Why Releasing the Gifts of the Holy Spirit Is So Important and A New Help

Our Lord has made it very clear that we can do absolutely nothing without Him (He must cause or permit everything), but this becomes even more critical in pondering our eternal state of being and the place He has ordained for us.  Can we reach the place He desires for us without a conscious understanding of the Holy Spirit? The harsh truth is virtually all of us desire, think, speak and act without asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, without conscious participation in the Divine Will and in the Divine Thought and Inspiration. God so wants to change this right now….today on the Feast of Pentecost!

The Holy Spirit is groaning to be known and relished as a Person, as our greatest Friend and our constant Loving Guide for our desires, thoughts, words and actions.  We can not raise our desires, thoughts, words and actions to the supernatural level without the Gifts! It is impossible to do!  We have these Gifts from Baptism and Confirmation, but they lie dormant until we recognize them and begin to call upon the One who bestowed them upon us, who actually lives in our souls with the Father and Son when we are in a state of Grace! Often, they can be released by a powerful prayer experience where others (two or more in the name of Jesus who is present) assist us in calling for their release. Other times, we can release them more gradually through prayer, meditation and the worthy receipt of the Eucharist and Confession, especially diligent reading about the Holy Spirit and daily, impassioned prayer to the Holy Spirit. However, no matter how they are released, they will not grow, flourish and become the strong compass and motor of our daily life, unless we learn about them and what they can and will do in our daily existence, if we correspond completely to God’s Grace and His Love and desire for us!

One of the best learning tools for coming to know the Gifts is the work of Father Alexis Riuad, a French Priest, “The Holy Spirit Acting in Our Souls”.  This work is not widely available in English, but the key parts have been reproduced in “The Breeze of the Second Pentecost” by Barnabas Nwoye, a Nigerian mystic whose work has received the approval of His Bishop.  This Book also has one of the most practical descriptions of the Interior Life and Intimate, Divine Union that exists in the Church today. It some ways it is the “Little Way” of Divine Intimacy, and simplifies many subjects expressed by St. John of the Cross and St. Theresa of Avila. It does require several readings to extract its complete fruit, but only because of the way the Book was put together. The explanation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit is worth reading alone.

When thinking deeply about our only purpose and the need to know the Holy Spirit and His Gifts, as well as the need for daily, intimate prayer to and with the Holy Spirit, the greatest theologian and thinker in our Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, made this simple but profound statement: “It is by the Holy Spirit that we are one with Christ.”

One of the key insights and affirmations of the Lord given to Barnabas Nwoye, confirms the same to many others like Venerable Conception Cabrera de Armida, Elizabeth Kindelmann and Ida Peerdeman, the approved mystic of Amsterdam and our Lady of All Nations: “But at the darkest point of your days, I will light the fire of Victory; I mean the fire of Love in the hearts of men. This is why I called you for the revival of Devotion to the Holy Spirit and the Gift of Pentecost among my people. Let all who are living in the dark wait at the Upper Room with prayer and sacrifice. The Light of Life is coming upon them. Rejoice…Do not turn back from the rood of perfection…All men will experience the Light I am setting upon the high place for peace and for salvation…”

Let us wait no longer to have the Holy Spirit as our Greatest Friend and to provide the daily and then moment by moment inspiration for all our desires, thoughts, actions and words!  Fiat! Fiat! Fiat! Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the power of the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

         “Holy Spirit, transform me with Mary and in Mary into Christ Jesus for the glory of the Father and the salvation of the world. Amen! Alleluia!”

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Smiling Always at God Within Leads to Daily Joy and Union

In the Post from last June 25, we talked about the importance of giving God joy by always smiling at Him within our soul throughout the day.  Here is another insight from our Lord in “He and I” given to Gabrielle Bossis, maybe the greatest spiritual classic in the history of the Church on the daily, intimate life lived in union with Jesus Christ, which in various places emphasizes the coming Grace of living with God’s Will as Mary did.

Our Lord to Gabrielle: “Don’t you find that the inward smiles I’ve asked for and that you give Me make your life joyous?  And don’t you think that your neighbor will notice this radiant peace and find comfort in it? A personal Grace very rarely fails to brim over to everyone. It’s the overflow of My Love that always spreads out in freshets in all directions. Accept everything from Me, child, as a faithful and docile instrument, ready to echo it all to the whole world with the ardent longing for My Glory.

“You often ask that My Kingdom may come. Aren’t you happy if you can contribute to the coming of this Kingdom?  This is why you need to be Holy- to increase My Glory. Think about this.

“Believe in the effectiveness of your work as part of the universal work of the saints. Think of the ‘living stone’ that you are adding to the spiritual house, this stone that no one else but you is called upon to place in just the same position. This should encourage you to make efforts of every kind. Some of them remain a secret between you and Me, and aren’t they the most charming because of their intimacy?

