How to Hear the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit fills us with holiness
Question for class discussion:
Name your favorite Saint. What evidence from the Saint’s life indicates that he or she was filled with the Holy Spirit?
O.D. shared this:
Truly speaking I am yet to read the lives of any Saints. But I have been following and reading about Blessed Mother Theresa, the soon-to-be proclaimed Saint, and also St. Joseph Vaz, who was made Saint last year.
The lives that they spent on earth and the type of work they did would not have been possible if they did not have the power of the Holy Spirit in them. St. Joseph Vaz, they say, ate only boiled potatoes and conje (rice water) and walked about barefoot. Mother Theresa’s work with the poor — I cannot imagine anyone being able to do that if not filled with God’s Spirit.
The sentence that caught my attention in today’s video is that we look for the manifestations of the Holy Spirit rather than to grow in holiness through the Spirit. Yes, after this I will definitely ask God to pour out His holiness into me through His Spirit.
I have three: St. Jude, St. Teresa the Little Flower and Blessed Teresa (hopefully soon to be Saint). Evidence of their being filled with the Holy Spirit is their strong and deep faith, seeing things the Kingdom way, which is upside-down compared to how our world sees them, their immense and ever-growing love for God and making that love action, knowing and following and having a close relationship with Jesus, the compassion they showed, and of course the miracles, charisms, and joys. I’m also learning the struggles they had and their devotion, faith and perseverance.
ST. FAUSTINA – She had a God-given inclination to totally rely on the Holy Spirit. She was charismatic and contemplative, she exuded and overflowed with the joy of God. Filled with the love of God, she did God’s will by following the Holy Spirit. Quiet in her soul, she had an intuitive grasp of the importance of quiet and silence to hear the Holy Spirit.
My favorite saint is St. Faustina and her teachings on Divine Mercy. She helped me to really fall in love with God, whom I had feared. My husband, who was away from the Church for over 10 years, came back, fell in love with God like a little child, and died of cancer on Divine Mercy Sunday 6 years ago. She really taught me so much about how much God loves me.
Most recently, Brother Lawrence: Practising the presence of God. Learning to do little things well for God. This links to my other favourite saint: Therese, the Little Flower. By nature I tend to like to be noticed doing good things; I like affirmation. I want to grow in loving unconditionally. Finding joy in washing the pots (in Taize 1992) was a very important lesson I learned about humility bringing freedom and joy.
Unfortunately, I do not have a favorite saint. In some saints I am familiar with, their humility was a sign of their holiness.
One of my favorite Saints is Saint Monica. I guess I can relate to her because of her “crosses”– a husband who was unfaithful and a child who was straying. I have prayed to her for intercession on these issues in my life as well as my sisters’ (husband is alcoholic). At present, I am praying for the Holy Spirit to guide me in dealing with my husband. We are going through a very difficult time and I have been in so much pain at times! I think of her and how she never wavered in prayer. Today I have a glimpse of hope for my marriage, but I am cautious and hold back. Praying for the Holy Spirit to guide me — sometimes I feel the guidance or I think I do. I will hear something on the radio or read one of your reflections or just open randomly to a passage. I haven’t wanted to share [my crosses] with friends, so God has put some people in my life that I could share with. Anyway, St. Monica is my favorite for her persistence in prayer for family even as they were causing her pain.
Response from Terry:
After this course is finished, D.H., you would be blessed by taking the previous course called “How to Turn Crosses Into Resurrections”, which is now archived and available to the public at gnm.org/paracletia-course-description-C02/.
St. Francis of Asissi. I don’t know much about him. He started the Franciscan order where they take a vow of chastity, poverty and obedience. Being in that state of denial of food, etc., makes one more aware of the Spirit and less distracted by external surroundings. He also praised God in and through all things: Sister Moon and Brother Sun. He saw God in everything and everyone. I believe one can only do that if one possesses the Holy Spirit.
My favorite Saint is my beloved St. Anthony. God’s most gentle Saint has been a huge influence on my short life as a Catholic. I had an interesting encounter with St. Faustina this past Monday. She has always been someone on my radar, not someone I was close to but someone I always wanted to get to know better. My parish was hosting a Divine Mercy drama (“Saint Faustina – Messenger of Mercy” by Nancy Scimone) and while I was watching, I had this burning desire to go buy Faustina’s diary. The drama was amazing, you could just feel St. Faustina’s love for Jesus. It moved me. Her humility, her love, her trust. I love how Jesus used her to make His Divine Mercy known to the world.
When I went through RCIA, I was so focused on Eucharist. I wanted to receive Jesus, because I thought He would heal me and I could go back to my old life (LOL). I didn’t care about Confirmation, and the only time I thought about it was a month before the Easter Vigil. I had to give the team leader my Saint’s name.
I researched Saint after Saint. I liked this Saint’s history, I liked that Saint’s patronage. I had “narrowed” my list down to 10 males and 10 females. Saints like Dymphna (for nervous disorders), Kateri because I’m part Native American, Jude because my life screamed “Hopeless Cause”, Augustine because of his quote “our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee”.
St. Anthony was not on that list. I couldn’t narrow that list down and the leader kept asking me who I wanted. I was the only one not ready. I went through the list a few times and re-read the Saints’ bios. While researching, I came across St. Anthony holding Baby Jesus! I was completely blown away. One article talked about him being the gentlest Saint, and I knew that whoever had to deal with me must be gentle!
Immediately I knew St. Anthony was the one. I did a novena to him that ended on the Easter Vigil. I had been lost. I had lost my way. I had lost my purpose. I had lost my faith. My life had completely changed with a medical condition that drastically changed my life. I didn’t know what all this meant and where God was leading me.
St. Anthony came through for me. He brought me into all these wonderful ministries (that he is patron of). He helped me find the person God wanted me to be (even though I am a work in progress!). He brought me to Jesus. He works miracles, but he’s as humble as you can imagine and he’s always directing me towards Jesus.
Response from Terry for this whole discussion:
Anytime you’re looking for a Saint to adopt (or be adopted by, really) for his or her patronage, we have on the Good News Ministries site a resource for looking up Saints by patronage. The same resource can also be used to pick a baby’s name (including the meaning of the name) or to look up your own name to find out its meaning and what Saints (if any) share your name. Visit: https://gnm.org/saints-find/.
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