Grace to you and Happy Easter!
You are welcome to Day 8 of our devotional to the Holy Spirit. We have been talking about gifts, traditional gifts of the Holy Spirit. Let us not suppose that those are all that the Holy Spirit can give. In the storehouse of the Lord, there are uncountable gifts. Whatever is good, whatever is pleasant, name it, it is in God’s gift bag.
Who does not want more gifts? I do. You know how you feel during your festive times, such as anniversaries, birthdays, etc. People give you gifts. Always refreshing, isn’t it? No-show, no gifts or a card at parties is discouraging. I tell you, the Holy Spirit isn’t a no-show, no gifts. He is always present, always giving more gifts.
In reality, his gifts are well designed, customized and well targeted for each individual for the common good and for service (see I Corinthian 12:7; I Peter 4:10).
Thus we call those other, or additional gifts, charisms or charisma. There are charisms for administration and there are other sorts of charisms for vocational calls, and yet other charisms for building up the faith of the community.
Those called and ordained as leaders of God’s people receive the Holy Spirit charisms of administration, of hierarchy, as it is called. It’s a unique charism of Church leadership. Paul’s conversion and consequent commissioning (Acts 9:1-20) is a clear example of this gift of leadership and service in the Church. We call it Holy Orders. It’s through Holy Orders, that the food of angels, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, a necessary aspect of new life in Christ (Jn 6:52-69), is made available to the faithful also.
Those called for unique missions within the religious life or other distinctive communities receive a unique charism too, which is the spirituality of that congregation. It is what makes it different from others. You know the Holy Spirit is boundless in what He can give.
There are also the charismatic gifts. These are without boundaries among the clergy, religious and laity. They do not depend on whether you are clergy or laity. Saint Paul, for instance, gave examples of those charismatic (spiritual) gifts in 1 Corinthian 12 and 13. Paul’s list does not exhaust what the Holy Spirit can give. The list is endless because the Holy Spirit gives as the need arises.
Oh Holy Spirit, I understand that in your storehouse of blessings, you have more than enough gifts to give me; gifts that are appropriate for my unique calling in life.
Unfortunately for me, I do not adequately understand how your gifts work or should be used for service. I see my friends who manifest these gifts, but I erroneously think I don’t have any. Even if I have, I am not sure what they are. I need discernment to discover my gifts.
In addition, you know what gifts fit me and what will bring me closer to you. I mean what will build up my family, the Church and my community. Give me such gifts.
I don’t want to mention which ones, because I believe that since you are all knowing, you certainly know the gifts appropriate for me and what you want me to do.
Above all, you know that many times my mind is fixed on what I want, or what I think I need, which may not necessarily be what you know I need. Since no gifts can come to me unless I open my hands to accept them, give me the grace of proper disposition for your gifts.
Pray: O Holy Spirit, let me not be a stumbling block to your generosity. May my will be attuned to what you are doing. Let not prejudices due to abuses in the past from me, from others, even from your Church, make me stubborn and not let you in. I pray for your grace of openness. Amen.
Continue the novena prayer Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest by clicking here
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Friday Easter Week 7: Acts 9:1-20; Jn 6:52-59]
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.