Personal Journey – Holy Spirit

Personal Journey: The Holy SpiritPersonal Journey ~ Episode 210

I had a podcast I wanted to create on my personal journey closer to the Holy Spirit and deeper faith. Yet, it was scheduled to play a few months ago. But I postponed it. Truthfully, I was stuck. I didn’t know what I wanted to say. However, I prayed and felt that the time was right. So, I’ll share with you a bit about my journey.

Please check out my books, A Few Minutes with God and One More Child as well as the Truth Seekers Mystery Series (for tweens). Visit my website at MediaAngels.com

The Third Person of the Trinity  – Holy Spirit

My personal journey closer to the third person of the Trinity happened when I least expected it and during a very busy season of my life. I wasn’t looking for a closer relationship with God, but as always the Lord seeks us with open arms. When we talk about the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit we are referring to one God and three persons. Yeah, don’t ask me to explain it. That is one of the mysteries of the Christian faith. Nowhere does the word Trinity appear in the Bible, but it was a truth that was taught throughout the ages? Just like Jesus asked his disciples to go out and preach to the nations, he left us with a teaching body, the Church to explain those complicated truths.

The Holy Spirit Invites Us

My personal journey began at the library when I saw a friend of mine with a pile of books ready to check out. The children and I made frequent trips to the library and often ran into friends. However, my friend was alone without her children and she also was checking out books with religious titles. Puzzled, I asked her what she was doing and she explained she was prepping for an upcoming talk at church and invited me to come. It was a strange request and how could I say, “No thank you I don’t want to hear you speak at church.” So of course I politely agreed.

I went because I felt an obligation to support my friend, nothing else, so you can imagine my surprise when I arrived at what was called a “Life in the Spirit, Seminar.” I had no idea that this group of men and women were on fire with the love of God and the songs before the talk my friend gave was all spirit-filled and enthusiastically sang, complete with accompanying guitar, and tambourines.

For those of you listening who are Evangelical Christians, this is very common to your gathering, but for me, I was pretty much taken aback but was interested in learning more. My friend proceeded to speak and to this day I can’t tell you the content of the talk, but whatever it was pierced my heart with a hunger for more of God.

Hebrews 4:12 (read on air)

I was invited back the next day for an all-day session. … So once again I went solo and wow, was I blown away. The talks were anointed with the power of God, and I felt that many of the speakers were talking to me in such a clear manner. I wanted what they had, a love of the Lord and a willingness to put aside the ways of this world and join them on the road, that narrow path. Matthew 7:13-14 (read on air)

Before I left, two people prayed over me for an anointing of the Holy Spirit – they lead me through a prayer of asking the Lord for forgiveness, and an opening of my heart to whatever gifts the Lord had for me. We learned about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12 – and some of the talks I’d heard that weekend spoke about these gifts. I wanted select gifts, for example, the gift of healing or prophesy, or the word of knowledge. Yet, I knew I should be open, and so I kept silent and just opened up myself for God’s power, and received my prayer language or the gift of tongues. Believe me when I tell you that was not the gift I wanted and it is considered one of the lesser gifts.

Some people gauge their spirituality on whether or not they have the gift of tongues (again you can read about it in 1 Corinthians 12), yet that is not a test to see if you have the Holy Spirit or not.  Obviously, that is not how the Almighty works and I can’t tell you why some people have the gift and others don’t. God is willing to give us the gift, but we must be open to receiving it. All I know is that I entered with expectant faith, and God gave me a wonderful anniversary present.

I couldn’t wait to tell my husband (more on air)

I was challenged through this infiling of God’s love to read the Bible every day and spend time with the Lord in prayer and quiet. You could say it was the preparation I needed. Many years later I would have a Christian ministry, I would begin to write books with a Biblical foundation and this podcast network is dedicated to spreading the good news, that Jesus Christ is Lord! I felt led by the Lord and this experience helped me to be open to what God had in store for me.

1 Peter 4:11 (read on air)

in a deeper way, ask the Lord and watch Him provide for you. To begin with, it may just be reading the Bible more often, journaling, and opening yourself up to the power of the Holy Spirit.  In retrospect, it should have come as no surprise to me that it was not that long before this “chance encounter” with my friend at the library that I had been told all I needed to do was kneel down beside my bed and ask God to give me the gift of tongues. I was talking to several friends who attended the Assembly of God church, and her suggestion surprised me. Really, I could just kneel down and ask God for this gift? Truthfully I was a little concerned that God wouldn’t give me this gift. I believed I was unworthy.
Friend, the Lord loves us where we are and I have no doubt now that He knew I needed an entire weekend seminar/retreat to be open to first learning more about the Holy Spirit, but also be surrounded by believers who were willing to pray for me.
I have a challenge for you and it may be something you work on for some time to come. The first is if you are open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, ask the Lord in prayer to gift you with this infilling of His grace. The second is to write down your own story of your encounter with God, your testimony, or your growth in your faith. We each have stories and God continues to write our stories each day that we walk with Him. You never know when you might share your personal testimony with a friend or on a podcast someday! I pray a blessing on you and your faith journey.

Is Spiritual Direction for you?

What is Spiritual Direction?

“It is the guidance of a person into a life truly under the dominion of the Holy Sprit, who is the primary director.”
from Seeking Spiritual Direction by Thomas Dubay, S.J.

“Spiritual direction is concerned with helping a person directly with his or her realtionship with God…the most fundamental issue is that relationship and its underlying questions: “Who is God for me, and who am I for him?”
from The Practice of Spritual Direction by William A. Barry & William J. Connolly

What is the purpose?

Just as we seek help in other areas of our lives, why not do the same for our spiritual life? Direction provides a time and space to learn how we can know, love, and serve God more fully and deeply in our life.

