God sent us the Holy Spirit to help us pray and enlighten us. Bert Ghezzi provides these meditations and prayers to the Holy Spirit to guide us.
The Teacher of Everything
The Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you. —John 14:26, NJB
When I was a sophomore in college, I participated in a Bible study on the Gospel of John. I had never studied Scripture before, so I often felt lost in the conversation. But when we came upon this verse, I believe that the Holy Spirit struck me with awe: “Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make a home in him” (John 14:23, NJB). My heart leapt at the thought! God the Father loved me, and he and Jesus had taken up residence in me. From that time five decades ago, that verse has oriented my life. It comes to mind often, and it thrills me to realize that the eternal, unchangeable, infinite, almighty, and all loving God dwells in me.
When we read Scripture, we should expect the Holy Spirit to open its meaning for us and to “teach [us] everything.” What better teacher about the Bible could we have than the Author himself?
When you read Scripture, may the Holy Spirit enlighten you and open you to its meaning for your life. May he lead you to passages that strike you with awe and enliven your faith.
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.
The Prayer Starter
God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” —Galatians 4:6
You received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” —Romans 8:15
Pope Benedict XVI explains the Holy Spirit’s role in our prayer:
The Holy Spirit is the precious and necessary gift that makes us children of God. . . . St. Paul’s two passages on this action of the Holy Spirit . . . correspond with each other but contain a different nuance. [In Galatians] the Apostle says that the Spirit cries, “Abba! Father!” in us. [In Romans] he says that it is we who cry, “Abba! Father!” . . . St. Paul wants to make us understand that Christian prayer . . . never happens in one direction from us to God, it is never merely “an action of ours,” but, rather, is the expression of a reciprocal relationship in which God is the first to act; it is the Holy Spirit who cries in us, and we are able to cry because the impetus comes from the Holy Spirit. . . . [The Holy Spirit] is the prime initiator of prayer so that we may really converse with God and say “Abba” to God. (General Audience, May 23, 2012)
We tend to think that prayer is something that we do, something that we have to start. But the Holy Spirit is the “prayer starter.” He is speaking to us continuously, waiting for us to pray in response.
May you become ever more aware of the Spirit’s nearness and ever more alert to his constant efforts to communicate with you.
Come, Holy Spirit. I open my mind and heart to you. I want to hear your divine voice and listen to your words for me, and I want to follow your leadings.
Read more of Bert Ghezzi’s personal anecdotes and reflections in his book Prayers to the Holy Spirit: Power and Light for Your Life (The Word Among Us Press, 2014). Available at wau.org/books