“Above all, don’t ever grow weary of our intimacy. Vary. Improvise. Perfect. Increase.  Call upon the Holy Spirit of Love to help you. Ask My Mother to show you, she who never left Me. Even when you feel good for nothing, give Me this nothing.  Didn’t I create with nothing?

“All I ask of you is the will to give yourself to Me at all times, in cloud or sunshine. And I will take you into the happy Upper Room of My servants and My friends…

“Instead of thinking that you are working for yourself, why not think that it is for Me all day long.  My meals, My walks, My garden, My room, My mending.  Won’t that be more tender?…Don’t ever give way to the distress that keeps you aloof from Me. Be sure that My goodness is infinitely greater than the sinfulness of My children.”

As mentioned in the first article in this series on “He and I” from our Lord to Gabrielle Bossis, He always asked her to smile at Him within her and to smile at Him in others.  He constantly reminded her that He was truly within her (with the Father and Holy Spirit) as long as we are in a state of Grace, and even when others drove Him out with mortal sin, as their Creator, there is still a trace of Him which He wants acknowledged by us in everyone whom He has created, since nothing exists without His cooperation.

Our Lord so desires this from us to comfort Him for the billions of people who never think about Him, because they either don’t know Him or don’t care to speak with Him even if they believe in His existence.  He further reminds Gabrielle that everything He does or permits is for our ultimate spiritual good for all eternity, a much greater eternal reward of Love; and therefore in those who are truly striving to please Him, He expects constant joy from us.  And His Great Joy is to see us constantly in union with Him in thought and word, and our joy to know and relish His Presence within us.  This Joy should take the form of a smile as often as we think about Him within us.  This is the sole purpose of His giving us the Gift of “He and I” through Gabrielle, so we can finally come to know and experience, truly experience, in our daily life this Joy that only God can give to those who desire to know and love Him now (as far as one can in this life) as in Heaven, and who seek to give this same Joy back to God.

Our Lord taught Gabrielle as He did St. Therese, the need for Faith and Trust.  He taught her: “Believe in My Love and you will have over and above all you ask or think….The Three Equal Persons are for you, for everyone. Try to think often of Their Presence in you. It is Love.”  Here are just a few examples of the many times He reminded her to smile:

–“Continue Me. Smile in your soul when you look at Me.”

–“Don’t aim at saying an exact number of wordy prayers. Just love me simply: a look of your heart, the tender smile of a friend.”

–“Take the little daily trials with a smile and you will dress My wounds.”

–“Today, I will take every smile of yours for Myself.”

–“Smile at everyone and I will make your smile a blessing.”

–“The joy of having more of Me brings about all other joys.”

–(Do) You understand, if you keep smiling before My face, you will always have a smile for others, and it will warm their hearts.”

–Be full of joy when you are misunderstood or overlooked, because this makes you just like Me.”

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How We Learn Mental Prayer by Praying and Listening

As we draw closer to God and if we desire to continue the journey to love Him to the maximum point of union God has ordained for all of us, we must spend time every day in mental prayer in addition to our Rosary and other vocal prayer.  Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene in “Divine Intimacy” has magnificently summarized the great teachings of our Faith on every aspect of the spiritual life, especially how we master prayer and the interior life of union with God. While we now have an extraordinary Grace, the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is given by God through our Mother to propel us to the heights of union, we must still master the knowledge of how God wills us to pray mentally.

Fr. Gabriel has a charmastic gift of explaining these truths of God: “It makes no difference whether we attain union with God by means of meditation, or reading, or even by the slow, pious recitation of vocal prayer.  All these ways are good; the best for each one, however, will be that which will lead one more quickly to that end, that is to intimate converse with God. Once we reach the heart of prayer (intimate conversation with God), we must learn how to persevere in it.”

Fr. Gabriel teaches that virtually all of us will need a good book on the spiritual life or the Gospels in order to place ourselves in God’s presence and to realize how much God loves us, because  the whole purpose of our prayer is to enter into that Love and then return that Love.

The manner by which we enter into the colloquy or the intimate conversation with God will differ depending upon our personality and disposition…our maturation in the spiritual life and our openness to the Grace through the Cross.  He explains: “Sometimes, as soon as we are sufficiently convinced of God’s Love for us, we feel invited to express our gratitude, protesting that we want to be more generous in giving ourselves to Him; we beg His pardon for not having done so in the past…Of course, this means an intimate colloquy, wholly personal and spontaneous, without preoccupation with form or order (should spring)…from the superabundance of the heart. In this way, having interrupted the reading or the meditation which has aroused in us so many good thoughts (of God and His Love), we stop to have solitary converse with God, returning to the book or the reflection when we feel the need of seeking new reasons or of arousing new affections to maintain our colloquy with God.  Here is a a genuine colloquy, because not only does the soul speak,  but God often answers-not audibly of course, but by sending the soul Graces of light and love through which the soul will have a better understanding of the Divine ways, and (will) feel more eager to advance in them with generosity. It is well, therefore, not to make use of many words in the colloquy, but to stop often and listen interiorly in order to perceive the movements of Grace, which are really God’s answer.”

