Most High Gift of God
As we enter into the height of autumn here in New York, we are busy with a beautiful project the Lord has entrusted to us. At World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia, the Sisters of Life, the Knights of Columbus and the JPII Institutes will be hosting a powerhouse of awesome events at The Love and Life Site. The site is specifically dedicated to inspiring young people to passionately proclaim the beauty and truth of Human Life and Human Love. Together we will respond with a resounding "yes" to the Lord’s gifts of Love and Life.
In preparation for WYD, Pope Benedict XVI has invited young people to "observe how the Holy Spirit is the highest gift of God to humankind, and therefore the supreme testimony of his love for us, a love that is specifically expressed as the "yes to life" that God wills for each of his creatures." What does it mean to say that the Holy Spirit is the Most High Gift of God?
God gives us His Life. God wills our existence, breathing His very Spirit into our bodies and souls. God gives us His Love. Through the Holy Spirit, God pours His Love into our hearts. In the Mystery of the Trinity the Holy Spirit is the Love between the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is God’s own self-giving Love.
The Holy Spirit is the very principle of self-giving. In receiving the Holy Spirit we receive God’s Love for us and at the same time we are receiving the capacity to love as God loves; "self-giving" love. The Holy Spirit is "self-giving" and in whomever He touches, the Spirit creates a dynamism that leads that person, in turn, to be self-giving gift to others. The Holy Sprit is the one who gives us the capacity to make a gift of our own life and live it as a "living sacrifice." (Cantalamessa - Come Creator Spirit)
A person "cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself." (GS. 24) This is one of the most well-known lines from the Vatican II Documents. Does it not resonate true in your heart? In the experience of giving of yourself in love to another person - in genuine self sacrificing love for a family member or a friend, in purity to a man you have dated, through generous person to person volunteer service, in the witness of your married friends who deeply live the sacrament of marriage - you become more fully alive, you discover wonder and meaning in life, even in suffering, and you know a deep joy.
This is at the heart of being created in the image and likeness of God: we have been created for self-giving love. The fundamental vocation of every human person is to love. Ask the Lord, how are you calling me to love Lord? Whom are you calling me to Love? Our ultimate destiny is to enter into the total, mutual self-giving love of the Trinity.
As Consecrated Religious we make this loving gift of ourselves to Christ. This is only possible after we first open ourselves to receive His radical gift of himself to us through the Holy Spirit, receiving at the same time the capacity for self giving love, enabling us to make a gift of ourselves to Him in return.
Self-giving love is life giving. The self-giving love of spouses brings forth new life in their children. The self-giving love of a religious woman and her Spouse, Jesus, brings forth new life in souls.
Ask God to pour His love into your heart, and the Holy Spirit WILL give you the power of His self-giving love.
If you would like to know more about the amazing Adventure of Grace at WYD 2008 in Sydney check out http://www.blogger.com/www.lovelifelink.org <http://www.lovelifelink.org/> Spread the Good News and tell everyone you know - friends, family, campus minister, pastors, youth group leaders - look for the Love Life Site Down Under. It’s Time to Live.
Interested in finding out more about a vocation to the Sisters of Life? Contact Sr. Mary Gabriel, SV at St. Frances de Chantal Convent, 198 Hollywood AveBronx, NY 10465 (sorry - no email)
If you are actively discerning a vocation to the Priesthood, Diaconate, Consecrated Life, or Marriage and you are looking for information to help in your discernment, BE SURE TO CHECK the section at the bottom of the right sidebar for the "labels" on all posts. By clicking on one of these labels it will take you to a page with all posts containing that subject. You will also find many links for suggested reading near the bottom of the right sidebar. Best wishes and be assured of my daily prayers for your discernment.