When Jesus ascended into heaven, he said to the disciples, “And behold, I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20) He promised to send an “Advocate” (John 14:15) that would help us on our journey through life. Have you ever thought about this? Where is this “Advocate” and how is He working in our lives?
If you actually look for the Holy Spirit, He’s not hard to find. There are many ways in which God positively impacts our lives each and every day. We just have to look for it. As St. Paul tells us, “All things work for the good of those who love God.” (Romans 8:28) Even in times of trouble, God is there to protect us and guide us if only we allow Him to do so.
How do we learn to recognize the Holy Spirit working within our lives? For me, the best way to recognize God in my life is to reflect on what has happened and recognize that there is no such thing as a coincidence. If you look at how things happen in light of the coincidences in your life, a pattern will emerge.
I like to call these coincidences “God moments.” Sometimes we experience the presence of God in big ways, and, at other times it is more subtle. One big way I experienced the presence of God was at the passing of my mother. My mother was terminally ill with a neuromuscular disease. When it came time for her to pass from this life to the next, my dad could no longer take care of her and we had to place her in a nursing home. The nursing home was amazing! They set up a reclining chair that allowed me to stay overnight with my mother, so I could be with her and still get some sleep. At that point, my mother had been unable to talk for approximately a year and a half and she was unable to move any part of her body except her eyelids and two of the fingers on her right hand. She could no longer eat or regulate her body temperature and her organs were shutting down. I would hold my mother’s hand and she would move her finger when she needed something. Each time, I knew exactly what she needed. I have no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit was guiding me to help my mother get through the dying process as comfortably as possible. I do not have a medical background so there is no way I could have figured it out on my own. Feeling God’s presence made the whole process easier and more peaceful for both me and my mom.
Although I felt God’s presence in a significant way when my mother passed, sometimes I experience the Holy Spirit’s intervention in smaller matters. For example, St. Anthony is considered the patron saint of lost items. Whenever I lose something and have given my all to the search for the lost item, I will pray for St. Anthony’s intercession. It’s no coincidence that shortly after my prayer, I find the lost item. Another example is one day I was traveling to an unfamiliar area and soon lost my way despite my GPS. It was a residential area and the streets were desolate. I prayed to the Holy Spirit to help me find my destination. Again, it was no coincidence that shortly after my prayer a passerby turned up out of nowhere, asked me if I needed help and gave me directions.
If you haven’t noticed how the Holy Spirit is active in your life, start reflecting on the “little” things that happen to you to make life easier. Who knows, maybe you’ll start to feel God’s presence too!
Deb Egan grew up in a Catholic family. Throughout her adult life, she has participated as a church volunteer in many capacities, including teaching Religious Education, being a Eucharistic Minister and Lector, Ministering to the elderly and homebound, and Facilitating Small Faith Groups. She has been trained by Evangelical Catholic and became a member of the Build the Faith Team in April of 2017.