As we prepared for Pentecost, we prayed for the coming of the Spirt and asked the Lord to send us His Spirit. Our prayers are so often couched in imagery and use poetic terms that can hide the true meaning they intend to signify. We believe that God continually pours the Spirit into our hearts and lives and that the Spirit is always with us. The Holy Spirit comes constantly from the heart of the loving Trinity. So, we are not praying that maybe God will breathe again upon our creation, we pray rather that we might be open to this continual outpouring. The Spirit comes to, sometimes gently and sometimes not so gently, lead us into new paths of grace. He comes always to lead us into growth, break us open and love us into healing, all at the same time. But we are not often ready for this and are not entirely willing, or do not believe we are worthy. So when we pray for the Spirit to come, we are really praying that we may be accepting and welcoming of the already present Spirit. That we are prepared to let go and to trust. That we are ready to create a space within us for the Spirit’s presence and action.
But more than this. When we pray “Come, Holy Spirit”, we are really praying that we may not resist the Spirit. In so many ways we both consciously and unconsciously resist the Spirit, and so close ourselves off to the grace of God trying work within us. Spiritual discernment entails becoming aware of what blocks we place in the way of the life-giving movement of the Spirit within us, and how we can set them aside. We must honestly look inward and explore how compulsions, resentments, anxieties, negativity, and self-centredness block the action of the Spirit in our lives. We then ask the Spirit to help us to let go of these obstacles to the fulness of His grace to move freely within us. When we do this we begin to be more open to the creative energies of God to blow in us and through us. We experience the freedom of the children of God, which releases us to live and to love.
And so even though Pentecost has come and gone, the Spirit is constantly being poured into our hearts and lives. We pray that we may be both receptive and responsive to this outpouring of love. And as day by day we learn to let go of all that is not of God in our lives, we create new pathways in our spirits for the Holy Spirit to work within us. This work of the Spirit continually recreates and transforms us, empowering us to live in the joy of the Gospel and proclaim the Good news of the Risen Christ to the world.