Monthly Spiritual Exercise Group
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Living A Life Filled With The Holy Spirit: Spiritual Exercise 05/08/23

Please join us for our upcoming session with Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT. It takes place Monday 05/08/23 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT. Please click the link below for automatic entry. God Bless you.

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Opening Prayer: The Memorare

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. 


Living A Life Filled With the Holy Spirit:

Most of us are baptized. Most of us are confirmed. Most of us have received, therefore, the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Yet most of us don’t know much, nor do we expect the gifts of the Holy Spirit to operate in us. We do not understand the treasure we possess in the Person of the Holy Spirit, Who dwells within the temple of our own souls. We’re like beggars dressed in rags but having one priceless jewel within the lining of our clothes, we don’t know what to do with. So, most times, we forget about it.

When we get earnest about our life with God, we begin to wonder about some of our core beliefs. Why are we not more like the early Church? Why do we not see more of the unity, signs, and wonders that marked the life of believers and which flowed from the Eucharistic life they shared in common?

A friend of mine, a convert, once asked me how long I had been going to daily Mass and daily Communion. My answer at the time was 30-plus years. Her next question was: “Why aren’t you walking on water yet?” Her meaning was clear. We should be doing all the things the early disciples did: healing, casting out demons, teaching, and evangelizing to the four corners of the earth with a zeal that spends its life in the mission of Jesus. So, what’s the problem?

Once, when trying to recruit members of a charismatic prayer group to come to pray in front of an abortuary, the discussion preceding this invitation was revealing. A woman had earnestly exclaimed that she wanted to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but she didn’t know why she wasn’t. She went to Mass, followed the Ten Commandments, prayed regularly, and tried to do the right thing. She did not think issues of unforgiveness were her particular block. Yet she knew she was not filled with the Holy Spirit.

As I got up to speak, I was moved to say something unplanned. I reflected that if the Holy Spirit is the Lord and Giver of Life, we cannot be filled with Him if we are closed to life in any way. It was as though somebody set off a bomb in the room. A stunned silence descended and was finally broken by the loud lament of the woman who had been talking: “It’s a lie, it’s all a lie. We bought into a lie and sold that same lie to our daughters!”

She explained that when she and her husband married, they achieved all they wanted, good work, a beautiful home, and two children. Then her husband went and got a vasectomy. But she kept having a recurring dream about a child who would come to her in the night. And she realized then that that child belonged to her but that she and her husband hadn’t been open to that life. Hence the impasse with the Holy Spirit. If you cannot receive one made in the image and likeness of God, how can you receive God in Person within yourself?

It would seem that there is room here for a general examen by the whole Church on our relationship to life because the current state of the world is a direct consequence of our failure as believers to counter the forces of iniquity bent on destroying all life, both temporal and eternal. And we have been ineffective because the strength, determination, and power of the Lord have not been with us to the degree that they should be.

We look first to our own hearts and ask the Lord to uncover anything in us that does not freely receive and rejoice life in all its variety, stages, beauty, and dependence upon our good will for its full flowering. We repent, confident of the Lord’s patience and mercy, and implore the courage necessary to fight for and defend life in all its vulnerabilities, knowing that in this way, we encounter and can assist with His gifts, the Holy Spirit who hovers solicitously over all life.

Questions for silent reflection:

1. Do you think the gift of healing can operate in someone who is suffering or ill themselves?

2. What is your relationship with the Holy Spirit like? How do you relate to Him?

3. What gifts of the Holy Spirit are you particularly attracted to? *

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;

“There are different forms of service but the same Lord;

There are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.

To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.

To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit;

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit;

To another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues.

But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.” 1Cor 12:4

4. We are always receiving grace and impulses to do certain good things from the Holy Spirit. Are you conscious of any moments in your life when you knew you were being moved by the Holy Spirit? Have you ever experienced consequences for not following a prompting by the Holy Spirit?

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