O Holy Spirit, Soul of my soul, I adore you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I ought to do, and command me to do it. I promise to submit myself to all that You ask of me, and to accept all that You permit to happen to me. Only let me know Your will. Amen.
The Holy Spirit, Sweet Guest of Our Souls
Note: Meditations for Days 1 through 8 are based on the book Come Creator Spirit, by Rev. A. Biskupek, SVD, now out of print.
The Holy Spirit is the sweet guest of our souls, bringing us the never-ending gift of divine love and grace and friendship. As social beings, we are not made to live alone, and yet we often experience loneliness, even in the midst of a crowd. This is the loneliness of the heart, a sense of not being completely understood, or of being forgotten.
Deeper still, the human heart has a deep loneliness and longing for God. Because we are made for God, nothing on this earth can fully satisfy us. “My soul is yearning and pining for the living God,” prays the psalmist. Worldly enjoyments often leave us with a deeper restlessness and emptiness. We know we are made for more, and the Holy Spirit creates within us a deep longing for the God of our hearts.
From whatever cause our loneliness might arise, the Holy Spirit offers us companionship as the faithful, abiding guest of our souls. St. Augustine cried out: “Our hearts are made for you, O God, and restless will they be until they rest in you.” The infinite love of God who is the Holy Spirit gives our hearts rest. When by faith and love we abide with Him and with the Father and the Son, we feel at home. Jesus promised us this new life in the family of the Trinity when he said: “I will ask the Father and he will give you another Paraclete to be with you always: the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot accept since it neither sees him nor recognizes him; but you can recognize him, because he remains with you and will be within you....Anyone who loves me will be true to my word, and my Father will love him; and we will come to him and make our home within him.”
The close presence of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is full of understanding and unconditional love. Loved ones might forget or abandon us, but God is faithful. In a way human friends could not possibly give, the Holy Spirit offers us His help, consolation and company at any moment of the day or night. When St. John Chrysostom was forced into exile, he drew strength and comfort from the presence of the Holy Spirit within. He wrote: “Wherever I go, even to the most distant country or to the most barbarous people, I always have God with me.”
There are certain sacred duties to be observed toward the sweet guest of our souls. The house in which He dwells must be free of whatever grieves Him. Deliberate venial sin is offensive to the Holy Spirit and must be avoided at all costs. But it is comforting also to remember that it is the Holy Spirit Himself who cleanses our souls from sin and make them beautiful with the virtues of Christ.
Knowing the guest we bear within, it would be unthinkable for us to ignore Him. Spending time with this abiding companion, often sending Him some darts of our love, calling upon Him for light and grace to carry out the Father’s will especially in the midst of the crosses of life, and begging Him to light the fire of His love in our hearts, are ways to cultivate our friendship with the sweet guest of our souls. The peace His presence brings us cannot be taken from us even by the most severe trials of life. The Holy Spirit makes the yoke of Jesus sweet and His burden light. We carry within it the great fountain of joy and the giver of all consolation, so why are we so slow in grasping these precious divine gifts?