Season of Promotion
Season of Promotion
I believe we are in a season of promotion. It seems that everyone we know is either getting a new job, a new position, moving somewhere, etc. Maybe it is a new relationship. Be ready for the Holy Spirit to bring you upwards in this time!
Pentecost initiated a season of change for the apostles and disciples of Jesus. Jesus had said, “go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel,” (Matt. 18:19-20) but not until they had received “power from on High,” (Luke 24:49) - the Holy Spirit.
Where would we be without the Holy Spirit? He nudges us interiorly, speaks to us through the Scriptures, dreams and visions in prayer- He can speak through a friend, through circumstances, through a movie. Maybe you’ve been seeing eagles flying lately, or maybe you’ve been waking up singing a certain song. Maybe a scene in a movie spoke to you- what is God saying? The Holy Spirit always leads those whose eyes and ears are open to His inspirations. (Rev. 3:22)
St. Bernard of Clairvaux was a great evangelist of his time. He is a Doctor of the Church, called "the Mellifluous Doctor," because his teaching was said to be like honey. He said, "the kiss of God is the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Remember, Pope Leo XIII said that inner inspiration was a special gift of the Holy Spirit:
“The fullness of divine gifts is in many ways a consequence of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the souls of the just… Among these gifts are those secret warnings and invitations, which from time to time are excited in our minds and hearts by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.” (DIVINUM ILLUD MUNUS, ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE HOLY SPIRIT, 1897, par. 9)
Discernment and Reading Hearts
This gift can save your life! He can prevent someone from getting into the wrong relationship, accepting the wrong job opportunity, saying the wrong thing, meeting with the wrong person. His gift of discernment of spirits (1 Cor. 12) is not just to discern what is from God, and what is from the devil, but to discern the human spirit as well. Did you ever feel uncomfortable for no apparent reason, when talking to someone on the phone or face-to-face? Dogs and horses (according to Vatican exorcist Fr. Gabriel Amorth) can discern spirits very well. Our dog certainly knows when a person can be trusted, or not. She growls under her breath at people who, to look at, seem fine- well-dressed, polished…but what is at work interiorly? The dog, on the other hand, is very friendly to people whom you wouldn’t expect.
God said to Samuel, when he was going to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the new king to replace Saul, “Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature: because I have rejected him, nor do I judge according to the look of man: for man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)
This could be the same for a person looking for someone to marry- or a job opportunity, or which house to move into. It/they could seem very attractive, but what does God say- He sees the true nature of man. It says that Jesus “did not need anyone to testify concerning man [and human nature], for He Himself knew what was in man [in their hearts—in the very core of their being].” (John 2:25, AMP)
Certainly, Fr. Fernando, St. (Padre) Pio, St. Anthony of Padua, whose feast it is today, and many other saints and gifted people of God could “read hearts.” Mother Mary could- as Simeon said, “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:35) Proverbs says “Counsel in the heart of a man is like deep water: but a wise man will draw it out.” (20:5)
St. Pio explained it thus, “Through Jesus, I see and hear all – I see your soul just as you see yourself in a mirror.” (Link)
Reading Hearts and Confession
St. John Vianney, patron saint of priests, had many experiences with this gift. One of these follows:
“In the year 1853, a cheery band of young men set out from Lyons to go on pilgrimage to Ars. They were good Christians ; all except one, an old man who had joined the group, "solely to please the young people." They reached the village at about three o'clock in the afternoon. "Go to church, if you like," said the unbeliever on leaving the carriage; "as for me, I shall order dinner." He walked a few yards, then stopped. "No, on second thoughts, I will go with you," he said, "for you should not be that long!"
So the whole band filed into the church. Now at that very moment Fr. John Vianney, the Cure of Ars, came out of the sacristy and entered the chancel. He knelt down, stood up and turned round; his eyes were looking for someone in the direction of the holy water basin, and finally he signalled to someone to come up. "It is you he wants," the youths told the astonished unbeliever. So he walked up, obviously feeling very embarrassed, we are told by the nun to whom we owe this story. "As for us, we were chuckling inwardly, for we understood that the bird had been caught. The Cure shook his hand, saying: 'It is a long time since you were at confession?' 'My good Cure, it is something like thirty years, I believe.' 'Thirty years, my friend? Just think. . . . It is thirty-three years; you were then at such a place..."
'You are right, M. le Cure.'
‘Ah, well, so we are going to confession now, are we not?'
