THE SCHOOL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
All scripture is inspired by God and useful for refuting error, for guiding people’s lives and teaching them to be upright. – 2Tim. 3:16
Rev. Fr. John-Mary Benedict Ntol Atep
GROWING IN THE HOLY SPIRIT: INSPIRATION
Two Christ’s faithful attended Holy Mass, one after the Mass, appreciated the priest for his homily and said the homily was not only enlightening but inspiring. The other person, came out of the Church with an infuriated disposition and was unhappy throughout the day. What is at work? The first experienced the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the second, please say it.
Inspiration is from the Latin word inspirare meaning to “breathe into.” It is a process by which the Holy Spirit moves us to act. It is an appeal or persuasion of the Holy Spirit that happens in our hearts and souls as they are informed by interior light to follow the good and flee from evil or the bad. To be led by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is not to say you understand the Holy Spirit but to experience Him as you always seek His guidance. Many times the concept sounds magical but it is not. Speaking and writing, the ability to hold on to the truths about God and the faith and daily guidance on our way are the three main areas of life that the Holy Spirit inspires us. For instance, about guidance on our way, the opportunity to do good or be charitable may well up in us but if we fail to listen and accept the offer, then we will miss it. To this end, I dare say that lack of the consciousness of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit has resulted in many of us missing very many opportunities in life. Holy Spirit please renew us!
Sometimes it seems as if it is very difficult to be moved by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In order to experience the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we need to cultivate interior freedom. St. Paul says, “Christ set us free, so that we should remain free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be fastened again to the yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). There are two means that we can feel the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: the way of conscience and the way of the Church. The Spirit speaks to us as individuals (conscience) and He also speaks to us as a community and through a community (the Church). About the Church, Scripture says, “Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches” (Rev. 2:2ff).
- Inspiration is about partnership with the Holy Spirit, how often do I listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in me?
- Listening to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes the promises of Jesus Christ to manifest in my life. How many opportunities in life, have I missed? What are my new agenda to employ and partner with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?
- There are many examples of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit from the Acts of the Apostles. Please continue to read it prayerfully with the Church.
- Identify concrete examples in your life that you have experienced the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Today is the feast of St. Matthias, an Apostle that was elected by the college of Apostles to replace Judas. He is an apostle of divine inspirations and may his intercession assist us to be also inspired by the Holy Spirit. You are in my prayers, please pray for me.