THE HELPER FROM HEAVEN
Rosemary Joy, from Birmingham, UK, writes about how the Holy Spirit is unlike any other companion we may have.
Imagine the feelings of the disciples after Jesus tells them that He must go back to heaven. They must have felt confused and even abandoned. It is in this situation that Jesus comforts them by promising to send a Helper who will be with them forever. This Helper is none other than the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. The Holy Spirit is God Himself. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever” (John 14:16). The Holy Spirit is unlike any other companion we may have. He is with us 24/7 because He lives within us!
Why do we need the Holy Spirit? The answer to that question is endless, because nothing good can be done without the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and strengthens us against sin. A life with God is impossible without the Holy Spirit. He is the power of God within us that allows us to enter through the gates of Heaven. St John Maria Vianney once said: “If the saints were asked, ‘Why are you in heaven?’ they would answer, ‘For having listened to the Holy Spirit.’”
The Holy Spirit and Sin
“And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment” (John 16:8). When the light of the Holy Spirit is shed into our souls, we are able to see how our lives hurt God. In the Old Testament we see how King David was convicted of his sin of adultery, and how he acknowledged his sin and cried out to God for forgiveness. The Holy Spirit does not convict us of our sins to make us feel worthless. Rather, He convicts us like any good father would correct his child because he wants what’s best for his child. The Holy Spirit points out the areas of sin in our life so that we may repent of those sins and begin a new life free from sin.
Holiness Through the Holy Spirit
We are all weak human beings with a tendency to lean more towards sin than holiness. God knows this. He knows how frail we are on our own. Holiness may seem like an unrealistic goal to us. It may even seem rather daunting and that’s exactly where the Holy Spirit comes in, to turn our weakness into strength, our fear into courage and ultimately to give us the power to live as children of God. There is a constant battle raging between our flesh and our mind. Our mind knows what the right thing is, but our weak body often gives into temptation. Jesus knows about this weakness in us. Remember how He said, “Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). When we pray for the Holy Spirit to help us in our battle against sin, He will surely come to our aid and become our shield. There is no power that can destroy us if we seek the help of the Holy Spirit living within us.
Prayer of St Augustine to the Holy Spirit
St Augustine lived a life filled with lust until the Holy Spirit came upon him and transformed him into one of the greatest saints of the Catholic Church. Here is a prayer of St Augustine to the Holy Spirit: “Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that all my thoughts may be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work too may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I may love what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy in me. Guard me then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.”