THE SCHOOL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
GROWING IN THE HOLY SPIRIT: ANOINTING
The Spirit is called, and is in fact, an anointing and a soul… This anointing is the breath of the Son, in such a way that those who experience it are able to say, ‘We are the redolence of Christ.’ The seal is the representation of Christ, in such a way that those who arre sealed with it are enabled to take on the form of Christ. – St. Athanasius
Rev. Fr. John-Mary Benedict Ntol Atep
Many times we have heard of expressions like “Come and receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit” or “Please, I need anointing for my new job or new office.” The Holy Spirit is represented by symbols such as dove, wind, water, fire, cloud, tongues of fire/flames, finger of God, and anointing with oil. We have reminded ourselves of the possibility of growth in the Holy Spirit through desire, prayer, and the Word. Our interest is to explore further another way to grow in the Holy Spirit. It is to consciously appreciate the heritage to “smell right” because of the Spirit’s indwelling in us. To smell right is akin to sharing the”odor of sanctity.”
Smelling right is made possible as a result of the Holy Spirit indwelling through the indelible mark we had received at Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders and above all the sealing/anointing with the holy oils (2Cor. 1:21-22). There is also the special renewal for spiritual auction or anointing when we are sick, preparing for surgery and when advanced in age. This is usually done through the sacrament of anointing of the sick. Understanding the tremendous impact of baptism and confirmation in your entire life, will leave you spellbound, I tell you most solemnly! Why? On our baptism day for instance, we received two anointments: First, the priest “anoints the child on the breast with the oil of catechumens” and second, “on the crown of the head with the sacred chrism.” What are the significance of such anointments. The crown is the centre for knowledge, intelligence and spirituality. Anointment on the crown of our heads represent the Spirit of God empowering us to know God, surrender to Him and enjoy spiritual fulfilment and joy. And from the crown flows energy and life to other parts of the human person. The anointment of the breast is at the chest and heart centre. The chest and heart centre is for love, adoration, forgiveness, sacrifice and compassion. Anointment is to foster transformation and growth especially in our psycho-emotional spheres.
When we are anointed in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are supposed to be disposed to give our best but in many occasions, anointing remains inert and inactive in us. At times, we are like bottles containing very powerful and precious power but sometimes we are so dull, weak, and easily given to sins and waywardness. We need to set free the anointing in us. As subscribers to “cosmetic spirituality” sometimes crave for perfumes, so should disciples of the Holy Spirit long for anointing. So much so that we yearn for it by a renewed awareness and possibly asking the Holy Spirit for it.
Anointing comes directly from the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit. But it is our responsibility to remove all the obstacles that prevent the anointing to shine forth. Two great efforts are required of us: Surrender and obedience. Surrendering and obeying God will lead us to remove obstacles like sins, wrong worldviews and ideologies (blame game system, witchcrafting consciousness, relativism, minimalism, hedonism, materialism, individualism and freethinking). And we can support the heroic virtues of surrender and obedience by believing more, praying more, and simply asking for anointing. It is renewable. Smell right to enjoy God, smell right to enjoy life on earth and in heaven. Thanks!
- Renew your anointing by becoming aware of your baptism and confirmation.
- Go through the rites of baptism and confirmation and relive your special anointing of the Holy Spirit
- You can daily renew your anointing so that you can smell right and attract to yourself divine favours. Pray “Anoint my heart and my mind, Almighty God, so that with gentle kindness and in the power of your Holy Spirit I may proclaim your word or (add your needs).
- A lot of our people who crave for anointing do so by buying all kinds of oil for priests to bless for them. Let’s be careful!