What happens in spiritual direction?

Listening to the directee (the person seeking direction), prayer, quiet, deep conversation, being open to the Holy Spirit, spiritual growth, affirmation, and transformation all occur during both the prayer time before a spiritual direction appointment and during the time the director and directee are together.

Of course, they don’t necessarily happen all at once but occur over time as people grow in their relationship with God.

Links and Books for More Information

Live NotLukewarm Spiritual Direction Page

Cenacle School of Our Lady of Divine Providence School of Spiritual Direction, A Ministry of the Marian Servants of Divine Providence, and in association with the Franciscan University of Steubenville. This is where I went to school.

  • Seeking Spiritual Direction by Thomas Dubay, S.J.
  • Navigation the Interior Life by Daniel Burke

Discern if you would benefit from spiritual direction and please contact me if you’d like to discuss this further or want help finding a director.  Use this form to start a conversation.

The Courage of St. Catherine of Siena

About Catherine

Catherine of Siena was born in Siena, Italy in 1347. She was a twin but her sister died shortly after birth. The following year the Black Death entered Siena.

She had a vision of Jesus as a young child and from then knew she wanted to give her life to God and renew the Church.

She took a vow of virginity and cut her hair; her desire was to avoid marriage.

In 1363 she joins the Mantelatte, a lay Dominican order of women in Siena.

Bold and Courageous

She wrote to Popes and civil leaders, telling them to do what was right and necessary to fix the problems in the Church and community. She ministered to the sick and dying. A story I tell in the audio is about her helping a man who is to be executed.

Her Writings

We have letters, prayers and her most well know, THe Dialogue of Catherine of Siena. The Dialogue is a series of conversations between God and Catherine while she was in a deep prayer state.

Pray Catherine’s prayer to the Holy Spirit when you find yourself falling into despair.

 

 

The Struggle is Good

No one likes struggles

However, in our world they are inevitable. I do believe they can help us tough, in becoming the person God created. If we learn from our struggles, we have confidence that God will be there with us the next time.

God’s Word

“So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God,built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22

Reflection

We are being built into a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. God will dwell in us, through the power of his Spirit with his Son. We are held together by his Son. Isn’t that the truth?  When we look back at our struggles we see how God was present. It may have been through the Word, others, prayers, the sacraments – he was there.  And then, what did we learn by going through the struggle?

That is our challenge for this week. Look back, on yesterday, last week, month, year – to a struggle that you survived and hopefully learned from. Where was God? What did you learn about him and yourself? Write it out. Remember it for the next time.

Enjoy this content, sign up for the Live Not Lukewarm newsletter.

 

The Holy Spirit’s Gifts, part 1

The Spirit is present from the beginning of time – “A mighty wind sweeping over the waters” (Gn 1:2b). As part of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit moves and acts in accord with the Father and the Son, bringing order from chaos. The gifts of the Holy Spirit come from Isaiah 11:2, “The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD.”

When did the apostles receive the Holy Spirit?

On the feast of Pentecost, which is considered the birth of the Church, the apostles and Mary were locked in the upper room out of fear. And then, the Holy Spirit came upon them and filled them with the gifts of the Spirit. Then, they were made bold and began to preach and teach and heal and pray. The began spreading the Good News!

Why do we need these gifts?

These gifts help us be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and sustain us in our Christian walk.

Wisdom helps order our lives correctly by desiring the things of God rather than the world.

Understanding allows us to grasp the truths of our faith profoundly.

Counsel gives us the opportunity to choose the best way to please God, to avoid sin and to help others do what is right.

As always, the gifts are first for ourselves before we reach out and help others. Let the Spirit fill you and guide you as to how to use your gifts.

the not lukewarm challenge

Our Not Lukewarm Challenge this week: Read and reflect on these scripture verses: Isiah 11, Psalm 104. And here is a link to the Holy Spirit prayer I prayed.

 

If you’d like to receive a free download of uplifting scripture images, please sign up for my newsletter.

God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.  He is made known to us from the beginning of the Old Testament, in Genesis 1:2, “and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters” that wind is the Holy Spirit. Then we see again, in Exodus, God is with the Israelites as they flee from Egypt, “The LORD preceded them, in the daytime by means of a column of cloud to show them the way, and at night by means of a column of fire to give them light. Thus they could travel both day and night. Neither the column of cloud by day nor the column of fire by night ever left its place in front of the people (Ex: 13:21-22). God was with them and he is with us as well.

In the New Testament, we see the action of the Holy Spirit when Mary conceives Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35) and again, when Jesus is baptized, the Spirit, in the form of a dove rests above Jesus as he comes up out of the water (Luke 3:22).

The Holy Spirit completes the Father’s plan; he sent Jesus to save us and Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit will come and be with us always. The Holy Spirit was poured out onto the apostles at Pentecost and enabled them to go out and preach the Good News. The Spirit guides,  protects and sanctifies (makes holy) the Church.

He calls all people to Christ and completes his saving mission. The Holy Spirit is with us always, drawing us closer to Christ, both consoling and convicting us of our sin. He is the source of our hope.

In Baptism we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord (Is 11:1-2). They are sealed in us at Confirmation. As we live and grow as Christians, we grow in the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Gal 5: 22-23).

The Holy Spirit as many titles, which give an idea of how he acts in our lives: consoler, creator spirit, giver of life, paraclete, source of goodness, and spirit of truth.

The Holy Spirit is the fullness of love between the Father and the Son, reminding us that something always comes from love.

the not lukewarm challenge

 

This week, pray St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit and see what happens when you invite him into your life.

You can right-click on the image of the prayer to “save image as” and then print it if you’d like.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit