Chapter 9 – The Sanctifier

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!

About Fanning The Flame

FTF is a 125th Anniversary Journey of Faith of the Diocese of Belleville through the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults.
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4 Responses to Chapter 9 – The Sanctifier

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  3. wth3 says:

    As one who prepares children (PSR) and adults (RCIA) for the sacrament of Confirmation, the Holy Spirit is an essential topic. In my own spiritual development, it is the Spirit who is most prominent for me. The earthly presence of God is found in all things and I try my best to look for the “action” of the Spirit in my everyday life. Since I’ve chosen this perspective, I have drawn closer to God, my Church, and my faith. The ripples of grace produced from our works are the fruits of our faith. \
    I am especially drawn to the image of the Holy Spirit as breath. I’m reminded of an interpretation of the Jewish word for God, “Yahweh”, and how saying it in a soft, breathy manner, makes a firmer connection to the Spirit for me.
    “Come, Holy Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth!”
    Those words are not of an event to come-but, of God’s work in our present lives as we attempt the creation of God’s Kingdom.

  4. Laurie E. says:

    I agree about being drawn to the image of the Holy Spirit as breath! One of my favorite hymns is “Breath on Me, Breath of God.” In fact, after my mom’s death from her lungs no longer functioning and unable to draw a breath of air, it was this song that we had printed on her memorial card. It is precisely the breath of God, the breath that is the Holy Spirit, that gives us new life, for this life, building the Kingdom, and into eternal life. (v.3… May it be so, Fan the Flame!)

    “Breathe on Me, Breath of God”

    1. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Fill me with life anew,
    That I may love what Thou dost love,
    And do what Thou wouldst do.

    2. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Until my heart is pure,
    Until my will is one with Thine,
    To do and to endure.

    3. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Till I am wholly Thine,
    Until this earthly part of me
    Glows with Thy fire divine.

    4. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    So shall I never die,
    But live with Thee the perfect life
    Of Thine eternity.

    Lyrics: Edwin Hatch

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