Unlike God’s love for us – it’s there whether we want it or not – we can’t command the Holy Spirit to come into our lives. That requires an invitation.
Come, Holy Spirit, our souls inspire, and lighten with celestial fire.
Enable with perpetual light, the dullness of our blinded sight.
-Hymn 503, vss 1 and 4
Contemplatives talk about “resting in God”, which might sound too passive for some of you, but have you had the experience of sitting back, getting out of the middle of a problem and having the solution become apparent? Solutions and ideas often come to me in that half-awake state, just before getting up in the morning. There’s something about being open to ideas while your mind is resting, and in the same way, I think, simply being open in a passive way to the Holy Spirit is the only invitation needed to enable that perpetual light to sharpen our sight and inspire our soul. If we were to bumper-stickerize this, it might read:
Holy Spirit Happens
And if I were to summarize the Trinity (how’s that for hubris?) it might be thus:
God requires praise. Jesus requires action. The Holy Spirit requires passive receptivity.
For me, nothing is more conducive to a state of passive receptivity than the music of Gregorian chant, or any kind of chant really. Veni creator spiritus (“Come, creator spirit”) is a chant from the 9th century that is used in liturgical celebrations of Pentecost (this coming Sunday by the way), consecrations of bishops and ordinations of priests – all times when we very clearly invite the Holy Spirit to enter our lives. Maybe listening to this would be helpful on all those other days when we’d be happy to have the Holy Spirit show up, but just haven’t opened the doors of our heart wide enough.