Holy Cross July 25, 2013

Photo taken by author

You know the feeling. Some call it “getting goose bumps”—-others feel gentle tears well up and escape the corners of their eyes. Maybe it happens in the midst of singing the words of a beloved hymn; maybe it happens when you remember what it felt like when you first knew—- really knew that God loves you. Maybe it “hits you” when you are outside looking at something beautiful that takes your breath away or calms your soul.

I am talking about the Holy Spirit….something mysterious, magical, and very, very real. I love the way Richard Rohr describes it in his new book:

“We are always waiting for the Holy Spirit—somehow forgetting that the Spirit was given to us from the very beginning. In fact, she was ‘hovering over the chaos’ in the very first lines of Genesis 1:2, soon turning the ‘formless void’ into a Garden of Eden…..We cannot sense the Spirit, just as we cannot see air, silence, or the space between everything. We look for God out there and the Spirit is always in here and in between everything. Now even science is revealing to us that the energy of the universe  is not in the particles of planets—but in the relational space between them! And we are having a hard time measuring it, controlling it, or inhibiting it.  It sounds an awful lot like Spirit.”

(Rohr, 2013, Yes, And…Daily Meditations, p. 96)

I have always been gifted with the ability to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit; for me it is something that “just happens”—-it is certainly not something I can summon or control. I like the image of it always being in between everything, always hovering, always “being” within relational space, and I love the fact that it cannot be measured or “sensed” with our usual senses, but rather our “sixth sense.”

What is described in today’s quote is very comforting to me because it reminds me that the Holy Spirit is everywhere and in all things. Therefore, it is always with me and a part of me. It is in between the spaces of the atoms and molecules, the synapses, and the DNA chains that make up my human body. It is in every object that surrounds me wherever I go. It is part of how all these things relate to form our reality.

Being a psychiatric nurse, one of the things I like most about the Holy Spirit being about “relational space” is I’ve spent a life time focusing on helping people be aware of themselves and how they relate to others…..with an emphasis being put on “healthy relationships.” I like to think the Holy Spirit has always been a part of that too. I think perhaps the best way we can be aware of the Holy Spirit is by experiencing it in the relationships we have with each other. This belief reminds me that I constantly need to be attentive to allowing the Holy Spirit’s influence to be “tangible” in my relationships and actions with other people. I don’t have to wait for the Holy Spirit to do that as she, as Father Rohr implies, is always hovering there, but I do need to be aware of that fact so that I and my actions can be a better conduit for God’s love.

What are your thoughts about the Holy Spirit and the part it has played in your life? Please comment and share your opinions about this topic. Thank you; may God bless and keep you.