“Let me reveal to you an important secret of holiness and happiness…” Make it your life-long resolution to withdraw for at least five minutes each day. During this time veil the images of your imagination and close the gates of your soul, especially the gates of your eyes and ears. Then look more deeply into your own heart and inner life, and recall anew that our hearts and souls are a temple of the Holy Spirit in the true sense of the word. Aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit, try to have a dialogue with him saying:
you are the soul of my soul.
I humbly adore you.
Enlighten me, strengthen me,
guide me, comfort me.
Reveal your wishes to me
as far as this is in accordance
with the plan of the eternal God and Father.
Let me recognize what Eternal Love wants of me.
Let me recognize what I should do.
Let me recognize what I should suffer.
Let me recognize what I should quietly, humbly and thoughtfully accept, bear and endure.
Holy Spirit, let me recognize your will and the will of the Father because my whole life should be nothing but a continuous, an everlasting yes to the wishes, to the will of the eternal God and Father.
The maxim then adds: If you make an effort to do this, you will not only remain content and cheerful but also happy even in the most difficult situations and moments of suffering. Rest assured that the measure of your trials also determines the measure of grace which the Holy Spirit will bestow on you. If you so stand one test after another in your life, one day you will stand before the gates of eternity, filled with innumerable merits. You see, surrender to the Holy Spirit is the way to true holiness.
Why do I quote this prayer and maxim just today? We understand why. I hardly dare advise you to withdraw for five minutes each day and have a conversation with the Holy Spirit, a dialogue with the Holy Spirit, with the Father, and the Son. But I think I may ask you to follow this advice at least today on Pentecost.
Come, Holy Spirit, come
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!…
We should do two things today. Perhaps I ought first to explain what this maxim implies and then ask ourselves how we should apply it in practice. Let us reflect on two statements. What are they?
- Our soul is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit is the soul of my soul.
My soul is a temple of the Holy Spirit; that is to say, my soul and with my soul the whole person is consecrated to the Holy Spirit who dwells within. This is intelligible only in the light of faith.
Let us ask St. Paul who is our interpreter of old. He says: “Do not stifle the Spirit… and avoid any semblance of evil” (1 Thes 5:19-22). And a second quotation: “Do nothing to sadden the Holy Spirit” (Eph 4:30). What does this mean? When do we sadden him? We sadden him when we forget him and do not think of him, when we fail to seek him (Father J. Kentenich, Excerpt from a sermon given in St. Michael’s Parish, Milwaukee, June 6, 1965).