“When I grow up, I am going to be a missionary to China!” my daughter announced, bouncing up from her schoolwork. I smiled at her, redirecting her back to her seat. Since talking is always more interesting than spelling words, she turned to her younger sister, “I am going to teach people about Jesus, and He said that we don’t have to worry about what to say since the Holy Spirit will give us the words!” (See Matthew 10:19.)
I looked again at my shy-in-public eight-year-old and a great hesitancy filled my heart for her as I meditated on her weaknesses. Meanwhile I overlooked her great confidence in His grace.
Jesus tells the disciples at the Last Supper: “When he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you in all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears . . .” (John 16:13).
While I have always had a firm faith in the truths revealed to the Church and Christ’s promise to guide His Church, I have often failed to have hope in the Holy Spirit to guide me personally and be with me as I live out my faith. More often than not I worry to myself, What if He doesn’t come? What if I try to do what He asks, and fail? As a perfectionist, I would rather not try at all than fail, so I shrink back in my fainthearted way.
Today’s Gospel calls me to a greater trust in His promise to be with me. It reminds me that I do not need to speak on my own but speak what I have heard. I have to renew my hope and seek courage every day to follow God’s will for me as I face fears that try to hold me back. I have to intentionally bear in mind that the Holy Spirit is always with me, nudging me and guiding me. He makes up for my inadequacies, giving me the courage that I lack. All He asks of me is that I do His will, open to His grace.
Have you seen this brilliant Holy Spirit stained-glass window in Saint Peter's Basilica?
Susanna Spencer is the Theological Editor for Blessed is She who studied theology and philosophy in her earlier life. She happily cares for her three adorable little girls, toddler boy, and her dear husband in Saint Paul when not writing and editing. She loves beautiful liturgies, cooking delicious meals, baking amazing sweets, reading good books, raising her children, casually following baseball, and talking to her philosopher husband. You can find out more about her here. She is the Theological Editor of both the Catechism Studies and the Mystery Studies.