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Practice Pentecost

It was by the power of the Holy Spirit that Christ was raised up from the dead at his resurrection and brought back to life.  It was by the anointing of the Holy Spirit that Jesus received the power at the river Jordan to enter public life and work miracles, even casting out devils. Jesus promised his disciples that power from above would be sent down upon them in the form of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the Spirit is our Higher Power. Practicing Pentecost is working at connecting with our Higher Power, who will point us not to himself but to the Jesus in the Jesus Process, the mirror and image of God.

Practice Risk-taking.  When the Spirit rouses our consciousness of social injustice, or calls us to reach out to others to change their life vision or when the Spirit prompts us to move to a different place in our pursuit of holiness, spiritual formation or evangelization, we are faced with the challenge of risk taking. Every move from the accepted, the established, the ingrained requires the practice of risk taking. But we are also faced with the opportunity to connect with our Higher Power. The natural human tendency is to pretend that the social injustice does not exist or that is the responsibility of others. Or we may want to avoid the imagined embarrassment if someone does not respond to our evangelization. Or we may simply not want to try something new. Practice risk-taking. Practice Pentecost.

Practice Awareness. We can’t connect with our Higher Power unless we are aware of the presence and operation of the Spirit in our lives.  We can practice Pentecost by being aware of the Divine Dialogue that God constantly conducts with us. God initiates dialogue with us through the situations and events of our individual and community life to let us know what he wants of us. God does not speak to us in words but in the deep, positive movements of our hearts. And it is the Spirit within us who judges our choices, letting us know whether we have correctly read God’s messages to us. Usually we receive some confirmation through an interior experience of peace and joy.

We can also initiate dialogue with the Spirit. In our Group Reunions we share where the Spirit is leading us in our pursuit of holiness, spiritual formation and evangelization. As a Pentecost practice, we could ask the Spirit these questions at the beginning of each day. This practice would enhance our awareness of the Spirit’s role in our lives and would focus our attention on our path of growth.

It is good practice to review at the end of the day on how we have responded to the Spirit’s prompts to love God and others more. The Jesuits call this practice the Awareness Examen, which is described in this program.  St. Ignatius of Loyola considered this practice as perhaps the most important spiritual exercise after the Eucharist. Practice awareness. Practice Pentecost.

Practice Prayer. Much of our lived experiences involve making decisions to get us through difficulties and to make the most of opportunities for growth. Decision time is Spirit time. It is at these times that we should make a practice of connecting with the power and presence of the Spirit and invoking his enlightenment. We need to pray for the Spirit’s help and then allow time to pass. Then return to prayer and earnestly entreat the Spirit to help us peacefully make our decision.

The Cursillo founders believed that the mystery of Christ could not be understood without the light and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We are taught the Come Holy Spirit prayer on our Cursillo Weekend and this prayer should be on our lips daily for the rest of our lives. Practice prayer to the Spirit. Practice Pentecost.