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Rejoice! The Lesson of Why Jesus Appeared First to Magdalen

Our beautiful Mother tells Venerable Mary of Agreda: “You will also draw a very useful lesson if you worthily contemplate how quickly the immense Charity of the most High responds to those who are contrite and humble of heart (Ps. 33:19), and how ready God is, immediately to assist those who seek Him in love, who meditate and speak of His Passion and Death (Wis 6:13)…Imitate then the fervor of Magdalen in search of her Master, who did not permit herself to be diverted even by the angels, or leave the grave with the others, or rest until she found Him so full of sweetness and kindness. This she also earned by having accompanied me through all the Passion with an ardent and unfaltering heart. Similar was the conduct of the other Mary’s, who thus merited before so many others the joys of the Resurrection.”

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Understanding our Duty in Meditating Always on the Passion and the Eucharist

Our beautiful Mother instructed Venerable Mary of Agreda on the constant need to thank our sweet Lord for His Passion and Death and to be in love with the Blessed Sacrament: “You should respond to the (outpouring) of Redemption as if it were solely for your benefit, and as if all of the (benefit) would be lost, if you did not profit from its Blessings. So much must you esteem the Redemption; for in the Love which caused my most Holy Son to die for you, He looked upon you with as great an affection as if you had been the only one that needed the remedy of His Passion and Death.

“This is the standard by which you must measure your obligations and your gratitude. Since you see then the base and dangerous forgetfulness of men in regard to this benefit, and you know that for these very people their God and Creator has died, it should be your earnest work to compensate Him for their neglect by your ardent love, as if the proper return for His benefits was left entirely to your fidelity and gratitude alone. At the same time, grieve over the blind folly of men in despising eternal Love and in treasuring up for themselves the wrath of the Lord by frustrating the boundless effects of His Love for the world….There are no words which can describe the bitterness of my soul (in seeing My Son die for many ungrateful people); but the contemplation of (my sorrow) should cause you to esteem no hardship too great, to seek no rest or consolation on earth, except to suffer and die for Christ…”

“I wish you to ponder what a horrible crime it is in the eyes of the Lord, in mine, and in all the eyes of the saints, that men should despise and neglect the frequent reception of Holy Communion, and that they approach it without preparation and fervent devotion…For if I who was innocent of any hindrance of sin and filled with all Graces, sought to increase my fitness for this favor by such fervent acts of Love, humility and gratitude, consider what efforts you and the other children of the Church, who every day and hour incur new guilt and blame, must make in order to prepare yourselves for the beauty of the Divinity and humanity of my most Holy Son?  What excuse can those men give at the Last Judgment, who have despised this ineffable Love, which they had always present in the Holy Church…Be amazed at this insanity as were the holy angels, and guard yourself against falling into this same error.”

Let us do the Divine Mercy Novena today and every day!  Let us ask St. Faustina, the Secretary of God’s Mercy to intercede for us, so we may like her, and Elizabeth Kindelmann, be focused solely on reparation for our sin and the sin of all, especially those who most despise God and the Passion and Death of His Son.  Let us be those who every day meditate on the Passion and prepare to receive worthily the Greatest Gift we can ever receive, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, true God and true man!  Happy and Blessed Easter!  Rejoice!

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Reemphasizing the Truth of the Need to Suffer Now and to Meditate Daily on the Passion of our Lord

While we have discussed this in many posts, this lamentation from our Blessed Mother to Venerable Mary of Agreda from the masterpiece, “City of God”, may be the most striking to our senses, and one of the most important Gifts of Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom from the Holy Spirit, which we we can receive to perfect our Faith, Hope and Charity.  Our Mother describes the agony in the Garden of our Lord for our sins, for our ungratefulness, and especially the fact that many souls freely and purposely reject the offer of salvation our Lord won for them by His extreme suffering and death for them…and thus go to their eternal ruin despite His Mercy:

“My daughter,  in all that you are made to understand and to write concerning these mysteries, you draw upon yourself and upon all souls, a severe judgment, if you do not overcome your (lack of courage), ingratitude and baseness, by meditating day and night on the Passion and Death of Jesus Crucified.  This is the great science of the saints, so little heeded by the worldly; it is the bread of life and the spiritual food of the little ones, which gives Wisdom to them, and the lack of which starves the lovers of this proud world (Wis 15: 3). In this science, I wish you to be studious and wise, for with it you can buy yourself all good things (Wis 7: 11).  My Son taught us this science when He said: ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no one comes to the Father, except through Me.’ (John 4: 16). Tell them my daughter: if my Lord and Master has made Himself the Life and the Way for men through His Passion and Death, is it not evident that in order to go that way and live up to this Truth, you must follow Christ crucified, afflicted, scourged and affronted?

