Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.
Today the Church celebrates the close of the Easter season with the Feast of Pentecost. This feast commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and Mary in the Upper Room. The Acts of the Apostles describes the Holy Spirit as rushing upon them with the power of a strong wind and as tongues of fire:
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Acts 2:1-4
Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Papal household, also describes the Holy Spirit as fire:
The Holy Spirit is the love of God. Within the Trinity, he is the flame of love going from the Father to the Son, and from the Son to the Father.
We are invited to be filled with this same flame of love and to let it overflow onto everyone we meet. If you are not experiencing the power and the fruits of the Holy Spirit in your life, we encourage you to examine your heart and to ask God to burn away all that prevents the love of Christ from flowing through you into a world darkened by sin.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Galatians 5:22-23a
Examine your heart; is there evidence of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in your life? The degree that we exhibit the fruits of the Spirit, is the extent to which our lives are ordered according to God’s will. In other words, is God first place in your life?
“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
Jesus reiterates this point when He asks: “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” (Jn 21:15). Simon Peter responds, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” What are the “these” Jesus is asking about? Jesus is asking Simon Peter if He loves Him more than his boats, fish, family, and everything else in his life.
Can you respond, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you”? Our lives will be out of order if we do not love God more than everything else. When we love God first, we will be able love our spouse, children, neighbors, strangers, and even our enemies in the right way. If there are areas of your life where God is not first, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the fire of His love. God will give us what we need, not necessarily everything we want, if we just ask. Jesus emphasizes this in His Sermon on the Mount.
“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
Now, let’s look at the fruits of the Spirit identified by Paul in Galatians…
Love: An act of the will; desiring and acting for the good of the other.
Joy: The banner of the Holy Spirit.
Peace: Shalom in Hebrew; well-being; the soul is so deeply connected to God that it can weather any hardship.
Patience: Longsuffering; being controlled in trying circumstances.
Kindness: Meekness; servant-like submission to God and others in your care.
Goodness: Moral excellence; virtue.
Faithfulness: Fidelity to commitments to love in all circumstances.
Gentleness: Being moderate, kind; the absence of harshness or severity.
Self-Control: Moderation or self-restraint in action or statement.
If you want more of these fruits in your life, just ask the Holy Spirit to come in power into your life. And keep asking!
The world is so in need of the fruits of the Spirit. May you be a channel of those fruits to others, starting with your spouse and family.
Come Holy Spirit!
 Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, “The Love of God Poured Out,” The Word Among Us, May 2016, p. 6.