Renewal Ministries gathered for their annual meeting in Ypsilanti, Mi “to walk in the Holy Spirit.” Three takeaways from the gathering:
1)each person is called beloved by God
The hound from heaven chases after us whether we acknowledge Him or not. Our heavenly father has called us beloved children, He sees Himself shining in us because we were made in His image, and His nose-tracking sniffer is relentless. Whether we climb to the highest heights of the planet, or flee to the lowest depths of Hades, (Psalm 139) His presence will always be with us. Like a blood hound on the heels of his quarry, so God will be onto us wherever we walk.
2)each person is called to be a disciple
This is our secret mission, to take Christ to our homes, our families, our work, and our schools. People yearn to hear about Christ, and we need to place Him in the center marketplace of life. Courage and conviction will be our companions to make our discipleship a reality.
3)each person is equipped to be a disciple
Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation each believer receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Unlocking these gifts is our daily task, seeking these gifts is a life worthy pursuit, and asking for the manifestation of these gifts is our prime directive. Wisdom, Understanding, Council, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Reverence are the 7 gifts of the holy spirit cited in Isaiah. Each person is equipped with one or more of these gifts, and they are uniquely tied to their individual call. A person equipped with a gift is not the owner of the it but is only the steward of it. The gifts are on loan by God for a higher purpose that we call Divine Providence or the will of God. They can be unused, taken back, or misused. Consider one of the great figures of the Old Testament King Solomon. He was known for his great wisdom and insight, yet he lost this great gift. Solomon reined in Israel during the 40 years of prosperity and national unity. Later he turned away from God’s teaching, centered on his own ambitions and lust, and lost this gift of wisdom (1Kings 11:2).
“Lord help me be your little humble servant and let go of all my fanciful ambitions”
I am surprised to discover how many recipients of the gifts are often little humble servants ignored by fame and prosperity. One example is Fr. Solanus Casey, OFM cap who served much of his ministerial assignment in Detroit, MI. He was judged to have inferior intelligence by his formators and ordained merely a Simplex priest, which limited his ability to celebrate Sacraments in public. His duty was to serve as priest for his Franciscan friars only. His ministry was to watch after the door, answer it, and call someone else more intelligent to address the situation. Later the people of God discovered his many gifts, notably the gift of Council and the gift of Wisdom. His understanding of what the people were suffering and the ability to answer their most deeply held question gave him fame both far and wide, like the Wisdom of King Solomon. Daily he would have a line encircling St. Bonaventure Monastery of people seeking out his gifts. Fr. Solanus was not the most talented, not the most skilled, not the best model student, but he did excel in humility. That little faithful friar made a worthy home for many gifts of the Holy Spirit. Lord help me be your little humble servant and let go of all my fanciful ambitions. Today let’s paint on ourselves a worthy target for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to strike home.