There are several representations of the Holy Spirit from The Flame above the head of the apostles to the dove. It has also been called the Eye of God acting as the creative agent and will of God at the conception of Jesus and creation of the world. How does this important member of the trinity act on the human body changing it from secular to a new person in Christ? In prisons across the world many souls have changed dramatically into a ‘new man’ spoken of in the Bible. Past worldly desires and vices fall away as one is granted a new heart to live in the Kingdom of God. Before Jesus set up home in my heart I was a broken person.
I was a cradle Catholic but disengaged from the church for 30 years. I was advised to speak to Jesus as ‘a friend’. I also chucked away my Buddha’s and secular cultural images and replaced them with Holy water the St Benedict Medal and devotion to our lady through the Rosary. On top of this I began to attend Mass every Sunday.
Mass at first was a little challenging but I persisted and combined this with Confession in which I purged many years of sinful living. After a couple of weeks of going to mass I felt a pain at the centre of my chest. This wasn’t my physical heart but what I believe to be my real heart. With this tinge I felt tears. At home I would cry cathartically shedding old skin. I felt myself shake and my knees trembled at the force of inner change occurring. I placed a St Benedict medal by my bed and woke one night to the sound of hissing snakes. This I believe was the purging from the heart of compacted sin shifting which had built over many years creating a spiritual plaque. Or could it have been a protest from the enemy?An inner reconstruction was taking place.
Sin creates an ‘unreality’ that we mistake for reality. We become so used to our sins that we become our sins.When the power of the Holy Spirit bursts through that shield of unreality tears are often shed. The tears are the realisation of Gods love by the Holy Spirit and the understanding that we have been duped by Satan in accepting sin as normal. A pain can be felt at the centre of the chest as that healing burst dislodges this cloak of unreality .
A short time later I gradually lost interest in movies and rock music because I began to objectively view them for what they represented.I’m able to parallel my old thinking and needs along with my current state quite clearly. Many old life cultural interests I sought for gratification in film and music contained themes which only held me in slavery to sin and unhappiness. These themes would be for example: Power, lust and self obsession. These themes run counter to the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
In Galatians St Paul mentions: ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control’. This clearly explains the results of being born in the spirit. I never fully understood what a born again Christian meant. I didn’t realise one was supernaturally acted on by the Holy Spirit to totally change your inner self. The sinful pursuits and friends one has accompanying this way of life fall away as those friends began to no longer relate to you or you to them. I don’t drink alcohol because I now have no need or desire to. I am now less a part of this world so I would say I’m ‘happily alienated’.
I used to be a Hospital Governor at a psychiatric hospital. I spoke with the pastoral team who have like many institutions favour Mindfulness which derives from Buddhism like Yoga comes from Hinduism. I asked them if there is a possibility that I could promote the idea of the benefits of saying the Rosary with patients. Strangely I got the biggest rejection from the Catholic priest there. I’d imagine I would be viewed as wacky and conservative for suggesting prayer to help those in distress.
Could there be a place for prayer to help people in distress in clinical settings? Through prayer one has a link to God and if said in sincerity he will listen to you and help you. Jesus has come specifically to help the broken hearted, shouldn’t we accept his help.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.