Allow the Spirit

Pope Francis, in his document Gaudete et Exsultate, encourages us to allow the Spirit into our lives that we might “be saints for God’s greater glory” (no. 177).  Below are a few quotes I found to be powerful departures for contemplation on this Solemnity of Pentecost.

Every saint is a message which the Holy Spirit takes from the riches of Jesus Christ and gives to his people (no. 21).

Always ask the Spirit what Jesus expects from you at every moment of your life and in every decision you must make so as to discern its place in the mission you have received (no. 23).

Allow the Spirit to forge in you the personal mystery that can reflect Jesus Christ in today’s world (no. 23).

Do not be afraid to set your sights higher, to allow yourself to be loved and liberated by God. Do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. Holiness does not make you less human, since it is an encounter between your weakness and the power of God’s grace (no. 34).

Holiness is also parrhesía: it is boldness, an impulse to evangelize and to leave a mark in this world. To allow us to do this, Jesus himself comes and tells us once more, serenely yet firmly: “Do not be afraid” (Mk 6:50). “I am with you always, to the end of the world” (Mt 28:20). These words enable us to go forth and serve with the same courage that the Holy Spirit stirred up in the Apostles, impelling them to proclaim Jesus Christ. Boldness, enthusiasm, the freedom to speak out, apostolic fervor, all these are included in the word parrhesía. The Bible also uses this word to describe the freedom of a life open to God and to others (no. 129).

We need…to ask the Holy Spirit to liberate us and to expel the fear that makes us ban him from certain parts of our lives. God asks everything of us, yet he also gives everything to us (no. 175).

God’s love is irreversable

There is an irreversible vulnerability in God’s love that was first expressed “in the beginning” and continues to offer itself over and over again through the history and prophets of Israel, through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, through each of our lives. God’s first offer of love still stands: I will be your God. Will you be my people? (cf. Ezek 37:27).

From the book Cherished by the Lord  

Evening Rituals to Restore Yourself

I have to admit, I usually have at least 20 tabs open in Google Chrome on one of my monitors with eight to ten programs open on the other. I’m switching constantly between online and offline programs to accomplish tasks connected with maintaining a website, digital marketing, or facilitating digital publishing. At the end of the day, my spirit is fragmented into as many splintered pieces as windows that flashed in front of my sight and soul during the day. And of course, there is the token YouTube video, the news, and my favorite blogs.

I’ve spent a lot of time pondering the effect of internet and computer use on the human spirit. If I were out gardening all day I’d probably have other complaints, like a sore back and hurting knees, but being in nature would be healing and whole. Multi-tasking across multiple different platforms in front of a screen doesn’t quite have the same healing effect. Using smartphones and tablets, now so much of our organizational and communication tools can have the same soul-splintering experience if we are not careful to preserve space for our spirit.

One thing I’ve been trying to do is to spend 15 or 20 minutes before I go to bed, in a darkened room, in prayer or reading. Candles or incense awaken my senses to beauty once more. My reflections or conversations with God reconnect me personally to Someone who hears and listens and speaks and touches and tastes and holds and cares. It restores me to myself.

Do you have any small rituals you’ve developed to restore your fragmented or drooping spirit at the end of a long day?

We are the object of God’s delight

God loves us as if we were the center of his universe! We who have died and risen with Christ, we in whom the Son abides, we for whom Jesus answered to his Father with his life and with his death—we are the object of God’s delight. O Love! You wash my feet and tend to my vulnerability every day! Give me eyes to see you.

A Sacred Moment from Cherished by the Lord