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.
Docility, life of prayer, and union with the cross: fundamental points
"The Holy Spirit is not an artist who draws the divine substance in us, as though he were alien to it. It is not in this way that he leads us to a resemblance with God-but rather, being God and proceeding from God, he himself marks the hearts of those who receive him, as a seal upon wax. In this way, by the communication of his own life and resemblance, he restores nature according to the beauty of the divine model, and returns to us our resemblance to God."28
Let us see how this truth applies to our daily lives. Let us describe, at least in general, the way of life that will bring us to deal in a familiar manner with the Holy Spirit, and, together with him, the Father and the Son.
We can fix our attention on three fundamental points: docility, a life of prayer, and union with the cross.
First of all, docility, because it is the Holy Spirit who, with his inspirations, gives a supernatural tone to our thoughts, desires, and actions. It is he who leads us to receive Christ's teaching and to assimilate it in a profound way. It is he who gives us the light by which we perceive our personal calling and the strength to carry out all that God expects of us. If we are docile to the Holy Spirit, the image of Christ will be formed more and more fully in us, and we will be brought closer every day to God the Father. "For whoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God."29
If we let ourselves be guided by this life-giving principle, the Holy Spirit in us, our spiritual vitality will grow. We will place ourselves in the hands of our Father God, with the same spontaneity and confidence with which children abandon themselves to their fathers' care. Our Lord has said: "Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."30 This is the old and well-known "way of childhood," which is not sentimentality or lack of human maturity. It is a supernatural maturity, which makes us realize more deeply the wonders of God's love, while leading us to acknowledge our own smallness and identify our will fully with the will of God.
In the second place, a life of prayer, because the giving of one's self, the obedience and meekness of a Christian, are born of love and lead to love. And love leads to a personal relationship, to conversation and friendship. Christian life requires a constant dialogue with God, one in three Persons, and it is to this intimacy that the Holy Spirit leads us. "For who among men knows the things of a man save the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so, the things of God no one knows but the Spirit of God."31 If we have a constant relationship with the Holy Spirit, we ourselves will become spiritual, we will realize that we are Christ's brothers and children of God, and we will not hesitate to call upon our Father at any time.32
Let us acquire the habit of conversation with the Holy Spirit, who is the one who will make us holy. Let us trust in him and ask his help and feel his closeness to us. In this way our poor hearts will grow; we will have a greater desire to love God and to love all creatures for God's sake. And our lives will reproduce that final vision of the Apocalypse: the Spirit and the Spouse, the Holy Spirit and the Church-and every Christian-calling on Jesus Christ to come and be with us for ever.33And, finally, union with the cross, because in the life of Christ, the Resurrection and Pentecost were preceded by Calvary. This is the order that must be followed in the life of any Christian. We are, as St. Paul tells us, "heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ, provided, however, we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him."34 The Holy Spirit comes to us as a result of the cross-as a result of our total abandonment to the will of God, of our seeking only his glory and renouncing ourselves completely.
Only when we are faithful to grace and determined to place the cross in the centers of our souls, denying ourselves for the love of God, detaching ourselves in a real way from all selfishness and false human security, only then-when we live by faith in a real way-will we receive the fullness of the great fire, the great light, the great comfort of the Holy Spirit.
It is then, too, that souls begin to experience the peace and freedom that Christ has won for us,35 and that are given to us with the grace of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity;36 and "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."37
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.