ownership and grief
"Do nothing to sadden the Holy Spirit with Whom you were sealed against the day of redemption." —Ephesians 4:30
We want to love God the Holy Spirit, for we are begotten of the Spirit (Jn 3:8), are filled with the Spirit (see Acts 2:4), and follow the lead of the Spirit (Gal 5:25). Nevertheless, we can sadden or grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30).
We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30). This means we have been marked or branded as owned by God. The Spirit's work in our lives should be an exterior expression of this interior mark, which is sometimes called a "character" (Catechism, 1272, see also 1269). Being sealed with the Spirit means the remarkable absence in our lives of certain natural human attitudes such as "all bitterness, all passion and anger, harsh words, slander, and malice of every kind" (Eph 4:31). The absence of these expressions of our fallen nature indicates that we are born again, have a new nature, and are owned by God. Being sealed with the Spirit also means the remarkable presence of kindness, compassion, and forgiveness (Eph 4:32). To err is human; to forgive and show kindness and compassion even to our enemies is truly divine. This indicates we are owned by God.
We love the Holy Spirit by showing that God owns us. We grieve the Spirit by pretending to own ourselves by doing our own thing. Don't grieve the Spirit.
Prayer: Father, may I say and live the following statement: "I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me" (Gal 2:19-20).
Promise: "If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever; the bread I will give is My flesh, for the life of the world." Jn 6:51
Praise: All praise to You, Lord, for pouring out Your love on us through the Holy Spirit! (Rm 5:5)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 15, 2017
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