As a young adult, newly introduced to the career world, I am often finding myself still asking those big 'life questions'. Even adults who are settled still go through moments of trial and tribulation. As humans we are ever-changing, ever-moving. Our hearts are in state of daily conversion to God's will for our lives. We are Christians living in the world but truly belonging to another, and thus need to be moving everyday toward heaven. Christ gave us the Holy Spirit as a powerful tool to help us reach that ultimate goal.
God sent down the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The men and women who received it were filled with a burning love and fervor to live as followers of Christ. Through the Spirit’s gifts, our Church grew. Lives were changed by the faithful acts of the disciples.
We also are called to use this gift of the Spirit to live as transformative Christians, day-in and day-out. The Holy Spirit is always at work in our lives. It was our gift from God in Baptism and was strengthened in us at Confirmation. How the Spirit manifests itself in our lives is unique to each individual and we can use it to build up the Kingdom of God. The Spirit’s work in our lives does not need to be a show of grandeur and awe. It often seems quite the opposite. The Spirit guides us to live our ordinary lives with extraordinary love. When we recognize the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we bring ourselves and those around us closer to heaven.
Where can you start? Here are a few pointers for receiving our Helper each day:
Humble Beginnings - Just as humility is the foundation of prayer, it is also the foundation of receiving and utilizing God’s graces through the Spirit. We must be able to die to self and ask God for help. Knowing that we cannot do it all on our own, and recognizing that the Heavenly Father will grant us the desires of our heart lays the ground work. As Christians, we must surrender our need for control in exchange for God’s ever-loving guidance.
Calling for Help - Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right words to say in troubling situations, but thankfully the Holy Spirit can be a great advocate there. If confronted with any anxious situation, simply ask, “Holy Spirit grant me the right words to say. Help me to bring Christ to this person.” Taking a moment to step back and ask God to pour grace into a conflict may be all that you need! If you are asking for God’s help to be Christ to someone, would He not send you reassurance, clarity, and strength? God loves to help His children. He grants them what they ask for, if it is best for their soul.
Saintly Guidance - In a similar way, one can use the Saints when in a dilemma. Ask yourself, “What would a saint do in this situation?” What great models the saints are for us to strive for heaven! They lived in such a loving way, with eyes fixed on heaven. By following in their footsteps, we are taking steps each day closer to heaven.
Making any choice, big and small, can be a challenge. Whether we are young or old, we are constantly discerning God’s will for our daily lives. We will always desire to know God deeper until the day we reach heaven. Working toward that beatific vision, we humbly ask God to send His Spirit into our hearts and guide us in bringing others to Him. When the lowly ask for help, the Lord will send his Spirit down upon them like the dewfall. The more we conform our hearts and wills to Christ, the more we will grow in joy and change the hearts around us.
Take my heart, and form it.
Take my mind, transform it.
Take my will, conform it
To Yours, to Yours, Oh Lord.