Part IV, No. 14) confirms “our baptismal faith in the one God: the almighty Father, the Creator; his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior; and the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, in the Holy Church.
At the Last Supper, Jesus said to the Apostles:
“Very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (Jn. 16:7) “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (Jn. 16:12)
St. Paul to the Romans:
“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Rom. 8:12-18)
In today’s Gospel, Jesus assures us that the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. Two very important questions: 1) Have we asked the Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit? 2) Do we know how to listen for and respond to the Inspirations of the Holy Spirit? This will be our very important meditation today!
RESPONDING TO INSPIRATIONS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
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, that which is holy.
PROBLEM: RESISTANCE! Arriving at the heart of the matter is the word RESISTANCE. Ever active in the lives of the saints, the Holy Spirit often inspires, but we can resist. By resist we mean this: simply to say NO or to reject 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, but 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 our heart, but if we fail to open the door, like a true Gentleman, He will leave. He will always respect our free will.
SILENCE. Bombarded by countless noises—cars, motorcycles, radio, T.V., planes overhead, all of this militates against the 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, lightning, or earthquake. Rather, he encountered God in the silence and a whispering breeze.
GOOD VIBES, BAD VIBES! The younger generation speaks about vibes. They might say that this person transmits good vibes or bad vibes. We live in a world bombarded by many noises which militate against picking up inspirations. Still, there are the good vibes and the bad vibes. One comes from the Holy Spirit and the other from the devil. Every inspiration isn’t necessarily a good inspiration. It is up to us to have proper discernment so we can reject the bad and receive the good.
COMMON INSPIRATIONS. The following are 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, and pray, and then apply these to your life.
INSPIRATIONS FROM THE GOOD SPIRIT: LISTEN AND FOLLOW…
1. PRAYER… Known under the title of The Interior Master of Prayer, the Holy Spirit gently, but insistently beckons us to pray. Listen and obey!!!
2. SACRIFICE! The Holy Spirit will often challenge us to give up something we like so as to 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)
3. 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.
4. 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 a good Sacramental Confession. The devil, on the other hand, will try to paralyze us with fear.
5. 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 us to take the first step on the path to reconciliation.
6. 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 exit our comfort zone and serve the needy and suffering who are present and waiting for our helping hand.
7. ENCOURAGE. The bad spirit is the Accuser, ready to condemn and tear down. The Holy Spirit will often move us to say a word of encouragement to the downtrodden, to lift up the fallen, sometimes with something as simple as a gentle smile to the forlorn and abandoned. The Holy Spirit will inspire and encourage us to be a modern BARNABAS—meaning, Son of Encouragement. Accept the challenge!
8. AVOID THROWING IN THE TOWEL. The expression throwing in the towel is a term used in sports meaning to simply give up the fight, to abandon the struggle, to call it quits! The Holy Spirit will often inspire us not to give up when all seems bleak, the skies are cloudy, the mist is thick, and the sun has set. The Holy Spirit will inspire us in this way: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” After Jesus died, for the Apostles, for all intents and purposes, it seemed to be over, fait complit—a done deal! But no! Jesus returned to console and encourage them not to give up, but to hang in there and trust in Him all the more. When all seems lost, do not be surprised if the Holy Spirit inspires us to try again and 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)
9. SEEK ADVICE! How many of us regret, looking at our lives in retrospect, some decisions and actions that marked our lives in the wrong way leaving indelible scars or wounds? If only we were to have sought and asked for advice, those wrong thoughts, resulting in wrong decisions and actions, would never have become a reality!!! The Holy Spirit will often inspire us to seek advice when we do not have clarity on the topic or the issue at hand. This demands humility, the recognition that we do not know the answers to everything; to be honest, we do not know the answer to most things. A humble request for timely advice can prevent future tragedies!
10. OUR LADY—TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. The Holy Spirit will always inspire 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 that all will be open and attentive to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. If done, 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 to all the inspirations of the Holy Spirit!
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin Mary
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA