“The Holy Spirit, […] made his appearance on the great day, and I assure you that not a day has passed since then, and I could even say an hour, that he has not imparted ineffable spiritual experiences to that person whom he deigned to choose and sanctify. I did not count in vain on his powerful help for my whole retreat was made in a spirit of trust. I feel renewed and am in a spiritual state that I cannot put into words.” (Letter to Fr. Tempier, October 20, 1832 – 437: VIII in Oblate Writings)
Eugene is speaking of his being consecrated as the Bishop of Icosia and gives evidence to the Holy Spirit being so much a part of it all. Today as I turn 65 I reflect on the Holy Spirit in my life – that is cause for celebration – there is much and great joy in being 65 years old – simply in ‘being’ 65.
I reflect on how it is the Holy Spirit – that is the very spirit of God, who seems to lead me, guide me – mostly in and through others. All that I receive and learn from Eugene, from many of my Oblate brothers and sisters, from my family, from those I minister with and too – all of them agents of the Holy Spirit.
Recently at daily Mass there were two priests – one presiding and the other in the pews. During the short homily I found myself thinking of the homilist and how it was pure gift of self, who he was/is in God that he would preach not just to us, but to his brother in the pew – sharing who he was and being comfortable with the gift that he is with and as part of the community. Looking at myself I realised that I was finally comfortable in my own skin, with my own spirituality, with myself. Most surely that was a gift of the Holy Spirit for I had let go of much and emptied myself to make room for just such a gift.
Today I am 65 and I celebrate. Perhaps this is just one more of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. I give thanks for one of the greatest gifts I could receive.