the spirit of paradox
"The Holy Spirit has been warning me from city to city that chains and hardships await me. I put no value on my life if only I can finish my race." —Acts 20:23-24
The Holy Spirit, being God, is paradoxical. The Holy Spirit gives us light to see what we've never seen before. We can see into the future, receive insights about the past, and recognize in the present great opportunities, which we have never noticed before. At the same time, our life in the Holy Spirit often puts us in the position where we have no idea what will happen to us (see Acts 20:22). We see so much more, but we also see that our "so much more" is nothing compared to the blinding light of the mystery of God.
In the Holy Spirit, we receive not only light but life — abundant life (see Jn 10:10). The Spirit makes us more alive than ever before. Paradoxically, however, we receive this full life by dying to self. "Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be revealed" (2 Cor 4:10). We have life in the Spirit only because we have death in the Spirit.
Human beings naturally fear paradoxes. Therefore, we fear mystery and the Holy Spirit. But the Lord repeatedly commands us not to fear, and He graces us accordingly. Jesus said: "Fear is useless. What is needed is trust" (Mk 5:36). Come, Holy Spirit!
Prayer: Father, on this fifth day of the Pentecost novena, I accept the grace to trust the Holy Spirit.
Promise: "Eternal life is this: to know You, the only true God, and Him Whom You have sent, Jesus Christ." —Jn 17:3
Praise: Always being fearful of what others thought of her, Debra was amazed at the boldness and confidence that the Holy Spirit gave her in leading others to Jesus.
Reference: (Presentation Ministries offers thirty days of Summer Discipleship Retreats, June 30-July 26. Come for one or more retreats on the "fundamental vocation of love." To register or for details, call 937-587-5464 or 513-471-4622 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 9, 2000
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2000