On Fire

The other day a friend was lamenting students who chatter through Mass, carelessly take God’s Name in vain, show no awareness of Jesus in Adoration, etc. They just don’t care. I spend most Fridays in a school chapel. I know the phenomenon. Despite a solid religion program and a series of amazing chaplains, spiritual things just seem to bounce off of most of them. I keep praying…

We were talking about the Holy Spirit too, in the midst of the Pentecost novena. She’d been reading about Him and was trying to make sense of it all. I’d just given the RCIA presentation on the Holy Spirit and was trying to pass on highlights, describing (among other things) the Holy Spirit as the vitality of the Christian life, and explaining that her spiritual hunger and excitement were evidence of the Holy Spirit’s activity in her life.

Then it dawned on me–that’s precisely what these students (and Catholics beyond numbering) are missing. Without the Holy Spirit, religion becomes an empty, meaningless structure, like an abandoned house that gradually decays. With the Holy Spirit, it becomes the dynamo that changed the world! That’s what we need…

Suddenly the novena took on a whole new urgency.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts and minds of Your faithful (and not so faithful!) servants and inflame them with the fire of Your divine Love. O God, You instructed the hearts of Your faithful servants through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. By this same Spirit, enable us to discern what is right and to rejoice in His consolation forever, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

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