THE SCHOOL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

May 12, 2020frjohnma

GROWING IN THE HOLY SPIRIT: THE WORD

In him (Christ) you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. – Eph. 1:13-14

Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of the faithful…

I am always glad to hear that we are appreciating the renewal of the Holy Spirit’s relationship with us and it is also good to know that we are together working tirelessly to reposition ourselves in our relationship with the Holy Spirit. If there is anything inspiring our reflections on the Person of the Holy Spirit, is for us to reclaim our bonding with the Holy Spirit and enjoy ecstatic joys. He is our counsellor, teacher, friend, advocate and sanctifier. Holy Spirit of God, please fall afresh on us and afire us for the Father, the Son and Yourself. Amen. Today, our preoccupation is to renew in us the reality to growing in the Holy Spirit through a defined relationship with the Word and the Spirit.

One genuine means to hold on to and apply in our lives is a total appreciation of two great and active powers or forces: the Spirit (ruach) and the Word (dabhar). According to Fr. Cantalamessa, “These are the two great powers that together create the world and keep it in motion: ‘By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth’ (Ps. 33:6). ‘He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked'” (Isa. 11:4).

What we are saying is that, it is difficult if not impossible to live in Christ without the Holy Spirit. And there is no salvation if we pick one power and neglect the other. So, there is a reciprocal relationship between the Spirit and the Word: “Without the word, the Spirit is blind; without the Spirit the word is dead.

For the sake of emphasis, the story of Jesus Christ and His disciples on the road to Emmaus, exposes the relationship between the Word and the Spirit. The expression “Did not our hearts burn within us,” (Luke 24:27-32), is to be understood as the Word, the work of the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God as the one that makes the Word alive and active.

Do we need to delay in cultivating a special space and interest for the Holy Spirit and the Word of God? Our identity reveals so much about our task: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1Pet. 2:9).

Taking off from our identity, we have some believers who choose the Word and neglect the Spirit and some choose the Spirit and exclude the Word. That is very dangerous. Today, more than ever, we have so many spirits chasing us: ancestral spirits, intergenerational curses/spirits, spirits of ill-luck, spirits of bad marriages or no marriages at all as we claim. We need the Word to identify such spirits and move ahead in life. Again, many of us have not identified our gifts and charisms. We sometimes not only suppress our gifts and charisms but we enviously suppress other people’s gifts and charisms by not affirming them and imposing on them what we think is good for them. Let’s watch it! Rather, let us employ the power of the Word that is pregnant of the Spirit because “The Spirit is the one who gives the word, and who Himself is given by the word” (Cantalamessa, 2003). We need our lips to be gifted in order to pray and speak the truth and for our tongues to be freed to pray in tongues. Praying in tongues, if it is given by the Spirit, it is wonderful, but not what we see and hear today. People, being “trained to speak in tongues.” Here again, we need the word to direct our ways: St. Paul says, “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all; nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue” (1Cor. 14:18-19). Finally, we need the word and the Spirit, for teaching, preaching, prophecy, miracles and healing. In short, we need the two powers on our mouths and our lips.

Let us therefore intimate our Lord Jesus Christ who began His ministry as follows: Jesus the Word says, “The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).

Reflective questions

1. Our worldviews are still like people of St. Paul days. We still live in the past and in the future. Many times we have failed to live in the here and now, that is the here and now of the Spirit, who lives in us, provides for us, protects us, forgives us, speaks to us through the Word and an educated conscience. Now, how are we supposed to live as people who have received the Holy Spirit at Baptism, Confirmation, and the Holy Eucharist?

2. What are the concrete ways to apply the two powers of the Spirit and the Word in your life situations and events?

Please read meditatively 1Cor. 14 and practise lectio divina

Thanks for your participation and prayers. Please pray for me!

Comments (18)

  • Eby

    May 12, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Holy Spirit is a great teacher. Once He is with you, you won’t act odd, you must think, listen to Him before you do anything. Spirit of the most High God, fall afresh on me. Thanks Fr for this reflection.

