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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pentecost--How is the Holy Spirit Working in Your Life.

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 Each year since this blog began (2009) I have offered a reflection on the Feast of Pentecost, focusing on the meaning of the Pentecost event, the first Pentecost. In recent weeks Pope Francis has been offering us  thoughts on this wonderful celebration of the birth of the Church and challenging us to be open today to allow the Spirit to work in our lives.  This has lead me to ponder the many ways that I believe the Holy Spirit to have worked in my own life as well as to ask if in any ways I have resisted the work of the Spirit. As I result this reflection will focus on the role of the Spirit in my life with the hope that it will lead my readers to make a similar reflection for your lives.

   While I'm not going to go through forty two years of priestly ministry and talk about everything that has been the work of the Spirit in my life I would like to highlight two things and then talk about more recent developments in that regard. As most who are reading this blog already know I have been in the Franciscan Ministry of the Word, a ministry of preaching, for over 25 years.  I often pinch myself when I think of my early days of ministry and even my days of seminary.  My lowest grade during my four years of theology was in homiletics (preaching).  As a young priest I was very nervous and shy about preaching.  The fact that I can preach as I do today, effectively, with good response from people, is eloquent testimony not to anything that I have accomplished, but rather to the work of the Spirit in my life.  I also speak Spanish and Italian, as well as English.  In high school and college I studies languages, got good grades, but never mastered speaking them.  While I never received the gift of tongues the way the apostles did I do believe that my attaining fluency in Spanish and to a lesser extent in Italian is another gift of the Spirit in my life.

   Back to the present, in recent years my fellow friars had been encouraging me to write a book.  I resisted somewhat, not sure that I could do that.  As you know My book, The Wandering Friar, has just been published. The Spirit was working,I believe, not only in me, but through my brothers, to nudge me to get this done.  On the way to the book I began to write this blog in 2009.  This project lead not only to the book, but to the use of the Internet as a tool for ministry and sharing the word of God.  Facebook shows, for the most part, the lighter side of my ministry and travels. It also gives me a chance. to make known my stance  on some issues of Justice and Peace and to connect more people to this blog.  About 15 months ago I started using Twitter.  I was reluctant at first, having heard of some of the banal ways in which this medium has been used, but now I am sending out almost every day a "tweet" with a reflection on the day's Mass readings or a reflection on the meaning of certain feasts.  I have been amazed at the responses I get from many people not only telling me that they like what I do, but that they have been helped by what has been written. 

   I was reluctant to write in this vain because it may seem awfully close to boasting, which I do not want to do.  Rather I offer these thoughts to give witness to what I believe, the Holy Spirit has helped me to realize in a way that is so much more than what could be done merely on my own strength and with my own resources.

   I hope that those of you who read this reflection, who are not priests, realize that the Holy Spirit works in all of our lives through our Baptism and Confirmation, something again which Pope Francis has reminded us of quite a bit in recent weeks.  Ask yourself, as we celebrate Pentecost 2013, how the Holy Spirit has worked in your life, how you have been called to serve others, how your marriage has grown with the help of the Spirit, how God has used you in ways beyond your wildest imagination, but also how you may, at times, have resisted the work of the Spirit in your life.

   The clip at the top of this page is the trailer for The Wandering Friar created by Tate Publishing. You can learn about and purchase the book as well has connect to mu social media sites at the book's website thewanderingfriar.tateauthor.com  Though many of you have purchased the book from me or the publisher it's official release date is actually not until May 28 when it will start to be distributed to bookstores.  With that date in mind it can also be pre-ordered in paperback or kindle format on Amazon.com.

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