Make love your aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy…he who prophesies speaks to men for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 1 Corinthians 14:1, 3
The Sacraments are an encounter with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is present in all of the Sacraments. At baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit; we are immersed in Christ’s death and resurrection, freed from the stain of original sin. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments” (CCC, 1213, emphasis added).
Have you ever wondered why couples who marry in the Catholic Church have to be baptized? It is because the Holy Spirit is imparted at baptism and this is a requirement for the marriage to be sacramental. In “this sacrament the spouses receive the Holy Spirit as the communion of love of Christ and the Church. The Holy Spirit is the seal of their covenant, the ever available source of their love and the strength to renew their fidelity” (CCC, 1624, emphasis added).
What this simply means, is that the Holy Spirit gives the couple the grace needed to live out the Sacrament of Matrimony. Without grace, we cannot be Christ to our beloved. We are fallen, self-centered, and broken people. We need God’s grace to experience the fruits of the Spirit in our marriages and families. Without grace, we fail to be the persons God has called us to be.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
Review this list. You nail every one of these, every day, all the time, right? Shall we ask your spouse or your children how you are doing in these areas? If there are times when you feel that you cannot demonstrate these fruits to your spouse or children, STOP and PRAY for the Holy Spirit to give you the grace to react as Christ in the situation.
Scripture says, “You do not have, because you do not ask” (Jas 4:2). Thankfully, Jesus tells us “Ask, and it will be given you” (Mt 7:7). When you are not your best, ask for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit to give you the grace to be more Christ-like in your words and actions. He is the ever available source of grace. We are to be channels of the Holy Spirit, allowing the gifts of the Holy Spirit to flow out to others.
Pray for the grace of the Holy Spirit to be more present in your marriage and look for signs of the Holy Spirit’s work in your lives. He is the ever-available source of love and strength for your marriage.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Cardinal Désiré-Félicien-François-Joseph Mercier
I am going to reveal to you the secret of sanctity and happiness. Every day for five minutes control your imagination and close your eyes to the things of sense and your ears to all the noises of the world, in order to enter into yourself. Then in the sanctity of your baptized soul, (which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit) speak to that Divine Spirit, saying to Him:
Oh, Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul. I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do, give me your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that You permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will.
If you do this, your life will flow along happily, serenely and full of consolation, even in the midst of trials. Grace will be proportioned to the trial, giving you the strength to carry it and you will arrive at the gates of Paradise, laden with merit. This submission to the Holy Spirit is the secret of sanctity.