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  • Sarah Raad

Perception

As witnesses we can be MARTYRS of Faith – and we can do this ONLY through the power of the Holy Spirit! For martyr means witness…

Pentecost and the Holy Spirit (Jen Norton)

Recently, a friend of mine contracted COVID-19. Thankfully, she did not get very sick… But she did experience the rather annoying side effect of losing her sense of taste and smell. It was not that food and drink did not actually have a taste anymore – I could taste them after all. Rather, it was that she could not perceive that taste in her food and drink. In short, there was nothing wrong with the food – but there was something terribly wrong with my friend’s perception.


And I have been reflecting on that failed perception of my friend, because it reminds me of the failure of faith…


In the Gospel, Christ explains that He has sent the Holy Spirit to watch over His Church…


“But when the Counsellor comes, whom I shall send to you...He will bear witness to Me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with Me from the beginning. I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away...the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor Me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them.” (John 15:26-16:4).


And the Holy Spirit – who we call the Paraclete, which means Advocate or Counsellor – is such a powerful help to us in our faith. He is like the taste in the food. There is nothing wrong with Him, and yet – when we are not in a State of Grace – we cannot perceive Him and cannot understand His power in our lives…


You see, people do extraordinary things with the help of the Holy Spirit. They can make heroic sacrifices in their lives, they can endure great anguish with a spirit of peace, and they can live their faith with such conviction that others flock behind them to believe with them…

You see, when we commemorate the Descent of the Holy Spirit among the Apostles in the Third Glorious Mystery of the Most Blessed Rosary, we reflect on the ACTUAL power of the Holy Spirit among us. And the Beloved Holy Spirit has such power to help us to witness our faith…

And as witnesses we can be MARTYRS of Faith – and we can do this ONLY through the power of the Holy Spirit! For martyr means witness… And a martyr cannot become a martyr – a witness – simply through the witness of their death, a martyr becomes a martyr through the witness of their life…


In 1936, when forty-nine Claretian Missionaries were arrested by the Spanish militia to be killed for their faith and there were two Argentinian seminarians were among them. Due to the diplomatic conflict it would cause for a Spanish militia to kill a couple of Argentinian nationals, the two Argentinian seminarians were released and the other Missionaries were martyred. When the Argentinians were released, their superiors dismissed them with their blessing, because they understood that while they would soon die as martyrs, their two brothers would be living martyrs offering life-long service to God.


And there was Grace in both things… For the Holy Spirit lives in us. And how lucky we are for that!


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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