The Quiet Guidance of the Holy Spirit (May 8, 2016)

The Easter Season comes to an end with this weekend’s celebration of Pentecost. We’ll hear the Word of God telling us that the Spirit is at work in individuals and communities filled with the Spirit. The Spirit guides us into all the truth, renews the face of the earth, and he gives us the fruits of the Spirit.

You’ve heard that before. But I still believe that most of us are not fully aware of how the Spirit is at work in our lives. There’s no rushing wind, speaking in tongues, flames of fire, and so on. It’s no accident that a favorite image of the Spirit is a quiet gentle dove, because that’s how the Spirit works for most of us. Here’s some examples:

  • Desiring to pray.
  • Going to Mass.
  • Thinking “I should say something” or “I should stop in to see Pat.”
  • Volunteering.
  • Straightening a rug so no one trips over it.
  • Calling a cashier or service person by name.
  • Smiling, being cheerful.
  • Biting your tongue and not retorting.
  • Thinking about something you heard in the homily.
  • Listening to others instead of talking about myself.
  • Being upset at injustice or bullying.
  • Thinking things through instead of automatically reacting negatively.
  • Recognizing the part you play in any dispute or argument.
  • Giving to charity.
  • Being patient with a child or elderly person.
  • Feeling your heart or soul wanting to sing.

I could go on and on, but the point is this: you may think you are doing any of the above of your own free will or choice, but in actual fact you have responded to a nudge from the Spirit. Every time you look beyond yourself to the world, to others, to God, every time you have a desire to do something life-giving for others and for yourself (such as prayer), you know that the Spirit is touching you. As a TV commercial says: “It’s just that simple!”

Be God’s smile for someone today!

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