This picture captivates me.
Surefooted and powered by the swing of her arms, young Margaret walks into Our Lady of Lourdes on Pentecost and proclaims the Good News of the Gospel.
She is not lukewarm.
She has great potential for holiness.
Like Margaret, we too have power and great potential for holiness and Jesus makes it clear that this power comes from the Holy Spirit. When God poured out His spirit upon His people, that included you, and in baptism the Holy Spirit took up residence within you.
Deeply rooted in the Bible, the Holy Spirit appeared in Genesis as a mighty wind. In Sunday’s homily, Fr. Leonardo referred to the Holy Spirit as “the breath of God. The Catechism teaches us that “the Holy Spirit is the first to awaken faith in us”. (CCC 684) Jesus tells us the Holy Spirit is our Advocate, that “He will teach you everything and remind you of all that I (Jesus) have told you”. (John 14:26)
That said, we must constantly remember to let our Advocate in. Revelation 3:20 teaches that “He stands at the door and knocks. If anyone hears His voice and opens the door, then He will enter”. As meaningful as that scripture is, it gets even better when we learn that He “intercedes for us”. (Romans 8:27) Have you ever considered that the Holy Spirit searches your heart? Prays and intercedes to the Father for you? Now that is a door I want WIDE open.
Perhaps the prayer of Saint Augustine can be a good reminder for us to include the Holy Spirit in our day:
“Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy”.
Just like Mary always points us to her Son, the Holy Spirit’s work in us should point us (and others) to Christ. You have been gifted with a Kingdom purpose, and divinely equipped to carry it out. When tired or discouraged, call on the Holy Spirit and fortify yourself with the graces of the Sacraments.
“Allow yourself to be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit. What does this mean in daily life? It has often been pointed out that when a glass is filled with water there is room for nothing else; the water is in full possession of the glass. It is the same with us and the Spirit; to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to give Him full possession of our lives. We cannot rest on one experience of the Spirit, but need to be filled again and again, because we leak badly”. – Thomas Tarrants, C.S. Lewis Institute
I want to thank you for the ways you have led me to holiness by your example, mentorship and witness to the Holy Spirit. Nothing beats the feeling of walking into the Church on Sunday morning and being so warmly greeted by you, my Lourdes family. May we, like Margaret, walk confidently in God’s kingdom with an attitude that resounds: Come Holy Spirit.