You can sense it too. In the past few weeks of the Easter Season and now as we're leading up to Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has been stirring our hearts in three particular ways.
First, we are being prompted to get things in order - our souls, our priorities, our relationships, and our homes. It has manifested in different ways from calling/spending time with loved ones more regularly to cleaning and clearing out clothes, books, and kitchen pantries. Competing with this, we also find ourselves being pulled in many directions with many projects and items on our to-do lists. Distractions seem to be everywhere. There's a strong desire to simplify our lives and focus on what really matters.
"And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. "(James 1:4)
Second, we are experiencing a renewed and fervent desire to search for God. We seem to suddenly have a deeper longing to know who God is. What is His specific plan for us? This is coupled with a desire to better know ourselves. What are our gifts and talents? What are we not doing that we are being called to? We have found ourselves responding to this by doing things we didn't think we had time for - joining that Bible Study, spending more time in prayer, reading that spiritual book, attending a prayer group or conference. There's a strong desire to know and love God more and understand His will for our lives.
"Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20)
Lastly, we are being purified. Sinfulness in us surfacing. Things we thought we'd have time to work on later, we are being asked to work on now. We seem to have a greater awareness of how often we sin and how often we are not putting God in the first place of our lives. This has prompted us to more regular, contrite Confessions, as well as learning more about The Commandments - whether through Church teachings or lives of Saints. The Saints seem to have a big influence and presence in helping us be purified. There's a strong desire to live holiness in the very small matters of our lives.
"...let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy." (Hebrews 10:23)
What does all this mean? The Holy Spirit is always preparing us. I believe He is preparing us to be ready for some big changes. I could not tell you what the changes are, but based on the three stirrings above, I could conclude that the changes will try to do the opposite of the Holy Spirit's work:
- Disrupt order
- Make us doubt God
- Take away hope
The Holy Spirit is preparing us now and strengthening us now, so we will be like the five wise virgins who had extra oil for their lamps. I share this with you to confirm that, yes, these same stirrings that you are experiencing are from the Holy Spirit. You have nothing to worry about. Continue to follow His promptings. "Jesus said to his disciples: 'I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth...and will declare to you the things that are coming.'" (John 16:12-14)
As a good friend recently said, "the Devil is hyperactive these days." Which also means the Holy Spirit is hyper-hyperactive! By spending time in prayer, we become more aware of how the Holy Spirit is acting in our personal lives, but also in the lives of others and in the world.
May our peace become so deeply rooted in God, that nothing will disturb it.
"We look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18)