My youngest son has occasional bouts with asthma. When it hits him, he feels like he is almost drowning, gasping for air. It is a terrible thing to think about, suffocating with no option for air.
Luckily, an inhaler opens up that which was closed and air comes rushing back inside his lungs.
The Latin words spiritus and spirare mean “breath’ and “to breathe.” It is how we get the word spirit and the name, Holy Spirit, for it is the Spirit in us that gives us breath. Some describe the Spirit as that which provides life and animation to all living things, a life force of sorts.
In essence, we live and breathe the Spirit all around us.
I have to admit, that is not as concrete an explanation of the Holy Spirit as I would like. But what I do know is that when the Spirit came upon the apostles at Pentecost, they were undeniably changed and a force came through them that they recorded like a “strong driving wind.” This enabled them to proclaim the Good News in a way that was previously impossible.
When I see my son trying so hard to breath, it is like someone or something has robbed him of his spirit, or the Spirit, and he has to struggle. When his ability to breathe is returned to him, he is well again and able to accomplish anything he sets his mind to do.
If we were more mindful of our breathing as the Holy Spirit moving through us, I think we would act much differently than we do sometimes. We would be better stewards and just better people.
On this Pentecost, may the Spirit that you breathe in each and every day fill your heart and soul with the desire to do great things and do them well!
“I was scared when you touched my lips
And the breath I took was the breath
That shook me with a shock,
Like a flame as eternal as the song and the song is you
I will let you breathe through me.
I will let you be with me.”
-Excerpt of lyrics from Breathe, sung by Maria McKee. © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC
Interested in transforming your parish with the power of Everyday Stewardship? Click here for more resources.