Be brave and steadfast … I myself will be with you.
Last weekend, I attended the Life in the Spirit Seminar which is all about finding new life in Christ renewed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It was sponsored by loving members of the Hong Kong BLD community, my Catholic charismatic community and I experienced at first hand what it was like to go through ‘spiritual warfare’. It was scary but I choose not to remain fearful. It was tiring and a struggle beyond comprehension, yet after everything, I felt happy and at peace. Even though I had experienced it, I am far from understanding it fully. I was told that it will take time.
But what I know is that through the experience, I have found a new loving relationship with the Lord. I feel him present and active in my life now, more than ever. Happy. I feel like I’m on top of the world! He is present in the people I meet, in the experiences I encounter, in all moments of my day … and I wouldn’t have been able to find this peace, this love, if it were not for those who are more spiritually mature than me, who helped me find and fight for Him. Their actions and their sharing of experiences taught much about the Lord, struggles, faith and the journey to follow Him. These people, all of whom were serving during the seminar, are living examples of God’s grace, who act with Christ’s love, and are armed with the gifts of Holy Spirit.
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. … So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 13
I am far from understanding and explaining what gifts I have received and how I will use them (hence the delayed blog post), but one thing I know I can work on now is to love and to have an open heart… Everything else, I believe, will follow.
1Not in a silver casket cool with pearls,
Or rich with red corundum or with blue;
Locked, and the key withheld, as other girls
Have given their loves, I give my love to you;
Not in a lover’s knot, not in a ring
Worked in such fashion, and the legend plain —
Semper Fidelis, where a secret spring
Kennels a drop of mischief in the brain:
Love in the open hand, nothing but that,
Ungemmed, unhidden, wishing not to hurt,
As one should bring you cowslips in a hat
Swung from the hand, or apples in her skirt,
I bring you, calling out as children do:
“Look what I have! — and these are all for you.”
… Lord, this is all for you.
1 From the sonnets of Edna St. Vincent Millay