Acquiring power through the Spirit

June 23, 2015 at 7:03 pm Leave a comment

by Jackie Pau, June 5, 2015


When I attended ICPE Mission’s Pastoral Counselling School in Bangalore in 2003 I was initiated into the charismatic way of Praise & Worship. It was alien and uncomfortable, especially for the control freak in me. What is with this babbling in tongues business? What’s the point of this charismatic gift, especially since you cannot understand a word of it?Then I began to feel left out because everybody had the gift but me. I wanted to be able to express prayer directly from my heart, bypassing my cognitive abilities. I wanted to feel the oneness with the Spirit and the personal edification that comes from speaking in tongues. Instead, all I could do was stay silent while everyone else was participating spiritedly (pun intended), and with great joy during Praise & Worship. Because I desired the gift, E prayed over me before I left India and not long after, I received the gift of tongues.Since then, the gift of tongues and other subsequent gifts* have helped me live in the Spirit so that I have a living and meaningful relationship with this last person of the Trinity who is very often overlooked.

Last weekend (fittingly on Trinity Sunday), the Woman to Woman Ministry conducted our own Woman in the Spirit Seminar (a condensed version of the Life in the Spirit Seminar) and it was an intense but amazing time. More than just about receiving the gifts of the Spirit, it was a time of reflection, sharing, fellowship, and focusing on a deepening of my relationship with the Father, the Son and, of course, the Holy Spirit.

A question I had asked in Bangalore years back was how do I know that God is speaking to me? Twelve years later I can say I know that God speaks to me, and it is most concretely through the Holy Spirit. He is my Counsellor, Comforter, Teacher and Helper. He is wisdom, truth, holiness and all impulses good.

Perhaps my SD put it best. He said it is the Father who initiates, our Creator who first loved us; Jesus the Son is the performer of miracles, the action guy who brings us to the Father; and the Holy Spirit is the power or the driving force behind our every good action.

Through the answers of my sisters at the retreat, it is clear that God speaks to us in many different ways, but the only way each of us can truly hear Him is if we avoid sin which causes a deadening of one’s spiritual senses and sensibilities (as the beatitude goes blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God), and we offer Him the time and space to speak to us in prayer.

The acid test, as A emphasized, is when the Holy Spirit becomes our first love, the one we turn to when life deals us hard knocks or devilish questions. He is the one we go to whether it is for commiseration and consolation, or with jubilation and gratitude.

Miracles happen every day. Signs and wonders abound. The question is, do we have the eyes of faith to see them? Do we have the heart of faith to give thanks and rejoice? Do we have the mind and strength of faith to be transformed in order to love our neighbour as ourselves?

Do we ask our Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to make the impossible happen when we are faced with our fears and surrounded by enemies? He has the power.  We have the power, through Him, by virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation for He lives within us. Do we exercise that power frequently, judiciously and effectively in our lives?

The Per Ipsum** in the Eucharistic Prayer reminds us at every Eucharistic celebration that the Holy Spirit is the one who helps us unite with the Father and the Son, and give glory to God. Through Him, with Him and in Him, let us lead lives that testify to the world that God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is with us, and walks among us, closer than we think.

*  From 1 Corinthians 12:4-11: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

**  Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father, forever and ever. 

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Baby talk = Spirit speak EVOLUTION’S ULTIMATE WISDOM

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