The old man confessed afterwards that he was so taken aback by the invitation that he dared not say no; but he added: 'I at once experienced a sensation of indefinable comfort.' The confession took twenty minutes, and made a new man of him." (Link)
Praise God for the gift of confession! If only more priests would take after the example of St. John Vianney, and be open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so that the sacraments could become a more efficacious encounter with the living God. Imagine, only 20 minutes changed the course of this man’s life- but if it were left up to him, he would never have approached the line for confession. Without the word of knowledge, without reading his soul, this man’s life would have remained the same and he probably would have gone to hell. Thank God for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and holy, gifted priests and people of God!
Fr. Fernando Suarez read hearts, as well. It was quite often that when he first met a person, he would tell them something about them that he could not possibly have known. One time, a man who went to confession via Fr. Fernando was completely healed- and he was so grateful, he blessed Fr. Fernando with front row tickets for professional tennis, which is what he loved!
Fr. Fernando read my heart and Lee Anne’s many times, especially the first time we met him. The woman at the well in John 4 said about Jesus, “Come, and see a man who has told me all things whatsoever I have done. Is not he the Christ?” (John 4:29)
Lee Anne has had several experiences with this gift, and others as well. When she was 16 years old, her grandfather had a massive heart attack and Lee was trying to figure out how to get a hold of her mother, to tell her. Suddenly, a white dove appeared on her bedroom window sill. Instantly, a phone number came on her mind. She called it, and it was a bingo hall- her mother was playing bingo there. She got ahold of her mother, and she was able to rush home, and get him to the hospital, where he died shortly afterwards.
Years later, Lee Anne saw another white dove. It appeared on the roof of her home, and she remembered what had happened the first time a dove had appeared. She went into the house, wondering what it was all about. The phone wrang as soon as she went inside the house- her uncle had gone missing in a plane crash over Lake Simcoe, where he and his buddies had gone hunting. Then again, she had to find her mother, to give her the sad news. This uncle had always loved planes, and worked on planes at De Havilland, and strangely enough he died in a plane crash.
Another time, Lee Anne was at a small prayer meeting with some friends, when, during the quiet time after worship, the praise and worship leader started smelling flowers. He said it smelled like funeral flowers. Lee went home, and got a phone call from the nursing home that her mother wasn’t doing so good. Then, she knew that the smell of funeral flowers was to signify that her mother was dying- although the nursing staff did not say so. She was able to be with her when she died, but would not have known had not the gifts of the Spirit been in operation at that prayer meeting.
The first time I came to Lee Anne’s ministry in Canada was supernatural. Me and another friend of mine from college were trying to spend time, which we had off, with another one of our friends. He said he was staying at a retreat house in Canada with some other of our friends, and people we should meet, and said we should come! I said, “make sure the head of the house knows we’re coming and that it’s ok?” He said, “yes, no problem, I will.” We got in the car and drove 9 or 10 hours, across the border, into Ontario. The GPS got us so far, and then we found we were totally lost. See, the anointing of the Holy Spirit is better than any GPS- somehow the address didn’t show up properly on the GPS as the house of prayer was out in the country. It was pitch black outside, and finally we found ourselves on the long road into the forest, where the subdivision was, tucked away, with only about 20 houses. We saw all the cars parked there, and figured we must have found it. When we set foot on the property, I felt the anointing, in fact I felt something I never felt before in my life. I felt a liquid love from God the Father coming down all over me- I knew I was home. I had never felt the love of the Father before. It totally changed my life. Then, 5 minutes later I met Lee Anne and we were instantly connected…for some reason, I just knew we would be connected for a long time. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit- He does things technology can’t do- connects the most unlikely people in the most unlikely ways and places. Hallelujah!
In this season of Pentecost, this season of promotion- may we, too, be open to the voice of the Holy Spirit. It could be through sight, or smell, through any of the 5 senses. God made us with five senses, and made us able to receive and discern His voice through so many ways. It’s not the shiny things, it’s not the loud noise or the flashy- God spoke to Elijah in the still, small voice. The problem with many people is that they can’t get quiet, or still enough to hear God’s voice. They don’t read enough Scripture to get His voice inside of them. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
Pope Francis described the Holy Spirit this way on May 23, 2017 in an audience:
“It is precisely within our hearts that we carry the Holy Spirit. The Church calls the Spirit ‘the sweet guest of the heart’: He is there. But He cannot enter a closed heart. ‘Ah, but where can one buy the keys to open the heart?’ No! That too is a gift. It is a gift of God: ‘Lord, open my heart so that the Spirit can enter it, and I can understand that Jesus is the Lord.’” (Link)
Come, Holy Spirit and renew each of us- renew the Church! Don't be surprised at what the Holy Spirit can do, or show you- we just thank Him for it.
In Christ Jesus,
Dan Devine, M. Div.