“Personal Pentecost” by Brian Flanagan, Fiat Ventures

“Personal Pentecost” by Brian Flanagan, Fiat Ventures


My mom is pretty paranoid of fire.  She would always flinch lighting our birthday candles.  Whenever we had a fire in the fireplace in the winter, she’d have a big bucket of water on standby “just in case.”  She might be a little over-the-top sometimes, but she recognizes that fire is a force to be reckoned with.

We usually think of the Holy Spirit as a dove, which is a way he appears in the Gospels, but my personal preference for a symbol of the Holy Spirit is fire.  Fire consumes things and changes them, and that’s the Holy Spirit’s forte.

In the Acts of the Apostles, there’s one scene where St. Paul goes to Ephesus and runs into some believers in the new Church community that was forming there.  He asks them if they had received the Holy Spirit when they became believers, and they replied, “We have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”  I think there are an awful lot of people today who are Christians, maybe even who go to Church every Sunday that could practically say that same thing; “We have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

For us to have a full relationship with God, we should have a relationship with each person of the Holy Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Most Christians have their relationship with God the Father down.  They know he created them and loves and forgives them unconditionally.  Most Christians also get the idea of a relationship with Jesus, the Son.  They know that he died for their sins and rose again that they could have eternal life with him in heaven, and that in the Catholic Church he’s present to us in the Sacraments.  But most people settle for “2 out of 3 ain’t bad.”

Christians who don’t have a relationship with the Holy Spirit are missing out on a huge part of the picture.  It’s the Holy Spirit that makes the connection between our faith and our every day lives.  The Holy Spirit prompts us to do different things throughout each day.  Maybe it’s reminding us to take some time to pray.  Maybe it’s pointing out a lonely person at lunch that we might go talk to.  Maybe it’s encouraging us to get up off the couch and take a break from binge watching Blue Bloods on Netflix to go take care of the dishes.  God cares about every single detail of our day, and he wants to participate in it.  But if we only think of the Holy Spirit as a fancy white pigeon who flies around in the Bible sometimes, we can’t tap into the grace he wants to give us throughout the day.

For many of us who have received Confirmation, we’ve yet to tap into the graces that the Holy Spirit has poured out on us in that Sacrament.  Confirmation is supposed to be our Personal Pentecost, you might feel in your life that it sure doesn’t seem like you’ve received the same Holy Spirit the Apostles did at the first Pentecost.  But if you begin to pray “Come, Holy Spirit” and ask his guidance throughout the day, just watch and see how he begins to transform your life.  You can pray to him and ask him for the right words to say in a tough conversation.  You can ask him to put on your heart a friend who’s having a rough time that you should reach out to.  You can ask for guidance as you make a tough decision about where to go to college.  God wants to be part of our daily life, and the way he does that is through sending us his Holy Spirit, so what are we waiting for?

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