    1. frjohnma

      May 12, 2020 at 10:23 pm

      Really we need the Spirit to fall afresh on us and afire us! Come Holy Spirit! Thanks for your words

  • AndyMarie

    May 12, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    Wow! Padre thanks alot for the explanation of the spirit and the word. I want to believe that both begets each. One can not do with the word without the spirit. This is the power of the mystical body.
    May our quest for the Holy Spirit grant us a better understanding of the word.
    Thanks

    1. frjohnma

      May 12, 2020 at 10:24 pm

      Great!

  • Francis-Mary

    May 12, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    May the Holy Spirit continue to afire us with the flame of his Love (God) so that the Word – Jesus himself will too continue to burn within us, who lives and reign forever and ever. Amen🙏

    1. frjohnma

      May 12, 2020 at 10:25 pm

      Amen and I appreciate so much!

  • Clifford Yaor

    May 12, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    Comment (Required)Thank you for the School of the Holy Spirit. You threw more light on this S O T H S., You have reminded me that Jesus Christ himself was by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit was with Him all through His life here on earth. I pray that may Holy Spirit fall afresh on me and renew, direct, lead me to part truth especially to have Spirit of confession, Eucharist, my marriage, my relationship with the people about me and butter person in the society. Amen. May the Holy Spirit continue to give you wisdom and knowledge. Amen. Thank you Fr

    1. frjohnma

      May 12, 2020 at 10:27 pm

      I like the acronym SOTHS! God bless your desire for the Holy Spirit. He will bless and multiply His dominion in you and for you. Amen

  • Juliana-Mary Ukeje

    May 12, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    This is really captivating! Thank you very much Father for showing in a very astounding way, the deep relationship between these two great forces: the Word & the Spirit. I am particularly thrilled by the quote of Fr. Cantalamessa: ”The Spirit is the one who gives the word, and who Himself is given by the word”. So very true indeed as it brings to my mind the narratives of the Incarnation and the Pentecost! It also underscores our need for our Lady’s help in ensuring fruitful acquaintances with these great powers; the Word took flesh in Her womb through the power of the Holy Spirit while the Spirit (sent by the Word), gave birth to the Church at His descent in the Upper Room on the Apostles & again in Her presence. May She obtain for us the necessary graces to constantly grow in the Holy Spirit through greater awareness of the relationship between Him & the Word, especially as we look forward to 103rd anniversary of Her first apparition at Fatima tomorrow.

    1. frjohnma

      May 12, 2020 at 10:32 pm

      “The Spirit is the one who gives the word, and who Himself is given by the word.” Indeed, Fr. assertion about the Word and the Spirit is full of depth and your exposition on it gives further depths. God bless your soul with everlasting indwelling of the Spirit.

  • Pauline Otu

    May 12, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    Holy spirit of God, we depend on you. Thank you Father & stay safe.

    1. frjohnma

      May 12, 2020 at 10:33 pm

      Thanks a lot for your daily participation and prayer. Be blessed always

  • Louis Mathias

    May 13, 2020 at 12:06 am

    May God help us to grow maturely in His Word and Spirit through Christ Our Lord Amen. Great work! Thanks for sharing Fr

  • Chidiebere

    May 13, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Holy Spirit of GOD, may Your fire remain always fresh upon us amen.

  • Abonyi Shadrach Emeka

    May 13, 2020 at 9:31 am

    The word God is spirit and they are life! May the spirit of God set our hearts on fire for love of the father and the son (word). Thanks unending father for this school!

    1. frjohnma

      May 13, 2020 at 7:33 pm

      Thanks be to God

  • sundaymary Ameh.

    May 13, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks padre for this spirit filled teaching. May our Lady of fatima continue to enrich you. Happy feast day.

    1. frjohnma

      May 13, 2020 at 7:29 pm

      All to Jesus. Thanks a lot. OUR LADY OF FATIMA – PRAY FOR US

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