During Lent we will reflect on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit which are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They are based on Isaiah 11:2-3 : The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord.“
Jesus possesses the gifts in their fullness, but they are freely given to each of us by the Holy Spirit, but as is true of all gifts, we must accept them and let them work in our lives. The lyrics of a well known hymn by Daniel Iverson, Spirit of the Living God, reminds of of how the Spirit works in our lives if we open ourselves to Him.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
If we open ourselves to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, they will change our lives and make us channels of God’s grace. They will gives us the tools to discern God’s will for us and the strength to persevere. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” (CCC 1830) Christianity is counter cultural in today’s world. It is from the Holy Spirit that we draw the strength to sustain us in faith and in hope.
But the Spirit can be suppressed. The oldest document in the New Testament, Paul’s first letter to the Church at Thessalonica, cautions against “quenching the Spirit.” (1 Thess 5:19) We quench or suppress the Spirit most often by neglect rather than rejecting Him. In our busy and often chaotic lives, it is very easy to let God slip away.
In our lives the Holy Spirit is always present, but God does not force Himself upon us. Think of the electric current in your home. It is capable of many wonderful things, but unless it is turned on it remains only a potential. If you do not flip a switch…nothing happens.
Thru His Gifts the Holy Spirit can do wonderful things in our lives, but we must “flip the switch.”
In the next few blogs during Lent we will take a look at the individual Gifts of the Holy Spirit
This post is also available in/Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish