ALVAREZ: The Paraclete
December 12, 2023
(Herald file photo)
Who comes to your mind when you think of a person who embodies the fruits of the Holy Spirit? Perhaps it’s a loved one who loves you unconditionally. Or maybe it’s a priest or nun who, with a sole glance or smile, embodies peace and modesty.
For me, it was my mentor, whom we will call Rose. She came into my life during a time of work-related assignments, and I now realize it was all God’s perfect timing. Not only did God know I would need her counsel through the many challenges and persecutions, but her continual peace and kindness grounded me while I would sometimes be a nervous wreck. There were times we experienced several fallacious accusations, and while I pondered with tearful eyes in disbelief of such malice, Rose, filled with love and gentleness, would share times when she experienced similar experiences and would bring me back through a sigh. Despite the effects of the accusations, Rose continually shared a profound level of support that can only be described through the attributes of the Holy Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22).
The fruits of the Spirit are indeed the production of what the Holy Spirit forms in us when we pray, ask and live out God’s will.
I find it astonishing that the Holy Family gave us wonderful insight as to how we are to live out these attributes.
I remember my mentor being fond of St. Joseph, who shares for himself a plethora of very cool titles for his actions.
When it comes to the Queen of Heaven, we can’t ignore her role as the dwelling place for the Son of God.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by His grace. It was fitting that the mother of Him in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily should herself be ‘full of grace.’ She was, by sheer grace, conceived without sin as the humblest of creatures, the most capable of welcoming the inexpressible gift of the Almighty. It was quite correct for the angel Gabriel to greet her as the ‘Daughter of Zion’: ‘Rejoice.’ It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle lifts up to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within her the eternal Son” (CCC, 722).
Therefore, we are invited today to give thanks for the Rose in your life who was sent from above to walk with you because God does not abandon us, and we are never alone. Many thanks to Monsignor Dan Scheel, spiritual advisor for the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese Council of Catholic Women, for sharing about the Holy Spirit, which prompted me to conduct an intriguing research study for the “Paraclete.”
Melissa Alvarez is an associate director with the Ministry with Persons with Disabilities of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.