Day 1 – The Holy Spirit and I

When did the Holy Spirit first appear in the Bible?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.

(Genesis 1:1-2)

In the first two verses of the Bible, before anything was created, the Spirit of God was there like the wind, representing the creative and life-giving power of God. Towards the end of God's Creation,

the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

(Genesis 2:7)

God breathed His Spirit into Adam to give him life. The same Spirit who gave life to Adam has also given us life. Yet, most of us do not know God the Holy Spirit even though through Him man became a living being, and through Him, our lives are sustained.

From the beginning of time, from the Old Testament to the New Testament, we were repeatedly told the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Yet, in our minds, we often reduce the Spirit to a dove, to mere functional roles.

Many of us have no relationship with God the Spirit who is a Person in the Holy Trinity. Many of us know in our heads that we receive the Holy Spirit in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. But then the relationship stops right there. Many of us wonder why there is a need to relate to the Spirit as we believe we can equally relate to God through Jesus and the Father. Aren’t they the same God after all? Subconsciously, we might believe that the Holy Spirit is simply a tool or a concept, secondary to the Father and the Son.

Throughout human history, God has communicated to us through different means, and even through His different Persons. It is like God is nurturing us through His different "characters". We can think of it this way: When we were babies, our mother played a key role; but as we grew up, our father took on a more prominent role; and when we became adults, both parents sort of hide themselves in the background, allowing us to make choices and grow in our ways while helping us silently.

The Holy Spirit, who is also God Himself, is the silent helper, our Advocate, entrusted with the important mission to help us choose Jesus and to follow His commandments in life in order to do the Father’s will. The Spirit helps us grow in holiness and learn to love others as Jesus has loved us.

Just as the mother knows when to allow the father to play a stronger role in a family, God the Father stayed in the background as Jesus took the centre stage to save us from our sins.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

(Philippians 2:9-11)

With the institution of the Church, Jesus has ushered in a new era, a time when the Holy Spirit becomes a key player. By God's design, the Holy Spirit has moved from the background to the foreground. And Jesus instructed us to wait for the coming of the Spirit before commencing the mission entrusted to us:

Jesus said:

And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high.

(Luke 24:49)

Even though Jesus wanted to remain with His disciples, He knew He needed to leave. So He told His disciples

It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

(John 16:7)

If we are Christ's followers, we need to allow the Spirit to have dominion over our lives. The Holy Spirit's way is not an option, it is a necessary path through which we come to know, to love and to serve God. In choosing the Holy Spirit, we are choosing God.

If Jesus, who is God Himself, was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), and whose ministry was empowered by the Spirit (Luke 4:14), and He was resurrected by the Spirit (Romans 8:11), how much more important it is for us to live by and in the Holy Spirit!


How is your relationship with the Holy Spirit? Would you like to nurture a more intimate relationship with Him?


Dear God the Holy Spirit, I know that You are real and you are my God, but I am not always able to connect with you in my daily life. Grow in me a desire to know you, to seek you, and to experience you. Grant me a spirit of openness and a softened heart as I learn to feel your presence in my life and resolve to nurture a deeper relationship with you! I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen!

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

My beloved child, please know that I have always been there for you (cf. Psalm 139) whether or not you can feel my presence. Know that I was there when you were formed in the womb (cf. Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:13). I was there when you were baptized and confirmed. From now on, take my hand as I guide you and protect you. I desire to abide in you as you abide in me (cf. John 14:16-20, John 15:1-10, 1 John 4:13). I love you always!

Novena to the Holy Spirit:

Invocation Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, and console me. Tell me what to do, direct my every choice. I promise to submit myself to all you desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will. Grant this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Day One

Needing the Spirit "Drawing Near" Ezekiel 36:26-28: I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my Spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees. You shall live in the land I gave your fathers, you shall be my people, and I will be your God.


Our need is God's opportunity. But we must acknowledge our need. Often this means helplessness before some weakness or sickness and an admission of our need for help. Next comes faith in the power of God's Spirit, available to us to meet that need. Our faith must find some expression before any need will be met. That expression of faith is all God is looking for, and He will manifest His power in our lives. Faith is the key that allows us to receive the storehouse of God's resources. Prayer for the Day: Lord, I know I can come before you with confidence that by your grace you accept me. I ask you Lord to make my life what you desire of it. Cleanse me, heal me, restore me and through your divine power draw me near to you in everything. Thank you for supplying me with all I need through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

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Sincerely invite you to share the reflections that inspires you by this day's retreat.