"We have not so much as heard that there is a Holy Spirit." —Acts 19:2
Despite years of quality Catholic education, including receiving the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, I never gave much thought to the Holy Spirit. By God's grace, I stumbled upon a Life in the Spirit seminar at the age of twenty-one. Scripture passages I had often heard but never grasped suddenly came alive as Catholic men and women shared their experiences of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit taught me through them and made everything new and alive (2 Cor 5:17). It was as if I had never heard of the Holy Spirit before (Acts 19:2). People laid hands on me (see Acts 19:6) and I rejoiced to receive the Holy Spirit in a deep, personal, and life-changing way. Alleluia!
I might never have received the Spirit like this if not for people who cared enough to share the Spirit with me, teach me, and pray with me to receive the Spirit. Likewise, twelve Ephesian men received the Holy Spirit because Paul was not ashamed to share the Spirit with them and lay hands on them (Acts 19:6).
It is generally God's plan to pass on the Holy Spirit through personal ministry. Many people might never come to know and receive the Holy Spirit if they don't come to know you. As St. Teresa of Avila said, God has no hands but your hands. During this Pentecost novena, offer your heart and hands to the Lord as instruments for the Holy Spirit (see Rm 6:13). Sow the seed-ground of the Spirit, and reap a harvest of eternal life (Gal 6:8).
Prayer: Holy Spirit, flow through me like a living stream, bringing new life and healing to many (Jn 7:38; Ez 47:1ff).
Promise: "I tell you all this that in Me you may find peace. You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world." —Jn 16:33
Praise: Sarah has received God's gift of healing and finds that when she prays for people they are sometimes healed immediately.
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2005 through May 31, 2005. †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2004.
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