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.
Our faith in the Holy Spirit: necessarily complete
The arm of the Lord has not been shortened."12 God is no less powerful today than he was in other times; his love for us is no less true. Our faith teaches us that all creation, the movement of the earth and the other heavenly bodies, the good actions of creatures and all the good that has been achieved in history-in short, everything-comes from God and is directed toward him.
The action of the Holy Spirit can pass unnoticed, because God does not reveal to us his plans, and because man's sin clouds over the divine gifts. But faith reminds us that God is always acting. He has created us and maintains us in existence, and he leads all creation by his grace toward the glorious freedom of the children of God.13
For this reason, Christian tradition has summarized the attitude that we should adopt toward the Holy Spirit in just one idea: docility. This means that we should be aware of the work of the Holy Spirit all around us and that in our own selves we should recognize the gifts he distributes, the movements and institutions he inspires, the affections and decisions he provokes in our hearts. The Holy Spirit carries out in the world the works of God. He is, as we read in a liturgical hymn, the giver of grace, the light of our hearts, the soul's guest, our rest in work, our consolation in sorrow. Without his help there is nothing innocent or valuable in man, because he is the one who cleanses the soiled, heals what is sick, sets on fire what is cold, straightens what is bent, and guides men toward the safe harbor of salvation and eternal joy.14
But our faith in the Holy Spirit must be complete-not a merely vague belief in his presence in the world, but a grateful acceptance of the signs and realities into which he has poured forth his power in a special way. When the Spirit of truth comes, our Lord tells us, "He will glorify me, for he will take of what is mine and declare it to you."15 The Holy Spirit is the Spirit sent by Christ to carry out in us the work of holiness that our Lord merited for us on earth.
And so there cannot be faith in the Holy Spirit if there is not faith in Christ, in his sacraments, in his Church. One cannot act in accordance with his Christian faith, cannot truly believe in the Holy Spirit, without loving the Church and trusting it. A man cannot be a coherent Christian if he limits himself to pointing out the deficiencies and limitations of some who represent the Church-if he judges her from the outside, as though he were not her son. Consider, moreover, the extraordinary importance and abundance of the Paraclete when the priest renews the sacrifice of Calvary by celebrating Mass on our altars.
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.