Come, Holy Spirit: Make us human again
I grew up in New York City. Guns have never enthused me. Still, in the wake of mass shootings — including at the elementary school in Texas — I can’t get moved by legislation so much as for Pentecost. Come, Holy Spirit. For real. When we mark feasts annually, we can get to the point where we are going through the motions. Not this year. Don’t let that happen. We need the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit to give us the words, to give us the actions, to give us the breath of God in the midst of so much anger and confusion.
Over Memorial Day weekend, there were social media posts with people and their gun collections. I know there is a life beyond New York City where good people have guns. But I suspect their first normal instinct isn’t to pose with them. Come, Holy Spirit, make us human again.
Real-life isn’t lived on social media, and yet some of us spend a decent amount of time there. I don’t see a lot of people living goodness there. There’s a lot of anger. There’s a lot of lashing out. Imagine a Pentecost there, where people reach out in loving and prophetic ways that go beyond Twitter or Facebook or wherever we are congregating. Imagine a place where there is truth-telling in love, in the tradition of St. Paul — or Jesus himself. Only the Holy Spirit can make that happen.
I’m just coming off COVID, and one of the things I was grateful for during it is there was no easy way for me to watch television news during my isolation. I don’t think we realize what an oppressive burden it can be to take in so much violence and death and anger. We need a time out. Most things in our culture seem to be fighting against any time outs. Fight for it, though, in the every day. You don’t always need to be in front of screens. At a certain point, you will be no good if you have surrendered to them.
Come, Holy Spirit. Pentecost is our chance. To insist on living differently. We can’t receive the Holy Spirit if we are not in a receptive mode. We need to empty ourselves of anything that is not of God, of anything that is pulling us away from him. I want my every word to be of God. I want to look at people with the love of God. I can only do that with the Holy Spirit moving within me.
Ask bold prayers this Pentecost so that we are changed by the season. Everything in life that doesn’t make any sense, that kills in one way or another, we want those gone. We want the Spirit of God, which is truth, to descend and dispel all the evil that distorts all that is good. Can you imagine if the truth were like a fresh breeze waking our culture out of the grave trends it is inflicting on young people, medicine, sometimes it seems everything? Come, Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can work the miracles that we could never even dream up.
In response to so much death and perversion, don’t we only want to be words and acts of love? The Holy Spirit can make that possible! Whatever you are most worried about or most haunted by, go to the Holy Spirit. Trust in the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is not just a day on the calendar.
Celebrate it as an octave and let it change your life. Come, Holy Spirit. We don’t want to argue so much as be the love of Jesus in the world. We know the Holy Spirit makes that possible. That’s what Jesus said. I believe Jesus. Come, Holy Spirit. And descend on those who don’t even know you, so their hearts will be open to conversion they don’t even know to ask for. Holy Spirit, we need miracles in our country today. Work miracles!
Don’t waste another Pentecost. Ask big. Receive miraculously. If laws need to follow, we will be in the right frame of mind to see the eternal picture and be united with wisdom.
Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and editor-at-large of National Review.