Dear St. Mary’s on the Lake and Sacred Heart,
It is great to offer a partial welcome back! Something is better than nothing, so even though we have restrictions for resuming Mass, I am glad we can at least start. For those who cannot or don’t feel comfortable yet returning to Mass, please know of our continued prayers for you. We will continue recording Masses for those who can’t be with us in person.
I want to offer congratulations to Deacon John on the 9th anniversary of his ordination on this past May 21st. I am very grateful for all he does for both of our parishes. I am especially grateful for his help in applying for the payment protection program through the Cares act in the midst of this pandemic shutdown. He navigated through many, many emails of requirements and helped us make sure we had all of the proper paperwork in place. His training in the nuclear power industry making sure power plants didn’t have a meltdown equipped him well for handling the first international pandemic in 100 years! He has been a blessing in this time of great uncertainty. Thank you, Deacon John, for your ministry both temporal and spiritual!
This weekend we celebrate Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Apostles and disciples gathered in the upper room. This is the birthday of the Church. What we all need to realize is that the Holy Spirit longs to work in us and through us. God desires to work through us just as He worked in the lives of the Apostles. Never close yourself off from what God can do!
There is an article talking about 10 ways to be open to the Holy Spirit: https://catholicexchange.com/10-ways-open-holy-spirit. I want to highlight three things it suggests:
Acts of the Apostles
Read the book from the Bible, “The Acts of the Apostles.” Written by the Evangelist Saint Luke, this book clearly shows the powerful working of the Holy Spirit in the Apostles—especially Saint Peter and Saint Paul—as well as the formation of the primitive Church. As you read, be keenly attentive to the presence and workings of the Holy Spirit and beg Him to work powerfully in your own personal life! “Come Holy Spirit come….”
If you experience loneliness and are weighed down by many problems, then never forget to enter into the depths of your soul and speak to the Holy Spirit whose name is “Sweet Guest of the soul.” You will recognize that you are really not alone and that your problems and crosses are not as heavy as you think. Rather, the Holy Spirit can help you to resolve your problems, or at least help you to cope with them.
Silence is a prerequisite to move on to the next step—docility to the Holy Spirit. A person who is living in the state of grace, honestly pursuing a life of holiness and seeking perfection will be exposed to heavenly inspirations that come from the Holy Spirit. The key is an ability to listen to these gentle but insistent inspirations, discern them coming from God, and then the most difficult is to follow and obey these inspirations.
The Holy Spirit is, so to speak, a “Gentleman” and will never force Himself upon anybody. Rather, He waits patiently for us to respond and then He can work very powerfully only if we are silent, humble and obedient.