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Your Life in the Holy Spirit

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The book, “Your Life in the Holy Spirit” by Alan Schrek, offers a comprehensive explanation of the role of the Holy Spirit in the Christian life. We often talk about the Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ, but do not lose sight of the Holy Spirit who is a friend who longs to be close to our hearts.

"...I would like to suggest a personal image of the Holy Spirit that embodies all that he is and does for us: the Holy Spirit is 'the friend closest to our hearts.'

Granted, this is not a biblical image, but it is found in the fathers of the church. St. Cyril of Jerusalem taught that 'the Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend and protector to save, to heal, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen, to console.'

Our friend the Holy Spirit is close to our hearts in order to set them aflame with love for God and with zeal to witness to our faith. He is a friend strengthening us with virtues and gifts for the good of others and the church."

The Only Necessary Thing

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In the book The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life, editor Wendy Greer collects writings from Father Henri J.M. Nouwen, a Dutch-born Catholic priest. Drawn from many decades of his life, the compilation of Henri's thoughts and feelings reveal the core of the man and his belief that prayer is the only necessary thing.

The love of Jesus will give you an ever-clearer vision of your call. The more you are called to speak for God's love, the more you will need to deepen the knowledge of that love in your own heart. The farther the outward journey takes you, the deeper the inward journey must be. Only when your roots are deep can your fruit be abundant.

Henri J.M. Nouwen, author of more than 40 books, is considered one of the great spiritual writers of modern times. He taught at the University of Notre Dame, Harvard, and Yale, but shared the last seven years of his life with people with mental handicaps as pastor of l'Arche Daybreak community in Toronto.

in Prayer

Our Father: Reflections on the Lord's Prayer

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Father. Without saying this word, without taking it to heart, we cannot pray.

To whom do I pray? Almighty God? Too far away. I cannot feel that he is near. Even Jesus did not refer to God as “the Almighty God.”

To whom do I pray? The cosmic God? That is fashionable these days, praying to the cosmic God. But that is nothing but a polytheistic idea of who God is, typified by a lite culture.

To whom do we pray? No, not am Almighty God or a cosmic God, but a… Father. We have to pray to the Father! It is a powerful word, “father.”

We have to pray to the one who has begotten us, the one who has given us life. He has given life to everyone of course, but “everyone” is too anonymous. He has given life to you. He has given life to me.

He is also the one who accompanies us on our journey. He knows our whole lives, the good and the not-so-good.

If we do not begin our prayer with this word, spoken not with our lips but with our hearts, we cannot pray as Christians.

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