Paul J. Kim – Limitless Life

When we as Catholics imagine the Holy Sprit, we almost always think about Confirmation. For those who’ve received the Sacrament, you might remember oil on your face or that saint name; you know, the one you haven’t prayed to in a while? Maybe all you can recall is the worldly gifts you received from your parents and sponsor. But not many of us remember the spiritual gifts that were offered to us by God’s own outstretched hands. As Steubenville speaker Paul J. Kim put it, “We don’t understand spiritual gifts, because many of us have no idea who the Holy Spirit truly is.”

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. The Spirit is God in His most limitless form. He is the one who helped fashion the universe out of nothing. He existed before space and time, covered the world in vast oceans and raised up mountains from grains of sand. The Holy Spirit is the very force that conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb and the one who spoke you into existence. He empowered the Lord Jesus to sacrifice His life for our sins on the cross, and through His power Jesus rose from the dead. Every day, every fleeting second since Adam and Eve ate the apple, He has been renewing the face of the earth, changing it back into a perfect garden again.

While the Holy Spirit might be most commonly thought of as a dove, it’s far from a gentle force. St. Paul actually called the Spirit “duanimis”, from which the Latin root word “dynamite” is derived. In short, the Holy Spirit is an all-consuming, hurling ball of fire ready to incinerate all who ask for His exploding presence. And He is not just a life-support for the holy and most faithful. St. Peter used the Spirit to convert thousands of Jews and Gentiles, and he was among the most flawed of Jesus’ followers. The Lord was able to see in Peter more than he’d ever be able to see in himself. He gave Peter His Spirit so that the brokenness, the faults inside him, would no longer carry weight. The Glory of God is man fully alive, and through the Holy Ghost, the early founders of the church were able to birth a movement that is still thriving 2,000 years later. But this exuberant power is not something that only existed in ancient Israel. It’s happening right now all over the world. You only have to look.

How to keep the Spirit alive inside:

While it’s easy to feel our hearts aflame when we are surrounded by thousands of worshiping Catholics, we often lose that burning feeling when we return to our families, our high school friends, or when we’re enclosed in the silence of our empty bedrooms. During today’s talk, Paul J. Kim offered his practical tips on how to make ordinary life still feel like Steubenville and to keep the Holy Spirit stirred up inside.

1. Pray each day

Prayer is a relationship with God. If you don’t pray often, you don’t have a relationship with Him. Period. Without constant conversation, the Spirit will be a stranger to you. Pray for your friends, your family, and your hopes. Pray over your food in public restaurants. Take the time to talk to God. Give yourself a moment each day to be real and authentic with your Heavenly Father. Tell Him your fears, your anxieties, your wants. Let Him know how your day at school went, or tell Him about that argument with your best friend. You can even even keep a journal to write down your thoughts and prayers.

2. Talk to someone

It’s not good for man to be alone. Find a trusted someone or maybe even a group of people to confide in. Whether you discuss your thoughts on God or just talk about your week, support like this goes a long way. Make sure you have someone to turn to when you need an extra prayer or blessing.

3. Go to regular confession.

Going to Reconciliation once or twice a year is like only having a shower every six months. Being forgiven through the Sacrament gives us the physical feeling of being clean. It will also loosen the hold of shame and guilt. If freedom is what you seek, make the Sacrament a regular habit. Most churches offer confession weekly.

4. Choose your friends

Bad company corrupts good morals. Ask yourself whether your current companions have a negative or positive affect on your relationship with God. Do these friends lead you to do sketchy, sinful or immoral things? If so, surround yourself with people who share your faith and encourage you to be better and strive for greatness. If they are truly rooted in the Lord, they should always lead your to a more prosperous, fulfilling and engrossing life.

5. Get involved

God wants you to seek more out of your church. And you will never grow in your commitment to Him if you only sit on your couch binge-watching Netflix. Have real conversations about Christ and the Catholic teachings. Engage in a relationship with a priest or religious sister. Talk to your youth leaders and other members of your church about ways do become more active. Have a thirst for knowledge and truth. Read Scripture and listen to Catholic podcasts. Find religious websites and blogs, and start conversations. Be curious. Be expressive. Don’t let any aspect of your faith go unexplored.

6. Stay close to your Mother

While dying on the cross, Jesus took the time to specifically give His own mother to us. She is the true heart of Heaven and loves us each as her precious children. She prays constantly for you, kisses you with grace and is always asking the Lord to bless your family. Most of all, though, our mother is fighting a tug-of-war with the devil over our souls. Spoiler alert, she wins. So get to know her, especially by praying the rosary.

7. Get back-up

You will fail. The struggle will be grueling, but you only lose the fight when you accept defeat. Know that the Holy Spirit is invincible and will not leave you on your own. You don’t always have to stand strong, you just have to stand. Don’t give up and keep fighting the good fight. Remember that evil is a coward, death is a lie, and our God is always – and forever – limitless.

Written by Aneliesa Gilpin
Aneliesa is a student at Berklee College of Music, studying songwriting. She loves pop music, exploring Los Angeles, and explaining to people how she can’t hear the letter H. You can find her volunteering on the Reap Team or breaking into spontaneous musical theater numbers with strangers on the street.