Through The Holy Spirit
Kathy Bernard – Publisher
“And the Spirit of God shall rest upon him, and the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of Fear of God. And His delight shall be in the Fear of God” Isaiah 11:2
Not long ago I heard a story about a young man who went to talk to an old retired priest. This man had lost his job and could not find employment anywhere even though he tried over and over every day. Friends tried to encourage him saying, “Don’t give up! Don’t give up! You’ll find something soon.” But the job search grew more futile as time went by and little by little his hope began to die. In desperation, he decided to visit the old priest, trusting he would say a special prayer for him and perhaps impart some wisdom concerning his dilemma.
Pacing the floor in the priest’s small study, the young man, with tears streaming down, ranted on and on about his problem. Finally he clenched his fist and shouted, “I’ve begged God to do something to help me. Tell me, Father, why doesn’t God answer me? Why won’t He help me?” He cried, “Why, why, why?” The priest, who sat quietly across the room, spoke something in reply – something so low it was indistinguishable. The young man stepped across the room. “What did you say, Father?” he asked, coming a bit closer.
The priest repeated himself, but again in a soft whisper. So the young man moved even closer until he was leaning on the priest’s chair. “Sorry, Father” he said. “I still didn’t hear you”, the man said respectfully. The priest waved the young man even closer. With their heads bent together, the priest spoke once more. “God sometimes whispers,” he said, “so we will move closer to hear Him.”
This time the young man heard and finally he shook his head in understanding. He knew he wanted God’s voice to thunder through the air with the answer to his problem. But God wanted him to come closer in faith, and through His loving voice, find comfort and hope, enabling him to trust and press forward..
God speaks to us in this still small voice. . .a gentle whisper because He speaks through the Holy Spirit, quietly and yet firmly. If we stay near to Him, we will feel His love, and know He will strengthen and give us courage to keep moving forward because He has a plan for us. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Nothing draws the human focus quite like a whisper. God’s powerful whisper to us means I must stop my ranting and raving and stay close to Him, my spiritual head bent to His, listening quietly and intently to His voice. And then, as I listen, I will hear my answer. I will find myself nearer to my heavenly Father Who is God Almighty, my Lord Who can do all things for each of us, if it is His Will.
This story tells something very significant. We must draw nearer to God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, He gave us a promise, a promise of receiving the Holy Spirit that stands good even to this day, and will remain in place for us until He comes again. God gives us the means and the connection to Him if we continue close to His voice. He will guide us, console us through our sorrows and our joys, and listen to us through constant prayers and loyalty to Him. By staying close to Him through the Holy Spirit and prayer we will get a response.
When I hear the voice of God , how do I respond? I may think I do not know how to pray properly to God or cannot find the words to express what I feel because I am afraid. But Paul in Romans 8: 24 -26 tells us, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very same Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words”.
Who and What is this Holy Spirit that Jesus promised as He returned to the Heavenly Father? The Holy Spirit is the third of the Holy Trinity which descends on each of us when we accept, through faith, the Lord as Savior. The Holy Spirit brings to us Seven precious Gifts: (1) The Holy Gift of Wisdom which detaches us from the world and to love God. It is the highest gift because it is the perfection of our faith. (2) The gift of Understanding to help us to discern the Truths of religion and gives us the true meaning of our faith, (3) The gift of Counsel which enables us to make Christian choices for the Glory of God and our salvation. It guides and gives insight to the meaning of faith, (4) The gift of Fortitude gives courage to remain firm in faith even though we may die for it, (5) The gift of Knowledge allows us to see our actions the way God sees them; it leads us to the path we must follow and shows us dangers to avoid on our way to heaven. (6) The gift of Piety, which is the humbleness and the eagerness to serve the Lord in honor that goes beyond a sense of duty. (7) The last gift is the Fear of the Lord or the desire not to offend our Heavenly Father. It is the certainty that He will provide the grace to avoid offending Him. This fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread offending Him.
God is a Triune God; three in one; constituting a trinity in unity. God is God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit. As Catholic Christians we are blessed to have the means to hear Him speak to us through the Spirit, and He will lead us in the right direction, away from the perils of sin and damnation. God will speak to us softly so we must spend time quietly listening. Those who do not know Him do not hear Him, even when He warns them about the dangers of losing salvation, and so, with a shake of their heads, they move on to what they deem is more important to themselves. God and His wisdom is ignored.
Pope John Paul II, speaking at the Holy Father’s General Audience of August 19, 1998 tells: “For God’s divine plan for us to be fulfilled, man must use his freedom in harmony with God’s will and overcome the disorder introduced into human life and into the world by sin. Without the gift of the Holy Spirit, this twofold achievement cannot occur. The prophets of the Old Testament put great stress on this.” And again at General Audience, September 2, 1998, continues, ‘The Holy Spirit, who “searches the depths of God’, is at the same time the light that illumines man’s conscience and the source of his true freedom”. (cf. Dominum et Vivificantem, n. 36).
“In the sanctuary of his conscience, man’s most secret core, God makes His voice heard and His law known, that law which reaches its perfection in the love of God and neighbor as Jesus taught (cf. Gaudium et spes, n. 16). By following this law in the light and power of the Holy Spirit, man achieves his full freedom.”
The Holy Spirit is our protector from all false doctrines and brings us into contact with Divine Truth. As Catholic Christians we receive the same Divine Truth the prophets and the apostles received by supernatural revelation. What once the prophets and the disciples of Christ had, we now have. John teaches us this truth in I John 2:27, “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true–it is not a lie. So just as He has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.”
With the gift of the Holy Spirit, we have a direct line to God, through the promise of Jesus Christ, Who has given us the Holy Spirit Who speaks to our hearts. We have God’s written word and His living Spirit within us…. His very essence, which He gives to all who believe; guiding, strengthening, and protecting us until He comes again. Thanks be to God forever!
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate Who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, Who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you.” – John 14: 16-17