We described the goal of journeying along through Fanning the Flame as one spiritual renewal during this anniversary year for the diocese. For all involved it is hope to be a deepening of the lifelong goal of ongoing conversion of hearts and minds to lives of holiness and eternal life. It is the Holy Spirit who helps us along that journey of conversion to a life of holiness (sanctification). How does He accomplish this? … For starters, the Catechism teaches that He makes present for us the mystery of God through opening our minds, and through the Eucharist. He builds up and animates the Church, drawing us into communion with God and equipping us with gifts that we may bear fruit.
How is this going for you? Are there ever ways that we present obstacles to this work of the Holy Spirit? Do we trust him to work his purpose?
I ask because I know there have been times when I think it is up to me to make myself (or still more presumptuously, the small corner where I am in the Church) holy, when the real thing I need to do is get out of the way and “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Getting out of the way may mean I need to let go of pettiness, or unforgiveness, or bickering, or presuming people’s intentions rather than giving the benefit of the doubt, or wounds that I keep returning to … I have (just like everyone else) this profound dignity that I am invited to live up to; and that the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, wants to help me live up to. Lent is a good time for me to consider what obstacles there are in my life preventing a free flow of the Spirit. What is occupying the space (or a better image: clogging the flow – because it isn’t a one time filling!) where I am to “Receive the Holy Spirit?”
As to the Church … I know that the Church is already holy (because Christ is holy) in much the same way that every person has inherent dignity by having been created in the image of God – it is there, though it can be hidden. I am challenged to ask, “Is there anything I bring to her that contributes to the obscuring of her holiness?” For all of us, the same things that hinder us from living fully up to our dignity can obscure the holiness of the Church and hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and as witnesses of Jesus Christ to the world around us. (Laurie E.)
“Veni Sancte Spiritus!” — Renew the face of your Church!