“Consider the ignorance of men who wish to come to the Father without following Christ, since they expect to reign with God without suffering or imitating His Passion, yes without even a thought of accepting any part of His suffering and Death, or of thanking Him for it. They want it to procure for them the pleasures of this life as well as eternal life, while Christ, their Creator, has suffered the most bitter pains and torments in order to enter Heaven and to show them by His example how they are to find the way of Light.

“Eternal rest is incompatible with the shame of not having duly labored for its attainment. He is not a true son or daughter of His Father, who does not imitate Him, nor is he a good disciple, who does not follow His Master…nor do I count him a devoted child, who does not suffer with me and my Divine Son.

“But our love for the  eternal salvation of men obliges us, who see them forgetful of this Truth and so adverse to suffering, to send them labors and punishments, so that if they do not freely welcome them, they may at least be forced to undergo them, and so be enabled to enter upon the way of salvation….In many of the faithful, this ignorance goes still further; for some of them expect to be distinguished by God’s intimate Love, others to be pardoned without penance, others to be highly favored. Nothing of this will they obtain: BECAUSE THEY DO NOT ASK IN THE NAME OF CHRIST THE LORD, AND BECAUSE THEY DO NOT WISH TO IMITATE HIM AND FOLLW HIM IN HIS PASSION.” (Emphasis added)

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Further Insight Into Suffering and Sacrifice as Our Daily Bread and Eternal Glory

In the exceptional work, “The City of God”, given to Venerable Mary of Agreda, which has long been approved by and recommended by Holy Mother Church for our edification, there are numerous teachings on the lifelong role of sacrifice and suffering in the lives of our Lord and our Mother.  Our beautiful Mother taught Venerable Mary of Agreda, just as she taught Elizabeth Kindelmann, of the critical need to imitate her Son and her own sacrifice and suffering, which she also offered for our salvation: “My daughter…my Son and I with Him, in our ardent Love,  embraced the way of the Cross and suffering for the whole course of our natural life….you must strive to follow it closely in your daily life…

“This duty grows upon you from the day on which my Son has chosen you as a bride, and will oblige you more and more, so you can not evade the duty of embracing and loving hardships to such an extent,  that your greatest pain shall be to be without hardships.  Renew every day this desire in your heart, for I wish you to be very proficient in this science, which the world abhors so much. But remember at the same time, that God does not afflict creatures merely for the sake of afflicting them, but in order to make them more capable and worthy of receiving the blessings and treasures prepared for them beyond all human conception (1 Cor 2: 9)…

“If all bodily suffering merits its crown, a much greater crown is merited by the patient endurance and pardoning of injuries, and by returning good for them, as we acted with Judas…If then God suffers and bears with us so much, how much must one poor worm of the earth bear with another, since both are of the same nature and condition?  By the light of this Truth, and by the Charity of the Lord…, you must (increase) the amount of (your) patience and long suffering with others and zeal for their salvation. I do not say that you must therefore permit what is against the honor of God, for that would not be true zeal for you neighbor; but you must love them as creatures of the Lord and abhor sin.  You must suffer and ignore whatever is done to you, always seeking…the salvation of others.

“Do not lose Heart when you see no immediate fruit, but continue to present to the Eternal Father, the merits of my most holy Son, my intercession, and that of the saints and angels; for as God is Charity, and as they are ministers of the Most High, they will gladly make use of this same Charity for the benefit of those who are still on their (earthly) pilgrimage.”

Let us remember this Truth, which our Mother has made clear to Venerable Mary of Agreda, to Elizabeth Kindelmann, to St. Faustina, to St. Therese and many other models for us, that  God has chosen you and me, and all those who will respond to the call of daily sacrifice and suffering, because He seeks to allow us to be as close to Him as possible in this life; AND BECAUSE HE MUST GIVE OF HIMSELF,  AND HE SO DESIRES YOU TO SHARE (TO A MUCH GREATER DEGREE THAN THOSE WHO WILL NOT RESOND) IN THIS TREASURE OF LOVE FOR ALL ETERNITY! BUT ONLY IF WE SUFFER WITH HIM NOW!

Lord, we beg You for this Grace for everyone who reads these words, for we can not do this unless You do it for us, and we trust that You will because You are a good, good Father! It is indeed who You are!  We praise and we thank you for Your Mercy and Goodness to us!

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