Have you ever noticed how we often only truly appreciate people when they are no longer with us? Think of someone you miss. You may have many things you wish you could say to them, but if they are gone forever, there is a tragic aspect to remembering them. However, even when that person is physically absent, they are still present to you in many ways. They are a part of you and shape who you are. Their influence remains in your life. You may not recall their name, but you recognize their impact on you, your relationship with them, and the conversations you had that shaped your experiences. Take a deep breath (breathe).
God's presence, in whom we live and move, is evident in our lives. Although God is unseen, we can recognize God within everything, yet God is not those things. Similar to the air we breathe (breathe), God's presence is crucial for our survival, sustaining us daily. The Holy Spirit can be seen as the breath of God, ever-present and vital, guiding our growth. Though we cannot point to God, faith intuitively turns to God and acknowledges the presence of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that hovered over creation and resides within each of us. Faith in the indwelling Spirit of God provides hope, reminding us that our existence has purpose and is sustained by the Creator's breath. Our response to this realisation is love, thanksgiving, and worship.
The Spirit motivates us in our relationship with God. Do you love God? Do you long for that relationship? While God may not be physically present, can you sense His presence? Do you understand what love is, how it looks, and how it feels to be loved? We long for love, yet struggle to fully explain it. There is something within us, stirring our hearts and desires, prompting us to reach out and love. It is one thing to be loved by others, but it is another to have the capacity to love in return. I want to love. I want to love God and others, but I am unsure how.
Holy Spirit within me, stir my heart towards communion with God. Guide my actions towards holiness and teach me how to love.
Fr William Loh, O.P. , Friar of the Dominican Province of the Assumption and chaplain to Monash University.