Of the three persons of the Blessed Trinity, it is the Holy Spirit I seem to know the least. Why is this?
Perhaps it is because the pure concept of “spirit” is more difficult to grasp than "father" or "son." Yet Jesus promised that He would leave us a Friend who would always be at our side—and it is this “gentle guest of our soul who is actually the one closest to our hearts,” as Alan Schreck said in his book Your Life in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our constant companion.
Have you ever wondered what prompts us to pray?
This thought occurred to me recently while at Adoration. As I poured out my cares and concerns to Jesus, it dawned on me that I was there because the Holy Spirit wanted me to be there.
A priest once told me that when we go into church, or to Eucharistic Adoration, or even kneel to pray, we should first acknowledge the Holy Spirit and thank Him for prompting us to be there. He is waiting for us because He asked us to come. Not only that, but when we arrive, it is the Holy Spirit who helps us to pray.
The Holy Spirit knows our interior selves in an intimate way. He knows what causes our deepest groanings (Romans 8:26). This gentle Guest of our soul nudges us, stirring in us a desire to turn to Our Lord. How do we awaken ourselves to respond? It's not as easy as we might wish.
In the same book, Your Life in the Holy Spirit, Schreck goes on to explain the unsurprising truth that in our modern world "those who wish to persevere in faith and prayer find themselves in the midst of a tremendous spiritual battle.”
We should not become paralyzed by this difficulty, he says; rather we should remember that prayer is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who is the “interior Master of Christian prayer.”
- We can appeal to Him or help in fighting against distractions—not just our personal ones, but also the ones so prevalent in the world
- We can cooperate in this effort by examining our conscience often (ideally every day), asking the Holy Spirit to be our guide
- We can find solace in Mary as she is revealed in Sacred Scripture, says Schreck, for “where Mary is, there is the Holy Spirit!”
Let us remember that this "Friend closest to our heart” leads us in prayer, directs our mind in truth, and makes us holy. We need only to turn to Him.
Prayer for the Indwelling of the Spirit
sacred Bond of the Father and the Son,
Hope of the afflicted,
descend into my heart
and establish in it Your loving dominion.
Enkindle in my tepid soul
the fire of Your Love
so that I may be wholly subject to You.
We believe that when you dwell in us,
You also prepare a dwelling
for the Father and the Son.
Deign, therefore, to come to me,
Consoler of abandoned souls,
and Protector of the needy.
Help the afflicted, strengthen the weak,
and support the wavering.
Come and purify me,
Let no evil desire take possession of me.
You love the humble and resist the proud.
Come to me, Glory of the living,
and Hope of the dying.
Lead me by Your grace
that I may always be pleasing to you.