Monday, January 14, 2013

The Spirit's Groanings




Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings. ~Romans 8:26

My last post talked about the workings of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. I would like to continue along these lines with some thoughts on the Holy Spirit and our prayer lives.
In my conversations with people on the topic of prayer, I find that most people seem to pray to one particular Person of the Holy Trinity. Some feel drawn to pray to the Father, others to Jesus, and a rare few to the Holy Spirit. There is nothing wrong with going to one Person, but I think we limit our prayer a bit when we do. 
Now if you remember your catechism days, you were probably taught that we should pray to the Father, through Jesus, His Son with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is good reason for this because the three Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity are inseparable; where One is, so are the other Two. This is true whether we are at Mass, before the Blessed Sacrament or at home praying.
That being said, we are also taught to invoke the Holy Spirit's aid before beginning any prayer. I find this especially essential before praying with Sacred Scripture. The Holy Spirit does what Jesus did for those disciples on the road to Emmaus~ He opens them up. As is quoted above: St Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that we do not know how to pray as we should, but that the Spirit intercedes and prays with unspeakable groanings within us. So we definitely need His help!
So while most of us may feel drawn to pray to one particular Person of the Trinity, we should always begin that prayer by asking the Holy Spirit to help us in our prayer. 
As for myself, I usually go straight to Jesus. In my informal conversational type prayer I may not directly ask for the Spirit's help. However before Mass, before the Blessed Sacrament, or before praying the Liturgy of the Hours (or any kind of Scripture based prayer), I always invoke the Holy Spirit first. I notice a difference if I forget to do so.
The Holy Spirit has been referred to as the most neglected of the Three Persons. I believe this is sad, but true. 
Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit because He knew we would need His help. We receive the Holy Spirit first in Baptism and then again in Confirmation. With Him come His seven amazing gifts, all of which bear specific fruits if we allow Him to work in us. And this begins with our prayer lives. We can not bear fruit that will last in our day to day lives without prayer, and our prayer does not bear fruit without the Spirit's unspeakable groanings within us.
So if you have been leaving the Third Person out of your prayer lately, invite Him back in~you will be glad you did. 



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 shall renew the face of the earth. 


O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.





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Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.