When I was inactive in my faith life, I couldn’t grasp the concept of the Holy Spirit. He wasn’t a ‘Who?’ but a concept. I think I was enlightened when I read Sr Briege McKenna who described the Holy Spirit as like the wind blowing through the trees. You do not see it but you feel the coolness of the breeze and see its effect when the branches sway and the leaves fall.
It wasn’t exactly a ‘eureka’ moment. But it typified something about the experience of the Holy Spirit. He was always ahead on my life path, leading and cajoling; most times my conscious self was unconscious of his presence. But deep in me, I began to feel a presence and to sense the Divine. I cannot touch but was touched.
Often we speak of the fruit of the Spirit; an end result to confirm His works. But in truth the Spirit’s work can be identified in a series of events, perhaps more tellingly in a series of ‘coincidences’. A person’s journey to return to Church may have started by a chanced encounter with a long lost acquaintance. An innocent shallow conversation about being involved in a Church ministry is enough trigger for the Holy Spirit. Curiosity led to an “I don’t know why I did it” moment of googling “coming back to Church”. Holding the fruit and looking back, we realised that it was all mapped out by the Holy Spirit.
The events in our personal life are often inter-linked. A door closing leads to another door opening. A diversion on a planned route lead us into an unfamiliar place. Events conspire to place us in a situation to make decisions we would not otherwise make. Difficult life challenges force us to re-map life’s destination. Eventually we are led into a spiritual environment. We find ourselves at the door of faith.
Often the wind blows to activate our faith life. This is the call of our Creator. Our earthly journey has often taken us to the wrong places but at a point in time the Spirit comes along to reset our compass. It points into the direction of the Father. He cajoles and leads. He is always ahead of us.
We are called to embrace something greater than faith. We are called to transform our life, to change direction and walk down the path of love. This is the Spirit that blows into our life; this lead to love. We can see the Holy Spirit only when we love. “If you love me you will keep my commandments. I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate”.
There are many people who do not know the Holy Spirit. When faith is activated, we are activated into a life of love. Through the actions of love, others who though cannot see, will begin to feel and to experience the work of the Holy Spirit. We play a role in the “coincidences” in the lives of others to facilitate this work.
As the wind blow into the lives of the people around us, let us be the swaying branches and the falling leaves. Let us make visible this Spirit for others through our actions in life. Let us be the wind tunnel for a strong and constant blowing of the Wind.
6th Sunday in Easter
Fr. Angelo Beda Ison, ofm said:
You are such a great writer. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts about the Holy Spirit.
Thank you Fr Angelo. Don’t forget it was you who brought scripture alive for me in a special way!