Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Fr. Chuck's Column, June 4, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Pentecost is traditionally seen as the Birthday of the Church, and since we all together are the Church, it is our Birthday. 
Birthdays mean GIFTS! So the gift we receive is of course the Holy Spirit. We received the Holy Spirit at our Baptism, at our Confirmation, at our Marriage if we are married, at our Ordination if we are a deacon or priest, anytime we have received the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and anytime we have celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). 
But these are not the only times we receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is, theologically speaking, kind of loosey-goosey. Jesus tells us “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
This means we cannot control the Spirit. We cannot even predict what the Spirit will do or where or who the Spirit will manifest itself next. I find this very refreshing, because our spiritual life must never be routine. We must always be open to being surprised by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit may bring consolations and comforts we did not expect, or the Spirit may bring us challenges, changes of direction, whole new prospects we did not foresee, nor expect, nor probably want. One thing the Holy Spirit certainly is not is boring!
In my own case, as an example, I grew up wanting to be an attorney. But the Holy Spirit called and led me to priesthood. It was unexpected, and ever since it has been anything but routine or boring. 

So enjoy your Birthday as the Church. Pray for the gifts and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Then hang on for the ride!  

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