Hard as Nails Ministries
Encountering the Spirit-Gift Unwrapped

Encountering the Spirit-Gift Unwrapped

By:  Maria Vitale February 5, 2021
#AmazingNation, #Faith, #God, #Strength , #Wisdom

About a year ago, if you had talked about having a deep relationship with the Holy Spirit and how He affects your life daily, etc. I would be either lukewarm or very guarded, even skeptical. This might sound really weird for a Catholic (or maybe not so weird, depending on how you were raised) but I never knew much about the Holy Spirit, so when people would talk about Him, I would brush them off as being either over-the-top or having misconceptions. And let’s be honest, a lot of people are over-the-top and do have misconceptions about who the Third Person is and how He works. But one thing I did know is that I knew almost nothing, and that’s no bueno. Yeah, you memorize the gifts of the Holy Spirit to prepare for Confirmation, and if you help out with VBS, you learn to memorize the biblical list of His fruits- I can still recite these to you to this day. If I sing the Fruits, it’s in a kid’s voice- but I knew that there was a great ignorance of who He is and what His role is that I needed to amend.

This past Summer, I came across a small book that we’ve owned forever, and I was familiar with the author. We had many of his little books, and any that I had read of his had had a great effect on me. I also knew him to be very learned and solid, so I decided to read it. Homieeee. #lifechanging #gamechanger #wherehaveyoubeenallmylife (Okay, I’m done.) Did it provide a fully integrated and comprehensive study on Him? No, it’s a small ‘lil book. Are all my questions answered? No, not really. Nor am I speaking in tongues now or healing people in the streets in the name of Jesus, but I have a greater love and respect for this Holy Presence, and that’s enough to take a person places. Honestly, that’s the whole point of our existence anyway. Not to work great wonders, but to love God more perfectly.

Fr. Sullivan, the author, basically expounded on the fact (for a chapter or two at least) that as long as you are in the state of grace, you are a temple of the Holy Spirit. I had heard this often growing up, but it was like, “yeah, yeah, I get it, I’m a temple of the Holy Spirit,” and he was like, “No, you don’t get it. He is just as present in you as Jesus is in the tabernacle. That’s how present He is. You should spend time in adoration of the Holy Ghost within you.” Reading that and having it sink in was a whole new world. The fact that we have the Holy Spirit within us at every moment we are in the state of grace is revolutionary. We are never alone, we are never without joy, we are never without peace- these are within us and we can draw on them at any time.

If we have the deep misfortune of losing Him through sin, then knowing that we have lost this powerful Companion can make us more eager to repent to regain Him. He’s always there to guide our words when we don’t know how to respond to someone, and He’s always there to strengthen us and inspire us; all we need to do is be open and let Him take control. Prayers to the Holy Spirit that I’ve recited before are now prayed with the heart, and I’ve even prayed personally to Him since then, a devotion which I had never cared to get into before; and I’ve noticed Him answer my prayers. It’s kind of like a gift that’s been under your Christmas tree forever, you just finally open it. (In a nutshell, I highly recommend the book, and I hope even reading some of this is a game-changer for you.)

(Quick story on His help, ‘cause stories are always fun.) Just the other day, I was driving over to hang out with my friends, some of whom are Protestants. We’re all very much into our faiths, and because of this, God comes up often, in ways that we agree upon and in ways that we don’t. Unfortunately, we don’t often get into deep theological discussions, even though we love them, I think because we have that denominational divide, and it could become a bit awkward. This is a bummer because I’m hopeful for their conversion and love to speak on the faith, either educationally or conversationally. So on the way over, I prayed to the Holy Spirit for a lot of things, but basically that He would guide me and give me His words.

(I wanted to be courageous in my conversation and have no spiritual regrets.) Upon arriving, I found that I was the only girl who showed up and the only Catholic. Plot twist. I was outnumbered three to one, but the conversation that evening was: Awesome and VERY theological. We discussed Catholicism, what some of them believed as Calvinists, who God is/His attributes, the way the devil manipulates good things- it was just the best. Our get together that evening was not the usual experience, and I’m sure The Holy Spirit was to thank for that. He definitely came through on my petitions, and I trust that He also planted some seeds to eventually bring them into the fullness of Faith.

The point is, the Holy Spirit chooses to make His dwelling in us, and He does it for a reason. We can’t let this priceless gift go to waste. Call on Him, surrender to Him, let Him work through you, and watch Him do great things for the Kingdom. Any gift we have is for the Kingdom, after all.

If interested, the book is titled, “The Holy Spirit, Our Greatest Friend: He Who Loves Us Best” by Rev. Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, O.P. ($3.00 from Tan Books)

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About the Author Maria Vitale


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