Teaching on the Holy Spirit

Given during a retreat on 5/18/02

Part One

 

Today we gather to give honor and glory to God.  Today I have been asked to speak to you about the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity.  It is my honor to do so.

We will begin at the point after Baptism when we decide for ourselves to reach for our God.  The Holy Spirit has been with us since we put our toes into the water and decided for God.  Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can’t even form well the desire to convert.  He gives us the inspiration, He keeps giving us the little nudges which we look at and say ‘I really need to change’.  So he begins that with us, but for some reason, the Third Person of the Trinity is the hardest to understand, or come into a very close relationship with.  It is true for everybody, but once the relationship is formed, it’s like being at the top of a hill and turning around and seeing that you were never without Him the whole time, but as you’re progressing, you don’t see Him.

About three weeks ago, I was praying and it was one of those moments when the Holy Spirit showed me as if looking into a very clear glass and you can see how things have been and you can see how they can be because of this relationship.  So I said ‘O Holy One, please let me be able to share with others what you are showing me.’  Well, less than a week later I was told this is what I was going to get to do, so I was very happy to do that, but then I asked Him how I go about doing this, because I went for years going to conferences and they would speak of the Holy Spirit and I would walk out, I knew a lot, and I felt nothing.  So I prayed and prayed and said ‘You are really going to have to help me with this, otherwise it’s just going to be words.’ 

I would like to pray one prayer before we start.  It’s a very old prayer that is used in the Eastern Church, but it is from the very first century.

 

O, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fill all things, Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life, come and dwell within us.  Cleanse us of all stain and save our souls, O Thou gracious Lord.

 

When I was taught in grade school about the Holy Spirit, they said He was the Third Person of the Trinity, and then began to speak of Him as ‘It’.  ‘It’ is a dove, ‘It’ is a light, ‘It’ is a rainbow, ‘It’ is fire, and promptly at that age you stop recognizing the Holy Spirit as a person and He became a thing and not a person.  They never said to us, in a way that I could understand, that He is Love.  They never explained to me what Love was.  Again, it was things that you did for other people, or God did for us, but they never said what Love was, or Who Love was because Love is not an ‘It’.  Love is a Person, it is our Thrice Holy God.  Love is Life.  Love is a heat and a warmth that penetrates all living things and makes all things burst with beauty.  All the attributes of God filter through the Eternal Love.  All He has created was one spontaneous burst of Love.  He perseveres us in this Love.  When He says He in dwells within us, we are indwelled with a living Being, and when we indwell in Him, it is persons together in a relationship that can’t be broken. 

What God planned for His children was to learn to live His Way.  The Lord said ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’.  We were to begin from day one walking in the Way of God so that when we pass to Him at death, physical life bursts into true Life.  We melt into the Eternal Love, but somehow our understanding becomes fragmented.  There is only one God, but three Persons.  All have the same attributes infinitely, but each Person does show forth certain attributes in a greater way when they deal with us although it is infinitely being done and only one God is doing it.  The Holy Spirit heard my prayer and said ‘First tell them I am Love.’  He teaches us; He is a Teacher.  He begins teaching us the Ways of God and to recognize God in our life.  He is the One that is constantly focusing our attention.  Even those who are in the world, every once in a while get zapped by the Holy Spirit in ways that they have to turn around and look at things differently.  He gives us strength.  We never think of that because He is made to seem somewhat willy-nilly.  He is always described as the gentle One, the One Who works in silence, and He does, but Love is a red-hot flame; it’s a white flame - that is the kind of love that God is.  It melts everything.  He fills us and melts us and molds us.  Remember the song ‘He melts us and molds us’?  He melts all the garbage that we fill ourselves with; He cleanses us and then He takes us and, if we are willing to allow Him, He begins to mold and shape us into the creature that He created us to be.

At the last Intrepid meeting, we started the young adults with the three first questions in the Catechism.  ‘Who made me?  Who is God?  Why did He make me?’  Those are the three questions that we all have to deal with in our life.  It is the three questions that every human being on this earth ask themselves.  If there is not someone greater than myself, and if there is not a reason for this life, then life is a cruel joke.  That’s where the despair that is filling the earth is coming from, because they don’t know where to go to answer their questions.

The Holy Spirit teaches us.  He teaches us to believe; He teaches us to trust.  All the ups and downs that happen to us each day, all the trials that enter our lives and the sorrows that come our way are really lessons, and if God was not holding us, wrapped around us, we would not survive a lot of the trial that come our way, but out of every trial good will come if we allow God to show us what the good is.  You cannot despair if you understand that God is Good, God is always Good.  This is what the Holy Spirit teaches us and He teaches us to trust in that and when we can trust in it, then we can truly place ourselves in the Father’s Hands and let Him move us where we need to go on our journey because we are pilgrims in this world.  We are told that over and over again; ‘You do not belong in this world.  The earth and everything in it is beautiful, but what we call the world no Christian is a part of.  We are pilgrims moving from point A to get to point B.  God gave us this time and all the good things on the earth to come to know, love and serve Him.  In coming to know, love and serve Him, which is what the Holy Spirit teaches us how to do, we become whole in ourselves.  We become what God created us to be before we started throwing all the mud within ourselves through sin; what the world throws at us that we aren’t responsible for but does affect us.  Even the little things in our life from the time we are born, the time we first start school, how other children treat us, what our parents say to us, what they don’t say to us, how a teacher will react to you, all this filters into you, and it guides how you are formed, but when you can learn to abandon to God, this the Holy Spirit begins removing, healing.  That is where spiritual, mental and physical healing comes from.  Now all things are not going to be cured instantly.  Not all things are going to be taken from you because some crosses are lessons, some crosses are your way to salvation; without them you may not reach salvation.  I have told several of the groups, when you’re praying for people to be cured from cancer, from all these things that are horrible, be careful what you are praying for.  Always pray that God’s Will is being done because this may be their salvation or the salvation of their family members and if that cross were to be taken away, where would they be, where would they end up?  So it is not always charity to demand, it is charity to ask.  Some go to Fatima, to Lourdes, to every healing service, and become disappointed and angry with God every time the healing doesn’t happen.  That is not being a child of God because you are not trusting the Father to do what is good.  If it were not efficacious for this to be happening at this moment, He would immediately take it away because He would never put on our shoulders something that was not of some value.  We would not do that to our children and He is the Perfect Father, but sometimes the answer is ‘You have to carry this for a while’ and sometimes the answer is ‘This is what is going to get you your crown in Heaven.’  Your crown comes in how you say Father, I believe, I trust, I abandon; blessed be Your Will.  When you can hold that in your heart, and you’re not going to hold it all the time because you have your good days and your bad days, but when you can turn around and say Father, blessed be your will, you’re well on your spiritual journey because you’ve learned to allow the Holy Spirit to strengthen, to hold you to the Trinity.