Happy Pentecost!

Pentecost is the day we celebrate the Holy Spirit, God’s gift of God’s self to the Church. The Church receives the spirit not only individually—as when we are baptized and confirmed—but also corporately. We are a community of faith. The sensus fidelium—the sense of the faithful —refers to the capacity of the whole church to know the truths of the faith: bishops and leaders, and also every layperson in the faith. Where there is universal consent about basic matters of faith, we are assured that the Spirit is guiding us.

St Paul also tells us that we know it is the Spirit at work when we are living lives of joy, peace, love, and kindness . These are the signs of an authentic faith, known not only in our hearts in individual prayer when we connect to God and loved ones in the Spirit, or in corporate worship, but also in how the faith translates into actions in everyday life.

Patience, kindness, self control, these are all very quiet and almost hidden virtues. They are almost secret virtues as they do not proclaim themselves. But how powerful kindness is as a response to hurt. How powerful peace is against violence. How powerful patience is to work quietly when matters are upset or unresolved, and to allow God time to do God’s work. How much all other virtues are opened up to become effective when we feel gratitude and joy —-and so are motivated to express these in love for one another.

Whether we are able to safely celebrate together at church, or simply hold one other tenderly in prayer as one church family, we are united in the same Spirit. Wherever there is love, no matter how quiet, there is the sign of the Spirit.

Let us recollect times in our individual and community histories where that quiet interior voice moved us into action that was kind, reconciling, healing, patient, generous. Let us connect to that interior voice once again, so that we may find new ways to do so anew with those we encounter today and in the year ahead.