Being Open to the Holy Spirit

This week I’d like to share a spiritual reflection by Rebecca Ruiz on the good work of Holy Spirit in our lives. It is entitled “Leave Room for the Holy Spirit.” She challenges us to leave room for the Holy Spirit to do its work in our lives. If we dictate and control the Holy Spirit to do what we want God to do for us, then, God cannot be God. And if we don’t let God be God, God cannot labour in us in His very loving ways and bless us.

The following spiritual insights Rebecca Ruiz makes are worth our prayerful consideration:

God’s gift of the Holy Spirit is a newness in our lives. It is good to consider these words from Pope Francis: ‘The newness which God brings into our life is something that actually brings fulfilment, that gives true joy, true serenity, because God loves us and desires only our good. Let us ask ourselves today: Are we open to “God’s surprises”? Or are we closed and fearful before the newness of the Holy Spirit?’

If we are going to leave room for the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, it’s not just about listing quantifiable actions. The spiritual life is a relationship between God and us—God loving us, God calling us, and God waiting for us to respond to God’s invitation. When we leave room for the Holy Spirit, we say yes to being an active listener to God’s whispers in our heart.

We say yes to the grace of the Spirit that allows that complete surrender of which St. Ignatius speaks in the Suscipe and the First Principle and Foundation [in The Spiritual Exercises]. And we say yes to responsiveness, openness, and flexibility to the unpredictable stirrings of the Spirit—the Spirit which brings surprises that are greater than we could ever plan or imagine. The Holy Spirit just doesn’t fit in a box.

The German Jesuit, Fr Alfred Delp, who was martyred in the Holocaust, understood what it meant to to live as a person who leaves room for the Holy Spirit. It is to live ‘in a state of being shaken, with an alert, awakened heart that does not freeze up’ (Fr Delp). Such a person will always be responsive to the whispers of the Spirit, a ‘Yes-Lord-I-am-listening’ kind of heart.

You can find her reflection here:

Having read Rebecca Ruiz’s reflection, here are three points for your prayer and reflection this week:

  • Have you experienced a ‘newness of life’ since you desired to know more about Courage and/or joined the Courage community? Can you described what or how this newness is for you?
  • God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to draw us into closer friendship with God himself. How have you experienced the Holy Spirit working for your good and happiness? If you wish to thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit spend a few minutes in silence and tell God why you wish to say ‘thank you’.
  • To receive the Holy Spirit is to accept that God wishes us to live ‘in a state of being shaken, with an alert, awakened heart that does not freeze up’. To live like this is to be truly responsive to the whispers of the Spirit. It is to have a ‘Yes-Lord-I-am-listening’ kind of heart. Do you desire to have such a heart in order to live in the Spirit? Are there persons or distractions you need to stop listening to so that you better listen to God’s Spirit that wishes to guide you to live in chaste and holy ways? Speak with God about your thoughts and feelings as you reflect on these questions.

Words of Encouragement for this week

“Do not be afraid to be saints. Follow Jesus Christ who is the source of freedom and light. Be open to the Lord so that He may lighten all your ways.” – St. John Paul II