I have long had a love/bewilderment relationship with the Holy Spirit. I love Him/Her/It, whoever or what-ever It... She... He is. When I was confirmed in tenth grade, I had to have an interview with the pastor and a Sister who was working there at the time. At the end of the interview, they asked me "do you have any questions?" I said "yes, I don't get this whole 'Holy Spirit' thing." The Sister looked at the priest, and the priest looked at the Sister, and then finally they looked back at me. The Sister said "well......... you know how, when you have a friend, and you do something nice for that friend, out of the spirit of friendship?" I nodded. "Well, it's kind of like that."
I guess now that I can see what she was trying to say- the Holy Spirit is what prompts us to movement, to action, to holiness. At least, that's how I understand the whole thing... at least, currently... my understanding of the HS changes, I think, as my life rolls on. (My favorite description of the Trinity, by the way, is "Lover, Beloved, Love." Apparently that is some kind of non-Catholic teaching, but heck, I like it, and it's my blog.)
This week, I was invited to visit our parish's charismatic prayer group. In truth, I have been invited for... years... but have never made it there. I have never been a charismatic-faith kind of girl, and even more, I have an reflexive, cynical, suspicious feeling about it. Case-in-point, they invited people up to a "baptism in the Holy Spirit" and I thought, well, what are they saying? Is the original baptism not enough? Would it not be powerful enough to encourage people to renew their baptismal promises, or something? And, are they saying that without this baptism, we have less of the Holy-Spiritl? Or, that somehow we get more Holy Spirit through this un-sacrament? I dunno.
But overall, I was happy to be there, even through my initial discomfort.
I've been around charismatic Christians before, and have heard people speaking in tongues, which seems to be a really big deal to these groups. (I don't get it- what good does it do? But I digress...) anyway, what I realized last night was that these people were truly filled with love and felt God's presence so sincerely. I loved them for that, and admired them for pursuing and living their faith. I knew that the Holy Spirit was indeed present and active in this group of dear people, and that God must be pleased by their passion.
I'm willing to admit that I don't know much, and have a little bit of jealousy for those who do.