"The kiss of God, is the gift of the Spirit"
- St. Bernard Clairvaux
I was almost finished answering the two hundred multiple choice questions on my Marriage and Family Therapy licensing exam. It was a four hour test, ad I had two minutes left with one question. If a question is unanswered it is marked wrong. I was anxious to get the test done and all I could hear was the man next to me complaining to the woman working there. I was trying to concentrate but was distracted. Then, I called upon the Holy Spirit to give me guidance and knowledge to figure out the last question. I remember an overwheming peace came over me, and then it was if He whispered the right answer into my ear. I completed the test with 30 seconds left on the clock. I couldn't believe that I answered all 200 questions and it was four weeks later when I found out that I finally passed! This was the fourth time that I have taken this exam. The first time I took it was when I was pregnant with my youngest son. I Didn't pass, so I figured I try again when he was about a year old. Again, didn't pass. Then, I tried again after a couple years. About the third time, I figure I should take a break and maybe not even go through with my licesnse. But I knew that it was needed in order for me to have my private practice. So, I took a year to study for it while working part time. The years prior to the last time I took the test, I didn't know Jesus or the Holy Spirit personally. This time, I knew I had someone on my side to help, so I asked and He came through!
On Sunday, May 23rd we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. This is when the Apostles and Mary were all in the upper room after Jesus' death. They were afraid that they would be put to death, just like Jesus. It mentions in Acts 2:1-47 - "When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. ..." This was the birthday of the Catholic Church. The starting point. When Jesus went into Heaven, He said "if I do not go, the Advocate will not come." And He promised His Spirit to be with us until the end of time. His Holy Spirit lives in every Baptized Christian and is alive in His Church today.
When a person is Baptized they recieve the Holy Spirit, and then again at First Communion. But when a person is Confirmed in the faith, he/she recieves the fullness of the Spirit and they receive a great amount of gifts and charsims. The 12 fruits and 7 gifts are great to have, especially in the world we live in today. We need courage, fortitude, piety, kindness, love, gentless etc. These are all great, but there are also charsims that help with service of the church and in the world. These charisms are the gift of healing, discernment of spirits, prophecy, miralces, speaking in tonges and interpertations of tongues. I wish I knew what my gift was when I was confirmed. No one told me about these gifts. I had no idea they even existed? It was when I was in my late thirties when I realized that I was given the gift of Discernement. This has come in handy because I know that certain situations are from God and some are not. I also have been blessed to be in a healing ministry called Unbound (you can find more about Unboud on my website, youarelovedministry.com). The Holy Spirit is also a healer, the counselor and comforter. Some people may think that healing was done when Jesus was here on earth. But that is untrue. Healing still happens today. Jesus gave the authority to the apostles, and they carried out Jesus' mission. The Church today is built on Apostolic succession and all of the Popes can be traced back to Peter who was the first pope.
The Holy Spirit still continues to work miracles, heals the sick whether emotional sickness, physical sickness or spiritual. God is still in the healing business and always has been. Reconciliation, Annointing of the Sick and the Eucharist are all healing Sacraments of the church. Healing can also come through people that we meet, and those that care for us such as doctors, physicians, therapists etc. God works through His people and His Church. It is such a treasure. A Holy Treasure!
About the Authour: Donna L. Marotto is a Licesnsed Marriage and Family Therapist, Youth Minister and Lay Franciscan. Her blog comes out on the third Monday of every month. Next month's blog will be on the Courage Apostalate in the Catholic Faith. If you would like her to speak at your next event, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org