Q. How do we recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
A. We recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit when we confess Jesus Christ as Lord and are brought into love and harmony with God, with ourselves, with our neighbors, and with all creation.
– An Outline of the Faith – commonly called the Catechism
In my last blog I shared where I experience the presence of the Holy Spirit. As we now move into living fully into the season of Pentecost I am pondering, how am I opening myself to the working of the Spirit through me? For me this is at the core of God’s invitation to join in God’s mission for us to become the Beloved Community, by following Jesus in living the Way of Love.
Concretely, one of the lenses I find most helpful is in Paul’s letter to the Galatians: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23, 25). As I enter every encounter, every experience, especially those that are particularly challenging, the fundamental question for me is how am I manifesting the fruit of the Spirit:
Am I acting out of a place of fear or love?
Am I embodying a space of negativity or joy?
Am I fueled by anger or am I seeking peace?
Am I filled with anxiety or patience?
Am I approaching others with rudeness or with kindness?
Am I seeking to bring harm or goodness?
Am I living life apathetically or with faithfulness?
Am I experienced by others as hyper-critical or with gentleness?
Am I expressing myself as reactive or self controlled?
In this green growing season of Pentecost may we all strive for ways for the fruit of the Spirit to be manifest through us!