Spiritual Reflection 5/26/204

A few years ago, I was reading the paper and I saw a section titled in big bold letters “He Did it His Way”. The article was about a talk show host that retired and how he was so successful through the years because He did it His own way. As Catholics, we are challenged in this because worldly success doesn’t always match up with Christian Success.  

One can be successful in the eyes of the secular world by relying on oneself.  And one can be seen as unsuccessful in the world by relying on God. Though we may tend to rely on ourselves – have we ever thought of what life would be like if we didn’t have to? What if we had a source that we could tap into, a power that slowly transforms us into the person that we are truly meant to be?

In the Gospel today, we are reminded that we do have this power source.  The Holy Spirit. The bond of love between God the Father and God the Son.  He is their gift to us. The Holy Spirit gives us new life, new power.  All of us who have been baptized and confirmed have received the fullness of grace of the Holy Spirit, but sometimes we don’t know this.

There is an old analogy about receiving the Holy Spirit, but not knowing it. It is like we have a glass of milk and we want to make chocolate milk. What do we do? We take chocolate syrup and squeeze and squeeze it into the milk.  After that, we may have an inch of chocolate at the bottom of the glass. So, what is it now? It is white milk with chocolate just sitting on the bottom. When we were baptized and confirmed, God filled us and poured into us His Holy Spirit, but sometimes that Spirit just sits there.  We may not have allowed ourselves to be stirred up into a flame. Like what we have to do to make chocolate milk – we have to stir it up.

So how do we allow God to stir up the Spirit in our lives? The only true way we can do this and engage in this new life is by surrendering ourselves to the Holy Spirit. It is both as simple and as difficult as that. Every day we need to pray to the Holy Spirit, “I will do whatever you want” and mean it, or “Send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

But Surrendering to the Holy Spirit is frightening, because it means giving up control. It means doing things even though we can’t connect all of the dots at first. It means being vulnerable and it is tough to be vulnerable. But when we learn to surrender, there will be opportunities that He will give us over and over again in our lives.  Opportunities that give us chances to rely on Him.  And the more we engage in those opportunities, the more we will know that they are from God and that He is doing the heavy lifting. Then we will have more confidence in Him.  We will start to learn how trustworthy and how loving He is. So, our challenge is to let the Holy Spirit be stirred into us, and to pray for this each day.

And then – our job is to get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit use us to bring people to Himself. And when we do that, people will see us on fire knowing that we are doing it His way!!!