A third way of being disposed to the Holy Spirit is to be open, willing, and ready to be transformed and used as the Holy Spirit’s instrument of salvation to others. The Holy Spirit is a spirit of transformation and action and He wants to make us instruments of His action in the world. To invite the Holy Spirit in our hearts we must face the need for deeper personal repentance and readiness to share the gifts He bestows on us. The disciples were ready and willing to be used to proclaim to Jews from all around the world the “mighty acts of God.” With the Holy Spirit, “there are different forms of service but the same Lord…and to each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” Readinesses for generous action and to change for the better are necessary for one to be transformed by the Holy Spirit.
I am reminded of a woman in my previous parish that was known to get up most nights at 2 am to pray. No one knew what she was praying for. When she passed away, the family discovered that her worn out prayer book contained numerous names of people in and outside the parish whom she was praying for, including my own name. She had been praying for each and every one of us all along and we did not know it. She received the talent of interceding for others and she made use of it faithfully without seeking any publicity. If you are praying to experience the transforming power and peace of the Holy Spirit, what are your gifts and how is the Church benefiting from your gifts and talents today?
A fourth way is to maintain contact with the living body of Christ in the sacraments. In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The mysteries of Christ’s life are the foundations of what He would henceforth dispense in the sacraments, through the ministers of His Church, for ‘What was visible in our Savior has passed over into His mysteries’…Sacraments are powers that come forth from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving. They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in His Body, the Church.”(CC C#1115-6) The sacraments connect us to the risen Christ in His humanity and bestow on us the Holy Spirit. This is evident in St. John’s Gospel where he depicts the sending of the Holy Spirit as Jesus “breathing on them” and saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” It is through the now glorified humanity of Christ that the Spirit is bestowed. In the new and everlasting covenant, the guarantee of the Spirit’s presence and action cannot be sought apart from the sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ Himself.
Perseverance in fidelity to Christ is a fifth way of tuning-in to the Spirit. The recipients of the Holy Spirit are those who went through the failure of Gethsemane, witnessed the death of Jesus from a distance, were slow to believing and now are gathered in fear behind locked doors even after Christ’s Resurrection. Please note that Judas alone missed out on Pentecost!! They other disciples persevered and never gave up despite their failures. Perseverance in the Christian life, more than our successes, draws the Holy Spirit to our souls. The spirit is given in fullness to those that obey, and obey to the very end. We must be willing to begin again in our live of discipleship if we are going to be in tune with the Spirit.
Lastly, a devotion to Mother Mary is crucial in experiencing this transformation of the Spirit. Mary is not just one other means of getting tuned into the Holy Spirit. Because she is the irresistible bride of the Spirit, she is perfectly tuned in to Him and she embodies all that is required to be properly disposed to the action of the Spirit. In the first place, she first opened herself to the Spirit when she pronounced her fiat to the Angel Gabriel at the Annunciation and produced the God-Man, Jesus Christ. She is the perfect model of prayer who prayed with the disciples for the coming of the Spirit. St. Luke sums it up in these words: “All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the Mother of Jesus.”