Come, O Holy Spirit! Enlighten my understanding in order that I may know your commands; strengthen my heart against the snares of the enemy; enkindle my will. I have heard your voice, and I do not want to harden my heart and resist, saying, "Later . . . tomorrow." Nunc coepi! Right now! Lest there be no tomorrow for me.
O Spirit of truth and of wisdom, Spirit of understanding and of counsel, Spirit of joy and of peace! I want what you want, because you want it, as you want it, when you want it.
The Holy Spirit: living according to him
To live according to the Holy Spirit means to live by faith and hope and charity-to allow God to take possession of our lives and to change our hearts, to make us resemble him more and more. A mature and profound Christian life cannot be improvised, because it is the result of the growth of God's grace in us. In the Acts of the Apostles we find the early Christian community described in a single sentence that is brief but full of meaning: "And they continued steadfastly in the teaching of the apostles and in the communion of the breaking of the bread and in prayers."25
This is how the early Christians lived, and this is how we, too, should live: meditating upon the doctrine of our faith until it becomes a part of us; receiving our Lord in the Eucharist; meeting him in the personal dialogue of our prayer, not trying to hide behind an impersonal kind of conduct, but coming face to face with him. These means should become the very substance of our attitude. If they are lacking, we shall have, perhaps, the ability to think in an erudite manner, an activity that is more or less intense, some practices and devotions. But we shall not have an authentically Christian way of life, because we are all, equally, called to sanctity. There are no second-class Christians, obliged to practice only a "simplified version" of the Gospel. We have all received the same Baptism, and although there is a great variety of spiritual gifts and human situations, there is only one Spirit who distributes God's gifts-only one faith, only one hope, only one love.26
And so we can apply to ourselves the question asked by the apostle: "Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"27 And we can understand it as an invitation to deal with God in a more personal and direct manner. For some, unfortunately, the Paraclete is the Great Stranger, the Great Unknown. He is merely a name that is mentioned, but not Someone, not one of the three Persons (in the one God) with whom we can talk and with whose life we can live.
We have to deal with him simply and trustingly, as we are taught by the Church in its liturgy. Then we will come to know our Lord better, and at the same time we will realize more fully the great favor that has been granted us when we became Christians. We will see all the greatness and truth of the divinization to which I referred earlier, which is a sharing in God's own life.
Holy and divine Spirit! Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, your spouse, bring the fullness of your gifts into our hearts. Comforted and strengthened by you, may we live according to your will and may we die praising your infinite mercy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.