Come Holy Spirit, fill our lives.

With that prayer, Kris Frank invited us to consider more deeply who the Holy Spirit really is. Like many of us, Kris pointed out that he forgot about the Holy Spirit in his faith life when he was younger. The Spirit, however, is easily accessible and inviting the Spirit into our lives will change us for the better.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?

Kris started by acknowledging that understanding who the Spirit is isn’t an easy task. We have probably encountered images of the Holy Spirit as a dove, fire, wind, or water. These images all fall short or can deceive us in how we relate to the Holy Spirit. Even the great saints like St. Basil the Great struggled to explain who the Spirit is.

Kris shared his experience of Confirmation and waiting to receive the Holy Spirit as a dove. When no dove appeared, no fire or wind shook the church building, he was quite disappointed and gave up caring about the Holy Spirit.

A Relationship with the Holy Spirit

During college, however, Kris started investing in his faith. In so doing, he felt like something was a little off. Something was missing. He saw his friends going to church and praying and looking joyful about it. Meanwhile, he still felt like going to church was a duty.

On a retreat, Kris had a very powerful experience of the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, he realized the Holy Spirit was actually with him. Indeed, there wasn’t something missing in his life; there was someONE missing in his life.

The Holy Spirit, The Breath of Life

Kris pointed out that there are two instances in Scripture in which God breathes. The first is in the story of creation in Genesis when God breathes life into man. The second is after the Resurrection when Jesus appears to the disciples locked in the upper room. Jesus breathes on them and bestows on them the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22)

We sometimes say that the Holy Spirit comes to inspire. The word ‘inspire’ literally means to breathe into. The Holy Spirit wants to breathe life into us.

Having a Relationship with the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit isn’t just a theological idea; the Spirit is a person who wants to have a relationship with us. The Holy Spirit can inspire your faith to new heights. Kris shared a quote from St. Seraphim of Sarov who said, “If you truly receive the Holy Spirit, thousands of lives will be changed.”

Having a relationship with the Spirit doesn’t require a formula; all we have to do is simply invite Him into our lives by simply praying, “Come, Holy Spirit.”

Are you willing to invite the Holy Spirit to be in your life and allow Him to guide you to greatness?

Quotables:

I realized in my faith life there wasn’t something missing; there was someONE missing.

The Holy Spirit takes us where we are, but the Holy Spirit will not leave us where you are.

If we prayed to the Holy Spirit every day, our lives would be radically changed.

We need to focus on God and not the gifts.

Written by Stephanie To
Stephanie To works for the Respect Life Apostolate for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. A lawyer and bioethicist by training, she is passionate about the Catholic faith and pro-life issues. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys making music (playing the violin, playing the handbells, and singing), cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals and KU Jayhawks, and hanging out with friends. You can follow her on Twitter at @stephaniehto.