Pentecost Sunday
HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - June 1, 2020 - 12:00am

Pentecost Sunday reminds us that God is always with us. It reminds us of a very wonderful truth of our faith as expressed by Christ himself: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him…I will not leave you orphans…” (Jn 14,16-18)

This should embolden us to always be confident, at peace and cheerful no matter what happens, because at the end of the day, God is always with us. It would be a great pity if we fail to realize this reality, because we do not live our faith well and prefer instead to rely on our human estimations alone.

To live by faith in order to live in the Spirit does not mean that we should escape from the things of the world. The Spirit is precisely everywhere. He is in all things that we handle, in all the situations that we can find ourselves in. What we have to do is to try to develop a contemplative spirit ourselves so that we can always discern the presence and the constant interventions of the Spirit in our lives.

This means that while we are immersed in the things of this world, we also have to learn to transcend from. That is to say that while we tackle the temporal and worldly dimensions of everything in our life here on earth, we do not allow ourselves to be trapped by them. We have to learn how to enter into the spiritual and supernatural dimension of our temporal and worldly affairs.

That is simply because God, who is pure spirit and completely supernatural, is in our temporal and worldly affairs. We should not ignore this very important reality in our life. In fact, we should always be aware of it and try to correspond to it as best as we can.

To be sure, we are enabled to discern God’s presence and interventions, because of our intelligence and will. These are powerful faculties that would enable us to know and to love, and eventually to enter in the lives of others and ultimately to be with God.

But more importantly, we are always given the grace so that our capacity to be with God is actualized. It’s not enough that we are enabled to know and love God. That potency has to be put into act with the grace of God who gives it to us in abundance.

We have to do our part, of course. And the first thing to do is to be aware that there is such a reality as developing a life in the Spirit, and from there start cultivating the proper attitudes, skills and virtues.

This may look like a daunting, overwhelming task, but it can always be done. Sure, there will be difficult, awkward moments, but those usually happen in the beginning of the learning curve. As long as we persist, time will come when living in intimate relationship with the Spirit becomes second nature to us.

If we live the life in the Spirit, we would always be checking the spirit behind everything in our life. We cannot be naïve and just accept things as they come. We need to check if the spirit behind comes from God or not.

In this, we have received enough warnings from Sacred Scripture. “Beloved,” St. John, for example, in his first letter tells us, “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (4,1)

There are many kinds of spirits roaming around the world, and we have to learn how to discern them. There is the spirit of God, the spirit of Christ as opposed to the antichrist. There is also the evil spirit, and the spirit of the world that is dominated by the evil one.

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