“The Spirit scrutinizes everything.” So begins today’s first reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. What a great reminder!!
Although not technically the beginning of a new year, September often feels that way. Summer unofficially ends after Labor Day. Most kids are back to school. Full weeks of families’ summer vacations have come to a close. Business activity picks up. Traffic increases. The lazy lull of our warm days cede to the approaching autumn – an end and new start.
What better time for the scriptures to remind us of the Spirit’s work in our lives? St. Paul tells us:
Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.
Among men, who knows what pertains to the man
except his spirit that is within?
Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world
but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom,
but with words taught by the Spirit,
describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.
Now the natural man does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God,
for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it,
because it is judged spiritually.
The one who is spiritual, however, can judge everything
but is not subject to judgment by anyone.
For “who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?”
But we have the mind of Christ. (1Cor 2:10b-16)
My grandmother was a great proponent of the Holy Spirit and of calling on the Spirit in all things. She would say to us kids, “When you need help say, ‘Holy Spirit, strengthen my faith and guide my mind,’ and the Holy Spirit will be right there with you.” She was right, of course.
This simple woman knew and lived this great Truth about which St. Paul writes. She recognized God’s sovereignty in all things. She embraced the gift of the Spirit as a gift from God to her – personally. She lived according to the movement of the Spirit and thus the will of God. We need to do the same thing.
So as we enter a new season today, begin your days with a prayer to the Holy Spirit, and as you go about your day, invite the Holy Spirit into everything. Pray in the moment, along with my grandmother and me, “Holy Spirit, strengthen my faith and guide my mind.” What a difference it will make!
Come, Holy Spirit! Anne
I ran across this prayer many years ago, and for quite a while, it was my daily prayer. For whatever reason these days, I fall in and out of praying it. Today, I’m recommitting myself to its daily use. I invite you to do the same.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill my heart with your holy gifts.
Let my weakness be penetrated with your strength this very day that I may fulfill the duties of my state in life conscientiously, that I may do what is right and just.
Let my charity be such as to offend no one and hurt no one’s feelings; so generous as to pardon sincerely any wrong done to me.
Assist me in all the trials of life, enlighten me in my ignorance, advise me in my doubts, strengthen my weakness, help me in all needs and embarrassment, protect me in temptations and console me in all afflictions.
Graciously hear me, O Holy Spirit, and pour your light into my heart, my soul and my mind. Assist me to live a holy life and to grow in goodness and grace. Amen