He is preparing you - part two

Back in May, I wrote a blog post about three ways the Holy Spirit has been stirring our hearts. For what? I don't know specifically, but change. The Holy Spirit wants to remind us that He is still working! He is stirring our hearts in new ways. 

First, our virtues are being tested. Virtues are tested by trial and that usually means in difficult or frustrating situations. It's easy to practice love when love abounds, but not so much when there is anger or rage. Frustrating situations seem to have emerged more in our lives - whether it's a car breaking down, a store being closed during open hours, insurance billing an appointment incorrectly, a password reset not working etc. - you are familiar with these. We need to ask ourselves, are we responding in these moments with love? Are we maintaining our peace? Are we being patient, even though we feel like we used all our patience in the morning with our kids? The Holy Spirit is testing our virtues and by doing so, He is strengthening them. The Holy Spirit wants us to be strong in faith in all situations, whether good or bad. He wants us to have hope against all hope, and this training begins in small ways. While it might not seem like it, these difficult and frustrating situations are blessings. There is a strong desire to practice virtue in the seemingly smallest insignificant daily frustrations. 

"The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones." (Luke 16:10) 

Second, there are more distractions. The thing about distractions is that they all seem urgent. We feel like we have to respond to that text message right away. We have to get those thank yous out tomorrow. We have to order that accessory. We have to start our Christmas shopping. And what's interesting is that this urgency seems to hit us right when we want to start getting ready for bed. The Holy Spirit wants to teach us how to navigate these waters of "urgent" or "demanding" matters. He wants us to learn to discern what is truly urgent and what's not. How to focus on the present and on the only day we have. He doesn't want us to be BUSY - Being Under Satan's Yoke. The Holy Spirit wants to free us from our own distractions. There is a strong desire to focus on the present moment and reassess what is urgent in our lives. 

"Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil." (Matthew 6:34)

Third, prayer. We are finding we want to pray better. Maybe better isn't the right word, but freer. We want to talk to God with the same freedom we talk to our best friend. We want to talk to Him often throughout the day. We want to listen to what He has to say. The Holy Spirit is stirring us to pray freely. To pray simply. To pray ardently. To make them our own. Just as children love and talk to their parents differently, the same is true of us as children of God. The Holy Spirit is teaching us to pray as children who trust in their Father. To say to God, "God, you know I want this. I really want this. I trust that you would have already given it to me if it was good for me, but just in case you're waiting for me to ask, I'm asking." A friend told me a story of her good friend who on occasion puts her statue of St. Anthony facing in the corner because he didn't help her find something. That's hilarious! The Holy Spirit wants us to be free to laugh, tease, and keep asking God, just as children do their parents. There is a strong desire to pray freely as a child of God.

"For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:26)

Let us recognize these three desires in our hearts and ask the Holy Spirit to put them into practice in our lives. We live in interesting times and the Holy Spirit seems to be evermore present, helping us to stay on the path of holiness and to be prepared for anything.