Worth Revisiting: The Coming of the Spirit

This past weekend, my son attended Steubenville East for the second year and joined thousands of teens from all over the New England area. Though I wasn’t chaperoning this time, I was still praying for all who were there attending.. for the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit!

“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues,as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim” Acts 2:1-4

I had always wondered what it would have been like to have been in the upper room. To have been present as the Spirit rushed through filled and imbued with a holy fire to witness the love of Jesus Christ to the world. Courage to proclaim drawn from strength beyond our own united in divine communion with the Trinity and with one another. Here in this place to be overtaken wholly- the recipient and bearer of healing, peace, joy and courage. This weekend, I would wonder no more.

As part of a group of over 100 students and chaperones joining almost 4000 more at Steubenville East, an intense faith immersion youth conference, I anticipated the Spirit’s arrival. Hurried meals, record setting temperatures, lack of sleep and other logistical challenges had affected many that Friday and early Saturday. Yet, as all of this was gathering steam, so was the Holy Spirit in preparation for adoration. And like a tremendous rain cloud that suddenly opens, grace rained down.

I was surprised to see her there- making her way up the stairs of the arena and though I had met her only once before we had instantly connected. Southern by birth, we shared both a love for our childhood home as well as a recognition of a given purpose to bloom where we had been planted. So when in a voice quite clear  I heard the inner prompting  to ask her to sit beside me, I joyfully responded.

Ushered in with upbeat music and guided on by prayer we prepared for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that was to come.Up and down each aisle of the coliseum Christ was processed, stopping momentarily to turn and reveal Him to all surrounding. Seeking healing, desiring intimacy,  hands reached towards, as if to touch the hem of His robe once again. As he drew near, stopping beside us,the light that shone was all encompassing and darkness could not help but surrender. The warmth that flowed permeated every part of my very being, and I felt loved, held and adored.

Suddenly beside me, what began as soft tears moved to a deep profound sobbing. Healing. My beautiful new sister in Christ was being slain in the Spirit. Putting my arms around her I prayed.

“Lord, help console and heal the pain that life has brought her. Help her to feel the magnitude of your love”.

Then, in a grace-filled release of body and soul, she fell backwards into my arms as if floating atop the ocean’s deep waters. Suspended from the past and buoyed by love the hurt that she had felt gave way to peace and a smile that truly radiated from within. Warmth. Though she could hear my prayers, she was in a space almost between worlds awaiting the joy that would come. The gift of laughter. Holy joy, caught her and she laughed- uninhibited by anything around her conversing with the Spirit in words known to God yet unrecognizable to me. The gift of tongues. In utter amazement and gratitude I continued to pray,

“Oh my Lord, you have allowed me to witness this graced moment with her, to see and proclaim your greatness, mercy and love.”

Two and a half hours had passed during this time, all of which were spent on my knees and none of which I felt any pain from. As she came to, she expressed her slight embarrassment for the scene that she imagined others to have glimpsed. “There was nothing you could have done to control any part of it, nor would you have wanted to..it was beautiful!”

“To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues.But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.” 1 Cor. 12:7-11

Peace,

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Worth Revisiting:Lord Send Me

…On Being Chosen and Sent Forth

As a young girl, competitive athletic teams and outdoor events were not my forte. The last or next to last chosen, I waited to hear my name called and then silently prayed that I wouldn’t prove to be a disappointment to whatever team I was put on. That is not to say that I did not recognize that I had abilities, I was just quite aware that my talents lay elsewhere. With a love of singing and dance I had found a home in performing. Yet, with a love of learning, serving and leadership I found other opportunities that called forth the truly unique gifts that I could offer. Imbued within my very soul, I had been chosen, not because of these gifts but to use these gifts.

“Tortosa catedral Huguet Transfiguracio Ascensio” by Jaume Huguet

I have been thinking of this story lately, the closer we move as a Church to celebrating the feast of Pentecost. Jesus who had been with the disciples, impressing upon them that he was alive and present, encouraging each of their gifts, now visibly departed. How would they continue the work begun by Christ with him no longer there to guide? Promised that they would not be left alone, that the Holy Spirit, the Advocate and comforter was to be with them they were being asked to trust and wait.

These last few months have been both exciting and event filled-from the completion of my final integration paper, speaking engagements, meetings on prospective projects and positions, and commencement.  With each of these there has been the need to carve out quiet time to pray, refill and discern where God is leading me to go next. Not wanting to choose unwisely, and thereby make a mistake, this “reformed” perfectionist has been praying in earnest for clarity. Do you see the irony too? Apparently, I am not as reformed as I had thought in fully letting go and trusting the Spirit to lead, though I know the only way forward is by doing just that.

Seeking a path to serve but uncertain precisely of the details or mission, I find that I too am waiting. Surely this is what the disciples felt in the time preceding Pentecost, and even after.

“Lord, please send me. Open my ears and heart to hear your voice, and fill me with the inner peace to tend to those things placed before me today with love, grace and joy. There is much consolation in knowing that you see our inmost being, and though sinners, we too have been chosen and are loved.”

As we look at the horizon, towards each new day, and those impending moments when we are called forth to put these feet in action, let us pray…

“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit
and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.

(For thankfully, you are not finished with us yet…)

May this living flame ignite within you today,

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Lord Send Me

…On Being Chosen and Sent Forth

As a young girl, competitive athletic teams and outdoor events were not my forte. The last or next to last chosen, I waited to hear my name called and then silently prayed that I wouldn’t prove to be a disappointment to whatever team I was put on. That is not to say that I did not recognize that I had abilities, I was just quite aware that my talents lay elsewhere. With a love of singing and dance I had found a home in performing. Yet, with a love of learning, serving and leadership I found other opportunities that called forth the truly unique gifts that I could offer. Imbued within my very soul, I had been chosen, not because of these gifts but to use these gifts.

“Tortosa catedral Huguet Transfiguracio Ascensio” by Jaume Huguet

I have been thinking of this story lately, the closer we move as a Church to celebrating the feast of Pentecost. Jesus who had been with the disciples, impressing upon them that he was alive and present, encouraging each of their gifts, now visibly departed. How would they continue the work begun by Christ with him no longer there to guide? Promised that they would not be left alone, that the Holy Spirit, the Advocate and comforter was to be with them they were being asked to trust and wait.

These last few months have been both exciting and event filled-from the completion of my final integration paper, speaking engagements, meetings on prospective projects and positions, and commencement.  With each of these there has been the need to carve out quiet time to pray, refill and discern where God is leading me to go next. Not wanting to choose unwisely, and thereby make a mistake, this “reformed” perfectionist has been praying in earnest for clarity. Do you see the irony too? Apparently, I am not as reformed as I had thought in fully letting go and trusting the Spirit to lead, though I know the only way forward is by doing just that.

Seeking a path to serve but uncertain precisely of the details or mission, I find that I too am waiting. Surely this is what the disciples felt in the time preceding Pentecost, and even after.

“Lord, please send me. Open my ears and heart to hear your voice, and fill me with the inner peace to tend to those things placed before me today with love, grace and joy. There is much consolation in knowing that you see our inmost being, and though sinners, we too have been chosen and are loved.”

As we look at the horizon, towards each new day, and those impending moments when we are called forth to put these feet in action, let us pray…

“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit
and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.

(For thankfully, you are not finished with us yet…)

May this living flame ignite within you today,

Signature