I learned something about the Holy Spirit the other day. In our daily prayer, Adella and I talk to the Father as if he were one of our friends. We tell him what is on our mind and who we are concerned about. It was a bit of a surprise when I learned how important it was to Adella that we say these things out loud! One morning we were in a hurry and when it came time for the intentions I said, “The usual, Lord.” There was a long silence next to me, followed by that “what are you doing” look. I said, “Oh, you want to mention the children by name, right?” She did.
I was thinking about this little story and two things came to mind. First, I remembered that we use the passage from Romans 8 as part of the opening prayer for week three of the MIC seminar.
“Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27
Then I recalled this remarkable line from Pope Francis’ recent letter on marriage.
“The gift of a new child, entrusted by the Lord to a father and a mother, begins with acceptance, continues with lifelong protection and has as its final goal the joy of eternal life. By serenely contemplating the ultimate fulfillment of each human person, parents will be even more aware of the precious gift entrusted to them. For God allows parents to choose the name by which he himself will call their child for all eternity.” Amoris Laetitia.
What did I learn about the Holy Spirit? I learned that he too wants to mention my children by name every day. And that I can hear him pray when I listen to what is on Adella’s heart. She hears him in my prayers as well.
This Lent I invite you to listen carefully for the work of the Holy Spirit in your marriage. If you keep a journal of the Holy Spirit sightings during Lent, we would love to hear your stories.