By Nimmi Candappa
We live in a time when we have many aids to help us when we are unsure of something and need an answer. Most of us would be lost without the ability to ‘Google’ the answer to many a question that pops up at the dinner table, board meeting or when helping children with their homework. Many of us would remember being allowed “cheat sheets” during exams, notes we could bring along to prod us towards the correct answers. Some of us might even be blessed in having a special mentor in our lives who can advise and direct or encourage us when we are unsure of ourselves. Yet, we might forget that all of us have been given the supreme Guide in the Holy Spirit, Who is ever ready to guide, inspire and prod us through the challenges of life.
Among last Sunday’s readings, for the feast of Pentecost, we heard the words “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit”. That is, the conviction of our faith, depends on the Holy Spirit. How deeply we believe in God, in the crucified Christ, in the resurrection – and how deeply we believe we have a ready Source of help wherever we need it – depends on the Holy Spirit. If you are anything like me though, we pray to the Father and to Jesus, but do not seem to have a great attachment to the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, St Eugene refers to the Spirit as the “object of so many saintly people’s prayers” and speaks of the “indescribable spiritual experiences” that he has received through the Holy Spirit. He notes the powerful help and the resolve that he has received through the Spirit.
What would our lives be like if we had a Spiritual Google, ready to direct us towards the answers we seek? How much would our faith grow if we had a Spiritual personal trainer or mentor, encouraging us to stay focussed on the important aspects of life, urging us to be our best self every day, reminding us of the Power we have inside us to resist being a spiritual couch potato?
What do we need to better access the help the Holy Spirit offers us? We are reminded that the Holy Spirit comes as a gentle breeze, as a hovering dove and a flame of fire. Speaking to us in our quiet reflective moments, hovering over us ready to help and willing to point out the needs of those around us, and enflaming us with a confidence to do acts of greatness well beyond our capacity.
In the next fortnight, we might aim to speak daily to the Spirit. In the same way we readily go online for information, and invest in developing a rapport with a mentor, let us see the Spirit as a source of help and invest the time to grow in relationship with the Holy Spirit.