Day 6 – The Spirit Speaks to Us

We all have a mission on earth. By becoming who God wants us to be is how we can achieve that mission most effectively. And it is through completing our mission that we can most effectively be sanctified. The Spirit is entrusted with the mission to bring us close to the Father and the Son, to help us learn the truth and discern our mission on earth, to guide us to observe what Jesus has commanded us, and to attentively do the Father's will. As mentioned yesterday, our role is to become the Spirit's collaborator. We are in the same team and the Spirit is the leader. Being a team player requires us to stay connected and communicate with Him constantly. And there is no better way to communicate with Him than prayer. That is why when the Holy Spirit is active in our lives, we have a new desire for prayer. As a result, there is usually a change in our prayer experience. One significant change is our desire to listen to God in prayer, rather than just to speak non-stop.

We often hear people complaining about not being able to hear God's voice. But logic tells us that the Spirit being the perfect leader, He surely desires to speak to us. Not that He only wants to give us instructions but He first desires to relate to us personally through His words.

Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me."

(John 10:27)

God the Holy Spirit, being sent to us by Jesus as our Advocate, builds the same kind of "Shepherd-sheep" relationship with us. In order to be safe, we, as sheep, need to learn to recognize the Spirit's voice in our lives. One clear sign that we allow the Spirit to be active in our lives is that we have a new desire to hear His voice. This desire naturally leads us to spending more time in prayer. It is how we can stay connected to Him, like the branches connected to the Vine.

The safest way to cultivate this prayer life is to pray with the Scripture, which is God's Word. Studying the Word becomes not a burden but almost like a dating experience as we desire to know more about God and to nurture an intimate relationship with Him.

The Scripture becomes alive, like God speaking to us personally. We feel the connection, and the texts become more relevant to our lives. Scriptures we have heard numerous times before take on new meaning and clarity.

Having sudden and profound new enlightenments and deeper insights into the Christian mysteries are not uncommon among those whose lives are filled with the Spirit.

For any relationship to thrive, it needs to be maintained, which requires investment of our time and effort. It is even more crucial as we nurture the most important relationship of all, one with the everliving God. Such a relationship cannot be driven by our impulses or preferences but with consistent effort and discipline.

Our common enemies are "busyness" and "distractions". Satan likes to inject noises into our lives to distract us from listening attentively to God. Only in silence and in solitude can we feel the strongest presence of God.

Please do not be fooled by believing that praying on the road and on the job will suffice. And never let busyness steal God away from you.

"Everyone of us needs half an hour of prayer each day, except when we are busy – then we need an hour."

- St. Francis de Sales

As our prayer life matures and our relationship with God becomes intimate, we begin to realize that God speaks to us in many different ways through countless means.

If we are attentive enough, we find God in all things. He just can't get enough of us! With a discerning heart, we begin to understand God more readily and truly know His voice. Discerning and following God's will become easier in life.

Sacraments help us to sustain our prayer life, especially the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Instituted by Jesus Himself for us, these Sacraments are our lifelines connecting us to the Vine.

A genuine relationship is, after all, a commitment. The mutual commitment in a relationship is what makes it beautiful. A healthy relationship requires effort from both sides. An unbalanced relationship is one that is shaky.

God is so serious about our relationship that He has established covenants with us. Whenever we cry for help, God is there for us, acting and responding to our needs. And He always keeps His covenant. As we listen to God, we should pay Him the same respect, receiving His words by listening to as well as acting on them. This is what real listening is all about.

If we do not take actions on what God is telling us, why should we expect God to answer us when we call for help?

REFLECTION

Am I worried about too many things, and constantly occupied with too many distractions and noises?

How am I going to create a space to listen to God's voice?

Do I tend to speak instead of listen when I pray? Do I truly believe in and act on what God is telling me, especially through the Bible?

TODAY'S PRAYER

Dear Holy Spirit, You know me and call me by name, yet I do not know You well enough to recognize Your voice in my life. I have been keeping myself too busy and distracted to allow You to speak to me. Please grant me the desire and a listening heart to hear Your voice and to act on it. I resolve to love You with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)

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, encounter me in silence and I will outpour my love for you. I dwell in you in the depth of your heart where you can hear my voice. You are my temple where I take delight and abide in. Know that a life without prayer is a life without power, because I am the Source of divine power. Remain in me as I remain in you. 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 Six Desiring the Spirit "Trust" Luke 1: 35-38: The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence the Holy Offspring to be born will be called Son of God. Know that Elizabeth your kinswoman has conceived a son in her old age, she who was thought to be sterile is now in her sixth month for nothing is impossible with God.Mary said, "I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say."

Meditation: Once I am "born of the Spirit." the Spirit is my life's breath.Within me is the Life of life. It is the same Life that throughout the ages has helped God's children through peril, adversity, and sorrow. I must try never to doubt or worry, but follow where the Life of the Spirit leads. How often am I unaware of how God goes before me to prepare the way, to soften the heart, or to overrule resentment? As the life of the Spirit grows, natural desires are placed within a new horizon to be governed by the will of God.

Prayer for the Day: Lord, let me open my heart to your will and fully trust in you.With You all things are possible and with a willing spirit and a humble heart, grant that I may serve you and witness to your word through 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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