Before the session…
In this video, Libby & Kai at Catholic Central, give a brief overview of who the Holy Spirit is.
Have a think about how much of it you already knew and what new information you learn.
Session 3 is based on Chapter 7 of your YouCat Confirmation Book. Before the Session, please read through Chapters 7 (p.56-67).
Take a few moments to think…
- What do I know about the Holy Spirit?
- Have I ever thought about the Holy Spirit as a distinct person of the Trinity?
- Have I ever been aware of the Holy Spirit working in my life?
During the session…
If you have ever drawn a blank when it comes to identifying where the Holy Spirit is in your life – that’s OK! The presence of the Holy Spirit is not something we can fully comprehend with our human understanding – though we do acknowledge the Holy Spirit regularly without even thinking about it: when we make the sign of the cross. This simple act reminds us that the Holy Spirit is a person of the Holy Trinity who, together with the Father and Jesus, the Son, make up the ONE God. The Holy Spirit is often expressed as the love that moves between Father and Son – and he can move within us, too!
Watch the video below, which does a good job of trying to describe how the Holy Spirit has moved in history and continues to do so today…
People don’t do anything unless they are inspired. Hopefully the clip you just saw helps explain that “the Church” is not some abstract concept our there of an old, dusty building or just a dull set of rules. The Church is the product of the first Apostles being filled of God’s Holy Spirit and being inspired (meaning, literally, “to breathe into”!) to share the Good News – the hope – that they had received from Jesus. the “Church” is a dynamic, living, community of people (the Body of Christ) filled with the Spirit – and YOU are part of it! It does require something of all of us though, who claim to be part of the Church: It requires our “Yes” to choose to tap into the Holy Spirit and make our contribution to the mission of sharing God’s love!
Some questions for small groups:
1) Who is the Holy Spirit?
There is no perfect answer to this question! But you may find it helpful to look at the phrases below and think about which speaks to you about who the Holy Spirit is….
The Holy Spirit is the breath of Life (Genesis 2: 7)
The Holy Spirit is the bringer of “Truth, Wisdom and Knowledge of God” (The OT prophets/ Hebrews 1 :1-2, John 16: 13)
Th Holy Spirit is God in us (Galatians 4: 6)
The Holy Spirit moves in our hearts
The Holy Spirit is a comfort (John 14: 26-27)
The Holy Spirit is my guide towards truth (John 16: 12-13a)
The Holy Spirit has power to transform (Luke 1: 35, Acts 2: 1-18)
The Holy Spirit is the “quiet guest of the soul” (St Augustine)
The Spirit is the giver of gifts (1 Corinthians 12: 6ff)
You might like to add your own thoughts:
The Holy Spirit is…..
The Hoy Spirit is not…
2) Describe a time in your life where you have felt inspired by the Holy Spirit?
You felt a prompting to do a good deed?
You have had to stand up and do the right thing?
Have you ever felt the urge to say NO to something, knowing that it was a choice between right and wrong?
You have sensed the need to comfort a friend or family member?
When reading the bible and reading about some of wonderful things that took place
A gentle nudge during a prayer time
Being able to be joyful or embrace positivity when you may not have humanly chosen to
When experiencing the beauty of God’s creation or have an “Ah-ha” moment that takes your breath away!
When you are drawn to spending time with God in church and develop a strong habit to take time to be with God in prayer
3) Have you ever met some who seemed joyful despite difficult circumstances? Or someone who has inspired you to be the best version of yourself? What qualities did this person possess?
After the session…
In this month’s session we began to think about who the Holy Spirit and how he is present: He inspires both the building up of the Church community and is also a guide and helper dwelling within each one of us. You have the perfect opportunity, this year, to become more aware of the Spirit in your life!
The Church – which should be dynamic – will become very lacklustre if you do not roll up your sleeves and get stuck in! The Holy Spirit has many gifts on offer to us, but – like the disciples at Pentecost – we need to choose and act on the power of the Holy Spirit in your life! I could put a million pounds into a bank account for you, but, if you ignored it and never made use of it, it wouldn’t do any good! Similarly, if you don’t nurture the gifts of the Spirit, you will not experience all they have to offer! So, just send up a simple prayer today: “Come, Holy Spirit!”
Have a think about these questions and take time to become more aware of these moments in your life…
- Have you ever felt a prompting to do something – to smile, to ask someone if they are OK or to do an act of kindness? An urge of this kind can often be the Holy Spirit stirring in your heart.
- Have you ever stood up for what is right in a situation which requires you to be courageous not to just follow the crowd? That courage can also come from the Spirit within.
- Have you ever experienced a “wow” moment in your life, when you have felt deeply connected with God (e.g. when you see the awesomeness of God’s created world or you have a conversation with someone that just felt God-sent)? That can be the Holy Spirit moving in you, helping you lift your eyes towards God.
These reading suggestions should help you think about how prayer is at the heart of recognising the spirit in you.
Read Chapter 8 in your YouCat Confirmation book (p.68-77), which gives plenty of ideas to develop your prayer life…
Why not read Acts 2: 1-21
It’s a reminder of the day the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles…
“Holy Spirit, you are welcome here” by Katie and Brian Torwalt
Deacon Harold encourages us to experience what can happen in our lives when we invite the Holy Spirit in!
Challenge of the month: To invite the Holy Spirit into a specific situation
Here’s a simple prayer to the Holy Spirit that you can pray and even learn off by heart:
Come Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and enkindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created,
and you shall renew the face of the earth.
When we pray with the Spirit we must “dig deep” in our prayer time.
Here’s a few things you can try, as you learn to listen to the Spirit:
- Light a candle and sit looking at it. Don’t be afraid to sit in silence. Pray quietly “Come, Holy Spirit” and invite the Spirit to speak to you in the silence
- Speak to him as you would a friend. Tell him your worries, as well as your joys
- Take time to listen to what he might be saying. You may receive a word or a picture, You might find it helpful to write it down
- Pray like this regularly. It is so easy to fill our prayers with lots of words, but when we make it a habit to make space for the Spirit to move, you will begin to notice the difference in you!
“Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7). Behind every good asking, seeking, and knocking is the goodness of the Holy Spirit”