Day 2 – The Spirit transforms us
When we live in the Holy Spirit and He dwells in us, there are typically noticeable changes that people around us are able to see in us.
After the crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples were all terrified. They were scattered and they hid themselves. The apostles were hiding in the upper room behind locked doors. This remained the same even after Jesus had resurrected and appeared to them.
Yet, a remarkable change happened on the day of the Pentecost! As they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they were instantly transformed! Fears were wiped away. They were empowered and began to boldly proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. They began to perform miracles and healings as Jesus once did. They could even cast out demons in Jesus' name.
It is important for us to note that these phenomena are not meant to be limited to the first Pentecost.
And Pope Francis said on June 1, 2014, "I expect from you that you share with everyone in the Church the grace of baptism in the Holy Spirit."
Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a life-transforming experience of the love of God the Father poured into one's heart by the Holy Spirit and is received through a surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ.
There are some typical characteristics of a person who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit. First, she begins to relate to God the Father as Abba, which in today's term is like calling God the Father "daddy". What used to be head knowledge about the love of God now becomes heart knowledge. Secondly, she experiences Jesus as her Saviour and Lord who graciously acts in her life. And then she begins to have a new desire for holiness and a new thirst for prayers, reading the Scripture and receiving Sacraments. Lastly, she also has a new desire and new capacity to share her experiences with others, that is, to give witness and to evangelize.
(Reference material: Part 1 of the book "Baptism in the Holy Spirit" by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services Doctrinal Commission)
As we prepare ourselves to celebrate the upcoming Pentecost, let us pray to the Holy Spirit to grant us a deeper desire for this kind of life-transforming experience and to resolve to give Him the permission to mold and form us.
In the next few days, we will take a closer look at some of the characteristics of those who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and see how the Holy Spirit can change our lives.
Are you longing for a positive change in your life from where you are at this time? Are you willing to allow God the Holy Spirit to be the change agent to take you by hand to make the change?
In preparation for the upcoming Pentecost, do you have a renewed desire for holiness and a better prayer life?
Dear God the Holy Spirit, thank you for helping me experience the realness of Abba Father and giving me the thirst to get close to Him! I understand that these experiences are not the reward for my effort, but rather grace that You desire to pour into the hearts of those who are open to You. Please help me open more of my heart to truly welcome You, and enlighten me of any obstacles within me that may be blocking You from entering into my heart. I place everything in Your hands. 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, I desire to let you see your true identity and your real potentials. You are like hidden treasures to be discovered. But those treasures have to be first discovered by you. My desire to dwell in you is to tenderly love you, enlighten you, and empower you to become whom Abba Father wants you to be. Pentecost can only become powerful collectively if individuals like yourself are transformed and on fire. It all starts with you, my child! I love you always!
Novena 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 Two Needing the Spirit 'Beloved of God' Romans: 8:2, 5, 14-16: For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed you from the law of sin and death. Those who live according to the flesh are concerned with things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit the things of the spirit. For those who are lead by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. But you received a spirit of adoption by which we cry, 'Abba, Father!' The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
Meditation: And greater works than these shall you do. Each individual has the ability to do good works through the power of God"s Spirit. This is one of the wonders of the world, the miracle of the earth, that God"s power goes out to bless the human race through the agency of so many people who are actuated by His grace. We need not be held back by doubt, despondency and fear. A wonderful future lies before any person who depends on God"s power; a future of tremendous power to do good work.Prayer for the Day: Lord, you said in your Word that those who are lead by the Spirit of God are your own children. Lord, I turn from setting my mind on the things of the flesh and I asked to be focused on things of the Spirit that I might please you. Holy Spirit, come to the aid of my weakness and intercede for me in accordance with the mind of God.Oh, how I long to call you 'Abba!' Help me be open to the Spirit that I can truly testify that I am your beloved child. 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.