One of my conversion experiences was when I encountered the Risen Lord. It was at a time in my life when I was searching for healing, for consolation. Shortly after my search for God, I truly did experience Him: I was healed of an incurable illness through the healing power of the Holy Spirit!
That encounter changed my life. My search turned into a search to learn more about the Risen Lord Jesus, His teachings and His Church. One of my discoveries in my search (which never ends!) was the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in my life. I read about ‘The Coming of the Holy Spirit” in the Acts of the Apostles (2:11-13) and came to truly believe it happened 2,000 years ago—and continues to happen today!
Another remarkable experience with the Holy Spirit was in the Holy Land. One of our pilgrimages to the Holy Land fell during the Feast of Pentecost. My husband Tom and I were spending time with our spiritual mother, a Franciscan nun, Sister Bernarda. She invited us to attend a Pentecost Prayer Service in the Upper Room in Jerusalem with other religious (Franciscan priests, brothers, nuns) and lay persons. They all served in the Holy Land in various capacities and come from various countries. The Service was in Latin, the mother tongue of the Catholic Church. However, when it came to praying the Lord’s Prayer, everyone was invited to pray in their own native tongue.
The Upper Room is a simple, large room with a couple of open doorways. As we prayed the Lord’s Prayer, the room was filled with joy and peace! This is how it was 2,000 years ago! Imagine how we must have felt—being at the site of the Upper Room in Jerusalem with Christians, praising God and hearing various tongues on the Feast of Pentecost! Tom and I praised God for this unique experience!
That day, we experienced the Holy Spirit—the love of God the Father and of Jesus, Son of God. The Holy Spirit became for us a bridge between God and others. Each day, we beg the Holy Spirit to guide us and lead us in our daily walk with Christ. The Holy Spirit is the unconditional love of God. The Holy Spirit offers us His gifts that no one else can offer; His gifts are priceless and can lead us to a life of peace, joy and hope!
This year, the Church celebrates Pentecost on Sunday May 27th, 50 days after Easter. Take advantage of these next few days before Pentecost (or any day) to implore the Holy Spirit into your life, by asking Him to ‘stir within you’ a desire to know and love God and in doing so, you will indeed be on the road to true peace, joy and hope!
Come, Holy Spirit, fill me with your peace, guide me with your wisdom and grant me what is necessary today in my walk with Christ Jesus!