To discover the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit is one of the greatest experiences a human being can undergo. Consequently, here are ten suggestions for drawing closer to the Holy Spirit. In The Holy Spirit, a great spiritual writer, Father Edward Leen, says that “Christians do not dwell as they ought on the immense advantages that they may derive from the intimate friendship which the Holy Spirit is eager to establish between them and himself, as God.” Father Leen continues: “The Holy Spirit has…an infinite capacity for friendship….The Holy Spirit is laden with all the secrets of God – secrets not only of surpassing interest in themselves but of great import for the creature. These deep things of God the Holy Spirit is all eagerness to communicate to the soul, as in the tendency of friendship. Unfortunately, the creature, too often, is a listless and inattentive listener….” It is my hope that one or more of the following suggestions might increase your friendship with the Holy Spirit, who is the very source of the Divine friendship.
1. Attend a Life in the Spirit Seminar
The Life in the Spirit Seminar is open to every believer. The Seminar provides a way to learn more about living the life we were meant for, a life fully alive in the Holy Spirit. Simple steps taken in faith allow us to partner with Jesus Christ to establish, restore, deepen our relationship with him. For Catholics who have experienced the sacramental graces, Jesus will give you a new understanding of that grace as he draws you even closer in relationship. As we live out of that relationship with the gift of the Spirit filling our whole life we then can begin to know and experience God’s love and the abundant life Jesus spoke of.
During this unprecedented time as we encounter the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shalom Catholic Community is going to provide a Life in Spirit Seminar online with talks, sharing groups and prayer moments. The online retreat is going to be streamed on YouTube and on Zoom on June 10 to 14.
2.Make a Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Saint John Vianney states that “when we feel we are losing our fervour, we must instantly make a novena to the Holy Spirit to ask for faith and love….” . The Catechism of the Catholic Church says the following about these seven gifts: The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David.109 They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations (1830-31).”
3. Engage in the Practice of Interior Prayer
The CCC discusses interior prayer under the heading of “Contemplative Prayer” in paragraphs 2709-2719. Also, Saint Teresa of Avila’s classic, Interior Castle, discusses in detail the practice of interior prayer. It is prudent to have a spiritual director when attempting this form of prayer. Contemplative or interior prayer differs from meditation in that meditation involves discursive images and symbols whereby contemplative prayer seeks to transcend discursive or symbolic knowledge and go more directly to God. I would recommend, to begin this method of prayer, a short book called Progress in Divine Union by Father Raoul Plus.
4. Utilize the Rosary
When praying the third glorious mystery, The Descent of the Holy Spirit, close your eyes and imagine the Holy Spirit, through the symbol of the dove, flying towards you and entering your heart, or imagine a flame of fire (tongue of fire) resting over you and filling you with joy and love. See my post:
5. Utilize Ejaculatory Prayer:
The Catechism of the Catholic Church specifically recommends that, throughout the day, we invoke the name of “Jesus,” which contains the entire economy of salvation, and also that we invoke the Holy Spirit saying, “Come, Holy Spirit” (CCC 2665-2672). It is the Holy Spirit acting within us that makes prayer possible (CCC 2672). Example: while you are working or busy with some activity, you very briefly lift your heart to God and say, “Come, Holy Spirit.”
6. Maintain a Special Devotion to the Great Prayer to the Holy Spirit, Veni Creator Spiritus
Pray the Veni Creator Spiritus! In his book Mystics and Saints, the saint expert, Bert Ghezzi, states: “I have noticed an intriguing thread running through the lives of several mystics we have observed. God touched them in extraordinary ways when they prayed the Veni Creator Spiritus, the ancient hymn to the Holy Spirit.” This beautiful prayer is widely available on-line and is in most Catholic prayer books.
7. Utilize Devotion to Mary to Draw Closer to the Holy Spirit
There is a special relationship between Mary and the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost was responsible for Mary’s colossal sanctification in her Immaculate Conception, in her being covered by the Holy Spirit’s “unspeakable” shadow and thus conceiving the God-man Jesus (Luke 1:22-23), in Elizabeth’s Holy Spirit inspired utterance that Mary is “the mother of my Lord” (Luke 1: 12-78), in Simeon’s prophetic words that Mary’s heart would be “pierced by a sword” (Luke 2:12-34), in Mary receiving an influx of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2: 37-23), in Mary’s Assumption, and in Mary’s exalting Queenship and role as mediatrix in Heaven (Rev. 12: 23-56). In True Devotion to Mary Saint Louis De Montfort states the following:
“The more the Holy Ghost finds Mary , His dear and inseparable spouse, in any soul, the more active and mighty He becomes in producing Jesus Christ in that soul, and that soul in Jesus Christ” (#20).